In order to enhance Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER) in the Asia-Pacific region, the present project, which began in May 2012, brought together about 20 marine scientists and capacity building experts from 14 countries to share their experience in capacity building and case studies, assess capacity building needs, and consider potential collaboration for future capacity development for IMBER-related research. The project identified capacity building needs in the context of marine scientific research, evaluated current capacity building efforts within IMBER and other oceanic research programs active in the Asia-Pacific region, summarised critical issues and gaps that need to be addressed, analysed the challenges faced and discussed potential solutions to improve research capacity in the region. The results from this project show that three marine research topics, namely, climate change impact, ecosystem health and food security require top capacity building attention. Some key suggestions for effective capacity development include: building and sustaining a regional network for capacity building, promoting regional involvement in capacity building, and developing human capital. These practical suggestions have been published in Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union (Hu et al., 2013) and Marine Pollution Bulletin (Morrison et al., 2013).