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Baltimore Innovation Week / Biotechnology / Hackathons

Baltimore tech’s maritime twist

From aquatic research to civic hacking projects, sea life has a place in the city's tech scene.

The harbor. (Photo by Flickr user Jill Meinert, used under a Creative Commons license)
This article appears in the Baltimore Innovation Week 2014 program and magazine.

It’s Charm City, it’s The City That Reads, it’s a lot of things. But Baltimore is also very much a harbor city.
And that fundamental fact is influencing the city’s innovation scene in interesting ways.
“It’s something we are a world leader in,” Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology Director Russell Hill said of Baltimore’s place in the world of marine research.
IMET is pushing the envelope in the science of aquaculture (among other things) by leading an effort to grow bluefin tuna inside its Inner Harbor facility. The organization’s focus is finding practical applications for cutting-edge marine technologies.

Read our IMET coverage

Baltimore hackers are also getting in on the life aquatic.
In June, the city was one of five nationwide to host the U.S. State Department’s Fishackathon. The winning idea from Baltimore was global in scope: a mobile app designed to boost the health of fisheries in West Africa. About 25 programmers turned out to the overnight event.
Some 80 coders showed up to the DataBay “Reclaim the Bay” Innovation Challenge held just last month. That state-organized hackathon sought technological solutions to Chesapeake Bay pollution issues.
It all comes as the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore continues its Healthy Harbor initiative to make the city’s portion of the Chesapeake swimmable and fishable by 2020.

Companies: The National Aquarium / Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) / Waterfront Partnership / U.S. State Department

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