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CSIRO and partners to establish ocean tech centre in Tasmania

A Centre for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Technology was established on 22 April 2021, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Tasmania, the Australian Antarctic Division and CSIRO. Signatories to the agreement say the MoU reflects their effort to advance Antarctic and Southern Ocean collaborations together, along with other project partners from Tasmania, with a focus on engineering and technology.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania stated, “Hobart is a global polar hub, and this Centre is a reflection of the spirit of co-operation that runs throughout the Antarctic community here. “The Centre is an opportunity to pool our expertise, and establish a framework to collaborate on technology and engineering innovations, expand training and educational opportunities, increase workforce expertise, and better support the existing workforce.”

The Director of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) said the Centre will fulfil an important priority in the Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20-year Action Plan, to advance Australia’s interests in Antarctica by building Tasmania’s status as a global polar research hub. “There is a real desire for organisations to collaborate for better Antarctic and Southern Ocean outcomes, and this Centre will help to achieve that by strengthening and formalising the already high levels of cooperation between the AAD, CSIRO and UTAS and provide opportunities to work with other project partners from across Tasmania,” he noted.

The Director of National Collections and Marine Infrastructure at CSIRO stated that the Centre will leverage each organisation’s expertise to support Antarctic and Southern Ocean engineering and technology outcomes. Australia is uniquely placed at the gateway to the Southern Ocean, with world-class expertise in understanding this remote environment to equip us with solutions to global challenges, she said. “CSIRO is proud to work closely with our partners in Tasmania to formalise our joint initiatives.

The organisations are bringing together infrastructure and expertise, improving information processing capabilities, exploring new areas of science, and creating opportunities for polar and marine staff and students.

The Centre and its MoU reflect the University’s mission to make a difference for Lutruwita/Tasmania, and from Tasmania to the world. “Our mission requires us to work in deep and sustained partnerships with organisations and people who are also committed to creating that better future,” said.

According to another article, the Australian Antarctic Division Director said the formation of CAST strengthens and formalises the already high levels of cooperation between the AAD, CSIRO and UTAS, and will provide opportunities to work with other project partners from across Tasmania.

“CAST brings together the amazing innovation and skill that our teams already apply on a daily basis, and elevates that in a way we have not achieved before – built on common goals around the use of emerging technologies, the desire to solve complex problems and the necessity to support world-leading research,” he said.

Through CAST the three research institutions aim to enhance:

  • collaboration and innovation in areas of technology and engineering, to achieve greater safety, effectiveness, efficiencies, opportunities and outcomes for all institutions;
  • the pooling of expertise among partners to create new opportunities and gain greater efficiency;
  • educational opportunities and training, especially in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields relating to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean; and
  • expertise and support for the existing workforce and work programs.
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