Ratcliffe Environmental
Entrepreneur Fellowship (REEF)

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Ratcliffe Environmental
Entrepreneur Fellowship (REEF)

Scientists applying business skills to scale environmental solutions beyond the laboratory

About Us

The Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology’s Ratcliffe Environmental Entrepreneur Fellow (REEF) Program enables environmental science graduate students to apply their research to real-world problems. Through workshops with local entrepreneurs, lessons on important topics such as intellectual property and customer discovery, and a final pitch competition, students cultivate leadership and business skills to transition technologies from the lab or field into commercial markets.

REEF supports the career success of its science graduates, enabling them to enter a wide range of professions. REEF alumni have used their skills to start businesses, lead within established companies, develop environmental policy in federal agencies, and advance research in an academic setting.

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Student Testimonials

Hear from our alumni:

“Something really clicked toward the end of the first year of REEF. I realized that this is something that I could actually do, where I take a scientific discovery and commercialize it.” – Mary Larkin, CEO of Gaskiya Diagnostics

“I’ve been in the REEF program for two years now and I can assuredly say that it has changed my life in really great ways and it has taught me skills that I never would have learned otherwise.” – Lauren Jonas, IMET Ph.D. student

Harbor Launch Incubator

Harbor Launch is a startup incubator and community for science and science support companies. It was initially funded by the Ratcliffe Foundation and has been self-supported for the past 4 years. It is co-located with the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, which is part of the University System of Maryland.

Harbor Launch rents office and lab space to startups and provides support services. You can find out more on the Harbor Launch website.