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Roger F. Wicker Center for Ocean Enterprise

Innovation Collaboration

Roger F. Wicker Center for Ocean Enterprise

Welcome to the Gateway to the Gulf of Mexico

At USM, we bring together scientists, researchers, innovators, industry, and government partners for collaborations that drive breakthroughs in blue technology.

The Center for Ocean Enterprise is a curated collection of marine assets, including the Marine Research Center (MRC), the Roger F. Wicker Center for Ocean Enterprise (OE) Building, and the Gulf & Ship Island Building. Innovators with blue technology prototypes have access to resources assembled with a strategy and branded to accelerate the development and launch of new products.

Six Innovation Convergence Areas

We have created a network of resources that support Mississippi's global blue economy clusters. Innovators work and invest together with university research scientists and federal partners to solve challenges in six areas of convergence.


Maritime Systems



Smart Ports

Coastal Data



The U.S. Navy and NOAA have funded a robust ecosystem of companies building uncrewed maritime systems to collect ocean data. Help us leverage the region's capabilities in uncrewed systems to solve problems in aquaculture, offshore renewables, managing coastal pollution, sustainable fisheries, and coastal resilience. 
Polymer science and ocean science are converging in the development of non-polluting materials. Our team is looking for entrepreneurs that are working to engineer new plastics that degrade on demand and technology to clean up what is already in the oceans.
Aquaculture is a strength of the Gulf Coast region. Global seafood demand is rising, growing >5% per year. To keep up, we need innovations in seaborne sensors, alternative forms of fish feed, robotics, and data analytics to optimize farm operations. 

We want to understand the interconnectivity between the coastal areas and the ocean. Watersheds that flow into tributaries and then into rivers carry sediment, farm runoff, and plastics that impact the coastal habitats and the ocean. We want innovators with technology that measures and predicts the watershed's impact and what it brings to the coast.

Ports are getting smarter. Sensors track containers so that moving freight from ship to rail to truck to warehouse is fluid. Artificial intelligence guides the selection of the most efficient routes to save fuel and time.  Small ocean drones monitor the channels for maintenance and homeland security. Contact us with innovations that make ports smarter. 

Satellite imagery and information integrated with ocean data provide insight into ocean health, pollution, regulatory enforcement, and precision aquaculture. Combining satellite technology and sensors in the ocean offers information that alerts and informs agencies that regulate overfishing or monitoring protected areas or species. We are looking for innovations that merge sea and space technology to solve global problems. 


Contact Us

Ocean Enterprise
USM Marine Research Center
1030 30th Avenue
Gulfport, MS 39501

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359 Miles of Opportunity

The Mississippi Gulf Coast is primed to take the international stage.

Only at Southern Miss


Gulf Coast Feature

Changing the World by Accelerating Blue Tech Innovation