Objectives:Seed funding is an important tool for MIT Sea Grant in the quickly changing field of technology research. We have recently funded several small but innovative initiatives in the area of underwater acoustics that have potential to provide vital support to underwater exploratory missions of our Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Laboratory. These funds also give us the ability to respond quickly via our Advisory team to new developments or crises in the marine environment or in the local fishing industry. This year, when an invasive species, Didemnum, or sea squirt, was recognized as a serious and fast-growing problem in our coastal waters we were able to quickly mount a publicity and reporting campaign with seed money.Methodology:Principal Investigators can approach the MIT Sea Grant at any time during the funding cycle to request support. The Director can fund up to $10,000 of his/her efforts at his discretion. The PI is required to submit the same a proposal with documentation, evidence of matching funds, letters of support, etc. 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.