COVE’s 2022 Year in Review
2022 was a year of re-emergence. Many returned to the office and welcomed in-person conferences and events that brought a new sense of awareness and hunger for knowledge and new ideas shared across the globe. Innovation doesn’t stop. COVE leads and celebrates the brightest minds that continue to drive innovation in the marine sector. Join us in celebrating the best in ocean tech from 2022.
Irving Renews Funding in COVE
At DEFSEC Atlantic 2022, Irving Shipbuilding Inc. announced a $4.4 million investment in COVE over the next five years. Irving Shipbuilding is a founding partner of COVE, and this investment builds on its initial investment in 2017.
“The Halifax Shipyard is building far more than just ships. We’re committed to the Blue Economy, Ocean Technology and Skills Development,” said Aaron Plamondon, Director of Industrial Participation at Irving Shipbuilding. “COVE is a unique catalyst that has grown to over 50 emerging enterprises that are focused on innovative solutions to problems like climate change and the health of our oceans. We believe COVE will continue to pay dividends here at home in Nova Scotia and Canada.”
The reinvestment means COVE can continue to be the place where ocean technology leaders develop solutions for a better and sustainable world, a key driver for enabling a strong Blue Economy in the following areas:
- Developing Canada’s future workforce
- Enabling the development of new products and services through on and off-water shared infrastructure
- Scaling businesses and new ventures
- Partnering with other global hubs to advance commercialization
COVE is growing Canada’s Marine Technology Workforce
As Canada’s marine sector continues to grow, the need for programming and initiatives leading to a robust and talented workforce grows with it.
From an expanded Internship Program to teaching high school educators how to incorporate ocean data into the classroom, COVE continues to be front and centre in investing and building a strong workforce for the marine sector.
In October, COVE hosted its 3rd National Forum on Workforce Development. The event brought together national and international thought leaders in talent development and human resource disciplines from industry, government, and higher education. The sold-out event allowed thought leaders to “share current best practices on people development, programming and engagement of the workforce and what can be actioned, augmented and implemented for our very own workplaces”, said Tanya Lush, Director of Workforce Development.
All eyes were on COVE at Demo Day
On June 16, after a two-year virtual hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all eyes were on Halifax as COVE Demo Day returned in full force.
Demo Day, hosted on the docks of COVE, is an all-day event featuring interactive and engaging demonstrations from world-leading ocean technology innovators. The event capped off the H2O Conference, presented by OTCNS, considered Canada’s premier event for the ocean technology sector.
Representatives from over 21 countries, including distinguished guests from the United Kingdom, Germany, and Norway. attended the event. During his welcome, David Golding, Deputy Director – Global at Innovate UK, recognized COVE as the jewel and the crown of the ocean tech sector in Canada.
The COVE site was buzzing with activity as industry leaders connected, shared ideas and developments, and viewed live demonstrations. The excitement and intrigue shared by all were symbolic of the collaborative nature that exists in the sector.
The level of international interest in ocean technologies being developed in Nova Scotia, coupled with the number of companies flocking to Nova Scotia, indicates how central our province has become to the global ocean sector. With COVE leading the charge, Nova Scotia has become the world’s gateway to ocean tech.
COVE measures the success of Canada’s Ocean Enterprise
COVE’s follow-up study, Canada’s Ocean Enterprise 2022 White Paper, 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.
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.”
The 2022 Ocean Enterprise Study provides insight to 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.
Atlantic Provinces are taking the lead in decarbonizing the marine transportation sector
While the momentum for electrifying vehicles on the road is in full swing across Canada, another wave of the transition is occurring on the water with battery-electric and hybrid marine vessels.
In February, COVE completed a study for the Nova Scotia government to assess the province’s market activities, technology trends and supply chain capabilities to determine the potential for marine electrification and identify the strategies required to promote success.
“It’s encouraging to see such a strong interest in clean marine technologies from many Nova Scotia companies in the marine sector,” said Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables. “The Province has ambitious climate change goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the electrification of marine vessels is a great step toward achieving that goal.”
COVE continued the discussion on marine electrification by attending international conferences, such as SMM Hamburg, and hosting information sessions for industry leaders at COVE.
From Seabed to Space: Stella Maris propels our Digital Harbour
A year since COVE’s multi-sensor seabed platform, Stella Maris, first touched the water, it has won an Excellence in Engineering award, is a resource used to teach high school educators about ocean data teaching students coding in the classroom and is the baseline for COVE’s next technical project, Digital Harbour.
