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Something much larger than a luxury yacht was unveiled at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. South Florida’s new Marine Research Hub hopes to make the region the next Silicon Valley or Durham Research Triangle for marine sciences.

The eight founding partners of the Marine Research Hub gathered at a breakfast with members of the science and boating communities to announce the launch of an official collaboration between South Florida’s universities.

Bob Swindell, the CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance and one of the partners, said the whole point of this partnership is to brand universities and connect the researchers to funding. “If you’re spending $20 million on a yacht, you’ve got some skin in the game for a healthy ocean. So we think it’s a natural community that’s going to support this research,” he said.

Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University, Nova Southeastern University and the University of Miami, which all have oceanography programs, are the four universities that have formally agreed to share resources and help get the word out about each other’s projects.

Read the full article to learn more about FIUs newest partnership.