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Featured Opportunities

The technology transfer program at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is designed to leverage the research capabilities of USGS scientists with the commercial development potential of the private sector. It encourages the adoption, use, and commercialization of USGS research products through partnerships and is oriented toward finding potential users of USGS technology.

Handheld Underwater Suction Sampler
Handheld Underwater Suction Sampler --  Due to the sampler's compact size and ergonomic design, scientists can use it for sampling in high velocity streams or adverse water conditions.

Handheld Underwater Suction Sampler

A USGS scientist and diver has invented an improved suction sampler for collecting underwater biological specimens such as small aquatic plants and animals. This sampler has many advantages over current samplers which are too heavy or cumbersome to effectively collect specimens. This sampler is small, lightweight, portable  and convenient to use by one person.

It has a self-contained power source making it portable and easy to use for one-handed operation.  As a result, it is easier and safer in the underwater environment especially in conditions of low visibility where safe operation is at a premium.  Due to its compact size, the device may be safely used in high velocity streams.  Its unique and ergonomic design allows samples to be taken in adverse  water conditions. Easily operated with one hand, it allows the diver to keep one hand free for safe operation of dive equipment.  Its weight is light enough in water so as not to compromise the buoyancy and safety of the diver.

This device allows one to collect samples from a variety of surfaces from rock reefs to heavily vegetated habitats.  It can be used in adverse environmental conditions in support of biological assessments, surveys and monitoring studies.


View the Summary Sheet on this invention.

For licensing opportunities on U.S. Patent 9,921,139 at USGS, please contact James M. Mitchell at  

The patented “Handheld Underwater Suction Sampler” is shown here with a sample collection net attached. The sampler was initially called the "Vasco Explorer." USGS biologists from Flagstaff, Arizona, are researching food sources for fish such as the rainbow trout, which are stocked in the Glen Canyon stretch of the Colorado River. The device is being used to collect samples of periphyton and invertebrates, potential food sources for fish. The diver in this video is Glen Black, Dive Safety Officer, from the USGS Great Lakes Science Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan. This video was taken at a depth of approximately 15 feet in the Colorado River, with a discharge rate from 10,000 to 20,000 cubic feet per second. Learn more about licensing this technology.


Public Announcements

Special Notice: NextGen Data Collection Platform for U.S. Geological Survey's Water Mission Area

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) Next Generation Water Observing System (NGWOS) and the Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility (HIF) are seeking information from industry, academia, nonprofits, and research institutions on the development of a data collection platform (DCP) with features and capabilities that align with modern telemetry and monitoring technologies. The USGS anticipates replacing approximately 6,900 DCPs that do not meet the GOES CS2 upgrade requirement by May 31, 2026. To ensure this significant investment in new DCPs provides maximum benefit to the public and the water monitoring community, the USGS aims to identify, or partner in the development of a modern DCP. This would not only meet the GOES CS2 requirement, but provide additional capabilities, functionality, and features not found in current systems. Please view the list of several desired system specifications and features for the next generation DCP.

This Request for Information (RFI) is to help identify maturing technologies and emerging products that meet these requirements and (or) interested partners who are capable of jointly developing a Next Generation DCP that can integrate with current and evolving USGS monitoring efforts per the Stevenson-­Wydler Act (15 U.S.C. § 3710a, as amended). Please submit responses to this RFI to no later than November 30, 2021 **DEADLINE EXTENDED TO: Friday, December 17, 2021**.. Responses should include information on existing products and (or) products under development and indicate which system specifications or features they support.

NGWOS Request for Information Slideshow Presentation

A "Special Notice" was posted on to announce this Request for Information (RFI) for the NGWOS program. The infomation meeting slides are shared in PDF. (Public domain.)


An information session is scheduled for October 29, 2021, from 1-2pm Eastern Time. If you are interested in learning more about this RFI and ways your organization can collaborate with the USGS to develop this product, please register for the information session by completing the online form.

Questions may also be sent to or by calling Russ Lotspeich at (804) 205-6685 or Brian Pellerin at (703) 648-6865.

This notice is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government to award a contract nor will the Government pay for the requested information. This is solely a request for information and is not a Funding Opportunity Announcement. USGS is not accepting requests for funding applications to this RFI. No solicitation exists; therefore, please do not request a copy of the solicitation.

To the maximum extent possible, please submit non-proprietary information. If proprietary information is submitted, clearly mark this information as Confidential. The USGS will protect this information from disclosure if it meets the Federal FOIA exemptions.