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National Institute for Undersea Science & Technology, Email: / Website:

The National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology (NIUST) was established in 2002 in partnership with NOAA's Undersea Research Program (NURP) to develop and apply new technologies that enhance undersea research. NIUST consists of three divisions and an external grants program: (1) the Ocean Biotechnology Center & Repository (OBCR), (2) the Seabed Technology Research Center (STRC), both at the University of Mississippi, and (3) the Undersea Vehicle Technology Center (UVTC) at the University of Southern Mississippi.


OBCR sample diagram
Exposed hydrate mound
  • The OBCR maintains the only repository in the nation dedicated solely to the cataloging and analysis of extracts derived from marine organisms. The chemical compounds of these organisms, collected from both shallow reefs as well as the deep sea, hold significant potential for development of new drugs and bioproducts.
  • A seafloor observatory at a site 1000 m deep in the Gulf of Mexico is currently being established by the STRC to study the role of microbes in the formation and habitat dynamics of methane hydrates.
  • The UVTC’s targets of interest include ROVs with 6000 m depth capability and ocean observatory AUV docking stations. To this end, UVTC is developing technologies involving interactive communication, data assimilation and processing, and artificial intelligence appropriate for the operation/deployment
    of ROVs and AUVs.
  • The external grants program provides funding for targeted research and development through a competitive process.
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Updated: March 16, 2009
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