USF Research News

Tampa Deep Sea Xplorers joins the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator at USF

November 29, 2017

New resident company developing technology to compete for the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE

Tampa Deep Sea Xplorers Chief Technology Officer Art Ianuzzi and CEO Edward Larson.

TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 29, 2017) – Tampa Deep Sea Xplorers, a privately held company formed for the purpose of competing in the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE global competition, has joined USF’s Tampa Bay Technology Incubator program. The company is focused on developing an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) capable of descending to a depth of 4,000 meters in open ocean and mapping the ocean floor in high resolution.

The company is one of 20 semi-finalist teams for the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition and will have the opportunity to test their deep sea mapping technologies in the upcoming Round 1. The Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE is a $7 million, three-year global competition challenging teams to push the boundaries of ocean technologies by creating solutions that advance the autonomy, scale, speed, depths and resolution of ocean exploration.

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“Tampa Deep Sea Xplorers is very proud that our team has been selected to compete in Round 1 of the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE,” said Edward Larson, founder and CEO of the company. “We are grateful for this great opportunity to compete with teams from around the world and are honored to be the only team from Florida in the competition.”

As a competitor in this prestigious competition, Tampa Deep Sea Xplorers’ objectives include mapping 500 km2 (193 mi2) in 24 hours, deploying and recovering a swarm of AUVs autonomously, and advancing the state of the art of underwater exploration. A key component of their work is to design and develop technologies that will make exploration and conservation efforts in the deep sea more efficient and cost-effective.

The Tampa Deep Sea Xplorers’ team brings depth and expertise in robotics, mechanical engineering, computer programming, manufacturing, cartography, business, and computer-aided design and drafting (CAD Design).

As part of USF's incubator program, Tampa Deep Sea Xplorers will have access to laboratory facilities and scientific equipment as well as opportunities for networking and business development assistance.

“The Tampa Bay Technology Incubator offers several programs to companies like Tampa Deep Sea Xplorers that provide resources, advice, networking opportunities, and training to enable businesses to reach the next level,” said Valerie Landrio McDevitt, associate vice president for technology transfer and business partnerships.

For more information about Tampa Deep Sea Xplorers LLC, please visit

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About Tampa Deep Sea Xplorers LLC
Tampa Deep Sea Xplorers, LLC was formed as a legal entity in the State of Florida with the intention of competing in the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE. The Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE represents a cutting-edge challenge for undersea robotics. The company has been named one of 21 semi-finalists in the competition.

About the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator
The University of South Florida's Tampa Bay Technology Incubator (TBTI) is one vehicle through which USF CONNECT grows successful companies. TBTI supports technology research as a catalyst for economic development and advocates the creation and development of facilities for high-technology companies and related support functions. USF CONNECT focuses on the needs of Tampa Bay's technology and bio/life sciences entrepreneurs throughout the business life cycle, providing the facilities, partners, and resources for successful business development. USF CONNECT offers access to technologies, workforce programs, technology commercialization, critical research equipment, and incubator facilities, adding value and delivering targeted, high level expertise to its member businesses.

About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida, established in 1956 and located in Tampa, is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. The USF System includes three, separately accredited institutions: USF; USF St. Petersburg; and USF Sarasota-Manatee. Serving more than 49,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is ranked in the Top 30 nationally for research expenditures among public universities, according to the National Science Foundation. In 2016, the Florida Legislature designated USF as “Emerging Preeminent,” placing USF in an elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.