Bristlemouth Opens a New Era of Ocean Innovation, Launches Pioneer Program

Bristlemouth Opens a New Era of Ocean Innovation, Launches Pioneer Program

Bristlemouth is the first open ocean connectivity standard, removing a key barrier to scaling innovation and growth across research, government, and industry

NEW YORK, June 7, 2023 -- Bristlemouth, the first open ocean connectivity standard, has launched its Pioneer program during World Oceans Week. The Bristlemouth Pioneer program supports ocean innovators building marine applications and new technology. The program is a collaboration between strategic partners from across the public and private sectors: OceanKind, Office of Naval Research, Schmidt Marine Technology Partners, Builders Vision, Dalio Philanthropies, Aqualink, Ocean Discovery League, and Sofar Ocean.

"Although the ocean is essential to our lives and our livelihoods, and to understanding climate change and marine restoration, we have far too little data to help us practice good stewardship," stated Mark Schrope, Director of Schmidt Marine Technology Partners, a program of the Schmidt Family Foundation. "By bringing together partners across private, public, and nonprofit sectors, Bristlemouth can greatly expand our collective capability to develop and deploy much-needed technologies."

Oceans drive the world’s climate and economy, with over 90% of goods shipped by sea. Ocean data, however, is exceedingly sparse. The rapidly growing ocean data gap drives massive climate uncertainty and impacts every major industry on Earth. To narrow this gap, it is critical that key stakeholders scale and accelerate ocean sensing and exploration. 

The integration of electronic components in the ocean, however, is complex, expensive, and slow due to a complete lack of standardization. As a result, ocean systems are expensive and fragile, and applications are difficult to scale. 

"NOAA Ocean Exploration supports interoperability.  We continuously hear from the community about the need for better standards - not just for data and operations, but for ocean technology," said Jeremy Weirich, Director of NOAA Ocean Exploration.

Bristlemouth is an open standard that delivers plug-and-play hardware interfaces for marine applications to accelerate the scaling of ocean sensing. Potential applications of Bristlemouth range from ocean conservancy to renewable energy to early warning systems for hazardous climate-related events.

"For new sensors and platforms, too much energy is spent on crafting bespoke basic components - energy that could otherwise focus on taking ocean technology systems to the next level," comments Weirich. "That’s why we welcome Bristlemouth’s efforts to move that needle for plug-and-play connectivity, and doing so in a way that promotes community dialogue and open-source engagement."

Sofar Ocean, a strategic partner that helped introduce Bristlemouth in September 2021, continues to champion the open standard. Sofar creates distributed ocean sensor networks and supports Bristlemouth to accelerate ocean sensing and exploration at scale. For example, Sofar works with philanthropic engineering organization Aqualink to equip researchers and citizen scientists around the world with Sofar’s Smart Moorings to monitor heat stress on coral reefs. Bristlemouth enables Aqualink to attach additional marine sensors to further scale its ocean conservation efforts.

"At Aqualink, we manage one of the largest global arrays of ocean sensors, which we use to monitor coral reef health," said Peter Rive, Founder and CEO of Aqualink. "Bristlemouth will help us expand the size and scope of our conservation efforts and represents a breakthrough for affordable and accessible ocean data collection worldwide."

Bristlemouth’s strategic partners created the Pioneer program to catalyze development and accelerate solutions for the enormous challenges that face the ocean. The program will provide support and Bristlemouth-enabled equipment for integration to ocean researchers and developers. Apply for an invitation to the program at

"The Bristlemouth Pioneer program will help the ocean community unlock new technologies and impactful applications at scale," said James Lindsay, Principal at Builders Vision. "As momentum builds for closing the ocean data gap and finding ocean-climate solutions, it will foster new opportunities and support innovators who hope to redesign the sustainable blue economy and build a more humane and healthy planet."

"Bristlemouth is key to scaling data from the oceans," said Mike Wardlaw, Head of the Maritime Sensing Group at the Office of Naval Research. "By accelerating the development of marine technology through open standards, it will rapidly fuel an ecosystem of understanding, and unlock strategies for improving all major ocean industries."

About Bristlemouth
Bristlemouth is an open standard delivering plug-and-play hardware interfaces for marine applications. It ushers in a new era of ocean innovation by accelerating the development of scalable ocean sensing systems and applications. By closing the ocean data gap at a rapid pace, Bristlemouth significantly impacts climate understanding, coastal resilience, and every major ocean industry. For more information, please visit



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