Lautan Adalah Batasan Kita

Sebuah institut telah bekerja keras untuk menjadi pusat kecemerlangan kebangsaan

Oleh Prof. Ts. Dr. Mohd Fadzil Mohd Akhir, Director, Institut Oseanografi dan Sekitaran (INOS)

The institute first began as a small marine science station, set up in 1979, when UMT was still a branch of Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Since then, the institute has worked its way up to become what it is today. 

The Institute of Oceanography and Environment (INOS) is now a premiere centre of excellence in Malaysia, focusing on oceanic and marine-related research and post-graduate training.

Commencing operations in 2001, INOS was the first research institute at UMT. It is also among the oldest and most established research institutes in Malaysia. 

The major objective of INOS’s establishment is to achieve a better understanding of the major scientific questions about the marine environment and its interaction with the earth systems. And it aims to do so through scientific research, oceanographic observations, data modelling, and satellite studies.

INOS has been conducting multi-disciplinary research mostly related to the oceanographic field. These studies have been carried out in areas within the Malaysian waters, but the main focus is within the South China Sea region, where the research is targeted at understanding the baseline information of the area. 

In April 2001, INOS was accorded the official status as a centre of excellence by the Malaysian government, at the recommendation of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC).

Accorded HICoE Status

In 2012, INOS was accorded the prestigious Higher Institution Centre of Excellence (HICoE) status, due to its long-term commitment in the field of marine science nationally and regionally.

HICoE is an accreditation the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) introduced in 2007 in conjunction with the launch of the National Higher Education Strategic Plan (NHESP). The accreditation is awarded to high-achieving centres of excellence to encourage them to work towards becoming global leaders in their research niche areas. A centre recognized as HICoE is officially considered among the best in the nation.

INOS completed the 10-year HICoE programme in 2021, and now the institute has become a key oceanography and marine science knowledge institution that supports the national needs. INOS is also increasingly turning into a global institute.

As a HICoE, INOS has become a leader in marine sciences. Broad area of oceanography still its core focus, INOS realigned its research under the HICoE programme with the aim to bolster three main focus areas within the South China Sea.

These three areas are marine environmental processes, marine ecology, and ocean governance, an emerging field that provides the science-policy nexus to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Trans-disciplinary and integrated approaches are being used to fortify the core area of oceanography that has always been INOS’s forte.

INOS has partnered with many national institutions, government agencies, industry players, as well as NGOs, working together to develop a better understanding towards our seas.

It is through our research that new features and understanding have been discovered, including upwelling, thermal fronts, and current circulation in the South China Sea. Our coral scientists have introduced new methods in coral health assessment and understanding the impact of climate variability on the South China Sea.


Ranked Top Five

This has led to a significant increase in journal publications over the past five years. INOS has been ranked as the top five South East Asia institutions that have published marine-related research carried out in the South China Sea. The success is due to the hard work of all INOS’s staff and the strong support from UMT’s top management. Contributions from INOS will surely continue to benefit the nation.

Over the years, INOS has increased its international partnerships in various areas. The institute has partnered with the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) UNESCO, which has led INOS to be recognized as the first institution in the region to become an IODE Associate Data Unit.

INOS has also been established as one of the only four fullfledged OceanTeacher Global Academy (OTGA) under IODE UNESCO, and it is responsible for conducting training for the Asia-Pacific region.

Through its collaboration with foreign universities, INOS has become a full member of the EU Tropimundo, offering a master’s programme for international students at UMT campus. INOS’s collaborations with the First Institute of Oceanography in China and University of Western Australia on technology transfer have enabled the institute to build its ocean modelling capability.

Due to the successes of its international partnerships and collaborations, INOS’s research, knowledge and technology transfer, as well as funding for research and training have been significantly impacted. This has consequently increased our index in every aspect of scientific merits and most importantly increased trust among stakeholders in our research outputs that have benefited the nation.


Emphasis on Ocean Governance

Through its research innovations that have evolved for over 20 years, INOS has been able to bring more impact to the stakeholders. INOS has started to emphasize the role of ocean governance in marine environmental research through its HICoE programme, which is about translating scientific findings into actionable plans, whether in the forms of laws, policies, management plans or spatial planning. The Ocean Governance Research Programme, one of the core teams in INOS HICoE programme, has been working with the other groups in the programme to bridge the science and policy by facilitating in evidencebased decision-making.

INOS will play a bigger role for the next 10 years, in line with the spirit of the United Nation Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030. We will continue to march forward by providing innovative solutions and making our oceans better, through international partnerships with multiple stakeholders and engagement with the IOC-UNESCO.

As the sole HICoE in marine science, INOS shoulders a huge responsibility in ensuring the success of the national agenda of protecting our marine environment. INOS will always focus on high-impact research that will benefit the country. To produce outputs of national importance, INOS will strengthen research and engagement in the various aspects in oceanography, marine biodiversity including the endangered species, and marine environmental governance.

Already a premier centre of excellence in Malaysia, INOS’s further commitment in generating impactful research that will solve emerging issues facing the marine in this country will ultimately position the institute as a regional leader in marine research, particularly in the South China Sea.

The institute that began as a small station 44 years ago has progressed remarkably.


HICoE report submission by INOS Director Prof. Fadzil to UMT Vice Chancellor Prof. Mazlan

Site visit by the Higher Education Centre of Excellence (HICoE) to UMT

INOS Supercomputing Facilities, used to test mathematical models for complex physical phenomena or designs, such as climate and weather

Anti trawl Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) maintenance near the Tiong and Dulang Oil Platforms on board of RV Discovery

INOS receiving the Accredited IODE National Oceanographic Data Centre (ADU) certificate from Dr. Peter Pissierssens, Head of the IOC Project Office for IODE

Letter of Intent (LOI) signing between INOS and Department of Town and Country Planning (PLANMalaysia)

Public lecture by Her Excellency Datin Paduka Nur Ashikin Mohd Taib, Director General of the Department of Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs