NOAA-OAR-OER-2023-2007237Ocean Exploration Fiscal Year 2023 Funding OpportunityDepartment of Commerce

NOAA Ocean Exploration is pleased to announce its Ocean Exploration Fiscal Year 2023 Funding Opportunity. NOAA Ocean Exploration is the only federal program dedicated to exploring the deep ocean, closing prominent gaps in our basic understanding of U.S. deep waters and the seafloor and delivering the ocean information needed to strengthen the economy, health, and security of our nation. 

We are soliciting proposals for interdisciplinary ocean exploration in waters under U.S. jurisdiction that support national priorities, including NOAA science and technology priorities of uncrewed systems, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, ’omics, data, and citizen science and the Strategic Priorities for Ocean Exploration and Characterization of the United States Exclusive Economic Zone (draft report to be released April 2022) developed per the National Strategy for Mapping, Exploring, and Characterizing the United States Exclusive Economic Zone

For Fiscal Year 2023, NOAA Ocean Exploration is seeking proposals focused on any one of the following three themes: 

OCEAN EXPLORATION and DISCOVERY: Proposals should be in support of the NOAA ocean exploration mission to explore unknown or poorly known ocean areas, processes, and resources in waters deeper than 200 meters. NOAA Ocean Exploration is particularly interested in exploration for, and discovery of, microorganisms, sponges, corals, and other organisms in waters deeper than 200 meters that may have biopharmaceutical or biotechnological potential. Such proposals should reference the NOAA ’omics strategy. All proposals should reference the National Strategy for Mapping, Exploring, and Characterizing the United States Exclusive Economic Zone.

MARITIME HERITAGE: Proposals should address exploration and discovery of significant maritime heritage resources that improve historical knowledge and inform decisions concerning preservation, management, and potential seafloor use. Maritime heritage projects can be conducted in any water depth. Data products must benefit other academic and resource management disciplines. The use of autonomous and other innovative technologies is a NOAA Ocean Exploration priority.

TECHNOLOGY: Proposals should feature application of new or novel use of existing ocean technologies or innovative methods that could increase the scope and efficiency of acquiring ocean exploration data and expanding its availability and use. They must be focused on the development and testing of innovative sensors and systems that could increase the capabilities of autonomous or remotely operated seagoing systems. Proposed ocean technologies must be applicable to water depths of 200 meters or greater, preferably full-ocean depth (testing in shallower water or lab-based testing is acceptable) and must address at least one of the defined ocean exploration variables as referenced in the “Exploration Variables Identified by NOAA Ocean Exploration” technical memorandum. Proposals must also reference at least one of the NOAA science and technology focus areas.

The deadline for the pre-proposals, which are required, is May 24, 2022, at 4:59 p.m. EDT. Full proposals are due by September 29, 2022

The notice of funding opportunity was published on March 25, 2022, and is available on the NOAA Ocean Exploration website and and attached for your convenience. 

A webinar about the funding opportunity will be held on April 12, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Registration is open. A recording of the webinar will be made available on the NOAA Ocean Exploration website. Additional questions may be directed to

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