University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) has landed a $46.6 million funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to advance its research in ocean science and technology.
ONC pioneers ocean observatories that stream live data 24/7 to researchers across Canada and around the world to study everything from ocean change and fish abundance, to plate tectonics and tsunamis, deep-sea ecosystems and ocean engineering.
The ONC has strengthened its position as a world-leading ocean science facility over the years thanks to a number of innovations and studies including earthquake early warning sensors in the deep sea, and the first 24/7 subsea instrument platform in the Arctic. The funding from the Canadian government will go a long way into providing ONC the resources it needs to advance its research into transformation of ocean science and its applications to public policy, economic development, environmental stewardship and public education—for the benefit of Canada and the world.
The long-term observations being collected by ONC instruments have wide-ranging policy applications in areas such as ocean and climate change, earthquakes and tsunamis, pollution, port security and shipping, hazard mitigation, renewable resource assessment, sovereignty and security, and ocean management.
The new funding is awarded to UVic through CFI’s Major Science Initiatives program, which supports a portion of the operating and maintenance costs of selected major science facilities across Canada. These facilities serve communities of researchers nationally and internationally, support leading-edge R&D, and promote the transfer of knowledge for the benefit of society.
In its first 10 years of operation, ONC evolved into Canada’s national ocean observatory facility, with a growing network of observatories off Canada’s west coast, in the Strait of Georgia, along coastal BC and in the Arctic. ONC also pioneered an advanced data management platform, known as Oceans 2.0, which public and private sector agencies across Canada and abroad are lining up to use for data access, analysis and their own data management.
Through its innovation division, ONC has partnered with a wide range of industry and government organizations, helping other countries plan and execute their own observatories, and helping Canadian companies develop and test their products for global markets using ONC’s observatories.