After almost three years of construction, the Ocean Science Centre Mindelo (OSCM) has officially started its scientific operation.
The international research and logistics station, which is operated jointly by the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and the National Institute for Fishery Research of Cape Verde (INDP), intends to further strengthen the various research activities of marine scientists from Kiel in the area of the tropical Northeast Atlantic.
The total investment for the OSCM is on the order of three million Euros.
“For Cape Verde, the OSCM is an important element to strengthen our marine research and to further develop it in the international context,” said the National Director of Maritime Economy, Dr. Carlos Évora Rocha during the ceremony.
The new building, designed by the Cape Verdian – German architect Pedro Gregório Lopes Filho, covers a scale of more than 1700 square meters. The central component is a walk-through hall where even heavy marine equipment such as deep-sea robots and autonomous underwater vehicles can be handled and maintained. In addition, the building offers several workshops, laboratories, storage facilities for equipment and samples, offices and conference rooms.
“In total GEOMAR has invested around 2.6 million Euros in this project,” Prof. Dr. Peter Herzig, Director of GEOMAR explained. The Republic of Cape Verde has contributed the remaining 300,000 euros and has provided the property. “However, for the realization of the OSCM, by far more than just financial resources were needed. In particular the coordination required great effort on both sides and worked out very well.”
The start of scientific operations at the OSCM is marked by an international conference on marine and atmospheric research in the West African region, attended by more than 150 scientists from 27 countries. “We want to use this event as a nucleus for new international cooperation in this region and to promote the OSCM as a place to meet for scientific exchange,” said Prof. Dr. Arne Körtzinger from GEOMAR, scientific director of the OSCM and organizer of the workshop. This goal is also supported by the exhibition „Future Ocean Dialogue“ of the Cluster of Excellence „The Future Ocean that will be shown at the OSCM during the coming months. Parts of the exhibit were specifically modified for the target region.