New Bedford Ocean Cluster November 2022 Newsletter

New Bedford Ocean Cluster November 2022 Newsletter

This month, we’re taking a deep dive into the Offshore Wind North East (OWNE) Conference which recently took place in Sunderland, United Kingdom. 

NBOC Executive Director Jennifer Downing and City of New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell traveled to the conference in early November to highlight the competitive advantages New Bedford holds for European wind companies seeking to establish a presence in the United States.

Upon her return, Jennifer sat down with writer Steven Froias for a Q & A to discuss the trip and share her insights into the offshore wind industry in the UK and in the U.S. 

Here’s the interview:

Before we begin, how was the flight across the pond and did you have any jet lag?

The flight was good! We had smooth travels to and from the UK. There’s always a day or two of jet lag when you travel overseas, but not too bad overall. 

This is your second time going to the United Kingdom for the New Bedford Ocean Cluster. How useful has it been to discover how the offshore wind industry has developed there?

NBOC Executive Director Jennifer Downing and New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell (center) at the Offshore Wind North East Conference.

Incredibly useful. The UK has been at this for decades, so New Bedford can learn a lot from not just their successes, but also their mistakes and challenges. This trip was particularly useful and gave us insight into ways to further develop and enhance the Port of New Bedford, as well as how the NBOC can best support local businesses to participate in the supply chain. We also gained insight into important elements needed to cultivate innovation and start-up activity to support offshore wind industry growth, as well as the blue economy more broadly.

What general lessons have you taken away from OWNE and brought back to the New Bedford area?

Overall, I left the UK feeling reassured. New Bedford has been positioning itself for well over a decade to be a hub for the offshore wind industry and I believe we are continuing to move in the right direction. 

The city has prioritized port infrastructure development for several years now. Since 2014, New Bedford has secured over $900M for port projects (completed and currently being planned). We’ll need to keep up our work to build new, and upgrade existing, port infrastructure into the future if we are to remain competitive and meet the ever-evolving needs of offshore wind.

One of the NBOC’s priority marine industry areas is Innovation & Technology because we understand that continued development and growth of the blue economy depends upon the introduction of new ideas, solutions, and efficiencies. This sentiment was reinforced during our trip. During our visit to New Castle, the mayor and I had the opportunity to visit the Newcastle Helix, an impressive innovation hub that has done an amazing job bringing together the research and business community to collaborate and bring innovation to marketplace. Creating something similar in New Bedford is of huge interest to the NBOC, and we look forward to exploring with key players like the MassCEC, UMass Dartmouth, Bristol Community College and industry about how to make this happen for our region. 

More specifically, supply chain logistics are a critical element of building a sustainable offshore wind industry. Europe and the United Kingdom have a head start on the United States. Was there one single element of a robust supply chain you learned about that the NBOC can replicate here?

The UK indeed has a head start on the U.S., but they also have their own supply chain challenges as their industry continues to grow and the country (like the U.S.) works to meet ambitious climate goals.

What I’m learning as I talk to experienced companies overseas in OSW is that the approach to supply chain development, particularly as it relates to creating local content, needs to be quite targeted to have an impact. The OSW supply chain has a lot of different areas (and nuance). Technical assistance to businesses cannot be one size fits all. It needs to be more granular and will take hand holding and direct support. 

As a local organization with a focus on New Bedford and the region, the NBOC is well-positioned to get into the weeds with area businesses and help them to really dig in and understand the opportunities, issues, and challenges in their respective area of the supply chain. The industry is new here, so working with local partners, and well-established companies in OSW and other cluster organizations will be important as we do this to ensure business assistance is based on actual, on-the-ground experience, know-how, and best practices.

I also think it is important to have a good sense of your existing supply chain and where there are gaps. We are just about to complete a supply chain gap analysis at the NBOC so we can be more targeted with both our business assistance, as well as our business recruitment efforts. 

City of New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell (center) getting a close-up look at offshore wind infrastructure at the Port of Blyth.

