L.A. company wins NOAA award for detection technology

SafetySpect Inc. received nearly $150,000 for its development of fish quality detection tech.

LOS ANGELES—The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded Los Angeles-based SafetySpect Inc. a grant to continue making advances with its new technology. SafetySpect is developing technology to rapidly detect fish species and quality at the marketplace. NOAA granted the company $149,264.

The federal agency made $3.1 million grants to 21 small companies in 14, in all. All grants were awarded to support technological advancements in aquaculture, commercial and recreational fisheries, weather predictions and ocean modeling.

“The flesh of many fish species is similar in taste and texture and, therefore, it is difficult to identify species in fillet form. SafetySpect is developing a tabletop system incorporating multimode spectroscopy for real-time quality, adulteration and traceability (QAT) assessment of fish portions,” the company’s abstract to NOAA stated. “The fish portion will be placed on the scanner plate for immediate analysis. The multimode spectroscopy measurement will be analyzed using algorithms developed using artificial intelligence methods and will display the fish species, quality and nutritional content in seconds.”

SagetySpect’s first phase will able to analyze and assess 10 to 50 of the most commonly consumed fish species in the United States.

“This technology has the potential to be used as a rapid species identification method in restaurants, seafood markets and other points along the seafood chain,” the abstract continued.

Also receiving funding was DiveViz, a San Diego firm developing a forecasting model for ocean visibility. The model would use crowdsourced data. DiveViz will receive a NOAA grant of $149,987.

An abstract submitted to NOAA staff said the DiveViz modeling technology would “lead to more coordinated and timely responses to high visibility events for the recreational, commercial, scientific and military diving communities and improve advanced activity planning for all ocean activities.”

“DiveViz is a platform that provides accurate ocean visibility reports and forecasts to the diving industry,” the abstract continued. “DiveViz will ensure that the millions of Scuba divers and snorkelers know when to plan their dives and know whether to spend their time and energy executing it.”

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