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NOAA awards contract to establish ocean partnership office
Monica Allen

NOAA awards contract to establish ocean partnership office

Partnership boosts economy, science and ocean understanding

NOAA Research, through NOAA Ocean Exploration, has awarded a $3.5 million, five-year  contract to Integrated Systems Solutions, Inc. (ISS) to establish the National Oceanographic Partnership Program Office to support NOAA and the Navy Office of Naval Research (ONR) in their role in jointly co-chairing the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) Federal Interagency Working Group (IWG).

Established by Congress, the role of NOPP is to advance economic development, protect quality of life, strengthen science education and communication, and assure national security by improving knowledge of the ocean through partnerships among federal agencies, academia, industry, and nongovernmental organizations.

The NOPP Program Office will facilitate communication across ocean science sectors to expand the scope of public/private partnerships; plan and facilitate fora and workshops; provide administrative support to the NOPP IWG; support the NOPP peer review grant process; facilitate the annual NOPP Excellence in Partnership Award; support drafting the NOPP annual report to Congress; and coordinate NOPP outreach and education activities including the website. The fully staffed virtual office is being led by Alan Leonardi, Ph.D., serving as the ISS designated program manager.

“This new contract award is outstanding news for NOPP,” said Jeremy Weirich, director of NOAA Ocean Exploration, who serves as the NOPP IWG co-chair, said  “The NOPP Program Office will play a critical role in advancing ocean science research and education by helping the federal ocean programs continue to leverage resources and invest in priorities that fall between agency missions or that are too large for any single agency to support. As a federal leader in the ocean community, NOAA Ocean Exploration looks forward to working with ISS, ONR, and all our NOPP partners to implement the strategic vision for the newly established program office.”

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 authorized the secretary of the Navy and NOAA to jointly establish the partnership program office for the National Oceanographic Partnership Program. The cost of the NOPP Program Office will be equally shared through a new interagency agreement between ONR and NOAA Research. 

The award was made through NOAA’s Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services Program (ProTech) Oceans Domain as a small business set-aside. ISS has provided support services to NOAA for 16 years.

For more information contact Monica Allen, Director of Public Affairs, NOAA Research,, 202-379-6693


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Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.


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