In 2009 SIMS received $19.5 M from the Commonwealth Education Investment Fund, further augmented by $1.2 M from The Ian Potter Foundation and the NSW Government Science Leveraging Fund, to enhance its facilities. These infrastructure grants have resulted in a world class marine facility.
The Chowder Bay component of the project was completed in mid 2011 providing SIMS with refurbished aquarium facilities, including one of only two protected (PC2) marine aquaria in Australia, new cell and molecular, microbiological, field biology and geological laboratories, refurbished teaching laboratories, new lecture theatres, a completely refurbished administration building including a conference centre, and new vessels.
The second stage of the project will further expand SIMS research capabilities, providing a new aquarium and laboratories. Critical to this redevelopment is the specification of public display areas, which will allow SIMS to deepen its outreach program, offering opportunities to engage with the public by way of educational displays and workshops.