Schmidt Marine Technology Partners is a program of the Schmidt Family Foundation that supports the development of ocean technologies with compelling conservation and research applications, as well as strong commercialization potential. We do that by providing scaled funding for development work, and related business support in areas such as legal, accounting, and communications. Our goal is to tailor assistance to the needs of each group to help them move their ideas across the dreaded "Valley of Death" and be ready for a sustainable level of paying contracts, licensing, or more traditional investments.

We created this “venture philanthropy” model to fill an often-fatal gap in support available for the development of ocean technologies, which typically require something beyond traditional grants in order to achieve full potential and availability.  Ultimately, our philanthropic funding, in combination with our market-based approach, helps address complex ocean issues.

We are happy to support academic researchers interested in spinning out a company, a start-up working out of a garage, or anyone else working on an innovative idea with the potential for significant impact. Currently, we are working mainly with groups that we contact directly. However, if you believe you are working on an idea that could fit our model, please email us at with a one-paragraph description—not a proposal. We review projects on a rolling basis, so there are no deadlines. If your work falls within our purview, we will contact you for more details.

We remain as flexible as possible in the types of projects we support so that we will be able to champion the best ideas wherever they are found. Current areas of interest include—though are not limited to—ocean sensors, coral reef health, reducing marine plastic pollution, advancing ocean research, and innovative ways to address illegal fishing. We are not currently funding projects related to renewable energy, shipping efficiency, aquaculture, or oil-spill clean up.

As our program grows, we hope to act as a networking and information hub for the marine technology field. If you are an individual or organization interested in collaborating with us in fostering a new generation of ocean innovation, please send us a note.