New marine research centre opens in Western Australia

Western Australia and the Nation are set to become a global leader in marine and ocean research with the opening of a new multi-million dollar research centre at The University of Western Australia.

The Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre (IOMRC), which is home to the largest cohort of marine researchers in Australia, was opened by the Federal Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham.

The centre brings together more than 300 marine scientists across a variety of disciplines who will collaborate to increase knowledge in areas such as biodiversity, commercial and recreational fishing, tourism, indigenous engagement climate change, oceanography, sustainable use of marine resources and the conservation of marine life and ecosystems.

UWA Director of the Oceans Institute Professor Erika Techera said the Centre was made possible by a jointly supported and funded collaboration of leading marine research organisations including the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the University of Western Australia.

“This new building is a game changer in the way oceans and marine research is undertaken in Australia. With a vision to drive global knowledge of the Indian Ocean, the collaborating partners are determined to make significant advancements in marine research,” Professor Techera said.

The $62 million six-storey IOMRC facility includes laboratories for researchers, technicians and students, as well as hi-tech workspaces, all designed and constructed to high-level contemporary sustainability principles to maximise the building’s life and life cycle costs.

UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater said the IOMRC facility would help advance UWA’s world-class marine research by providing a collaborative environment where researchers and students could learn and contribute to Australia’s marine future.

“The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world’s five oceans yet one of the least explored marine environments,” Professor Freshwater said.

“This is why research into its effective management, sustainability and the conservation of marine resources is so important.

“The Federal Government has shown great foresight, investing $34 million through the Education Investment fund to help create this world-class facility, the first of its kind in Australia.

“This will help us form a lasting and formidable partnership between AIMS, CSIRO, the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and UWA.”

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