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, basically by contributing to spreading IOI ideas 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.
Every year, on June the 8th, IOI-Brazil organizes the celebration of the World Ocean Day, which is also the Oceanographer Day in Brazil. Divulgation 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 and to organise Training Courses in the LAC region with the support from the IOI Centre in Costa Rica, being the first to be offered at the IOI SWAO Brazil Centre in 2016.