On March 9, NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D., and Vincent Pieribone, Ph.D., Ocean X co-chief executive officer and chief science officer, renewed a memorandum of understanding to continue collaborating on ocean mapping, exploration and the advancement of ocean science.
“Partnerships with private sector initiatives like OceanX are essential to accelerating NOAA’s mission of using the latest science and data to power the New Blue Economy and help us understand the ocean’s key role in influencing our weather and climate, protect valuable marine ecosystems, and sustainably manage ocean resources,” said Spinrad.
“A lot of what we do at OceanX is inspired by what we see at NOAA,” said Pieribone. “We are thrilled to build upon our partnership with the nation’s leading science agency to create a global community that is dedicated to understanding, enjoying, and protecting our ocean.”
The signing of the renewed three-year MOU followed a daylong workshop hosted by NOAA to enable NOAA and OceanX to identify key priorities for collaboration, including:
- Sharing of best practices for ocean exploration, mapping and data acquisition.
- Increased cooperation on youth education and engagement programs to inspire a new generation of ocean champions, scientists, explorers and communicators. Both NOAA Ocean Exploration and OceanX offer student opportunities to join at-sea science missions aboard their respective ocean vessels. NOAA is involved in curriculum development and a range of other educational programs.
- Collaboration on coral reef research, monitoring and development of new uncrewed coral monitoring technologies. Such collaboration can help scale up the collection of more comprehensive data needed to inform coral conservation at a time when coral is one of the most valuable and endangered marine habitats.
- Development of data sharing processes that will enable OceanX to make ocean mapping data gathered from its global missions aboard its research ship, OceanXplorer, available to various repositories, including the public ocean data managed by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
- Standardization of best practices for obtaining and archiving environmental genetic samples from the ocean, called environmental DNA, so the data can be used for multiple purposes including sustainable fishery management, research to develop medical treatments and conservation of marine ecosystems.
“We’re excited about this renewed agreement NOAA is forging with OceanX,” said Jeremy Weirich, the director of NOAA Ocean Exploration. “We have much to share with each other that can propel our common goal of exploring the unknown mysteries of our ocean to better understand our changing environment and enhance appreciation for the importance of the ocean in our everyday lives.”
In 2020, NOAA and OceanX signed their first three-year MOU following a 2019 White House Summit on Partnerships in Ocean Technology, which brought together more than 100 leaders in the field of ocean science. This spurred a number of partnerships between NOAA and leaders in ocean industries, academia, philanthropy and the military. OceanX is an initiative of Dalio Philanthropies, co-founded by Ray Dalio, founder of the investment firm Bridgewater Associates, and his son Mark, who leads the organization as co-CEO,with a vision to bring together fearless science, advanced technology, and compelling storytelling to connect with a new generation of ocean advocates.
Please go online to read the Memorandum of Understanding.
For more information, please contact Monica Allen, NOAA Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-379-6693.