Important Element of Ocean Technology Sector Expanding
Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Owned and operated by the Marine Institute of Memorial University (MI), the Holyrood Marine Base is a marine training and research facility. It provides students, researchers and ocean technology companies with access to the tools and environment they need to develop their products.

"Businesses operating in Newfoundland and Labrador's ocean technology sector benefit from having access to world-class infrastructure at the Marine Institute," said the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development. "The Holyrood Marine Base is a platform for industry to test and demonstrate their products, and complete ocean-related research. It provides a great learning environment for students. An expanded facility will strengthen the capabilities for local businesses, while positioning it as an international centre of excellence for ocean technology research and education."

With the investment, the Marine Institute will assist with the construction of a temporary storage facility and a floating dock. It also complements work completed in 2010 that was supported by a $315,000 from the Provincial Government.

"This investment supports Newfoundland and Labrador's creative and visionary approach to the growing ocean technology sector," said the Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills. "The sea has always provided for us, and as science and technology progress, improvements to the Holyrood Marine Base will help the province develop the skilled and innovative workforce required to ensure the sector's continued success."

The MHA for Harbour Main, the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Transportation and Works, is pleased at the continued development of the Holyrood Marine Base, which is a key step in the Marine Institute becoming a world oceans institute. The base is also intended to emerge as a venue where industry and researchers from other ocean-related facilities such as the National Research Council-Institute for Ocean Technology can collaborate on mutually-beneficial opportunities.

"Expanding the capacity for research and training programs will ensure the Holyrood Maine Base continues to be a valuable venue for advancing education and enterprise well into the future," said Minister Hedderson. "The facility is of great importance to the area and to the province in general, and this investment will contribute significantly to the future of our economy and our growing ocean technology industry."

As part of its focus, the Holyrood Marine Base serves as a base for remote operating and autonomous underwater vehicles, as well as research relating to oil spill response, offshore safety, oceanography, fisheries, ocean technology, and marine biology.

"The Marine Institute's ultimate objective at Holyrood is to provide unmatched services and access to the ocean for our students, researchers and clients in the oceans sector," said Glenn Blackwood, Vice-president, Memorial University (Marine Institute). "This funding continues the Provincial Government's and Marine Institute's effort to develop a world-class ocean technology centre at the best possible location in the northwest Atlantic, for which all residents of the province can be proud."

This project is supported through the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development's OceanTech Intelligence Program. Established under Oceans of Opportunity, a five-year, $28 million strategy, the program is designed to advance initiatives focused on growing Newfoundland and Labrador's ocean technology sector. Not-for-profit organizations, industry associations, and public sector educational institutions are eligible for assistance under this program.