In 1973, the idea of Marine Research was started in the Ege University within the framework of "Multidisciplinary Research Program for Regional Development" and a demand for marine laboratory in research vessel which essential for data collection efforts has been risen. On November 6, 1974, the Board of Faculty of Engineering, headed by Prof.Dr. Kemal Karhan, has decided to make efforts for an organization to do research on the "Marine Science and Technology" directed by the faculty. This decision was submitted to the Government Planning Organization with a report highlighting the project's requirements as "Scientific staff and a research vessel are essential to perform an actual marine research".
According to the report of a commission headed by Prof. Dr. Erol İzdar, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences, the IMST's goals and objectives were determined on the basis of "Education" and "Research".
On October 14, 1975, the establishment date of "Institute of Marine Science and Technology" has been decided as of February 1976 and the construction of the research vessel was began in the shipyard of "Schiffswerft Julius Diedrich" in Western Germany. The construction of R/V K. Piri Reis was ended by 20 October 1978 and the vessel was departed from Germany to Turkey. The R/V K. Piri Reis was arrived to Turkey on 15 November 1978 after completing a cruise of about 4000 miles by passing from various ports in the Mediterranean Sea and Turkey.
The purpose of the establishment of the IMST and the activity range was determined as follows:
• Marine Geology and Geophysics investigates the seabed with the possibility of finding economic mineral deposits and petroleum
• Marine discharges and technology in terms of marine chemistry and environmental engineering
• Physical oceanography and marine mechanics, wave mechanics
• Coastal engineering and coastal structures engineering and technology
• Marine mapping and bathymetry
• Marine equipment technology
• Marine technology and economics and legal issues related to it
• Marine structures and technology
The IMST was first established depending on the Ege University on 14.10.1975, and later connected to the Dokuz Eylul University in 1982.