Canada and the United Kingdom partner to deliver inaugural ocean tech challenge

Canada and the United Kingdom partner to deliver inaugural ocean tech challenge

Investment will help to build blue economy solutions, synergy and trade through partnership

As ocean nations with more than 260,000 kilometres of combined coastline, Canada and the United Kingdom share a deep understanding of the blue economy and its potential. Ocean sectors represent highly skilled jobs, clean energy solutions and economic growth.

Today, the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom (UK) launched a competition that will help solve ocean technology challenges by connecting innovators from both sides of the Atlantic.

Support to generate partnerships, tech solutions and trade

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, announced a non-repayable contribution of $275,000 for the Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia (OTCNS) to support the competition in Canada. Innovate UK is also providing $275,000 for the competition in the United Kingdom.

The investments will help bring Canadian and UK small and medium-sized enterprises together to compete in this new ocean tech innovation challenge. Through the competition, transnational teams will work together to develop ways to help uncrewed vessels better navigate the ocean. Two winning teams will each receive $250,000 CAD to implement and demonstrate their proposals. The competition will help create industry-advancing solutions and grow trade through partnerships between ocean tech innovators.

Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to harnessing the growth potential of the ocean and the blue economy.


“This investment taps into the infinite potential of Canada’s ocean tech ecosystem and strengthens it through collaboration with innovators in the United Kingdom. The partnerships that emerge from this competition will lead to powerful solutions for some of the sector’s biggest challenges, while advancing trade and spurring jobs and growth. This is exactly the type of work that will help us build back better—and bluer.”
–  The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Innovation involves the collaboration of many minds. This competition provides the opportunity to expand that collaboration internationally with funding provided by Innovate UK to support business-led innovation, together with our partners in Canada.”
– Jon Hazell, Innovate UK – Partnership Manager North America

“We are leveraging relationships with our partners in the UK to further strengthen our respective ocean ecosystems and address challenges pertinent to developing our ocean economy. Our companies are international and this program will further develop partnerships between Canadian and UK companies.”
– Chris Bourque, Executive Director of the Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia (OTCNS)

Quick facts

  • The Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia (OTCNS) is an industry association that links ocean technology companies to one another and to government partners. The association provides advocacy, training and a number of other supports to members.
  • Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is the UK’s innovation agency. It supports business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and UK regions. Innovate UK helps businesses grow through the development and commercialization of new products, processes, and services, supported by an innovation ecosystem that is agile, inclusive, and easy to navigate. 
  • OTCNS and Innovate UK hope to develop an ongoing bi-country challenge with a new issue to tackle each year.
  • This year’s challenge is open to Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises and UK registered businesses on October 5, with proposals due on December 2. Winners will be selected in early January. 
  • Each of the two winning teams must be comprised of at least one registered company in the UK and one SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprise) in Canada.
  • ACOA’s funding for the innovation challenge is provided through the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program.
Read full article

Related Articles