For the second time since its creation, IMO won competitive funding from the Explora program of the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT), on this occasion in the Appreciation of Science area. In particular, the project represents a connection between IMO’s Development and Technology Transfer and Outreach teams, which will provide training for high school students from schools in the Biobío Region outside Concepción.
The objective of the project is the construction, through a process of learning that is both significant and gradual, of a small-scale prototype of a submarine vehicle for marine exploration, a mini lander, with the support of marine biologists and engineers as well as pedagogical and communications consultants.
Bárbara Léniz, marine biologist and deputy director of the IMO Outreach team, is satisfied with this victory, which represents a milestone for the Millennium Institute of Oceanography. “It’s a big challenge. We have won two Explora projects in two years, which is extremely beneficial and significant for the Institute. We made a test model last year in the context of the Technological Challenges organized by the PAR Explora Bío Bío. This idea comes from that experience,” she explained.
Victor Villagrán, electrical engineer and director of the Development and Technological Transfer team, has high expectations for the work that is going to be done. “It’s the first time we bring together two different IMO teams, so it’s an important opportunity for collaboration. We can complement each other in order to promote subjects of importance in common. The basis of the project is the lander, one of the tools that we are going to use soon during the third IMO expedition, to take place at the end of November 2017,” he said.
Finally, it should be noted that the Explora program had to evaluate 141 eligible proposals, of which only 18 were approved. From those 18 projects, the Millennium Institute of Oceanography was the only institution that achieved the top score, with the first place in the country and 25 million Chilean pesos allotted to the project start-up.
The communes chosen for the implementation of the project are Penco, Quillón, Coihueco and San Pedro de la Paz.