In 2019, IMOS established the New Technology Proving capability, allowing for the development and establishment of new technologies, methods, and approaches in collecting sustained ocean observations. The establishment of New Technology Proving represents a significant and new opportunity for the IMOS community and focuses upon increasing efficiency, effectiveness and expansiveness (being able to do substantially more with an increase in number) of current ocean observing platforms currently used by IMOS.
Guiding the approach of New Technology Proving are the underlying principles:
- IMOS has adopted the global Framework for Ocean Observing including its concept of readiness levels. Projects funded under the New Technology Proving capability will be targeted at ‘Pilot’ readiness levels, with a view to successful pilots becoming ‘Mature’ over time. Projects at ‘Proof of Concept’ readiness levels are ineligible.
- IMOS has decided to adopt a broad definition of ‘new technology', recognising that projects could include both hard and soft technologies, spanning from new kit in the water, through improved workflows, to new analysis techniques. New technologies, methods, and approaches are all in scope, and use of the term ‘New Technology Proving’ should be seen as shorthand.
When a New Technology Proving funding round is announced, the process consists of three stages.
- Call for Expressions of Interest. Expressions of Interest will then be assessed by the IMOS Science and Technology Advisory Committee (STAC) against the established criteria.
- Expressions of Interest that meet the selection criteria will be asked to develop project plans and budgets for approval and funding.
- Oversight and evaluation of funded projects including recommendations on continued, future investment.
Projects funded under the IMOS New Technology Proving capability will be prioritised based on the following criteria:
- Demonstrable alignment with IMOS strategy and long-term planning.
- Potential to make IMOS more efficient by lowering the cost of existing activities.
- Potential to make IMOS more effective by providing greater spatial or temporal coverage or by adding new variables, at little or no incremental cost.
- Potential to expand IMOS to include new variables or to work at new time and space scales, based on an attractive level of additional cost per observation.
- Assessment of the technical readiness level (TRL) of the proposed new technology, method, or approach. IMOS is targeting ‘pilot’ TRLs 4 (trial), 5 (verification) and 6 (operational) per the Framework for Ocean Observing - see below.
- Evidence of user demand for the sustained observations/data that will flow from what the project delivers.
- Feasibility of successfully implementing the project by leveraging the existing IMOS observing and data system.
- Plausibility of successfully achieving the objective of the project in the available time with the available resources.
- Level of co-investment from partners involved in the project.
Applications for expressions of interest for New Technology Proving are currently closed. Announcement of a new round will be made through IMOS communication channels including the IMOS Bulletin, News and social media.