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A new era for ocean and earth sciences in the UK

Published: 
4 May 2005

A new era for ocean and earth science research began this week as the Southampton Oceanography Centre changed its name to the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. The name change coincides with the arrival of the Centre's new Director, Professor Ed Hill, who took up the post on 1 May.

Said Professor Hill: "The formal designation as a National Centre, with the accompanying change of name, is a natural progression for the Centre. It reinforces its position and reflects the expectation that it will act as the national focus for oceanography. This will also facilitate in an inclusive way a strategic coordination of research for the UK's marine and earth science community."

He added: "I am delighted to be taking over as the new Director. The National Oceanography Centre, Southampton is the UK's largest marine centre and one of just a handful of oceanographic institutions in the world capable of sustaining research with global reach."

The National Oceanography Centre, Southampton will build on the achievements and science investments already made at the former SOC. It will better equip the UK's marine science community to rise to the challenges of the 21st Century, and will ensure that the UK is able to maintain its position in the international 'premier league' of oceanography. NOCS will be an integrated Centre, jointly owned by the Natural Environment Research Council and the University of Southampton.

Notes for editors

  1. The National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, will strengthen and maximise the potential and impact of the whole UK science community by providing a strong central focus for all the players, and by working in partnership with them. Its mission will include the following elements:
    Education, academic and strategic research, engineering and technological development, enterprise and knowledge transfer, impartial delivery of national and international facilities and services, advice to Government, promotion of engagement between science and society, strategic focus, facilitation and coordination for UK marine and earth sciences.
    More information: www.noc.soton.ac.uk
  2. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has around 20,000 students and nearly 5000 staff. Its annual turnover is in the region of £270 million.
  3. NERC is one of the UK's seven Research Councils. It uses a budget of about £300 million a year to fund and carry out impartial scientific research in the sciences of the environment. NERC trains the next generation of independent environmental scientists. It is addressing some of the key questions facing mankind such as global warming, renewable energy and sustainable economic development.

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