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UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography and LA's AltaSea Sign Multifaceted Science and Education Partnership
[August 04, 2020]

UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography and LA's AltaSea Sign Multifaceted Science and Education Partnership

AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles announced today that it is joining forces with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego to connect Scripps Oceanography students, innovators, and scientists with AltaSea's blue economy entrepreneurs for a broad-based research, education, public outreach, and workforce development partnership designed to bring about a greater understanding of the ocean and to advance the Blue Economy in Southern California.

"We are thrilled to partner with the world-renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography as we work to make AltaSea the leading campus for ocean innovation on the West Coast," said Timothy McOsker, CEO of AltaSea. "This partnership is another important step toward that goal."

This is the second official partnership between AltaSea and a major West Coast university, highlighting the value of AltaSea's reputation and location as a center for the blue or ocean economy. The ocean economy was designated in February 2020 as a new category of jobs in Los Angeles - the first addition in over a decade - by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). The LAEDC/AltaSea ocean economy report states that this new economic engine will produce more than 126,000 direct jobs and pay wages upwards of $37.7 billion by 2023 in L.A. County alone.

The partnership with Scripps provides AltaSea's innovative businesses access to students and scientists from one of the world's leading oceanographic institutions, and gives Scripps students the opportunity to make meaningful connections with many of the cutting-edge blue economy startups working or testing their products at AltaSea.

Innovative companies and start-ups have been attracted to AltaSea because of the synergistic public-private collaborations that are underway at the only incubator in L.A. County focused on a sustainable ocean economy. These companies are addressing climate change in novel ways, from remotely operated vehicles that can distribute baby corals onto threatened reefs, to mussel seeds that can provide a sustainable local food source for years to come, as well as technology that enables centimeter-to-meter scaled 3D geolocation and orientation in previously hard-to-reach places, including the depths of the ocean.

Scripps is one of the most important centers for global earth science research and education in the world. With cutting-edge research programs under way on every continent and in every ocean, Scripps scientists work to understand and protect the planet by investigating our oceans, Earth, and atmosphere to find solutions to our greatest environmental challenges. Scripps works closely with companies via the Scripps Coporate Alliance, an active community of nearly 30 diverse U.S. and international companies, supporting transition of students to industry careers, translation of research innovation to commercial solutions, and collaborative research. Birch Aquarium at Scripps brings climate, earth, and ocean science discoveries from Scripps research labs to nearly 500,000 visitors and over 54,000 pre-K to Grade 12 students each year.

"Through this partnership with AltaSea, we aim to introduce Scripps students and stakeholders to jobs in the blue economy, where they can apply their scientific expertise to innovative and technology-driven environmental applications and solutions," said Margaret Leinen, Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences at UC San Diego and Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The Scripps/AltaSea partnership consists of four pillars:

  1. Providing professional development opportunities for Scripps students with the community of companies at AltaSea. This includes connecting these companies with Scripps students for internships and professional opportunities, and participation of AltaSea companies in extracurricular career-related events or applied courses, where relevant. AltaSea's anchor tenants include: The Southern California Marine Institute (made up of 23 universities and institutes), Braid Theory, Blue Robotics, Holdfast Aquaculture, Montauk Technologies, La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator, and Boeing's (News - Alert) Echo Voyager.
  2. Collaborating on research made possible by connecting AltaSea companies to Scripps researchers, scientists, students, and faculty, and/or connecting researchers, scientists, students, and faculty to AltaSea facilities. Famed oceanographer and explorer Dr. Robert Ballard, who discovered the wreckage of the Titanic, docks his 64-meter exploration vessel Nautilus at AltaSea.
  3. Building an innovation ecosystem by cooperating on entrepreneurship and commercialization of research, including providing resources for Scripps' spin-out companies, supporting licensing of Scripps research products by AltaSea companies, and other collaborative activities that increase investment in the Southern California blue economy.
  4. Supporting K-12 science education with a particular focus on engaging students from under-represented communities. Potential opportunities include student mentoring, virtual learning resources, such as live chats, and other science education programming. AltaSea has already built an online platform called Project Blue @Summer, a digital port for content and education resources for the emerging blue economy, which has provided much-needed science learning experiences since schools shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has a deserved reputation for its critical work in understanding our oceans," said Jenny Krusoe, Founding Executive Director of AltaSea. "This partnership validates much of what we have done at AltaSea, and we are excited for our blue economy entrepreneurs to connect with these amazing scientists and researchers."

About AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles is dedicated to accelerating scientific collaboration, advancing an emerging blue economy through business innovation and job creation, and inspiring the next generation, all for a more sustainable, just, and equitable world.

For more information on AltaSea, please see our website:

About Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego is one of the world's most important centers for global earth science research and education. In its second century of discovery, Scripps scientists work to understand and protect the planet, and investigate our oceans, Earth, and atmosphere to find solutions to our greatest environmental challenges. Scripps offers unparalleled education and training for the next generation of scientific and environmental leaders through its undergraduate, master's and doctoral programs. The institution also operates a fleet of four oceanographic research vessels, and is home to Birch Aquarium at Scripps, the public exploration center that welcomes 500,000 visitors each year. For more information, visit

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