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Boston Engineering Receives MassVentures START Stage III Grant to Commercialize Maritime Sonde Technology

Jul 14, 2021

Waltham, MA — Boston Engineering announced a new award under the MassVentures START Program: a Stage III grant that enables it to continue the commercialization of its sonde technology for collecting and transmitting ocean data. This START grant is a result of years of successful R&D contracts and interest from sonde customers.

Boston Engineering began working on maritime sensing technology starting with a Phase I SBIR with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and is continuing through several subsequent projects developing sonde technology for both NOAA and the US Navy. This development over several years and several projects has matured the technology for external investment toward a sonde business.

Boston Engineering is developing several sondes. The first variant collects critical ocean data to improve storm modeling. Hurricanes cause astronomical losses in both lives and damages and the National Weather Service spends almost $700 million in support of storm modeling every year. NOAA and the market at large are constantly seeking means to improve their predictions.

The effects of climate change make predicting the power and intensity of storms more challenging than ever. In 2020, twenty storms underwent rapid intensification (some had winds increase by 70 knots), making the assessment of danger both uncertain and late. Through its work on sonde technology, Boston Engineering is improving predictions by providing NOAA and the Navy access to timely, quality data across many locations at an economical price. The third award of the MassVentures START program affirms that Boston Engineering’s sonde innovations are vital to enabling predictions that save lives.

Michael Rufo, Director of the Advanced Systems Group at Boston Engineering, said: “We are thankful for, and honored by, this opportunity to continue to work with MassVentures toward commercializing our next-generation sonde devices. This is the culmination of many years of hard work and innovation from our whole team, from those in engineering, business development, and beyond. We look forward to bringing our latest ocean data collection technology and lessons from successful field operations to a variety of important customers, many of whom put their own lives on the line to save the lives of others.”

Boston Engineering offers special thanks to the sponsors and supporters of its sonde technologies (in no particular order): NOAA Aircraft Operations Center (Lakeland, FL), NAVAIR PMA 264, Air ASW Sensors (Patuxent River, MD), PEO Unmanned and Small Combatants (Washington Navy Yard, DC), and the Office of Naval Research (Arlington, VA).

The MassVentures START program provides grant funding and support for Massachusetts-based companies that have received SBIR/STTR Phase II federal funding to convert research into businesses and jobs in the Commonwealth. The START grant supports the business side of commercialization; aspects of which are often a challenge for small technology companies.

This highly competitive grant application represents a strong endorsement of Boston Engineering’s sonde business planning and commercialization efforts and aligns with its corporate strategic goals to help save lives in the future with ocean sensor technologies.


About Boston Engineering

Boston Engineering provides product design and engineering consulting from concept development through commercialization. The company specializes in solving complex challenges in defense and security, medical devices, and commercial industries. Founded in 1995, Boston Engineering is certified to ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 13485:2016 standards. Boston Engineering is an Ansys Certified Channel Partner and PTC Platinum Partner. The company is headquartered in Waltham, Mass., and is online at



Rachel Lamy
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