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Holyrood site of new Marine Institute marine base

By Stephanie Barrett | Aug. 22, 2008

The Marine Institute will establish a world-class marine base in Holyrood with the help of more than $1 million from the Government of Canada, made through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

The funding was announced in Holyrood by Avalon MP Fabian Manning. Also on hand were Glenn Blackwood, MI’s executive director, and Curtis Buckle, mayor of Holyrood.

“Through ACOA, our government is committed to helping Atlantic Canada’s ocean technology companies access the skills and knowledge they need to develop innovative products for the increasingly competitive ocean technology sector,” said Mr. Manning. “Thanks to our investment of more than $1 million, Memorial’s Marine Institute will be in a position to expand its capacity in marine research and training.

Mr. Manning said the federal government's continued partnership with the Marine Institute will allow the establishment of a world class marine base in Holyrood and the expansion of the institute’s capacity in marine research and training.

"This centre will support community development in the Holyrood area, enhance community infrastructure and increase the research and training capacity within the region,” said Mr. Manning. “The facility will give ocean technology companies access to the skills and knowledge they need to develop innovative products for the global ocean technology sector.”

“The Marine Institute is one of the few institutions in the world dedicated to a wide scope of education, training and applied research in support of the marine, industrial and oil and gas sectors and this marine base will add to the institute’s existing centres of ocean research,” said Glenn Blackwood. “It will provide training to industry clients and support research related to ocean technology, including marine environmental studies, marine ecotourism, diving and oil spill response.

"ACOA has provided the institute with significant funding over the years to help grow our capabilities. We look forward to working with the Town of Holyrood and other players to make this centre as successful as our SERT Centre in Stephenville.”

“The establishment of the Holyrood Marine Base is supported by the Town of Holyrood and the Capital Coast Development Alliance,” said Mayor Buckle. “It aligns with the zone board’s economic plan and it will improve the economic development capacity of the region through job creation and an increased training and research presence in the community.”

This project will result in the revitalization of a piece of community infrastructure in Holyrood, the former Seaxx fish processing facility. It will include research labs in support of ocean technology and testing of new products for the sector; serve as a base for two research vessels, Remote Operated Vehicles and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, and associated training and research; include two wet labs for biological, applied fisheries and marine research; support R&D activities by the Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Science; and house up to 50 faculty/researchers and include a seminar facility and classrooms.