In what was hailed as a groundbreaking collaboration to support marine research and innovation, the Halifax Marine Research Institute (HMRI) was launched today at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax.
The HMRI brings together partners from industry, government and the post-secondary education system, and is designed to increase the scale, quality, internationalization and impact of marine research in the region. Dalhousie has taken a leadership role in establishing the HMRI, and is one of its founding members.
“We are here today because oceans are important to each and every one of us,” said Dalhousie Vice-President of Research Martha Crago. “Our planet is dependent on the continued health and strength of our oceans as is our own health, our own safety, our own livelihoods, and our economic development.”
Premier Darrell Dexter announced that the province will contribute $1.75 million over the next five years to support the development of the HMRI.
“Nova Scotia has more people with PhDs, more research and more technology companies focused on the ocean than any other area in North America,” said the premier. “This institute will build on that strength, making connections between laboratories and boardrooms that will lead to more business development, more good jobs and a stronger economy.”
The idea of a collaborative marine research institution for the region began in March 2009 at the Global Ocean Forum in Halifax. Two years later, the dream has come to life with a unique alliance of researchers, post-secondary institutions, companies and government departments. By linking academic and public sector research with oceans industries, the HMRI seeks to generate long-term economic benefits for the province and the region.
Others who spoke in support of the HMRI at the launch event included HRM Deputy Mayor Jim Smith; Steve Durrell, president of Irving Shipbuilding Inc.; Dalhousie President Tom Traves; and the scientific director for the institute, Doug Wallace, who is also Dalhousie’s Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Ocean Science and Technology.
The HMRI will also coordinate international projects like the $150-million Ocean Tracking Network and The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust (UK) Chair in Modeling and Prediction of Marine Environmental Extremes. Dr. Crago said that the institute is prepared to create world leadership in marine and ocean science and technology and in marine governance and affairs.
“This is the place and this is the time for the Halifax Marine Research Institute. It will take us to the next scientific and economic levels.”
For more on the new institute, visit http://hmri.ca
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