The centre will officially open on 22 September 2017 at the Port Elizabeth City, where the university has several campuses. It will be essentially dedicated to foster transdisciplinary research and innovation, with a postgraduate focus, necessary to address the ecological, economic and social sustainability challenges of the oceans.
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The centre is regarded as of being a strategic importance and will boost the efforts of the South African government in realising its objectives of its Operation Phakisa growth strategy, under the guidance of the National Development Plan. The plan seeks to harness the largely untapped potential of the blue or oceans economy, which the government says has the potential to create up to a million jobs and contribute R177-billion to the economy by 2033.