You traveled to the conference with New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell – and he was the only American to actually address the conference. What kind of competitive advantage does this give the Port of New Bedford as an offshore wind hub in Massachusetts?

The mayor did a great job addressing Offshore Wind North East conference attendees. His remarks provided a comprehensive overview of U.S. industry trends and New Bedford’s many strengths and industry advantages. Anytime you have the chance to get in front of a wide audience of industry leaders it’s good for business and North East England has some of the most successful OSW companies, ports, and industry associations in Europe. 

You’ve also attended various other conferences in the United States, from Boston to Virginia, pertaining to offshore wind. Have you discovered any differences in the dialogue in the States relative to industry policy?

I find the dialogue in the U.S. at present to be consistent. All the states and ports developing offshore wind are grappling with many of the same challenges. 

One area of conversation that I’m particularly keen to follow relates to the need for collaboration across state lines. The industry is very competitive in the U.S. While competition is healthy, and even necessary for a robust and thriving economy, continued development of the U.S. offshore wind industry will require coordination and cooperation across not just states, but also ports. 

Finally, as the first Executive Director of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster, which itself is in the process of being built collaboratively with city and regional partners and supporters, what was the primary message you hoped to leave with people at the OWNE Conference in the United Kingdom? 

You have an industry partner in New Bedford. New Bedford has been at the forefront of developing offshore wind in the U.S., much like the UK has been in Europe, for over a decade. Our regions can both experience economic benefit from each other’s leadership in this industry.


NBOC Executive Director Jennifer Downing also recently sat down with the Massachusetts Maritime Academy for an interview with their Academy Magazine. You can view the PDF pages from the magazine here. Massachusetts Maritime Academy is a fully accredited, four year, co-educational state university, located in Buzzard’s Bay, MA.


Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is seeking a Terminal Administrator for the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal. The terminal is a heavy-lift port facility built in 2015 to support the construction, assembly, and deployment of #offshorewind projects. The listing can be found on the opportunities page at this link.

The National Offshore Wind Institute (NOWI) is seeking an experienced staff to launch a full-service offshore wind training center – Global Wind Organisation certified – to support the offshore wind industry in the U.S. Positions to be filled include: Director National Offshore Wind Institute; Associate Director, National Offshore Wind Institute; Basic Safety Training Instructors; and Basic Technical Training Instructors. Full-time college benefitted positions and training provided by the NOWI. Interested? Contact NOWI through their website here for further details.

Semco Marine, an international engineering and contracting company dedicated to projects in the energy sector, is seeking an Operations Manager for its offshore wind operations. “We are looking for a technically experienced person with a real can-do attitude and flexibility to travel. You will primarily work from our office in New Bedford, USA,” they write. Find out more here.


New Bedford Port Authority Director Gordon Carr.

IN HIS OWN WORDS – “As an economic development professional…the opportunity to come here at this point, when there is so much activity, so much investment and so much future opportunity for the port, was irresistible.” Interview with New Bedford Port Authority Director Gordon Carr from The Public’s Radio here

MAYOR MITCHELL IN THE UK: The perspective from New Bedford City Hall on the Offshore Wind Northeast Conference in Sunderland, United Kingdom. Mitchell says his objective was to make sure the Port of New Bedford is top of mind whenever discussions by offshore wind companies take place about U.S. locations. Full news release here.

CALLING ALL UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: The NOAA Fisheries’ Inclusive Fisheries Internship Program (IN FISH) and Woods Hole Partnership Education Program (PEP) are now accepting applications for the summer of 2023. These are paid, 10-week internships that help build a diverse and inclusive workforce and provide students from underrepresented groups in marine and ocean sciences with practical experience in marine and environmental science. Applications for both programs are due February 10, 2023. Learn more here and apply here

TALKING SEAFOOD: The webinar at this link features speakers highlighting some of the needs and opportunities within the Massachusetts Seafood System via Urban Harbors Institute UMass Boston

MASSACHUSETTS CLEAN ENERGY CENTER’S Accelerators Program provides grants to Massachusetts accelerators for specific activities with the goal of growing the cleantech innovation ecosystem and commercializing early stage cleantech startups. Grants fund accelerator activities, including operations and management expenses, events and educational series, growing strategic clusters, prizes, and scholarships for their current cohort of startups. Grants are up to $120,000 per year and award payments are typically tied to accelerator deliverables and to startup scholarships and support. Application deadline for the next round is Jan. 2, 2023. Learn more at this link.

