Siren Marine LLC, a pioneer in Connected Boat technology, was awarded a $50,000 Innovation Voucher Grant by the Rhode Island Commerce Corp.
The state program is designed to help small, innovative companies partner with research and development centers at top universities, medical centers or research facilities.
The grant will allow Newport, R.I.-based Siren to partner with the New England Institute of Technology in the development of wireless transceivers and sensors for Siren’s proprietary Internet of Things boat monitoring and tracking system.
The partnership is expected to enhance Siren’s existing Connected Boat technology — which gives boaters the power to monitor, track and control their vessels via the Internet and mobile apps — while eventually helping the company expand into other high-tech applications beyond the marine industry.
“Building a successful tech start-up is by far the hardest thing I have ever done,” Siren founder and CEO Daniel A. Harper said in a statement. “It makes single-handed ocean sailing and riding out hurricanes seem like a breeze. The rewards, however, have been worth every bit of the effort. This grant is going to be a huge boost for our plans to bring cutting-edge innovation to the marine industry and will help grow our business inside the marine space and beyond.”
Competition for the grants was strong — five Rhode Island companies were selected from among 31 that submitted proposals.
“We are very pleased to award this Innovation Voucher to Siren Marine,” Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor said. “Siren Marine is a terrific company with enormous potential. To their credit, the entrepreneurs at Siren Marine are simultaneously drawing upon Rhode Island's proud tradition in boating and our state’s emerging strength in technology. We wish them great success.”
“We are very excited to be working with Siren Marine to lay the groundwork for tomorrow’s connected boat technology,” said Steven H. Kitchin, the NEIT’s vice president for corporate education and training.
“Our technical expertise, paired with Siren Marine’s understanding of the marine industry and what boaters truly need, make this a great match. We’re confident that together we can help shape the way boaters connect with their vessels and enhance the overall boating experience.”