Minister Birmingham toured the building site of the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre (IOMRC), a new $62 million world-class marine research facility.
The IOMRC will bring together the collective strengths of the University of Western Australia, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and CSIRO. These three organisations are all major partners in the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS)-funded Integrated Marine Observing System.
The IOMRC will house two IMOS National Facilities – the state-of-the-art Ocean Glider Facility, and the expanding Ocean Radar Facility that are led by the University of Western Australia.
IMOS Director, Tim Moltmann says “The IOMRC is an exciting development that will help to drive development of Australia’s blue economy, guided by WA’s excellent Blueprint for Marine Science 2050 and the National Marine Science Plan.”
UWA Professor and IMOS Ocean glider Facility leader, Chari Pattiaratchi demonstrated to Minister Birmingham how ocean gliders work, and displayed some of the real time data collected by gliders currently deployed in the northern Great Barrier Reef and in the Great Australian Bight (GAB).
Minister Birmingham noted that data from the IMOS glider in the GAB is being used by researchers in his home state of South Australia in the Great Australian Bight Research Program.
The Great Australian Bight Research Program is a collaboration between BP, CSIRO, the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), the University of Adelaide, and Flinders University and is an excellent example of the expanding use and value of IMOS to Australian science and industry.
Prof Chari Pattiaratchi said, “The Minister was very interested in the operations of both ocean gliders and HF Radars. He inquired whether we have a roster to monitor gliders on a 24 hour basis and was fascinated by the shark attacks on the gliders.”
Minister Birmingham was presented with a small memento of his visit to the IMOS Glider Facility, a model lego glider.