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REF NO.: 186

SUBJECT: Memorial University signs MOU with University College Cork, Ireland
DATE: Feb. 2, 2005

Innovative techniques for seabed data interpretation and visualization have led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University College Cork (UCC). Memorial President Axel Meisen was in Cork, Ireland, recently to meet with UCC president Gerard Wrixon, who welcomed the partnership and expects the visit to result in the identification of further areas of co-operation in areas such as Information Communication Technology (ICT) and engineering. President Meisen was accompanied by Dr. James Wright, director of major research projects at Memorial, and Dr. Ray Gosine, dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

"In addition to welcoming the collaboration between our two universities, I am also pleased to announce the establishment of the Coracle Irish-Newfoundland Fellowships and Roundtables," said Dr. Meisen. The Coracle initiative will enable eminent practitioners and academics from Ireland to work with their counterparts in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Strategies for student exchange programs in coastal management and for new R&D projects concerned with ocean technologies are other goals of the partnership.

Ireland and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador share a common heritage with a mutual maritime legacy based on the fishing industry. The sustainable development of fisheries and other maritime resources, such as oil and gas, is of concern to communities in both jurisdictions.

"In order to achieve this, we are faced with the challenge of extending our scientific knowledge of the marine processes and technologies for the purpose of economic development," said Barbara Girard of the BioSeas Partnership, who was among the delegation visiting UCC from St. John's.

In order to respond to this challenge, researchers at UCC and Memorial University have developed core competencies in marine science and technology. This common interest has led to the development of informal, important links between the two universities in recent years.

The MOU aims to formalize these links as the presidents of the two universities recognize the benefits to be gained from the sharing of information and knowledge, both within the academic community and to society as a whole.

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