This program was established in 2005 to allow distinguished professors of renowned oceanographic institutes to teach young scientists in developing countries. One of the aims was to promote collaboration and networking among institutions of developing and developed countries. The programme often allowed the donation of a piece of scientific equipment to the host institution so that the capacity building effort could be sustained in the long term.
Funding from the Nippon Foundation allowed for two Visiting Professors per year, over a period of three years (total of six Visiting Professors from 2004 until 2007), to provide training in their own area of speciality. Each professor spent from three to six months with local scientists and students, giving lectures, advising them on purchase, maintenance and operation of instrumentation, performing hands-on field work, participating in the analysis and interpretation of collected data and generating added value for national management and international needs. The program was terminated at the end of 2007, to be replaced by the Centre of Excellence.