TK Foundation Approves Maritime Education/Research Funding

press release
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The TK Foundation has announced the approval of eight grants totalling nearly $2 million. The TK Foundation is a strong funding vehicle for maritime programs and youth development. Its maritime grant-making program is proactive, inviting maritime organizations to submit requests for funding in specific areas of interest to the Foundation.


In keeping with its focus on supporting non-profit organizations and programs that improve the maritime realm, The TK Foundation has granted eight awards. The World Maritime University (WMU) is a centre of excellence for maritime education and research, operating under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The TK Foundation has provided fellowships to eligible students for three years, and will grant $180,000 to support four fellowships for the upcoming intake year.


CNA is a non-profit research organization that provides research and analysis to inform the work of public sector leaders. It operates the Institute for Public Research and the Center for Naval Analyses. A grant of nearly $176,000 will support research that explores the link between illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing and piracy, and other maritime security challenges in Africa.


The International Trade Education Program connects professionals from the maritime industry with educators and parents of economically underserved public high school students. Its grant of $120,000 will be applied to the Small Learning Community Academies that introduce students to careers in maritime, trade, transportation and logistics.


The Nautical Institute represents maritime professionals involved in the control of sea-going ships. A grant of $100,000 over five years will support their participation in the IMO's eNavigation strategy sessions, helping advance the communications technology used by ship masters and onshore personnel for shipping safety. The Maritime Aquarium hosts an extensive program of marine science and environmental education. A grant of $500,000 will support construction of a catamaran research vessel to replace its 30-year old 'floating classroom' that is used for marine life study cruises.


Mercy Ships provides ship-based medical services around the world. The Africa Mercy hospital ship provides medical care, surgeries, training and preventive health strategies to communities in Africa. Since 2005, TK Foundation grants have supported its Technical Training Fund (TTF) to ensure the crew's training meets international shipping standards. The TK Foundation will continue this support the TTF with a $225,750 grant.


Marine Society & Sea Cadets provides life-changing nautical adventure for young people through the Sea Cadets Corps (a civilian organization), together with personal and professional development opportunities for seafarers with the Marine Society. A $388,000 grant from the TK Foundation will challenge other potential donors to help build a new flagship for its sailing programs.


The Seafarers International Resource Centre conducts research on seafarers with an emphasis on issues of occupational health and safety, and contemporary social debates. A grant of approximately $290,000 over three years will enable its research arm, the Lloyd's Register Educational Trust Research Unit, to study seafarer experiences and attitudes regarding mandatory equipment. To learn more about each organization, please visit their respective websites:,,,,, and


"These grants have allowed the Foundation to reach out to a diverse range of organizations that support maritime initiatives and seafarer well-being," said Susan Karlshoej, Program Officer, The TK Foundation.


"This research is of great importance to regional and international efforts to combat piracy and other maritime threats within African waters and to Africans themselves, many of whom depend on the fishing industry for livelihood and fish stocks for sustenance," said CNA analyst Julia McQuaid, project director.


"The generosity of the TK Foundation made it possible for me to enroll at WMU, which has given me vast exposure to the globalization that is taking place today. This has totally changed my perception of life. After I graduate I will need to keep track of the new trends that keep coming up in the industry to improve provision of services in my local sector and facilitate trade for the socio-economic benefit of all," said Tumaini Namoya, Kenya, Class of 2012, MSc Maritime Affairs, Shipping & Port Management.


  • About the TK Foundation

The TK Foundation is an independent, private, grant-making foundation supporting non-profit maritime and youth development programs. It was established in honor of J. Torben Karlshoej, founder of the Teekay Shipping Group (now Teekay Corporation). Since 2002, The TK Foundation has made grants of over $20 million in the areas of youth development and the maritime sector, providing valuable research, health care, facilities, education and other opportunities for a variety of non-profit organizations and individuals.

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