Canada’s marine technology sector buoyed by new companies and technological focus

Canada’s marine technology sector buoyed by new companies and technological focus

COVE study finds a 31% increase in Canadian Ocean Enterprise from 2020 to 2022 

A follow-up study from COVE has identified a significant increase in marine technology companies in Canada’s ‘Ocean Enterprise’, which comprises the platforms, technology, and information services that deliver the ocean observations, measurements, analyses, and forecasts enabling the wider Blue or Ocean Economy. The Ocean Enterprise business cluster, also known as the ‘New Blue Economy’, is considered knowledge-based activities that support the harnessing of marine resources for economic growth. These companies play an increasingly important role in delivering innovative products and services to address challenges around food security, climate change, and the provision of energy and natural resources.

Building upon a benchmark study, the 2022 Ocean Enterprise Study identified a 31% increase in Canadian Ocean Enterprise companies, from 122 in 2020 to 160 in 2022, and the growth is expected to continue. 

“In the last two years, we’ve seen substantial growth from coast to coast to coast among the companies that make up Canada’s Ocean Enterprise,” said Melanie Nadeau, COVE’s CEO. “Canada’s marine history and geography is a great platform to develop expertise, technologies, and solutions that suit all marine environments, including the Arctic and Antarctic.”

Additional key findings of the Canadian Ocean Enterprise 2022 report included:

  • Canadian Ocean Enterprise companies are primarily export-focussed with the Arctic and Antarctic identified as key market areas, identified with a lesser priority for the UK and US.
  • Ocean Enterprise companies have been identified distant from coastal provinces demonstrating growth within land-locked provinces.
  • 26% of Canadian Ocean Enterprise companies identify as delivering intermediary activities compared to 18% in the US showing an increase from 2020.
  • The proportion of Canadian Ocean Enterprise companies focused on creating value-add products and services, including developing ocean observation and measurement technology, and autonomous underwater and surface vehicles, increased by 9%.
  • Employers show confidence that both revenue and headcount will continue to increase, as the industry did not appear to stagnate during the pandemic.

Before conducting the 2020 benchmark study, there was no consistent definition or standardized way to measure the size and scope of the companies that are driving innovation and technology development for ocean sensing and monitoring, an important contributor to all industries that form part of the blue economy.

The 2022 Ocean Enterprise Study provides insight that will help track the industry as it grows and identify trends, opportunities, and challenges. The study highlights where growth is taking place and what value certain communities provide, allowing the sector to adjust its venture opportunities accordingly.

The Ocean Enterprise Study is created and published by COVE in partnership with the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) and the Marine Technology Society (MTS), which oversee comparative studies in the United States and the United Kingdom, to measure Canada’s dynamic and growing Ocean Enterprise sector.

The Canadian Ocean Enterprise 2022 study can be found on COVE’s Research & Insights page. 

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