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Market originator and industry leader, HydroHoist Marine Group, is the recipient of two major grants from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST). Combined the grants total nearly $150,000 and will support research and development through the year 2017.

“OCAST’s mission is to grow and diversify Oklahoma’s economy. We are always excited to see projects like HydroHoist’s which will benefit two key Oklahoma industries, manufacturing and agriculture, while at the same time improve food safety,” said C. Michael Carolina, Executive Director of OCAST.

HydroHoist was founded in 1964 and is headquartered in Claremore, Okla. The company designs and manufactures hydro-pneumatic boat lift systems for hoisting a number of different vessels. Currently employing 75, HydroHoist has five distribution warehouses located throughout the United States— California, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri and Tennessee— and a network of more than 600 dealers providing sales, installation service, and repair to our customers.

According to HydroHoist CEO Mick Webber the company has spent the past five years focused making their products better. Primarily, their systems help preserve the resale value of boats, some of which are worth well into the six-figure range.

“We know that if you don’t innovate, you die,” said Mick Webber, CEO of HydroHoist. “We invest in continuous innovation to ensure we don’t stagnate in the markets we serve.

Rotational plastic molding is at the heart of HydroHoist’s manufacturing efforts. Grant money received from OCAST provides resources for HydroHoist to complete research and development on an agricultural product that will diversify the company’s product line.

The objective of this research is to define the necessary engineering parameters and the best materials for a new plastic mushroom growing tray that will significantly improve upon the current wooden trays used at commercial farms.

In 2012, there were over 270 commercial mushroom growers in the United States alone; however, many of these growers still build their own wooden growing trays on-site, at a substantial labor cost. The new plastic growing trays in this proposed research project would be lighter weight, more stable, more environmentally friendly, longer-lasting, and more impervious to disease than what is currently used.

“Claremore’s economy benefits when innovative companies like HydroHoist pursue product diversification projects such as this one,” said Jeri Koehler, Executive Director of Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority. “Agriculture and Manufacturing are two of Oklahoma’s primary industries, and two of the states largest wealth generators. We are pleased to see OCAST supporting this important work in our community.”

Additional grant resources secured through an internship program support HydroHoist in a partnership with the University of Tulsa providing access to student talent and a bridge between industry and academia.

This internship project will be focused on the developing the complete documentation package for a line of power pedestals that was acquired from a market competitor. The student intern will collect data, and develop the documentation package.

Support for both grants through OCAST total nearly $150,000. The OARS project is for $89,543 from through July 2017. The Intern project is for $59,463 through August 2017.