The oceans are an integral part of Newfoundland and Labrador’s cultural and economic heritage — and a critical part of its future.
The Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University, or MI as we are known, looks to the future while anchoring to the province’s rich history. Since its inception in 1964, MI has been a catalyst for innovative training, education and applied research in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Long before there were conversations about the United Nations’ Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development or the Blue Economy, MI was a driver of sustainable economic development in the oceans sector.
The institute’s mission is to “foster economic development in strategic sectors of the Newfoundland and Labrador economy, particularly the fisheries and offshore, and to enable Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to participate in the marine industry nationally and internationally.”
Our most recent strategic planning process included consulting with local, national and international industry leaders and analyzing the oceans education ecosystem. The resulting strategic plan focuses on applied academics, technology, industrial solutions, knowledge generation and people — and aligns with Memorial University’s strategic plan, “Transforming Our Horizons.”
Our focus is on proactive programs, inspired learning, dynamic research, commitment to communities and promoting our pride in our university. These strategic plans are rooted in people and place.
Our three schools — ocean technology, maritime studies and fisheries — provide opportunities to convene innovative oceans education, training and applied research. Our more than 400 industry focused short courses provide a road map unequalled for continuing studies and micro credentials in the oceans sector.
Over the past five years, MI has created four new master’s degrees and two PhD programs – something the people of this province should be proud of. These programs contribute to unprecedented growth in student enrollment. With a recent undergraduate certificate in leadership supported by the Fry Family Foundation and a signed MOU with the Royal Canadian Navy to further civil-military partnerships, MI is well positioned to guide the next generation of leaders in Newfoundland and Labrador.
And it doesn’t stop there. Through our six applied research centres we have created incredible opportunity to partner with communities throughout the province, the rest of Canada and around the world in sustainable fisheries research, ocean innovation, and marine education in safety, security and wellness.
MI is also home to the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation, a separately incorporated entity of Memorial that brings industry and academia together to seek solutions to industry questions.
MI does not rest on its laurels. It is home to creative instructors, researchers, brilliant students, and partnerships with industry and communities at home and around the world. It is truly a portal to the oceans for Canada.
Most recently that portal became visibly obvious with the realization of a long standing dream to build an oceans innovation hub for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, industry partners, students and researchers and Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Our Holyrood Marine Base was recently renamed The Launch.
This is not just a re-branding exercise but rather a signal that we are taking our collective expertise in applied research, oceans education and industrial training to the world. This a true “field of dreams” moment. Our partnership with the town of Holyrood, federal and provincial government partners and industry partners will allow us to build on the success of oceans innovation and create economic development opportunities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
We were also very proud to name the new oceans innovation building at The Launch the Dr. Arthur W. May Building.
It is a fitting tribute to Memorial University’s former president and vice-chancellor whose passion for oceans research as a fisheries biologist, was only equalled by his support for oceans education, training and applied research.
As we stay true to our historic mission of economic development in the oceans sector, I am proud to say that we are convening a virtual symposium called “Propelling the Blue Economy: Connecting Our Oceans, Our People, Our Future” for scientists, researchers, government representatives, industry stakeholders, non-governmental organizations, Indigenous and coastal communities to exchange and share their experiences and ideas on all aspects of The United Nations Ocean Decade.
We endeavour to fulfill our place as a world innovator.
Memorial University’s motto – Provehito in Altum – eloquently states “Launch forth into the deep.” Indeed, we are launching the next generation of student leaders in the oceans, launching oceans innovation and launching economic development for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Let’s all launch forth together!
Dr. Robert Shea
Vice-president, Memorial University (Marine Institute), pro tempore
Adblock test (Why?)