HIGH-TECH MAMMAL DETECTION: Vineyard Wind and Charles River Analytics announced a new collaboration aimed at further protecting marine mammals during the construction of the Vineyard Wind 1 project. Find out more here.

CLEAN ENERGY LEADERS WANTED: Greentown Labs and Browning the Green Space have launched the Advancing Climatetech and Clean Energy Leaders Program (ACCEL), seeking applications from entrepreneurs who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC) and are building climatetech startups. The program is a unique partnership between Greentown, the largest climatetech startup incubator in America, based in Somerville, MA, and BGS, a nonprofit dedicated to making clean energy and other climate-related fields more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Applications for ACCEL are due by Dec. 23. Interested entrepreneurs can learn more about the call for applications here.


// FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2 – WOMEN ON WATER: The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center hosts Women on Water at 7:00 p.m. Learn about the different ways women are involved in the fishing industry in their own words during the discussion. Bayman Flo Sharkey (Patchogue, NY) and Shinnecock tradition bearers Josephine Smith and Shavonne (Shinnecock Nation, Southampton, NY) will discuss their experiences on the water alongside other women local to the New Bedford area. Free; register at this link

// MON. DEC. 5 & TUES. DEC. 6 –  National Offshore Wind R&D Symposium 2022 is a two day in-person and virtual conference showcasing NOWRDC’s project portfolio. Comprised of keynote talks and project presentation panels organized around technical challenge areas, the conference will take place December 5 & 6 in-person at Northeastern University and be live streamed virtually on Hopin. Register at this link

// TUESDAY, DEC. 13 – The BUSINESS NETWORK FOR OFFSHORE WIND will hold a free one-hour webinar beginning at 11:00 a.m. to learn about the national offshore wind standards initiative and its objectives. Learn about the emerging U.S. offshore wind compliance recommended practices and how they impact your business. Register here

// OVER THE HORIZON: The 2023 Seafood Expo North America will take place March 12-14 in Boston, MA. Registration to attend or showcase is open now at this link


The New Bedford Ocean Cluster maintains an ongoing social media presence on Facebook and LInkedIn. You can “Like” and “Follow” each page to receive news updates throughout the month between newsletters. #NBOC #newbedfordoceancluster
New Bedford Ocean Cluster October 2022 Newsletter

New Bedford Ocean Cluster October 2022 Newsletter

It’s been a busy and fulfilling month at the New Bedford Ocean Cluster! On Wednesday, October 12, the first annual meeting of the NBOC took place at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Then, on Friday, Oct. 21 we were pleased to host a special Offshore Wind Lunch and Learn pop-up event with NBOC member, Osbit at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal. 

This month, we wish to highlight an important aspect of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster and the robust marine business network we are trying to build – Membership.

Successful clusters have a knowledgeable group of engaged business leaders, start-ups, public institutions, and universities at the table driving its mission and strategy. Through the shared platform of an ocean cluster organization, members around the world are combining their experience and expertise to address business challenges, explore innovations to improve efficiency and enter new markets, and bring greater value to their industries.

It’s time to fully enjoy those fruitful benefits of collaboration here in New Bedford. It is through the engagement of our membership that we will ensure that the NBOC continues to evolve in a way that is consistent with local interests, leverages existing strengths, and makes certain that the Port of New Bedford and our region are positioned to strengthen and advance marine businesses, blue start-ups, and partnerships.

