IMOS to drive fresh future for marine priorities in the west

WAMSI welcomed the Commonwealth’s announcement that provides funding certainty for the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure (NCRIS) program. The NCRIS created and developed the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) and the $1.5 billion commitment over the next decade gives IMOS a guaranteed share, and a green light to make plans for the future.

Associate Professor Julian Partridge is the new Western Australian IMOS (WAIMOS) node leader, responsible for advising the national program on regional priorities and directions for investment.

Associate Professor Julian Partridge, CEO WA-IMOS

With the launch last year of Western Australia’s Blueprint for Marine Science priorities, backed by the National Marine Science Plan, WAIMOS has strong benchmarks to draw on to drive the State’s marine observing priorities, including strongly advocated research collaborations and data sharing.   

“A focus for the coming months will include the review of priorities for deployment off the western coast of Australia,” Associate Professor Partridge said. “With the welcome new lease of life from the NCRIS decisions, we have the chance to take stock and make sure we’re measuring the most important things. In addition, we need to maximize the value of WAIMOS data to a variety of stakeholders and end users; and we need to consider our activities in the light of both impact and innovation agendas.”

IMOS has produced data that has enabled the development of a wide range of regional models that improve the understanding of both local and distant ocean currents and processes, which have supported both private and public management and policy decisions.

WAMSI will continue to support the WAIMOS node and take steps to connect it into the continuing Blueprint process to improve the input from industry, government and consultants to the framework and priorities for IMOS.

“We have a relatively short timeline to develop priorities for the next five years of IMOS investment,” WAMSI CEO Patrick Seares said. “However, we are fortunate in Western Australia that we have both worlds: an end-user led Blueprint for Marine Science 2050 report explicitly outlining industry and government priorities for new information; and a National Marine Science Plan containing expert and in-depth analysis of what research and capability is required. These processes plus the more recent Forum for Operational Oceanography allow us to ensure we are advising IMOS to invest in the most valuable observations off our coast, safe in the knowledge we’re meeting the priorities for both research and end-users.”