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REF NO.: 164

SUBJECT: Provincial budget provides new school, expansion for Marine Institute

DATE: April 27,2007

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will invest an additional $1.4 million in the Memorial University’s Marine Institute in Budget 2007, strengthening the institute’s leadership in education and applied research for the ocean technology and marine safety sectors.
The Department of Education has allocated $1 million to establish a School of Ocean Technology at the Marine Institute (MI), which will help the province respond to the emerging education, training and research requirements and opportunities in the ocean technology sector. It will increase the Marine Institute's capacity in areas such as seabed mapping, acoustics, ocean observation and marine communications.
MI has already successfully launched two new programs in Remotely Operated Vehicles and Ocean Instrumentation. MI’s goal is to grow these and other new diploma and degree programs, through the School of Ocean Technology, for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. The Institute’s research and development capacity in this area is highlighted through its work with CCMC in the SmartBay project and the launching of the Journal of Ocean Technology.
MI’s executive director, Glenn Blackwood welcomed the government’s commitment to the new school. “The ocean technology sector today is being recognized as one of the most important growth areas for the provincial economy,” Mr. Blackwood said. “As Canada’s most comprehensive institute dedicated to education, training, applied research and industrial support for the ocean industries, it is a natural fit for the Marine Institute to lead the province in the ocean technology sector with innovative programs and research.”
The Department of Education will also invest $400,000 annually toward the operation and expansion of the Marine Institute's Safety and Emergency Response Training Centre (SERT). The centre is located at the Stephenville Airport with more than 1,000 students each year receiving training in firefighting and emergency response, industry safety and other areas of emergency preparedness.
MI also welcomed the government’s pledge to maintain the tuition freeze at the Marine Institute, ensuring new and current students can avail of an affordable post-secondary education that maximizes their career opportunities.

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For further information, please contact Ivan Muzychka, manager, communications, 737-8665, ivanm@mun.ca.

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