Department of Energy Awards $200,000 for Small Business Research and Development to Integral Consulting Inc.
By Grace Chang, Ph.D., Technical Director
U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm today announced that Integral Consulting Inc. will receive $200,000 as part of 259 Department of Energy grants totaling $53 million to support scientific innovation in clean energy development and climate solutions.
The Integral team’s project, “Empowering Communities with a Multi-Use Decision Support Dashboard to Participate in Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) Planning and Development,” will empower communities with information and interactive data analysis and visualization tools to promote meaningful stakeholder engagement and communications, and informed decision-making. The project aims to make the information and data used in the MRE planning process more transparent and accessible to a wider range of stakeholders with a particular focus on increasing the participation of disadvantaged and underrepresented communities. The MRE dashboard will be a significant advancement in facilitating ocean multi-use management planning and decisions.
This Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant will enable design of a user-friendly dashboard that will facilitate assessment of complex issues involved with the marine spatial planning process, including sociocultural, economic, and ecological multi-use concerns with MRE development. The data-driven dashboard will gamify decision-making processes through educational, interactive storyboards, data analysis tools, and storymaps. The technology will facilitate equitable engagement of community stakeholders in the MRE planning and development process.
Integral scientist and principal investigator Grace Chang, Ph.D., will be collaborating with EcoQuants’ Ben Best, Ph.D., and H. T. Harvey & Associates’ Sharon Kramer, Ph.D., to engage with community members, Redwood Community Action Agency and Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, on this exciting environmental justice project.