IFREMER and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution renew their partnership

  • Leading ocean science institutions to continue collaborative scientific and technological efforts to improve our understanding of the ocean.
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed December 3, 2023, during COP28 Climate Conference.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Dec. 3, 2023) – Today, leaders at two of the world’s leading ocean science institutions signed a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) extending their working partnership in the exploration, study, and protection of the world’s oceans.

The MoU was signed by Peter de Menocal, President and Director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and François Houllier, President and Chief Executive Officer of IFREMER (French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea), at the Ocean Pavilion at COP28, the UN Climate Conference in Dubai.

Following a first agreement signed by IFREMER and WHOI in 2009 this extension reinforces a range of research collaborations in ocean science and technology, including ocean modelling, deep-sea ecosystems and plankton biodiversity.


This also bolsters IFREMER’s and WHOI’s leadership in international ocean observation efforts, including the Argo program and underwater robotic technology via collaborations between WHOI’s Deep Submergence Lab F and Ifremer’s Systèmes Sous-Marins (Underwater Systems) Unit.

The MoU underscores the fact that IFREMER and WHOI are committed in pursuing mutual goals of  addressing the economic, legal and social challenges confronting marine policy, and aim to encourage the creation of research projects between the Marine Policy Center and the AMURE Joint Research Unit (Management of Marine and Coastal Resources and Spaces).


According to WHOI’s Peter de Menocal, "We are honored to continue our long and productive relationship with IFREMER, as we collectively pursue safe, effective solutions that leverage the power of the ocean to help fight climate change. The ocean could help us restore balance to our climate, but we need more “eyes” in the ocean to measure, understand, and make informed decisions. Only with better observations will we build knowledge about what is happening below the surface and over the horizon."

“Studying the world's oceans, from the abyss to surface, requires scientific collaboration that transcends borders. IFREMER and WHOI share the same ambitions for understanding and preserving the ocean, as illustrated by years of scientific and technical cooperation. This Memorandum of Understanding, renewed today, confirms our determination to further strengthen our interactions, including on new themes, by promoting co-publications and the mobility of our scientists”, declared François Houllier, President and Chief Executive Officer of IFREMER.


WHOI and IFREMER have enjoyed a long and successful working relationship. In 1985, a deep ocean exploration team, led by WHOI’s Robert Ballard and IFREMER’s Jean-Louis Michel, discovered the remains of the RMS Titanic at the bottom of the North Atlantic.