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UWA and AIMS provide $2 million boost for WA marine science

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26 March 2009

Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, has welcomed a new era in research co-operation with a $2 million agreement between one of Australia's leading universities and Australia's tropical marine research agency.

The University of Western Australia (UWA) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) have today signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint research fund.

Under the agreement, worth more than $2 million over five years, UWA and AIMS will share resources to support research fellows and a pool of PhD students focused on important marine science issues.

By establishing a formal link between UWA and AIMS' research training in marine science, the Australian Government is helping to ensure Western Australia's future economic prosperity, environmental health and security.

Increased effort in marine science is essential as we face the challenges of climate change and explore new opportunities for sustainable growth of marine industries off the West Australian coast.

Providing a strong research-based foundation for growth in this sector will pay dividends. The potential triple-bottom-line benefits – economic, environmental, social – from boosting WA marine science are immense.

Australian marine industries have an annual value of $38 billion with a significant portion of that activity located in WA.

This initiative will benefit not just Western Australia but Australia generally.

The collaborative approach adopted by UWA and AIMS will provide a hub of marine science excellence in the national innovation system.

UWA, a member of the Group of Eight leading research universities, is ranked second for research in Australia, by size. AIMS is a publicly funded research agency internationally recognised for its research on tropical marine ecosystems.

For further information, please contact:

Professor Catriona Jackson, Minister's Office, 0417 142 238

Ms Wendy Ellery , AIMS Media Liaison, 4753 4409; 0418 729 265

Ms Janine MacDonald, University Media Manager, 61 8 6488 5563; 0432 637 716

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