BlueTrace Blog

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NOAA Grant: We Won!!

Aug 31, 2021 12:14:52 PM

Thanks to all the folks at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) we are hiring more folks and scaling our solution.  Stay tuned for more product update. SBIR_logo

Here is the official press release: 

NOAA recently awarded BlueTrace (formerly Oyster Tracker) a $500k SBIR Phase II award based on the success achieved in a NOAA SBIR Phase I awarded in 2020. With the SBIR awards and already reported venture investments and grants, BlueTrace has raised over $1.8 million. 

These investments accelerate the building of an innovative Tide to Table Traceability and Marketing System. With over 120 clients in 12 states and 3 countries, BlueTrace has proven the market need and viability of a solution that helps shellfish harvesters, farmers, dealers, and distributors track their product seamlessly from harvest to consumption.  

As one of the SBIR grant reviewers noted: “The proposed work has strong commercial viability and has the potential to generate considerable cost-savings for shellfish producers and wholesalers.” 

Using the current BlueTrace system, shellfish producers and dealers track Key Data Elements for oysters, mussels, clams, geoducks and other shellfish from harvest through a complex chain of custody that often involves over five steps.  Using the mobile BlueTrace system, users track food safety issues and produce mandated shellfish logs and tags. The average client saves over 30% on their compliance costs while improving accuracy--and keeping their product safer.

BlueTrace is adding talented developers and seafood experts to their team to address rising consumer expectations for seafood provenance and evolving regulations. New federal rules such as section 204 of the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act are being finalized for almost all seafood.  New regulations are increasing compliance costs while at the same time many in the shellfish industry are facing significant labor shortages. 

An easy-to-use traceability system designed for the mobile, wet, fast-paced environment of shellfish companies will make consumers safer and companies more efficient and resilient.  By tracking the time and temperature of seafood from harvest to table, the risk of illnesses like Vibrio and other food-borne diseases decreases dramatically.  

A safer food chain is good for consumers and businesses.  BlueTrace has the team, technology and know how to revolutionize tracking--from tide to table. Thanks to the SBIR program, we can build a system specifically for the complexities of the seafood industry.  

--CEO, Wyllys Chip Terry, Ph.D

About SBIR: The SBIR program was originally established in 1982 by the Small Business Innovation Development Act (P.L. 97-219). The objectives of the SBIR Program are to:  Stimulate technological innovation in the private sector;  Strengthen the role of small business in meeting Federal research and development (R&D) needs;  Foster and encourage participation by socially and economically disadvantaged persons in technological innovation; and Increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development. Each year, NOAA sets aside a portion of its extramural R&D budget to fund research from small science and technology-based firms. The NOAA SBIR Program supports innovative research projects that fall within NOAA’s core mission of science, service, and stewardship. 

About BlueTrace: BlueTrace makes the seafood supply chain more efficient and safer, by digitizing key transactions and creating a seamless traceability chain. Founded in 2018 by technology entrepreneurs with a track record of successfully building companies, BlueTrace is dedicated to helping the seafood industry move from reactive and costly food safety programs to a system that anticipates food safety issues and prevents outbreaks--all for a fraction of the current time and expense.    

BlueTrace has received backing from the Maine Venture Fund, Maine Technology Institute, Coastal Enterprise Inc., The Food Loft and others.  BlueTrace is headquartered in Castine, Maine with employees in Massachusetts, Virginia, Texas, and Washington state.   

Chip Terry
Written by Chip Terry

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