May 06, 2013 – St. John’s, NL: The Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland will further expand its capacity in the aquaculture and seafood processing and ocean technology industries through two investments made by the Government of Canada.  The $876,600 announcement was made today by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence on behalf of the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

“These investments will build on the already established of the Marine Institute as a world leader in oceans-related education, training, and research and development,” said Minister MacKay.  “Aquaculture, seafood production and ocean technology are pillars of the Newfoundland and Labrador economy.  They represent tremendous opportunities for continued growth from local activity as well as national and global markets.”

With a federal investment of $496,600, the Marine Institute will enhance its capacity to respond to the research and development, testing and skills development needs associated with the Newfoundland and Labrador aquaculture and seafood industry. At the Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development (CASD), the Institute will install a new monitoring and pump system at its aquaculture facility, add key processing and analytical equipment at its marine bioprocessing facility, and outfit its processing equipment development unit with Computer Assisted Design (CAD) workstations as well as fabrication equipment at the seafood processing laboratory.

And, with an additional investment of approximately $380,000, the Marine Institute will also improve its R&D capacity and service to clients in the ocean tech industry by enhancing the Offshore Safety and Survival Centre (OSSC) through the purchase of a cold water immersion tank, and upgrades to the School of Ocean Technology (SOT) shop and laboratory space.  The availability of an immersion test tank at the OSSC will greatly enhance the Institute’s ability to engage directly with industry in the development of new products, processes and technologies designed to improve safety at sea, including research into the science of human performance during emergency response in extreme environments.  Enhancements at the SOT will better position MI to engage directly with industry involved in the development of ocean technologies such as instrumentation, observation, mapping and underwater vehicles.

“The Marine Institute is an integral partner in the growth and development of our oceans industries locally and nationally,” said Glenn Blackwood, vice-president, Memorial University (Marine Institute).  “With this funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, we are putting new resources in the hands of our researchers and technical staff to deliver tangible results for our industrial clients such as increasing the value of marine by-products, prototyping new ocean technology equipment designs and making it safer for those who work at sea.”

The Government of Canada investments are through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Business Development Program (BDP).

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FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Doug Burgess, Director, Communication, ACOA NL; (709) 772-2935; Doug.Burgess@acoa-apeca.gc.ca

Kim Thornhill, Manager, Marketing and Communications, Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland; (709) 778-0544; Kim.Thornhill@mi.mun.ca

Jay Paxton, Director of Communications to the Minister of National Defence; 613-996-8553; Jay.paxton@forces.gc.ca