Ocean Census, the pioneering open network launched by The Nippon Foundation and Nekton, has partnered with OpenCell as part of a global effort to accelerate the pace of ocean species discovery. OpenCell’s mobile labs will enable scientists to conduct shoreside marine biology.

The team's mission is to identify 100,000 new species over the next decade. The two laboratories will be deployed on the upcoming Ocean Census Macaronesia Expedition based out of Radazul Marina in Tenerife. This expedition is a significant undertaking aimed at exploring the rich, yet largely uncharted marine environments of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

These state-of-the-art mobile labs will enable researchers to conduct on-site analyses, enabling scientists to immediately process, document, and analyse samples. The integration of advanced facilities and skills is critical to the Ocean Census mission to uncover life within the ocean’s biodiversity hotspots and contribute to global conservation strategies. 

The collaboration between OpenCell and Ocean Census exemplifies a joint effort to demobilise resources from pandemic-related activities and redirect them toward urgent environmental concerns.

Helene Steiner, CEO of OpenCell emphasises the collaboration's significance, stating, "During the global pandemic, we united on a global scale to use our skills and knowledge to address one of humanity's most critical crises. Now, we apply this expertise in collaboration with Ocean Census to tackle another pressing emergency – the biodiversity crisis."

“These mobile laboratories will not only streamline the process of species identification and data gathering but also enhance the efficiency of research conducted in remote and often challenging marine environments,” said Daniel Moore, Ocean Census Expedition Science Manager. “The use of these advanced laboratories in the Ocean Census Macaronesia Expedition is a prime example of how the programme is integrating cutting-edge technology with field research to accelerate the understanding and preservation of marine biodiversity.”

Taxonomy work in the laboratories
PisPisces VI submersible to disover species in 300 meter depth
Container labs on their way to Tenerife, Spain