As a member of the NBOC, you will be a part of a growing network of marine industry stakeholders who share a passion for doing business and creating economic opportunity in this region and who wish to expand their visibility and success. Our goal is to keep you up to date on developments happening across marine industries locally and over the horizon; to offer regular events to share new innovations; and provide an opportunity for business-to-business networking with abundant exposure for your company. 

In New Bedford, and with the engagement of our local fisheries and marine industry stakeholders, we can combine our generations of wisdom with new knowledge to optimize our maritime legacy and generate more wealth.

While our membership efforts are just underway, we’ve already welcomed fantastic companies this year that share our vision for the ocean cluster and what it can achieve for New Bedford’s marine economy. A big thanks to the individuals and companies that have joined us so far.

Interested in learning more about membership? Be in touch and I’d be happy to discuss our membership tiers, benefits for participation, and why your engagement and input into the continued growth of the NBOC is so important.

Jennifer Downing, Executive Director


The NBOC held its first Annual Meeting on Oct. 12. About 100 people gathered at the New Bedford Whaling Museum for an update on the organization’s first year of operations, as well as official ocean cluster business. Special remarks were provided by New Bedford Mayor, Jon Mitchell, and Dr. Ramprasad Balasubramanian, Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at UMass Dartmouth. The meeting was followed by a lively reception in the Museum’s Jacobs Family Gallery. Click here to see some photos from the event.





The NBOC was pleased to hold a Lunch & Learn event with member Osbit on Friday, Oct. 21 (pictured). Osbit is a global company that designs and builds engineered systems to support a range of offshore wind and oil & gas operations. The NBOC would like to thank  Dustin Varnell, Chris Jones, and Joe Wills MSc, CQP MCQI, CMIOSH for sharing the Osbit story, experience, and expertise with local businesses. Also, thank you to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center for hosting us at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal.




From our friends at NOWI

Bristol Community College’s National Offshore Wind Institute (NOWI) is hiring for several positions, including Director and Associate Director. NOWI, currently building a facility along the New Bedford Waterfront, seeks to provide strategies to accelerate and support the next generation of workforce and supply chain for the wind energy sector. See “Work for NOWI” on their website’s homepage at this link.


FISHING INDUSTRY: Insight on the commercial fishing industry from City of New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell and CNBC. “The fishing industry of course is hugely important to Greater New Bedford, but sometimes the public discussion of fishing regulations and the economics of the industry can sound so technical that many find it hard to follow. This CNBC piece, which features New Bedford and Foley Fish’s Laura Ramsden, explains in clear terms how American seafood is sustainably fished and why U.S. trade policy needs to account for foreign fishing abuses that depress U.S. prices and harm the environment.” Full story here

GREETINGS FROM GRIMSBY: The Doers Lab based in the City of New Bedford organizes a student exchange program with students from Grimsby, England. That city was profiled in a 60 Minutes segment that you can watch here.

BLOCK ISLAND BETA: Nearly six years after the Block Island Wind Farm’s turbines began turning, NBC 10 News got an up close look at them, as its owners say more projects like it are soon to follow. Report here

NEW YORK BIGHT NAVIGATION: Developers of the Leading Light Wind offshore energy project in the New York Bight said Tuesday that they have brought on a new fisheries stakeholder engagement team from Sea Risk Solutions LLC.  BOEM’s New York Bight lease offerings were reduced substantially with efforts to reduce potential conflicts with fishing, including the scallop industry after input from New Bedford stakeholders. National Fisherman has the story

AQUACULTURE: A five-year NOAA Aquaculture Strategic Plan will guide efforts to enhance the growth of sustainable U.S. aquaculture. Read the plan here.


Thurs. Nov. 10 // THE NEW BEDFORD PORT AUTHORITY monthly meeting will take place at 5:00 p.m. The NBPA office is located at 123 MacArthur. Drive, New Bedford.   

