AIMS@JCU (James Cook University) brings together two of Australia's leading tropical marine science research organisations in a formal research partnership. While AIMS and JCU have a long history of collaboration, the formal partnership furthers the development of Townsville as a centre of excellence for research, education and teaching in marine science.

The joint venture brings together the largest concentration of tropical marine scientists in the world, with improved access to infrastructure at both institutions leading to new research collaborations. It was created in 2004 to administer a special allocation of Australian Government funds to facilitate the sharing of research infrastructure in Townsville and to provide enhanced opportunities for the training of postgraduate students in tropical marine sciences.

In 2012-2013, the new AIMS@JCU Strategic Alliance Agreement was executed, providing certainty around operational terms of reference and funding arrangements and placing the focus on the PhD scholarships more firmly on quantitative marine science.