October 26, 2023

PNNL and Oregon State University Collaborating to Advance Ocean Science and Technology

Signed memorandum of understanding will support advances in marine science and technology

A collage of aerial views of the PNNL-Sequim and OSU Hatfield campuses.

PNNL and OSU are both leaders in marine science and technology research with laboratories located along the West Coast.

(Image by Shannon Colson | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

To address the global climate challenge, new clean energy technologies and approaches are required that are only possible through coordinated group efforts. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Oregon State University (OSU) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalize their collaborative efforts towards a clean energy future by advancing ocean science and technology.

“We’re working to address energy and pressing climate challenges that are bigger than any one funding organization or research institution. Functional and thriving partnerships such as this with OSU are critical to bridge public sector research and education with private sector innovation,” said Chris Meinig, PNNL Coastal Sciences division director.  

The two-year MOU will increase opportunities for collaborations that combine PNNL and OSU’s capabilities to grow the blue economy, better understand coastal climate change, and advance marine energy solutions in the Pacific Northwest region.

“This agreement signals a dedication to build upon our current collaborations with PNNL and leverage the respective strengths of OSU and PNNL for the benefit of marine science and technology,” said Robert Cowen, director of OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center.

Laying the Foundation for Excellence

The MOU highlights opportunities for innovative work in offshore renewable energy, aquaculture for food and energy, climate modeling for community resilience, marine carbon dioxide removal and storage, artificial intelligence, - advanced ocean observing systems, and workforce development for the growing blue economy. PNNL and OSU both bring world-class research capabilities and expertise to the table in these areas—notably PNNL-Sequim’s marine laboratory and test bed facilities and OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center’s facilities and access to the Pacific  and regional class research vessels.  

The collaboration also lays the groundwork for a future regional center for excellence in ocean science and technology that would provide cohesive regional research and expertise serving federal, state, and local stakeholders.

“We’re building a regional ecosystem to advance ocean climate solutions in a sustainable, equitable way,” explained Simon Geerlofs, PNNL advisor. “Through the combined efforts of multiple institutions and experts across all areas of marine science and technology, this will support the innovation necessary to fuel the blue economy in the Pacific Northwest region and beyond.”