|For Immediate Release. Thursday, October 13, 2022
The Marine Technology Society (MTS) and MATE Inspiration for Innovation (MATE II), two long-standing nonprofits in the marine technology space, are thrilled to announce they have agreed to join forces on their mission to foster the next generation of ocean leaders and advance both STEM education and cutting-edge technologies to solve global issues.
Through an integration of MATE II – the managing organization behind the MATE Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Competition – into MTS, the combined organization will be able to expand its efforts to raise awareness about the importance of marine technology, lower the barriers of entry to underwater robotics and related industries, support students, and help them develop the confidence and skills needed to carry these fields into the future.
The announcement marks an exciting homecoming for MATE II. The organization’s renowned competition was created in partnership with the MTS ROV Committee in 2001 as an answer to an industry-wide call for emerging talent. Not only is the advancement of underwater robotics critical to ocean monitoring, research, exploration, and conservation, but also to the success of rising offshore industries from energy to aquaculture.
The dynamic, design-build-perform competition gives children, youth, and young adults an inclusive platform to think critically about real-world problems in a way that strengthens communication, peer-to-peer community, and entrepreneurship. Since its inauguration, the event has reached more than 20,000 students in 46 regions around the world. Participants have gone on to work at research facilities including the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, as well as with NASA, Disney, and other organizations.
“Inspiring innovation and providing everyone with access to opportunities where they can reach their full potential – that is what it will take for us to address the global challenges we face and ensure a sustainable future,” says Jill Zande, co-founder of the MATE ROV Competition and President/Executive Director of MATE II. “Joining forces with MTS will allow us to provide our students with a home and support network as they graduate from the competition and continue on their journey to become early career ocean professionals. I’m beyond excited about the synergies ahead. There is so much we can do together.”
The MATE ROV competition will operate as a division within MTS, which looks forward to leveraging its reach to bring this important program to new communities. The integration will also provide a unique avenue to develop MTS chapters in new locations, expand member benefits, and bring enriching opportunities for MTS members to mentor and support younger students.
“As we have for nearly 60 years, MTS believes the innovators we support today may prove to be foundational to the industries of tomorrow,” said Chris Ostrander, Executive Director of MTS. “Bringing MATE into the MTS family and focusing on inspiring the next generation of ocean scientists, engineers, policy makers, and educators is exactly what our society is meant to do. It’s poignant that the competition MATE created, which itself was borne from MTS members, now comes home to continue to uplift the community. We will continue to create space within MTS for innovators and new industries to flourish. I can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon.”
MTS is fully committed to maintaining the quality of the MATE ROV competition. Jill Zande will continue to lead the competition and will join MTS as the Executive Director of MATE. The agreement is subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and other conditions and is expected to close in 2023.
Congratulations to Jill and the MATE II team! The partnership with MTS will be a great development all around. This is no small feat and we look forward to the impact this will have! – NCAT TEAM
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