The process for determining the successful applicants for Saltonstall-Kennedy grant funds is entering the final stages of technical review and administrators hope to begin the flow of money to successful candidates sometime in January, NOAA officials said Tuesday.
The review, delayed by almost a month by the partial shutdown of the federal government in October, is being conducted by staffers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and outside technical reviewers with the specific expertise necessary to assess individual grant applications, according to Susan Olsen, a program coordinator in NOAA’s Northeast Regional Office in Gloucester.
According to the federal funding opportunity for the Saltonstall-Kennedy program, the technical review could be supplemented by a constituent panel review before a final determination is made and successful applicants are notified.
The program, designed to fund private and public-private research and development projects that benefit the U.S. fishing industry, drew 261 proposals nationally, all vying for a pool of money that NOAA officials have estimated at between $5 million and $11 million. The money is drawn from federal tariffs paid on seafood imported into the U.S., and nearly 90 percent of all seafood sold in the U.S. is now imported.