International Ocean Institute - Malta Operational Centre

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About IOI - MOC


The IOI-Malta Operational Centre was established by the University of Malta following a memorandum of understanding with the International Ocean Institute.


The Malta Operational Centre aims to develop and implement research and studies related to the sea, promote education, training and public awareness as well as provide services mainly in physical oceanography targeting the sustainable use of ocean space and resources, their management and regulation as well as the promotion and conservation of the marine environment. IOI-MOC seeks to sustain the interaction between local institutions that are active in marine affairs, and promote an inter-sectorial approach at national level. Special attention is dedicated to strengthen linkages to University departments in favour of collaborative multidisciplinary research and supporting courses in oceanography



To this end IOI-MOC:

    • promotes the setting up of facilities required for the undertaking of research based on a holistic approach;
    • promotes the concept of the Common Heritage of Mankind, and encourages regional cooperation for its practical uses;
    • organizes conferences, seminars and other meetings to study topics of interest related to ocean studies;
    • organizes training programmes and courses;
    • co-operates with the International Ocean Institute and other international organizations concerned with ocean affairs, governments, foundations, industries and academic institutions, for the establishment of appropriate liaison mechanisms.


In the past the Centre served as a think-tank for both the University and the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST). After a period of stance, in 1998, the Rector of the University of Malta called an ad hoc group to instil fresh life to the Centre. The Physical Oceanography Unit of the Malta Council for S&T was identified as the initial research arm of the new setup. Prof. P. Serracino Inglott took over the directorship of the Centre in 1999. The IOI-MOC statute was revised and approved by the University Council in the same year.

The IOI Malta Operational Centre hosts the MedGOOS Secretariat which acts as the focal point and coordinating office for the network of marine research institutions promoting the establishment of the Mediterranean Global Ocean Observing System (MedGOOS)

Dr. Aldo Drago – Director of IOI-MOC and MedGOOS Executive Secretary

IOI-MOC has in recent years extended its participation in EU-funded projects and has considerably raised its international profile. Together with the International Marine Centre (Italy) it is currently co-ordinating the Mediterranean Network to Assess and Upgrade Monitoring and Forecasting Activity in the Region (MAMA) project throughout all Mediterranean countries. Since February 2004 it is coordinating the GOOS Regional Alliance Network Development (GRAND) project which is intended to internationalise the MAMA concept and to enhance synergies and common practices between the GOOS Regional Alliances.


The MAMA kick-off meeting held in France in March 2002

IOI-MOC also seeks participation in the IOI system-wide activities such as OceanLearn and the Youth, Women and the Sea Programme.The IOI Training Programme on Ocean Governance for the Mediterranean, Black Sea region and Eastern European Countries, will be run by the Centre in 2005. The Syllabus and Curriculum for this training course are being developed together with IOI Headquarters. The training course on ocean governance will have an emphasis on the Mediterranean and on the Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas. The course will focus on governance, in particular addressing the research-management interface in this field. It will include interregional comparisons and will use new technology available for course delivery. The course is expected to become a flagship activity of IOI together with that delivered from the University of Dalhousie in Canada.

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