University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) has secured a five-year $46.6 million investment from the Canadian government.
The new funding is awarded through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Major Science Initiatives program, which supports a portion of the operating and maintenance costs of selected major science facilities across Canada.
Established in 2007 as an initiative of the UVic, ONC operates ocean observatories for the advancement of science and benefit of Canada.
The long-term observations being collected by ONC instruments have wide-ranging policy applications in areas such as ocean and climate change, earthquakes and tsunamis, pollution, port security and shipping, hazard mitigation, renewable resource assessment, sovereignty and security, and ocean management, according to ONC.
Jamie Cassels, President of the UVic, said: “These funds will support ONC’s ongoing transformation of ocean science and its applications to public policy, economic development, environmental stewardship and public education – for the benefit of Canada and the world.”
ONC pioneers ocean observatories that stream live data 24/7 to researchers across Canada and around the world to study everything from ocean change and fish abundance, to plate tectonics and tsunamis, deep-sea ecosystems and ocean engineering.
Kate Moran, ONC’s President and CEO, said: “The ocean is our planetary life support system, and human pressures are impacting the ocean at an ever-increasing pace. Understanding this change is vital to protecting and managing the ocean to ensure a sustainable future.”
Through its innovation division, ONC said it partnered with a wide range of industry and government organizations, helping other countries plan and execute their own observatories, and helping Canadian companies develop and test their products for global markets using ONC’s observatories.
The examples of such partnerships include the one ONC made with the Canada’s leading center for in-stream tidal energy technology research and development, Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE), which involved collaboration on the development of FORCE’s environmental monitoring systems.