INOCEM was established in 2003 with the objective to support and promote high quality research, training and outreach in oceanography, marine and maritime studies and related management programs through postgraduate education, education, research and effective programs that address marine issues in Malaysia. INOCEM is expected to become a center of excellence in IIUM specializing in research, development and commercialization of ocean and coastal resources with particularly emphasis in marine biotechnology and oceanography.

INOCEM has emerged as a venue pursuing excellence in demand-driven education, research and synthesis and dissemination of knowledge across a wide range of these subjects in regional, national and international contexts. INOCEM provide vibrant learning environment that is so conducive to scholarly achievements.

The establishment of this institute leads to the training and creating pool of experts who are well-versed in sustainability. Comprehensive sustainability management demands the development of science and applications towards sustainable development. Cooperation in research and joint facilitation of programmes were prominent in INOCEM. 

Apart from research, INOCEM also plays a role in establishing network with the local community. English camp and beach plogging were conducted to educate the local community about the importance of sustainable marine resources. Currently, INOCEM adopts two local schools and collaborates with the community with regards to knowledge transfer.

Located by the seashore of Cherok Paloh, INOCEM has equipment for research in oceanography and marine organisms. High technology equipment including DJI Inspire II drone is available to assist in the study of island habitat and the monitoring of coastal area. The station imparts a great deal in underwater studies by supplying Scuba diving gear, underwater camera, boat and specialist (Dive Master). The services offered by INOCEM are scuba diving, benthos sample analysis, aquaculture training, plankton sample analysis, boat rental, field sampling services and oceanography training.