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REF NO.: 177

SUBJECT: Marine Institute welcomes provincial government’s Oceans of Opportunity

DATE: June 5,2009

The Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland welcomes the Provincial Government’s latest initiative, Oceans of Opportunity: Newfoundland and Labrador’s Ocean Technology Strategy.
On Friday, May 5, the Honorable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, announced the unveiling of Oceans of Opportunity, a five-year, $28 million strategy designed to capitalize on opportunities in the oceans and marine industries while also boosting the province’s environment for business and technology development within these sectors.
“Oceans of Opportunity is going to help our province become a worldwide leader in oceans industries, applied research and technology development. This strategy demonstrates the Provincial Government’s dedication to advancing ocean-based industries in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Glenn Blackwood, executive director, Marine Institute. “The strategy laid out by Minister Skinner helps our province take full advantage of our ocean resources and will aid in bringing local, provincial, national and international industry partners together in an effort to further develop our oceans and marine sectors. Oceans of Opportunity also compliments MI’s Vision 2020, the strategy we have established to make the Marine Institute a world oceans institute that sets the standard for education, training, innovation and research.”
Minister Skinner outlined Oceans of Opportunity during a gathering at the Marine Institute Friday morning. Government representatives, Memorial University faculty, industry partners and MI and MUN students were on hand for the announcement, which included comments from Blackwood and Gary Dinn, chair of Oceans Advance.
“The people taking part in today’s announcement are a good reflection of who Oceans of Opportunity affects,” Blackwood said. “We are all working together to develop ocean industries and have accomplished a great deal in a short period of time. However, we have a long way to go to reach our goals, which makes initiatives such as Oceans of Opportunity that much more important.”
Just two years ago the Marine Institute opened its School of Ocean Technology (SOT), which has allowed MI to work even more closely with its industry partners. Already, SOT has advanced MI’s applied research for the oceans industry and developed new programs in remotely operated vehicles and ocean instrumentation. A new Bachelor of Ocean Mapping will also be offered by SOT in the near future. The implementation of Oceans of Opportunity could help create an even greater demand for graduates of these programs.
“The Marine Institute has always worked hand-in-hand with the oceans and marine sectors regarding applied research and technology transfer, so obviously we are pleased to see such support for this rapidly developing industry,” said Blackwood. “Our diploma in Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) training is an example of a program that responds to the needs of our industry partners. MI graduates have the skills and leadership qualities to help grow and advance the oceans and marine sectors and will play major roles in the future of this industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

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For more information, please contact Darcy MacRae, public relations/communications officer, Fisheries and Marine Institute, at (709) 778-0677, 687-2205, Darcy.MacRae@mi.mun.ca or Kimberley Thornhill, educational marketing co-ordinator, Fisheries and Marine Institute, at 778-0544, 691-9221, Kim.Thornhill@mi.mun.ca.

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