The Marine National Facility (MNF) is a national facility funded by the Australian Government to conduct marine research for national benefit. Created in 1984, the MNF is a key element of Australia’s national research infrastructure and comprises:
- the multidisciplinary marine research vessel Investigator
- a suite of scientific equipment and instrumentation
- a collection of more than 30 years of marine data
- the expertise required to manage an ocean-going research platform and support vessel users
RV Investigator can operate anywhere in Australia’s vast marine estate – from ice edge to equator – and has an operational range of approximately 10,000 NM (at 11 knots). The vessel can accommodate up to 40 scientists, spend up to 60 days at sea at a time, and is capable of delivering 300 research days per year.
Access to sea time on RV Investigator is provided through a competitive grant process and user funded arrangements. Granted sea time, funded by the Australian Government, is available to Australian researchers and their international collaborators.
The MNF is based at the CSIRO Marine Laboratories in Hobart, Tasmania. This is also the home port of RV Investigator. The MNF is overseen by an independent steering committee, and is owned and operated by CSIRO on behalf of the nation.