September 29, 2010
The following is being
issued at the request of the Research & Development Corporation:
Research & Development Corporation
Announces $8.3 Million Investment
in Ocean Sciences Centre, Newfoundland and Labrador's Ocean Research
Newfoundland and Labrador's cold-oceans research
facility, the Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC), received a landmark
infrastructure investment of $8,325,477 from the Research & Development
Corporation (RDC). The announcement was made today at the OSC, located
in Logy Bay on the Avalon Peninsula.
The funding will be used to build new infrastructure
at the OSC that will include a deep-sea water supply to provide
consistent, low temperature sea water year-round. The cold-water source
will enable researchers to expand the amount of time they can hold
deep-water animals for research.
"The Research & Development Corporation, through this
$8.3 million investment, is building on a unique asset that the province
already has in the Ocean Sciences Centre," said Glenn Janes, Chief
Executive Officer of the Research & Development Corporation. "By
significantly enhancing the infrastructure of the OSC, we are seizing an
opportunity to turn the OSC into a world class asset for cold-ocean
research and achieve international excellence in this area."
The funding will also facilitate the development of a
bio-containment facility for research on infectious diseases affecting
marine animals, as well as invasive aquatic species. In the OSC's
current capacity, research on hazardous subjects has been limited due to
the risks involved with accessing and handling live specimens. The
bio-containment facility will address this limitation.
"Newfoundland and Labrador's researchers and private
sector enterprises are engaged in ground-breaking work that has
positioned them at the forefront of the global ocean technology sector,"
said the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Innovation, Trade and
Rural Development. "The expansion of the Ocean Sciences Centre is a
critical step in advancing the capabilities of local researchers and
will enable them to acquire a better understanding of the vast
opportunities in our ocean environment. As highlighted in Oceans of
Opportunity, the Provincial Government's five-year, $28 million ocean
technology development strategy, this government is committed to
encouraging growth in the ocean technology sector by making strategic
investments to enhance Newfoundland and Labrador's capacity for
The OSC was first opened in 1967 and is an
internationally-renowned facility for research on cold-water organisms.
"The Ocean Sciences Centre has long played a unique
and important role in ocean research at Memorial University," said Dr.
Christopher Loomis, vice-president (research). "Like much of our
infrastructure however, it is need of renewal. This investment from RDC
will significantly enhance our research capabilities, thereby enabling
new specialized work on invasive species, deep-water organisms and
marine diseases. The results of this investment will also help to
attract world-class students and scientists to Memorial University and
"This major investment by the Research & Development
Corporation is truly exciting for the Ocean Sciences Centre, allowing
for the creation of new state-of-the-art facilities for the study of
cold-water and deep-sea organisms and ecosystems," said Dr. Ian Fleming,
a professor at the centre and its former director. "It opens new
horizons for research and innovation, allowing significant advances in
the knowledge of how organisms inhabiting the North Atlantic and Arctic
respond to changes in their environment, as well as the risks posed by
infectious diseases and invasive organisms. Given the growing
recognition of the critical importance of the world's oceans and its
biodiversity during this period of rapid global change, the investment
is very timely."
The $8.3 million investment from RDC leverages in
excess of $10 million for a total project cost of over $18 million.
Co-investors include the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for $8.4
million, the Department of Education for $1 million, and the Canadian
Hydrographic Institute, and others. The project, which includes
state-of-the-art equipment, laboratories, cold-water holding tanks,
pressurized holding tanks, and a stable cold water intake, is expected
to be complete in 2012.
Photo: Pictured from left: Dr. Ian Fleming, a professor and former director of the OSC; Dr. Christopher Loomis, vice-president (research), at Memorial University; Glenn Janes, CEO of RDC; and Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development.
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About the Research & Development Corporation
The Research & Development Corporation is a provincial
Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador's
R&D performance. RDC works with R&D stakeholders including industry,
academia and government agencies and departments. For more information
about RDC, go to www.researchnl.com.
About Memorial University of Newfoundland
Memorial University of Newfoundland is the
largest university in Atlantic Canada, with more than 100 degree
programs for a student population of 17,000. Memorial is home to a
vibrant and innovative research community. Our researchers are exploring
all disciplines in science, medicine, arts, social sciences,
engineering, education, and business.
Memorial was named number one in research income
growth over 2002-2007 among Canadian medical/doctoral universities by
Infosource, Canada's premier publication about
research and development. The university's research income grew by 116.7
per cent between 2002 and 2007.
About the Ocean Sciences Centre
The Ocean Science Centre (OSC) is one of Canada's
largest marine laboratories. By virtue of its location, the OSC provides
scientists in Newfoundland, throughout Canada and abroad with access to
the unique flora and fauna of the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. The
facility is located at Logy Bay, approximately 10 km from the main
campus of Memorial University, and provides unique and ready access to a
wide range of shallow-to-deep environments, including the rocky
intertidal zone, the continental shelf and the sub-zero deep waters of
the inshore branch of the Labrador Current.
It meets the special needs of researchers in five important areas: (1)
the capacity to hold marine organisms, from bacteria to seals, for
physiological and behavioural experimentation; (2) the capacity to
support and participate in large, oceanographic expeditions making use
of state-of-the-art field equipment; (3) the capacity to collect,
maintain and study sub-Arctic, Arctic and deep-sea species at a
well-equipped, land-based marine facility; (4) the capacity to explore
and develop the aquaculture potential of marine organisms in cold
waters; and (5) the capacity to conduct a wide variety of sample
analyses (from oceanographic to molecular).
The continuing strategic goal of the OSC is to carry
out world-class research that focuses on organisms and processes in cold
oceans, and to provide associated educational and training
opportunities, particularly at the graduate level. Core programs central
to the internationally recognized research include oceanography, aquatic
ecology and aquaculture, and the physiological, biochemical, genomic,
evolutionary and behavioural processes that are central to these themes.
2010 09 29