John R. Broderick | Paul D. Fraim | William D. Sessoms |


Old Dominion University, an institution dedicated to innovation and real-world results, welcomes the scientists, engineers, business leaders and government officials who are coming together in Hampton Roads to expand our understanding of the Earth’s largest natural resource.

The time is ripe for a “think tank” assembly whose aim is to explore challenges and opportunities that our oceans present. ODU was eager to support this Oceans ’12 meeting because we are a metropolitan research university in a coastal setting, and we have a deep and growing interest in those research areas suggested by the conference agenda. Our faculty members and students, I feel certain, will be valuable contributors to Oceans ’12 as well as recipients of exciting new ideas.

In 2010, I directed the launch of ODU’s Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative, which is designed to nurture research and interdisciplinary collaborations in the wide variety of fields that the initiative encompasses. This work involves not only our colleges of sciences and engineering, but also health sciences, education, arts and letters, and business and public administration. Our Office of Research has put up several hundred thousand dollars in seed money to promote projects that focus on our changing oceans. We have also made faculty hires to support the initiative.

Another recent startup at ODU was the Business Gateway, an office that provides a single, consistent entry point for entrepreneurs and companies that want to access the intellectual capital, innovative technologies and world-class infrastructure of our university. Research begets ideas, and technological know-how turns those ideas into products and solutions. ODU’s Business Gateway streamlines this research and development process, and stands to be a valuable resource in Oceans ’12 interest areas such as harnessing the power of oceans, improving climate change predictions, mitigating the effects of floods, bolstering the efficiency and security of marine operations and creating healthier coastal marine ecosystems.    

Again, welcome to all Oceans ’12 participants. We wish you a productive conference.

John R. Broderick, President
Old Dominion University

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