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Making waves in Atlantic Canada’s world-class ocean technology sector -

Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia expands industry conference; focuses on export development, growing blue economy

June 7, 2019 – Halifax, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Investing in breakthrough ideas helps generate value-added opportunities in ocean industries, create jobs and a more robust, innovative economy. That is why the Government of Canada is helping the Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia (OTCNS) grow Atlantic Canada’s world-class ocean technology sector by encouraging the commercialization of research and development, international trade and clean technologies.

This year, OTCNS expanded the H2O: Home to Overseas Conference to two days, putting this export focused event on the international stage. The non-profit industry association worked with Atlantic Canadian ocean technology companies to bring together industry representatives from around the world to Canada’s East Coast to network and discover the innovative work of the region’s defence, marine renewable energy, offshore oil and gas, and ocean observation technologies firms. OTCNS also promotes awareness of the sector, boosts global competitiveness and increases engagement in the ocean technology global supply chain to prepare companies for the new opportunities offered by Canada’s ocean supercluster.

Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism and Member of Parliament for Halifax, announced Government of Canada support to OTCNS today to help the industry organization grow the ocean technology sector. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

The Government of Canada is making smart investments that will create good, middle-class jobs in our country. It is helping small and medium-sized businesses to start-up, expand or modernize and supporting not-for-profit industry organizations to fuel business growth. Support for this project is one way the Government of Canada is working to achieve its Atlantic Growth Strategy outcome of long-term economic prosperity in the region. 

“We are in an era of digitization of our oceans. Encouraging the growth of the ocean technology sector in Atlantic Canada by fostering business innovation and the scaling up of small and medium-sized firms will generate regional economic prosperity and create highly skilled jobs. Industry associations, such as the OTCNS, play a key role in helping these businesses reach or exceed their potential.”

-       The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“More and more, Halifax is becoming Canada’s ocean workshop. The Government of Canada is committed to growing our world-class ocean technology sector in a sustainable way and our investment in OTCNS is one more example of that. With this new funding, our government is helping OTCNS members commercialize their research and clean technologies.”

-       Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism and  Member of Parliament for Halifax

“Innovation is key to a strong and vibrant economy. Atlantic Canada is home to a world-class ocean technology sector, and by investing in new technologies and training opportunities, we are helping drive its growth, be more competitive and succeed on a global stage.”

-          The Honourable Labi Kousoulis, Nova Scotia Minister of Labour and Advanced Education 

“We are at an exciting time of our industry where we have world leading technologies coming from a strategically important part of the country. These projects will help us build the capacity of the industry to get their products out to further markets and get footholds in larger international supply chains and enhance workforce development in our sector. We appreciate both the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia’s, support and vision to help achieve this, through initiatives like these.”

-       Gordon Gale, Executive Director, Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia

More than half of Canada’s $30-billion ocean economy is anchored in Atlantic Canada, where ocean industries account for over one-third of all ocean-related jobs in the country.

The Government of Canada is providing three, non-repayable contributions to OTCNS through ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP):

    •  $189,000 to implement a two-year initiative to develop the annual H2O industry conference into a major international business event. The Province of Nova Scotia is contributing $10,000 in 2019. Oceans Advance of Newfoundland has been a partner in promoting the H2O Conference globally.

    • $172,500 to support skills development, staff retention, business development, global supply chain development and marketing for the ocean technology sector.

    • $89,000 for a partnering initiative to enable ocean technology companies to bring potential sales representatives, joint venture partners or industry research partners to Atlantic Canada to educate them on their products and services. In Newfoundland, this component of the program is being led by Oceans Advance in partnership with OTCNS.

The Province of Nova Scotia, through the Department of Labour and Advanced Education’s (LAE) Sector Council Program, is providing OTCNS with $178,000 in funding to support small and medium sized business in the areas of recruitment, retention and training in 2019-2020. The LAE has provided funding to OTCNS since 2012. 

The BDP primarily assists Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs who want to start a business, increase productivity or improve operations. Investments under the BDP address any gap that may arise if an application does not fit within ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program. 

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