Marine research collaboration wins recognition

Marine Innovation SA (MISA), a multi-partner research initiative founded to advance the State’s marine industries, was awarded the Constellation SA Award for Excellence in Collaborative Research at this year’s South Australian Science Excellence Awards on August 22.

The MISA partners – Flinders University, the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), the University of Adelaide, the SA Museum and the seafood industry – have engaged with community groups to determine the direction of the research agenda and to develop new infrastructure and facilities.

The award recognised the major role played by MISA in attracting the headquarters of the Seafood Cooperative Research Centre to SA, and applauded MISA’s vision of establishing the State as an internationally recognised centre for marine science, education and ecologically sustainable seafood industry development.

MISA’s five-year $25.8 million program includes a SA Government contribution of $13.7 million.

The award, accepted by Flinders University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Chris Marlin [pictured left] and MISA Steering Committee Chair and SARDI Executive Director Professor Rob Lewis, recognises the value of the initiative and the substantial benefits it has already produced.

Professor Lewis said the award was ‘a great recognition of the commitment of the South Australian government, the contributing research and education institutions, scientists and support staff, industries and coastal communities that had the confidence to invest in the innovation and future prosperity of our marine based industries.’

Professor Marlin said that MISA has been highly active and effective.

‘The MISA initiative has been successful in providing concerted research and educational support for the development of our fisheries and aquaculture industries, assisting them to build sustainably on one of the State’s most valuable natural assets.’

Since MISA became operational just over two years ago, a $6.4 million expansion of the Lincoln Marine Science Centre at Port Lincoln is almost complete. More than 32 scientists have been appointed over the past two years, working on 76 projects supported by MISA across a range of pre- and post-harvest research projects such as biosecurity, aquaculture innovation, ecosystem services and product quality and value adding.

MISA has also been instrumental in attracting national funding to South Australia through the new Australian Seafood CRC and the Commonwealth Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) in the areas of marine observing systems (oceanography) and micro-algal production for biofuel extraction.

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