The Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University opened its new Marine Base in Holyrood today with the help of a contribution of more than $1.3 million from the federal government through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and over $300,000 from the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The official opening was announced in Holyrood by the Honourable Keith Ashfield, minister of National Revenue, minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and minister for Atlantic Gateway.
“Through partnerships with organizations such as the Marine Institute, our government is helping ensure Newfoundland and Labrador’s ocean technology industry has full access to the skills, training, knowledge and research required to lead and grow,” said minister Ashfield. “This facility is an important component of the full suite of program and services this province has to offer the global ocean tech sector.”
The marine base will strategically position the Institute, Memorial University and the province to respond to the needs of students, researchers and clients in the field of ocean technology and other marine sectors.
“The provincial government was pleased to support this project with an investment of $315,000,” said Darin King, minister of Education.
“As Memorial University’s portal to the ocean, the Marine Institute plays a key role in cementing our province’s leadership in the oceans sector. With improved learning and training opportunities offered at the marine base, the Marine Institute will continue to produce the world’s top-notch marine and nautical science specialists.”
“The Marine Institute’s contribution to Memorial University’s capabilities in ocean-related education, training and applied research – and to its global reputation - is unmistakable. The opening of this new marine base in Holyrood strengthens our capacity to capture and thereby benefit from the invaluable opportunities presented to us by the world’s oceans,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor, Memorial University.
“The Marine Institute is one of the few institutions in the world dedicated to a wide scope of education, training and applied research in support of the marine, industrial and oil and gas sectors and this marine base will add to the institute’s existing centres of ocean research,” said Glenn Blackwood, executive director, Marine Institute. “It will provide training to industry clients and support research related to ocean technology, including marine environmental studies, marine biology, marine ecotourism, diving and oil spill response.”
“Our community is proud to have worked with Memorial University’s Marine Institute to establish this marine base,” said Gary Goobie, mayor of Holyrood. “The presence of this base will strengthen and diversify our local economy and put the Town of Holyrood on the map for training and applied research in Newfoundland and Labrador’s growing ocean technology sector.”
The Holyrood Marine Base will become a gathering place that fosters collaboration among local, national and international researchers, scientists, instructors and students in the oceans sectors. It will support innovation and expand the institutes and the region’s capacity for oceans education, training and research while fostering regional and rural development by providing direct and indirect economic spin-offs to the surrounding communities.
The Holyrood Marine Base will be a focal point for Memorial University’s Marine Institute and for research and education activities in:
• Ocean technology
• Marine environment
• Offshore safety and survival
• Oil spill response
• Marine biology
Government of Canada funding of $1,301,600 was made possible through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund, which focuses on investments that lead to long-term employment and economic capacity building in rural communities.