In 2002, an agreement between the International Ocean Institute (IOI) and the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), through its Foundation (FUNPAR), was signed in order to host a new Operational Centre for the Region, named IOI-OC for the South Western Atlantic Ocean (SWAO).
The IOI-SWAO Centre was since hosted by the Centre for Marine Studies (CEM) of the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), Southern Brazil. Originally, a research institution, CEM is today a full university campus, dedicated also to research, education at undergraduate and graduate levels and extension actions. These broad activities are reflected at the IOI Centre, which has been deeply involved and associated with its host institution.
IOI-SWAO initiated its work at the beginning of the new century, by contributing to spreading IOI ideals at the local and regional levels, by supporting educational activities and by attracting young students and scientists to marine related issues. Soon after IOI-SWAO commenced activities, they were deeply involved in the Women, Youth and the Sea project, which was carried on by IOI as one of its flagship activities. Research in Ocean related scientific issues are also among the core activities carried on by the Centre.
Every year, on June 8, IOI-Brazil organizes the celebration of the World Ocean Day, which is also the Oceanographer Day in Brazil. Outreach works, education, research and extension as well as advocacy on marine related issues have been on the core of IOI Brazil activities from the beginning.
In 2015, following the new training programs to be supported by IOI, it was decided to host, from 2016 on, a new Training Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean. The aim is to organize Training Courses in the LAC region with the support of the IOI Centre in Costa Rica, being the first offered at the IOI SWAO Brazil Centre in 2016. The Training Courses are itinerant in Latin America and the Caribbean Region, offered yearly, with a balanced content focusing in Ocean Governance, Ocean Sciences and GeoEthics.