New MITRE BlueTech Lab Will Accelerate Maritime Technology Development

MITRE joins Northeast BlueTech Science and Engineering Acceleration (BlueSEA) Coalition as founding member
An artist's rendering of the BlueTech Lab's interior showing seven large water tanks

An artist's rendering of the BlueTech Lab's interior. (Courtesy of architectural firm Margulies Perruzzi.)


Bedford, Mass., and McLean, Va., Nov. 10, 2021—MITRE today announced the new MITRE BlueTech Lab, a national resource for advancing undersea testing, innovation, and collaboration. MITRE also joins the Northeast BlueTech Science and Engineering Acceleration (BlueSEA) Coalition as a founding member, along with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, MassChallenge, University of Rhode Island. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Newport will support the coalition in a liaison role.

“Maritime technology is deeply engrained in many of the key challenges facing our nation and the world, including climate, national security, and clean energy,” said Douglas Robbins, vice president, engineering and prototyping, MITRE Labs. “The MITRE BlueTech Lab will accelerate and provide a foundation for underwater research and innovation for positive impact and help make New England a global nexus of maritime research.”

The MITRE BlueTech Lab will be a state-of-the-art, all-weather maritime test facility and a national resource for advancing undersea testing, innovation, and collaboration. Holding roughly 575,000 gallons of water, the lab’s test tank will be the longest and one of the largest freshwater tanks available in the region. It will support research, testing, and rapid prototyping in acoustic sensing, acoustic communications, unmanned underwater vehicles, maritime autonomy, and climate science research and development. 

The lab will be open for use to government agencies, research organizations, startups, and commercial companies, and is expected to begin operations in late 2022.

With the BlueTech Lab maritime test facility, MITRE is once again leading the way for advancing undersea science and testing,” said U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA). “Together, this lab with our great research institutions will foster an ecosystem of collaboration that will help us confront the climate crisis we face.” 

“Tomorrow’s challenges will require the combined efforts of government, academia, industry and the nonprofit sector. I’m so excited that the BlueTech Lab is working hard to create the infrastructure needed to meet these challenges,” said U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (MA-06).

“MITRE’s commitment to the research and development of next generation technologies is pivotal to our continued fight against climate change and will simultaneously help to bolster our national security—two goals that are immensely important to the future of our country. I look forward to working closely with the team at MITRE to tackle some of the most challenging problems facing our nation and achieve meaningful progress in maritime technology.”

“By developing one of the largest freshwater tanks in the region, MITRE is making a vital investment in the blue economy and tackling climate change in the process,” said U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss (MA-04). “The BlueTech Lab is another reason why New England leads the way in innovation and discovery.”

At a groundbreaking ceremony today, the founding members of the Northeast BlueSEA Coalition also announced their commitment to collaborate to advance maritime innovation and to conduct research at the new MITRE BlueTech Lab. The Northeast BlueSEA Coalition, comprised of leading maritime technology organizations across academia, government and not-for-profit, will work to accelerate solutions to complex maritime challenges by combining complementary skills, resources, and infrastructure. MITRE will use its NERVE network to connect physical labs and provide its unique institutional capabilities and infrastructure for real-time testing and collaboration across organizations.

“WHOI is a world leader in ocean science, engineering, and marine operations, and this collaboration is an important step to help accelerate ocean discovery and innovation,” said Peter de Menocal, president and director at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  “We’re thrilled to be a part of this new national resource, as we advance understanding of the ocean and its importance to the planet.”

“URI is well-positioned to train and educate the next generation workforce, and drive the creation of ‘blue jobs’ in this dynamic, emerging industry,” said Marc Parlange, president, University of Rhode Island. “This partnership presents a great opportunity to develop high-impact regional joint and multi-party efforts that will accelerate maritime innovation and enhance U.S. security and competitiveness. This collaborative effort fits well with the University’s broader ambitions to advance blue economy innovation and research and aligns strategic investments to be complementary as we work together to make New England the country's leading region on ocean science and technology."

“We are excited to continue our collaborations with all these great organizations,” said Dr. Jason Gomez, chief technology officer, NUWC Division Newport. “The Northeast has always been the leader in undersea technology development, and with increased dependence and opportunity in the undersea domain, we need to combine the complimentary capabilities of government, academia, and industry to grow the Blue Economy and provide our fleet with the advanced capabilities they need.”

“MassChallenge is pleased to be among the founding members of the Northeast BlueSEA Coalition. We believe this coalition represents more than just a commitment to the advancement of innovation-it's a commitment to collaboration that draws together the strengths of our region,” said Hope Hopkins, managing director of Early Stage New England programs at MassChallenge. 

“Critical infrastructure, and access to facilities like the new MITRE BlueTech Lab that we broke ground on today, are essential for endeavoring blue tech entrepreneurs seeking to prototype, pilot, and validate their technologies. The opportunity we unlocked today will have long lasting impact on the future of maritime innovation in New England and around the globe.”

Participants in the Blue Tech Lab ribbon-cutting ceremony holding shovels at the groundbreaking site

In the photo above: Participants in the Blue Tech Lab's ribbon-cutting ceremony (left to right) Laurie Giandomenico, vice president and chief acceleration officer, MITRE; Jason Gomez, chief technology officer, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport; Hope Hopkins, managing director, early stage, MassChallenge; Kim Warren, vice president and director, Health FFRDC, MITRE; Yvette Melendez, trustee, MITRE; Dr. Jay Schnitzer, senior vice president and chief medical and technology officer, MITRE; Keoki Jackson, senior vice president and general manager of National Security Sector, MITRE; Julie M. Gravallese, vice president, Workplace Innovation, Center for Operations, Outreach, and Legal, MITRE; Peter de Menocal, president, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Nick Rotker, department manager, Underwater and Acoustics Systems, MITRE; Julie Bowen, senior vice president, Operations and Outreach, and chief legal officer, MITRE; U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss (MA-04); U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (MA-06); U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA); Charles Clancy, senior vice president, general manager at MITRE Labs, and chief futurist MITRE; Doug Robbins, vice president, engineering and prototyping, MITRE Labs; Kathleen Federico, senior vice president, chief people and corporate strategy officer, MITRE; and Marc Parlange, president, University of Rhode Island.


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Media: Jordan Graham, media@mitre.org