Monday, Nov. 14 // Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is one of the hosts of “Can Offshore Wind be an Innovation Anchor for the Blue Economy?,” in Boston, MA. More details and RSVP here      

November 27, 2022 // The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center at 38 Bethel St, NB holds Front & Center Holiday Market today from 11am-4pm. Get your holiday shopping done early and browse local New Bedford businesses (including the Center’s Gift Shop) for the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Maybe you’ll even catch Mrs. Clause out and about, or Salty Santa when you visit the Center. Plus, make fishy ornaments with the kids for your holiday décor! Check the center’s website for more information about participating businesses as the event date gets closer.   


The New Bedford Ocean Cluster maintains an ongoing social media presence on Facebook and LInkedIn. You can “Like” and “Follow” each page to receive news updates throughout the month between newsletters. #NBOC #newbedfordoceancluster
Offshore Wind Community Outreach Forum

Offshore Wind Community Outreach Forum

Offshore Wind Community Outreach Forum

The New Bedford Ocean Cluster invites you to join us!

Join us to explore how your company can work in the rapidly growing offshore wind industry through the Act Local Program and to meet industry peers.

June 29th, 2022 | 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Join us to explore how your company can work in the rapidly growing offshore wind industry through the Act Local Program and to meet industry peers.

The event will include networking and remarks from the NBOC, Vineyard Wind and local business leaders. 

In partnership with:

Offshore Wind Community Outreach Forum, February 17, 2022

Offshore Wind Community Outreach Forum, February 17, 2022

Offshore Wind Community Outreach Forum, February 17, 2022

On February 17, 2022, the New Bedford Ocean Cluster hosted an Offshore Wind Community Outreach Forum, the first of a series of online and in person events to educate and engage the Greater New Bedford business community in the growing offshore wind industry. The recent forum, conducted via webinar, offered an overview of the offshore wind industry in New England, project development process and timeline, and information on requirements and supply chain opportunities. Nearly 180 people registered for this first forum, and we anticipate strong interest in future events. Missed the forum? Watch it here.

The #NBOC offshore wind glossary

The #NBOC offshore wind glossary

The #NBOC offshore wind glossary

By Steven Froias | For the New Bedford Ocean Cluster

There has been a lot of excitement in the greater New Bedford region – and beyond – since the steady stream of great news about the growing momentum of the offshore wind energy industry in this city and, indeed, in the United States. 

Yet, the New Bedford Ocean Cluster recognizes that it can be hard to wrap your brain around all these new bright shiny objects at once. Especially when an entirely new industry arrives with an entirely new vocabulary. 

No worries. We’re here to help. 

From time to time, we’ll compile and share with you the terminology you need to know. Never enough to drag you under, but just enough to keep you afloat as this new chapter of maritime history unfolds.

Now, some of the lingo and jargon may be second-hand to folks who already work in the industry or have read up on the subject. But we’re guessing that just as many more have no idea what, exactly, is the Jones Act. Or what GWO stands for. 

Neither did most of us until we got involved in the promise of renewable energy. Now that it’s happening right from our own shores, in fact from the very Port of New Bedford and the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, it’s time we share the love. 

So, we’ll begin with a few words or terms regarding Offshore Wind – frequently abbreviated to OSW – to get you aloft and blowing in the wind. We’ll add more in future posts and eventually compile them all together into the #NBOC glossary on this website – the first of many resources you can expect to see going forward. 

THE JONES ACT: Has nothing to do with Davy Jones Locker – but everything to do with keeping ship building in the United States strong. The Jones Act requires that all vessels carrying goods between two U.S. points be American-built, -owned, -crewed and -flagged. In the OSW industry (see what we did there? Hope you were paying attention above!) the Jones Act means purpose-built vessels in the U.S. to help facilitate the construction of OSW farms. 

GWO: It’s not something stamped on organic food to certify that it is non-GMO. (That’s Genetically Modified Organism.) Rather GWO refers to the offshore wind training certificate you receive after a course of study. It stands for Global Wind Organization, a group of industry experts who, since 2012, has set the standard for people working in the wind industry, both onshore and offshore. You can, in fact, become GWO certified with Bristol Community College’s National Offshore Wind Institute (NOWI) program. 

