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Boeing Australia, AIMS partner on innovative marine technologies to monitor health of the Great Barrier Reef

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22 September 2016


The Boeing Company and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) signed a new five-year joint research agreement to develop and demonstrate advanced technologies that will better monitor the health of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and the coastal waters that impact its fragile marine ecosystem.

“Just like millions of others, I’ve always been awe-struck by the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef,” said Maureen Dougherty, president of Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific and a board member of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. “Now, Boeing and AIMS can work together on high-tech solutions to help ensure that this natural wonder remains a world-renowned destination for generations to come.”


World’s largest aerospace company and Australia’s premiere marine research agency collaborate to improve environmental monitoring of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Credit: Juergen Freund

Brisbane-based engineers from Boeing and its subsidiary Insitu Pacific will collaborate with AIMS marine scientists in Townsville on sea-to-space environmental monitoring solutions. Possible technologies include satellites, unmanned airborne systems, and autonomous surface and underwater vehicles; each can collect marine data safely, quickly, affordably and with less environmental impact than current human-based collection methods.

“With the Great Barrier Reef providing essential environmental, cultural and economic benefits to Australia, we need to understand how – and how quickly – the reef environment is changing,” said AIMS CEO John Gunn, a member of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s International Science Advisory Committee. “Working with Boeing will provide an ideal platform from which we can paint a detailed picture of what is happening on the reef.”

The Boeing-AIMS research will support Australia’s Reef 2050 Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program and will be fully coordinated with the Commonwealth and Queensland governments’ efforts to monitor and protect the Great Barrier Reef.

AIMS is Australia’s premiere tropical marine research agency. It provides large-scale, long-term and world-class research that helps governments, industry and the wider community to make informed decisions about the management of Australia’s marine estate. For over 20 years, AIMS has been surveying the health of the Great Barrier Reef region.

With more than 3,000 employees, Boeing in Australia has a broad portfolio of aerospace capabilities across the country, including advanced manufacturing of commercial aircraft components, complex defence systems design and production, research and development, training and sustainment services, and unmanned systems.


AIMS media contact:

Steve Clarke

Australian Institute of Marine Science

Office: +61747534444

Mobile: +61419668497


Boeing media contact:

David Sidman

Boeing Australia and New Zealand

Office: +61290863300

Mobile: +61466528657