Objectives:Seed funding is an important tool for MIT Sea Grant in developing new initiatives. Breakthroughs in technical areas such as responding to the effects of climate change or the need to quickly deploy an autonomous vehicle may require flexibility and speed. With these funds we are also able, via our Advisory team, to espond immediately to the effects of policy changes in the fishing industry or of ecological crises in the marine environment.Methodology:Principal Investigators can approach MIT Sea Grant at any time during the funding cycle to request support. The Director can, at his discretion, fund up to $10,000 of effort. The PI is required to submit a proposal with documentation, evidence of matching funds, letters of support, etc. in the same manner as those seeking major funding.Rationale:The Development Opportunities Program gives MIT Sea Grant the flexibility to respond to important research and advisory opportunities as they arise. We are able to invest a relatively small amount in some of the more speculative and risky initial research if we feel they have the potential to grow into major research initiatives in the future. We are also able to respond to sudden problems and issues, such as an environmental or weather-related crisis, that affects the marine and coastal communities of the Commonwealth. In terms of community outreach and education, we are able to multiply the effects of our program by partnering with other groups and individuals who further our goals.