Twenty local and expatriate scientists have created a multidisciplinary environment that fosters the fusion of new ideas and collaboration. Professor Dr Saleem Mustafa, who is the Director of Borneo Marine Research Institute BMRI) from Universiti Malaysia Sabah, disclosed this in conjunction with the seventh IOC/Westpac International Scientific Symposium 2008 held at Sutera Harbour here yesterday. “They all have a shared understanding of the roles and actions needed to achieve the standard required of a centre of excellence in marine science, aquaculture and biotechnology,” he said. “Our network with national and international institutions is growing, and there are many projects that are being undertaken in cooperation with the respective institutions with which we have agreements. “We have also built on collaborative partnerships with research and development funding agencies and organizations to deliver practical solutions to a number of problems,” Saleem added. As a result of the efficient working and smart partnerships in many spheres of marine science and aquaculture, he said the Institute had positioned it self as a prominent resource for the whole State of Sabah and Federation of Malaysia. According to him, BMRI, located in front of the Sepanggar Bay, has several state-of-the-art research facilities such as a jetty to facilitate research, a sea cage culture facility, aquarium and museum. Currently, the Institute handles two undergraduate academic programmes, Marine Science and Aquaculture, each with a three- year duration. Upon graduation, the students have requisite knowledge to either seek gainful employment or pursue higher post-graduate studies. The research programmes focus on marine conservation, physical oceanography, marine aquaculture, sea farming and marine biotechnology. An efficient and dedicated administration team supports all the teaching, training and research activities. The Institute has now emerged as a venue for pursuing innovative research and dissemination of knowledge across a wide range of aquaculture and marine science subjects in a regional, national and international context.