The Harper Government Supports Marine Advanced Technology Education in Newfoundland and Labrador
Monday, February 13, 2012

An investment by the Harper Government in the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland (MI) will help prepare students for careers in ocean technology and engineering. The investment will help offset the costs of the regional Marine Advanced Technology Education – Remotely Operated Vehicle (MATE – ROV) competition and help send three winning teams to an international competition.

The announcement was made today by Robert Goguen, MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice on behalf of Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and La Francophonie. “The Harper Government recognizes that talented, creative, highly-skilled people are the most critical contributors to a successful economy,” said MP Goguen. “And to reach our full economic potential, we have to provide opportunities and experiences that allow our young people to learn, experiment, innovate and to see the positive results of those activities. That is why our government is proud to support educational initiatives such as the MATE – ROV competitions.”

The Marine Institute will host the seventh annual Regional MATE – ROV competition May 4-5, 2012 in the lead up to the 2012 International MATE – ROV competition to be held in Florida in June 2012. It is anticipated that 20 teams with more than 300 students and mentors will participate in the Newfoundland and Labrador competition.

Three teams will be chosen to represent the province at the international level. This event, targeted at high school and post secondary students, focuses on building an appreciation of ocean science and technology by exposing students to practical, hands-on research and development. The teams are tasked with designing, building and then marketing (through demonstration and communications activity) a new product based on client specifications.

“The MATE – ROV competition provides an outlet for students to explore and develop their creative and innovative sides in an atmosphere of friendly competition based upon scientific, technological and engineering principles applied in an ocean environment,” said Dwight Howse, head of Marine Institute’s School of Ocean Technology “The competition generates considerable excitement and enthusiasm amongst young people while being engaged in an activity that promotes teamwork, entrepreneurship, communications and design excellence. The Marine Institute and the broader ocean technology community benefit from this investment in our youth as their eyes are opened to the potential that exists for careers in the ocean environment.” The $56,000 investment is through ACOA’s Business Development Program.