The Marine Technology and Engineering Center (MARITEC) comprises the Marine Technology Development Department, which is responsible for developing the necessary next-generation technologies and systems; the Research Fleet Department, which is responsible for operating research vessels and other existing infrastructure, and also promoting the application of newly developed systems; and the Planning and Coordination Group, which has been established directly under MARITEC to coordinate the overall functions of the two departments to ensure that the Center operates as a highly integrated and tightly structured organization. In addition, in January this year the Research Vessel Construction Department was established to facilitate the construction of the research vessel to study the marine ecosystem mainly off the Tohoku region. Each of these organizations has the skills, knowledge and resources to achieve the outcomes expected of them.
One of the major characteristics of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) is that it brings together under a single structure the disciplines of science on the one hand and engineering and technology on the other, and MARITEC provides key organizational support within this structure. MARITEC develops new technologies and systems for advancing marine research and development, and operates seven research vessels, a submersible, exploratory vehicles and observation systems to conduct research and exploration over an extensive range from the marine atmosphere, through the ocean surface and mid-ocean layers, down to the depths of the ocean floor. While achieving leading-edge and basic technological development is critical, equally important is properly maintaining and improving the existing systems so they can be fully utilized to attain the expected outcomes. MARITEC is charged with the responsibility of both aspects, and we are exercising our broad-ranging capabilities to ensure we fully respond to all demands for advanced research support.
Further advancements in marine science and technology will not only enable us to meet the high-level requirements for technical support in various fields of marine research and observation, but, in conjunction with the lessons learned from the tragic earthquake disaster last year, provide us with the knowledge that can help to alleviate human suffering and minimize damage to social assets and the regional infrastructure from earthquakes and tsunami. These advancements will also enable us to meet the social demands for marine mineral resources and energy exploration within Japan’s territorial waters, and exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which is the world’s sixth largest in area.
Through our achievements in constructing new autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) and remotely operated vehicles (ROV), and operating research vessels, MARITEC is becoming firmly established as a core component of marine technological development in Japan. MARITEC is also working to nurture the next generation of human resources who can take over and expand on the technologies and knowledge cultivated over many years, and who can rigorously tackle the many challenges we face in the future.
We at MARITEC will work toward fostering a wider understanding of our activities by making an extensive range of information available to the general public, and we look forward to and greatly appreciate your ongoing support and cooperation.