The conference report for the Omnibus Appropriations bill that was passed by Congress last month contains $750,000 in funding for the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute, Representatives Dave Obey and James L. Oberstar announced.
The Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute is a joint project between the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) and the University of Wisconsin-Superior (UWS). The funding will be administered by the Maritime Administration (MARAD), which is an agency within the Department of Transportation that is responsible for promoting the development of a merchant marine sufficient to meet the needs of national defense and the domestic and foreign commerce of the United States.
"I'm pleased that we have been able to secure funding for this initiative. This joint research effort will help develop an improved Lake Superior cross-border transportation system that can carry commerce and passengers safely and economically and lay the groundwork for future economic development for the Twin Ports and the region," said Obey. "The joint work by UMD and UWS will also serve as a model for future university, industry and government partnerships."
"This funding will be very useful in furthering research about the unique characteristics of the Great Lakes maritime industry and trade through the region's waterways. Research by UMD and UWS on issues such as the expanded use of freight ferries, improved mobility, and regional supply chain efficiency, will provide valuable insight into how to maximize the many opportunities the Great Lakes provide," said Oberstar. "With the expertise offered by UMD-UWS' Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute, we can enhance the nation's maritime infrastructure."
James P. Riehl, the Co-director of the Institute and Dean of the UMD College of Science and Engineering calls the funding "the perfect match of UMD's strong engineering programs and the UWS transportation and logistics center. Our combined research capabilities will make significant contributions to the Great Lakes transportation system."