Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has agreed to proceed to the next stage of a process considering changes in the ownership and governance of the National Oceanography Centre (NOC).
While no decision to change the status and move the centre out of NERC has been taken, the best option has been identified and steps will now be taken to test NOC’s readiness for changes in its ownership and governance.
The NOC will now begin an in-depth process to examine the benefits of not-for-profit charitable status which will protect its science and allow for potential diversification of funding. NERC Council continues to affirm the importance of sustaining long-term ocean science national capability funding for the NOC. This will remain the case, regardless of changes in ownership and governance.
Professor Edward Hill, Executive Director of the National Oceanography Centre, welcomed the progress saying, “The National Oceanography Centre is seeking greater freedom and flexibility than is available inside NERC to sustain its reputation as a world-class research institution. Our aim is to continue to be able to attract top scientific and specialist technical talent, deliver and enable big ocean science and technology development, provide access to ocean research facilities and data, provide independent scientific advice, and develop an even stronger role in the marine innovation landscape. I have been greatly encouraged by the support for these aims by our key stakeholders who are keen to see NOC continue to thrive as a world-leading oceanographic research institution.”
Further information regarding NERC’s considerations regarding new ownership models in two of its research centres can be found on the NERC website.