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FAQ Programmatic Funding

What types of projects does Schmidt Marine support?
Schmidt Marine funds the development of novel technologies that solve ocean problems. For details, please visit What We Fund.

With what types of organizations does Schmidt Marine work?
Our focus is on helping great ideas for ocean technologies make it out into the world. In that pursuit, we are happy to work with university academics, non-profit organizations, start-up companies, or established businesses. For later-stage commercial projects we also work closely with the Schmidt Family Foundation’s investment program.

What is Schmidt Marine’s intellectual property and equity policy?
Schmidt Marine does not make any claim on the intellectual property of the groups it supports. We fund primarily early-stage development of new technologies through grants and do not take any equity stake in exchange for this support. We also work closely with the foundation’s investment team, which can support later-stage development using a variety of tools, and the terms of such investments are negotiated individually. Our primary interest is in making technologies as widely available as possible, so we are also more than open to exploring open source models. 

How can I apply for funding?
We generally accept admissions on a rolling basis. To begin the proposal process we ask that you send us some basic information and a very short initial description of your project at our Proposal Portal. If your proposal is a potential fit for us, we will follow up to request additional information, including a more detailed proposal. If your project is not a good fit, you will be notified, usually within 2 weeks. We try to keep the process as simple as possible, so we’re happy to review proposals prepared for other purposes. We send proposals out for external review to our advisory panel, and relevant experts.

What percentage of the applications that Schmidt Marine reviews does it ultimately support?
Schmidt Marine has supported roughly 10% of reviewed projects to date.

How developed does my technology need to be for funding?
We are happy to consider technologies in any development stage, but are mostly focused on early-stage development and cannot support basic science.   

What is TRL? Where on the TRL scale do you provide support?
stands for Technology Readiness Level. We typically begin supporting projects when they are in the 2-6 range. 

How long does Schmidt Marine support last?
Generally, we provide 12-month grants. However, when we decide to support a project, we do so with the intention of helping it achieve scale, and we understand this is often a lengthy process. In most cases we continue to provide support on a year-to-year basis for as long as needed if sufficient progress is made in each grant cycle. As a result, a majority of our grantees have received support from Schmidt Marine for 3 years or more.

What types of projects does Schmidt Marine not provide funding for? 
We are not currently funding projects related to renewable energy, shipping efficiency, aquaculture, oil-spill clean up, or seasteading. We also do not fund basic scientific research.