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Global blue economy leaders flood to Halifax for the H2O: Home to Overseas Conference and COVE Demo Day

The OTCNS -led H2O: Home to Overseas Conference took place from June 12-13 at the Halifax Convention Centre and had over 700 attendees. The conference included various educational and informative presentations and panels discussing a broad range of topics in the marine technology industry.

“The H2O Conference provided an invaluable platform for networking and learning with like-minded individuals who are passionate about advancing marine technology. Conversations sparked, partnerships formed, and innovative solutions were brainstormed. The Conference showcased the power of collaboration and the potential for exponential growth in this sector,” said Melanie Nadeau, CEO of COVE.

Day one of the conference had a focus on government policy and practice and marine procurement, with presentations and panels about industry technology benefits (ITB) framework, Canadian federal government programs focused on innovation and commercialization, and marine procurement outlook.

During day one of the conference, Chris Pogue, President and CEO of Thales Canada, announced the COVE and Thales Naval Technology Innovation Challenges winners during the ITB framework panel. Congratulations, CORSphere, the selected proponent for the Vessel Maintenance Optimization challenge, and Datifex, Inc., the proponent chosen for the Digital Dockyard challenge. To read more about the Naval Technology Innovation Challenge, click here. 

Day two of the conference focused on industry with presentations and panels about workforce development, private sector investment in the blue economy, how to build ocean tech companies, offshore wind farms, vessel decarbonization, and autonomous vessels in complex environments.

During day two of the conference, COVE’s Director of Workforce Development, Tanya Lush, moderated the Increasing Industry Capacity Through Skill Development panel. The engaging panel discussed early career skill development with youth, on-demand and industry-driven credentials, and the new realm of “micro-credentials” tailored for the industry.

Overall, the H2O Conference was an exciting two days with insightful knowledge from experts in the industry. We look forward to next year’s conference on June 3-4, 2024.

The conference was capped off by the fifth annual COVE Demo Day, the premier event for on-water demonstrations of the latest marine technology innovations. This year’s event was the largest Demo Day to date, with over 50 companies showcasing their technology and almost 500 attendees!

We also introduced an exciting event for venture capitalists and blue tech companies in the sector with Pitch + Roll. Twelve start-up companies from across Canada, the United Kingdom, and Norway pitched their blue tech innovations to an audience of international investors from Chicago, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Montreal, Halifax, and Oslo. The VCs arrived at COVE to meet the companies and watch their technology in action during Demo Day.

Although it rained all day, the show went on! Companies on the showcase stage, the blue stage, and the innovation stage, showed off their technology in action through on-water demonstrations and through high-level presentations. This year’s Demo Day also included five Tech Alley Tents where companies had tabletop displays, as well as open bays where attendees could visit COVE resident companies and organizations. Tours of the COVE facility and the Stella Maris Operations Centre were also provided throughout the day, and attendees had the opportunity to tour the HMCS Moncton, which was docked for the duration of the day.

“The connections made, insights shared, and perspectives gained during this event will undoubtedly propel this industry forward. COVE is honored to have been a part of the H2O Conference and to have hosted COVE Demo Day, and we are committed to continuing its mission of fostering innovation, collaboration, and growth in the marine technology sector. The future for the industry is bright, and COVE is excited to be at the forefront of this exciting journey,” said Nadeau.

Thank you to everyone who attended and supported the H2O Conference and COVE Demo Day 2023! We are already looking forward to next year’s conference from June 3-4 and Demo Day on June 5, 2024.

A huge thank you goes out to the marine technology sector and our generous sponsors of Demo Day, who helped make the event a huge success as we continue to bring our community and the public the latest innovative marine technology demonstrations. 

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