In 2001-2002, the two leading university centres in Québec oceanography, GIROQ and ISMER, decided to create Québec-Océan, Québec’s inter-institutional research group in oceanography. The FQRNT1’s new strategic grouping program was the catalyst for GIROQ’s complete restructuring, including a formal recognition of the close collaborations developed over the years with some researchers from ISMER. Several researchers from other Québec institutions also joined the new research centre.

An ambitious development plan characterized the 2002-2007 period, particularly with the acquisition of the NGCC Amundsen and Coriolis II, the creation of the network of centres of excellence ArcticNet, and the realization of an international scientific program with the CASES2 and SOLAS3 research networks. The coordination provided by Québec-Océan enabled the group to receive 93.4 M $ in research and infrastructure grants between 2002 and 2007. At the same time, Québec-Océan members published 248 articles in the best specialized scientific journals, 115 Master’s and 51 Ph.D. students graduated, and Québec-Océan’s media visibility increased dramatically.

In 2008, the FQRNT renewed its support for Québec-Océan with a major 6-year grant (2008-2014). There are now four member universities (Université Laval, UQAR, McGill University and UQAC), and the group is attracting more and more researchers. Members are participating in and managing an increasing number of large-scale projects including CFL4, CHONe5, CAISN6. In 2010, Québec-Océan welcomed Marcel Babin from Université Laval, who was recently awarded a prestigious Canada Excellence Research Chair in Remote Sensing of Canada's New Arctic Frontier.

1 FQRNT | Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies
2 CASES | Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study
3 SOLAS | Surface Ocean - Low Atmosphere Study
4 CFL |  Circumpolar Flaw Lead System Study
5 CHONe | Canadian Healthy Oceans Network
6 CAISN | Canadian Aquatic Invasive Species Network

Québec-Océan is a strategic cluster funded by FRQNT.