The Government of Canada officially opened the Facility for Intelligent Marine Systems (FIMS). Renovations to the building that houses FIMS took place over four years, with a total project investment of almost $25 million.

Located on the campus of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO), Canada’s largest ocean research facility, FIMS is a collaboration between Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the Department of National Defence (DND) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). Scientists and researchers from DFO, DND and NRCan working out of FIMS are pursuing  ocean research using state-of-the-art uncrewed surface and underwater data collection platforms.

“Fisheries and Oceans Canada is a world-leader in ocean science. With the official opening of the Facility for Intelligent Marine Systems we are expanding our ocean research capacity through state-of-the-art equipment. This will also allow for greater collaboration between our scientists and researchers, along with those from Natural Resources Canada and the Department of National Defence,” said Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

FIMS is co-located with the DFO Fish Lab, in a fully renovated building that is on track to achieve Green Globes Building Certification. Green Globes evaluates the environmental sustainability, health and wellness and resilience of commercial buildings and portfolios. During the renovation, a 100-kilowatt solar panel system was installed on the roof of the building, which is tied into the larger solar grid for the BIO Campus. The building is also now being heated and cooled with new air handling systems and the campus’ seawater heat pump system. It is estimated that the renovations have reduced greenhouse gas emissions for the building by an estimated 75 per cent.

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Darren Fisher, Member of Parliament for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. (Government of Canada)

“Outstanding work in ocean science takes place at the Bedford Institute for Oceanography in Dartmouth, and the Facility for Intelligent Marine Systems is a testament to that incredible work. We’re investing in cutting-edge technology and equipment to empower and enable Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists to explore new parts of the ocean and further scientific discoveries,” said Darren Fisher, Member of Parliament for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

“Through Our North, Strong and Free, we have made clear that our most important job is to protect Canadian sovereignty, especially in our Arctic region. This new facility will provide our defence scientists with state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment, boosting their ability to develop innovative solutions in support of our Arctic sovereignty. Through this investment and our defence policy update, we are taking action to protect our North from new and emerging security challenges,” said Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence.

“This investment in the Bedford Institute of Oceanography reflects our commitment to ensuring that Canada remains at the forefront of research and innovation. By making our facilities greener, we continue to demonstrate our strong commitment to increasing the climate-resilience of our assets and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement.

Featured image: Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Darmouth, N.S. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

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