Memorial University is benefiting Newfoundland and Labrador's ocean economy through research, teaching and public engagement, says a recent report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The organization, which comprises 38 of the world’s richest countries, wrote the report as a part of a broader research initiative into the role of Canadian universities in regional innovation.

Raffaele Trapasso, an author of the report and a senior economist for the OECD, said Memorial was active in the regional scene, noting the university’s consistent engagement with stakeholders and organizations within its community.

“The review … plays a key role in helping us understand in which ways a university can co-specialize part of its research and teaching activities to meet local innovation and skills needs while remaining relevant at the international level,” said Trapasso.

The ocean economy was found to benefit in particular from Memorial’s capacity to support ocean-focused research, teaching and public engagement, said Trapasso. He said that the university’s teaching and research activities mirrored the economic needs of the province by responding to key sectors.

Trapasso also said these studies of universities played an important role in the recommendations that organizations like the OECD should further improve their contributions to the regional ocean economy.

“Universities are pools of human and institutional capital, which can support a process of self-discovery in their own communities,” he said. "They can help identify resources that are untapped or underutilized and help create new spaces for investment, valuable jobs and growth.”

The report outlined ways in which Memorial could further contribute to Newfoundland and Labrador’s long-term growth. It suggested the university should increase efforts to focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, fostering more international relationships and improving an overall international presence in the marine sector.

"Memorial is an ocean university with deep ties to every aspect of the provincial ocean sector," said Rob Greenwood, the associate vice-president of public engagement and external relations at Memorial. "There is a need for shared understanding — a shared narrative — and a sense of ‘being in it together,' the university and the province."