With the creation of the University of the Azores (UAc) in 1976, one of its departments (Oceanography and Fisheries – DOP) was located in the city of Horta, Faial Island, with the objective of developing R & D activities in the marine sciences. The human resources of this department increasead slowly over the years with the hiring of technicians, researchers and teachers, followed by a growing national and international reputation.
Responding to national government policies to improve scientific research, in 1991 the UAc, together with 8 other national public institutions, set up the “IMAR-Institute do Mar,” a non-profit association. Since then, IMAR has managed a growing number of regional, national and international R & D projects. In the Azores IMAR activity was assumed by the DOP team. This dynamic allowed to hire new researchers, stimulated the scientific production and reinforced the recognition at national and international level.
In 1999 this unit was accredited nationally by FCT as a research center (# 531).
2013 – 2001
As a consequence of the new requirements of national policies (FCT), IMAR, with other national research centers, founded in 2001 the LARSyS – Associated Laboratory, and in 2013, the MARE – Marine and Environmental Science Centre (last FCT call for pluri-annual funding of R&D centers).
In 2015 UAc underwent through a deep restructuration process, separating the academic component (graduation, MSc and PhD courses) from the research activities, creating new internal rules for its R&D centers. The old DOP was integrated in the UAc Faculty of Sciences and Technology, having only academic duties. In order to keep R&D activities traditionally done at Horta UAc campus, the Okeanos R&D Centre was created in 2015 as a new university research unit, to continue the activities of marine scientific research at UAc.