Waimānalo, Hawai‘i-based Oceanic Institute dedicated the Information Technology and Training Facility (ITTF) today, reaching a significant milestone in the completion of the $24.4 million Center for Applied Aquaculture and Marine Biotechnology (CAAMB). Dedicated to training, education, and community outreach, the ITTF enables the Institute to transfer skills and technology to members of the aquaculture industry, to inspire Hawai‘i’s youth with enthusiasm for marine science and ocean resource preservation, and to promote the development of the state’s economic diversity and growth.
“The Center for Applied Aquaculture and Marine Biotechnology is one of the largest aquaculture research centers in the U.S., providing commercially scaled laboratories for responsible and innovative development of science-based technologies designed to meet local, national, and worldwide seafood needs,” said Dr. Thomas E. Farewell, President and CEO of The Oceanic Institute. “Serving as the Center’s gateway to the public, the Information Technology and Training Facility provides The Oceanic Institute with a unique facility that enables the transfer of its newly developed technologies to the people of Hawai’i and promotes the diversification and growth of the state’s economy.”
As part of the present expansion of the CAAMB on O‘ahu, five new research, laboratory, demonstration, and education facilities have been constructed. Future expansion on the island of Hawai‘i includes a feeds research laboratory near Hilo and a marine shrimp and finfish research facility at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA). A marine finfish hatchery will be constructed on Moloka’i.
“The Information Technology and Training Facility enables us to broaden our training programs for aquaculture farmers, our professional forums for U.S. and foreign industry leaders, and our marine science educational programs for secondary school students,” said Gary E. Karr, Communications, Training, and Education Manager for The Oceanic Institute.
“The new facility also provides classroom space for courses conducted as part of The Oceanic Institute’s partnership with Hawai‘i Pacific University (HPU),” continued Karr. “The first collaborative course offerings will be made available to HPU students in the summer of 2004.”
The $1.9 million ITTF features a large conference room that converts into two classrooms, a wet laboratory and computer room, indoor aquariums and displays, and an outdoor, marine-life viewing pond.
“I would like to acknowledge the pivotal support of Senator Daniel K. Inouye in obtaining funding for the CAAMB. The Senator has a keen interest in the development of new technologies in Hawai‘i and the education of tomorrow’s leaders,” continued Dr. Farewell. “And I would like to express our appreciation to the Economic Development Administration, the State of Hawai’i, and the foundations that contributed to making our vision a reality.”
Funding for the construction and educational displays for the ITTF was provided by grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration and from several Hawai‘i-based charitable foundations, including the Harold K. L. Castle Foundation, Strong Foundation, Atherton Family Foundation, Mary D. and Walter Frear Eleemosynary Trust, and the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation.
The site infrastructure for the CAAMB was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service and the State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The Oceanic Institute, located in Hawai‘i, was founded in 1960. The Institute is a not-for-profit, applied research organization dedicated to the development of technology and applications in aquaculture, environmental science, and marine biotechnology. The Oceanic Institute is affiliated with Hawai‘i Pacific University.