Galapagos welcomes a new Marine Research Center

Inspiration Complex, a multi-purpose Marine Research Center at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Photos by: Andres Cruz.

Press realease.- On Sunday, November 7, we inaugurated the new Marine Research Center of the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF). The Inspiration Complex is a renovated space located in what was formerly known as Biomar.

During the event, our President, Hans Van Poelvoorde welcomed all the institutions present, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility; the Ministry of the Environment represented by Galapagos National Park Directorate; the Secretary of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation; the Ministry of Tourism; the Military Geographic Institute; the Governing Council of the Galapagos Special Regime; the Ministry of Agriculture; the Agency for the Regulation and Control of Biosecurity and Quarantine for Galapagos; the Municipality of Santa Cruz, among others.

Hans Poelvoorde, CDF President, during the welcome. Photo by: Rashid Cruz, CDF.
Hans Poelvoorde, CDF President, during the inauguration of the facility. Photo by: Rashid Cruz, CDF.

"This is not just a building for marine scientific research, but a center of inspiration for conservation in the Galapagos," said CDF Executive Director, Rakan Zahawi during the inauguration of the Inspiration Complex.

The construction of the Inspiration Complex took approximately five years and became a reality thanks to inter-institutional collaboration, CDF staff, and the generosity of our major donor, the COmON Foundation from the Netherlands.


Danny Rueda, Director of the Galapagos National Park, emphasized the importance of the facility. "This infrastructure will facilitate to the conservation efforts of the current and newly created protected area, as well as others in the region," he said.

The Inspiration Complex will also be a space for the community, where education for Galapagos children and youth will be promoted in coordination with the Charles Darwin Foundation's Education and Community program.

From left to right: Yolanda Kakbadse; Ángel Yánez, Mayor of Santa Cruz; Ana García, Deputy Minister of Tourism; Rakan Zahawi, CDF Director; John Loudon, COmON Foundation CEO; Hans van Poelvoorde, CDF President; Marilyn Cruz, ABG Director; Danny Rueda, GNP Director; and Andrea Montalvo, SENESCYT. Photo by: Rashid Cruz, CDF.
From left to right: Yolanda Kakbadse; Ángel Yánez, Mayor of Santa Cruz; Ana García, Acting Minister of Tourism; Rakan Zahawi, CDF Director; John Loudon, COmON Foundation CEO; Hans van Poelvoorde, CDF President; Marilyn Cruz, ABG Director; Danny Rueda, GNP Director; and Andrea Montalvo, SENESCYT. Photo by: Rashid Cruz, CDF.

The design and construction of the Inspiration Complex took nearly 5 years and is a reality thanks to inter-institutional support, CDF staff, and the great heart and generosity of one of the institution's major donors, the COmON Foundation of the Netherlands. The design and architectural direction of this Marine Research Center was led by Fabian Salame, a Galapagos architect with more than 16 years of experience.

Offices and laboratories of the Inspiration Complex. Photos by: Juan Manuel García and Rashid Cruz, CDF.
Offices and laboratories of the Inspiration Complex. Photos by: Juan Manuel García and Rashid Cruz, CDF.


"There is a lot to say about the Inspiration Complex, For example, the old Dinning Room represented a spiritual link for many researchers who enjoyed and spend time at this site; many important scientific ideas emerged here," said Hans van Poelvoorde, CDF President.

"For the COmON Foundation it is a privilege to support the Charles Darwin Foundation and Galapagos in the construction of the Inspiration Complex, which will undoubtedly support cutting-edge marine research in the Eastern Tropical Pacific region." reflected John Loudon, CEO of the COmON Foundation.

This event took place in the context of the CDF's 50th General Assembly meeting for the Galapagos Islands, which is held annually every November.

The “Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands”, in French “Fondation Charles Darwin pour les îles Galapagos”, Association International sans but lucratif (“AISBL”), has its registered office located at Chaussée de la Hulpe 177 Bte 20 (rez) - 1170, Brussels, and is registered under the trade registry of Brussels under the number 0409.359.103.

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