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Associated Industries of Massachusetts Honors WHOI

September 18, 2015

Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) will honor the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) for contributions to the Massachusetts economy at an event September 21 in Foxboro marking AIM’s centennial.

AIM will present its 100th anniversary Next Century award to WHOI, the world’s largest, private non-profit oceanographic research institution and a global leader in the study and exploration of the ocean. The award recognizes companies and institutions that have made unique contributions to the Massachusetts economy and the well-being of the people who live here.

“Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution represents the transformative and lasting power of economic opportunity. The organization’s vision and scientific leadership have allowed thousands of Massachusetts residents to work, support families and build lives for themselves while making this commonwealth a wonderful place to live,” said AIM President and Chief Executive Officer Richard C. Lord.

An unmatched reputation for intellectual discovery under the water has allowed WHOI to contribute to its economic surroundings out of the water as well.

Woods Hole scientists and engineers have played a part in discoveries that form the modern understanding of the ocean and how it interacts with other parts of the planet, including human society. WHOI professionals combine access to specialized tools, ships, labs, and underwater vehicles with knowledge of how to explore the ocean to create a detailed understanding of the global ocean system.

The institution, founded in 1930, employs more than 1,000 researchers, engineers, information technology specialists, and crews for ships and underwater vehicles like the Alvin that famously explored the wreck of the Titanic in 1986. A combination of government grants and contracts, foundation and private donations and industry contracts provide the organization with an annual operating budget of $215 million.

Increasingly WHOI is involved in projects that apply the knowledge gained from basic research to societal issues, providing high-quality data and analysis across a range of topics, from climate to biodiversity to resources to natural hazards mitigation. These efforts have given WHOI’s work reach into new and important arenas.

In 2010, the Institution rapidly mobilized researchers from several different disciplines to assist the Coast Guard and other responders during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In response to the Fukushima disaster in March 2011, WHOI mounted another rapid response and mobilization to gather data and water samples quickly to determine the amount of radioactivity released into the ocean. That monitoring effort continues.

Engineers and scientists at WHOI worked for nearly two years to successfully locate, in May 2011, the deep water wreckage of Air France flight 447, using the WHOI-designed and -built REMUS 6000 autonomous vehicle.

WHOI will receive its Next Century award during a reception to be held September 21 at Gillette Stadium.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit

About AIM

Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) is the statewide association for Massachusetts employers. Its mission is to support legislation and regulation that promotes business growth and jobs; provide world-class management and human resource services that keep employers competitive; create opportunities for employers to meet new customers, find new markets and generate revenue; educate workers and managers for the new economy; assist employers with access to workers compensation coverage and services as well as employee benefit programs.