InnovaSea Systems Inc has been awarded roughly $100,000 in federal funding to research use
of composite lumber in aquaculture pens.
The Maine-based company designs and develops open-ocean products, including the “Aquapod” spehericalgeodesic fish pens, which are used year-round in demanding marine environments.
“These types of grants have been key in helping Maine small businesses test new technologies and take innovative ideas to market,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. “This project is very exciting in connecting two areas where Maine has a lot of expertise — marine construction and wood-based composites.”
InnovaSea is looking for a stronger and stiffer alternative to the High Density Polyethelene (HDPE) plastic it uses in its products, said the congresswoman’s office. The company will work with researchers at the University of Maine who have developed a process to produce a thermoplastic composite combining engineering plastic with wood fiber.
The effectiveness of the composite will be tested in the lab and the open ocean. If successful, the material holds great potential for many marine uses.