INTERCONNECTION: Though it sounds like the title of the latest Chris Nolan blockbuster, you won’t find Leonardo DiCaprio becoming interconnected. (That would be “Inception.”) For offshore wind generation projects, interconnection involves the transport of electricity generated offshore to onshore landings, known as points of interconnection (POI). 

INDEPENDENT SYSTEM OPERATOR: From a POI, electricity is injected into the grid, which is operated by an Independent System Operator (ISO). That’s an independent and federally regulated entity that coordinates regional transmission to ensure non-discriminatory access to the electric grid and a reliable electricity system.

We’ll stop here before we all begin to feel a bit like Leo in Inception. Upside down and turned all around, not unlike an offshore wind turbine blade!

Until next time, go forth and impress your friends and family with OSW cocktail chatter, courtesy of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster. 

The New Bedford Ocean Cluster (NBOC) is a newly established 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created to serve the maritime business community in the greater New Bedford region. The NBOC’s mission is to leverage New Bedford’s coastal position, marine knowledge base, and landside capacity to drive employment and wealth creation for New Bedford residents. This shall be done through a dynamic approach combining recruitment of targeted businesses, creation of unique economic infrastructure, workforce development, and support for homegrown ocean economy companies.




(New Bedford, MA) – Via Press Release: The New Bedford Ocean Cluster (NBOC) today announced that it is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. The NBOC’s mission is to leverage New Bedford’s coastal position, marine knowledge base, and landside capacity to drive employment and wealth creation in Greater New Bedford. The NBOC looks to accomplish this through a dynamic approach, combining recruitment of targeted businesses, creation of unique economic infrastructure, workforce development, and support for homegrown ocean economy companies. 

The New Bedford Ocean Cluster will seek to enhance the City and Port of New Bedford’s existing strengths in maritime industries, while advancing new programs, start-ups and technology partnerships with a primary focus in four different industry areas. These four industry areas include: Commercial Fishing and Processing, Aquaculture, Offshore Renewables, and the Innovation & Technology Sector. The NBOC was originally formed in 2015 as a program of the New Bedford Port Authority. In 2019, the NBOC merged with the former New Bedford Wind Energy Center, which focused on business development in the offshore wind industry. 

The NBOC is governed by a ten member Board of Directors who represent key focus areas of the organization. Recently, elections were held to nominate and select members of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. Former New Bedford Mayor John Bullard will serve as the President of the Board, along with former New Bedford Port Director Edward Anthes-Washburn as Vice President, and Jennifer J. Menard, Vice President, Economic and Business Development, Interim – Bristol Community College, as Treasurer and Secretary. The remaining board members are as follows: Keith Decker (CEO of Blue Harvest Fisheries), John Quinn (Assistant Dean for Public Interest Law & External Relations: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth), Anthony R. Sapienza (President, New Bedford Economic Development Council), Chris Rezendes (Professor Emeritus – Marine Biology & Aquaculture Extension Specialist: Roger Williams University), and Michael Quinn (Co-Owner: Quinn Fisheries, Inc.). 

NBOC President John Bullard had this to say about the organization and his role within it, “I have often said you can describe New Bedford in one word: seaport. We send our people to sea. The mission of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster is to build on that centuries old relationship to create economic opportunity for future generations by building on our dominance in commercial fishing, leading the way in offshore wind, breaking new ground in marine technology, and joining the fast growing field of marine aquaculture. These four fields and the relationships between each of them create the potential for thousands of local jobs that pay well and that involve every segment of our diverse community. I am honored that Mayor Mitchell invited me to serve on this mission for New Bedford’s future. We have a dynamic Board with world class expertise in all the fields where we will operate and I am humbled to have been asked to lead them.” 

Mayor Jon Mitchell serves on the NBOC’s Board of Directors in an Ex Officio role, stated, “The NBOC will be instrumental in ensuring New Bedford achieves its full potential as a leading maritime center. We seek to capitalize on our advantages in fishing, offshore wind and other industries so that we can create new and sustainable opportunities for the residents of our region. ”