Modular Ocean Research Infrastructure (MORI)
Born out of MEOPAR’s 2019 examination of the gaps and obstacles precluding researchers from accessing ship time to conduct experiments on Canada’s offshore waters, the National Research Vessel Task Team (NRVTT) brings together a team of over 30 Canadian and international researchers, industry and government partners to develop a vision for the future of Canada’s vessel needs for offshore research.
One of the solutions to come out of NRVTT discussions is the development of Modular Ocean Research Infrastructure (MORI) as an alternative pathway for support of sophisticated, vessel-based ocean research that would potentially be more flexible, economical, scalable and delivered faster than construction or purchase of a new fleet of specialized research vessels.
MORI will be designed for mobility, and flexible deployment on diverse vessel types. This will allow specialized research infrastructure to be used on vessels across Canada, and even internationally, without requiring costly and time-consuming repositioning of the vessels themselves. In a significant advance from existing use of containerized systems (e.g. container labs, which are widely used throughout ocean science), MORI modules would work as an interoperable system including all data transfer, services, communications and logistics and provide all the research support functions typically provided by the research vessel itself. Because of this, MORI would be capable of transforming a range of vessels into fully operational instruments of large-scale oceanography.
‘Modular Ocean Research Infrastructure (MORI): A Flexible, Scalable and Affordable Approach to Ocean-going Research in Canada and Worldwide‘, by Dr. Doug Wallace and Doug Bancroft