COVE’s Digital Harbour: Seabed to Space is a collaborative initiative that will digitally monitor Halifax Harbour with an integrated system incorporating real-time data sources from stationary and mobile infrastructure located in the water, on land, in the air, and via satellite.
Digital Harbour’s objective is to collect large longitudinal and spatial datasets of key metrics to create solutions for a multitude of users in both the public and private sectors.
The ability to monitor marine areas cost-effectively and deliver commercially relevant data-based solutions is desirable to several regions worldwide. With a successful deployment in the Halifax Harbour, led by global ocean tech leaders at COVE, Digital Harbour will revolutionize industry-centred global ocean sensing and ocean data applications.
Halifax: Home to Defence Sector Innovation
Halifax’s thriving innovation ecosystem sustains more than 300 entrepreneurial science and technology start-ups, home to several major universities and research centres, as well as Canada’s Atlantic naval fleet- and at the centre connecting each piece is COVE.
In November, Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand, announced Halifax as the proposed home to the Regional Office for NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA). The programme will connect defence personnel from across NATO countries with the best and brightest scientists, researchers, start-ups, and technology companies to solve critical defence and security challenges. It is a natural fit that Halifax was chosen as the proposed site.
Another event that took place at this year’s DEFSEC was the announcement of a new partnership generating industry challenges. Together, Thales and COVE announced a defence sector challenge stream for SMEs that will launch in January 2023. One for innovative digital dockyard solutions and another for a methodology to evaluate and test condition-based maintenance solutions.
The two challenges will further propel the digital transformation of in-service support, highlighting the value and the impact of the National Shipbuilding Strategy and the Artic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) and Joint Support Ships (JSS), known as AJISS, contract as they strengthen Canada’s defence sector. Collaborating with Thales on these challenges will result in real-world solutions for AJISS and the Royal Canadian Navy.
In April, COVE was home to the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) Corrosion detection in Ships (CDIS) Sandbox. The four-week Sandbox allowed Canadian innovators in the ocean tech sector to bring forth and test their solutions to an ongoing challenge facing the Canadian Navy: corrosion.
The Sandbox is an extension of Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS), an access-to-innovation program for National Defence providing five funding mechanisms to assist Canadian innovators in solving defence and security challenges.
Expanding Marine Innovation Across the Ocean
At the H2O Conference Gala Dinner, Innovate UK and COVE announced the Global Incubator Programme. The programme, delivered in partnership with Innovate UK EDGE, is an acceleration programme for eight innovative high-growth and scaling UK-based businesses to work with a world-leading incubator in Canada. The first call to companies launched in October, with 19 companies responding. While at COVE, the companies will build long-term relationships and foundations to accelerate future market growth while being involved in bespoke programmes tailored to their business.
Throughout the year, COVE expanded our international ecosystem by hosting various trade missions from Iceland, Scotland, and Wales and participated in global conferences such as the SMM Hamburg and Rostock Ocean Convention in Germany, Blue Economy Symposium in Rhode Island, OCEANS 2022 in Hampton Roads, and Oceanology International 2022 in London, UK.
The partnership between COVE, GCE Ocean Technology, Ocean Innovation Norwegian Catapult Centre, and Subsea Monitoring Network continues to strengthen as projects and initiatives advance between the international organizations. After meeting Professor Uwe Freiherr von Lukas from Fraunhofer IGD and the University of Rostock at the Rostock Ocean Convention, COVE’s Director for Strategic Partnerships, James Kesten, said, “The COVE and Fraunhofer partnership is strong. Uwe and I have a shared goal of developing meaningful outcomes and initiatives for companies in both locations to access international markets, plan future growth and support the global blue economy.”
Tanya Lush, Director for Workforce Development, visited the Ocean Technology Campus Rostock to build skills and the competencies of an emerging workforce and work cross-culturally to address strains on a growing sector with our international partners.
Putting Nova Scotia Wind to Good Use
In September, at COVE, Premier Tim Houston announced the province’s goal of offering leases for five gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 to support the emerging green hydrogen sector.
The announcement further strengthens Canada’s global role as a leader in renewable energy and provides a great opportunity to continue to grow Nova Scotia’s marine industry.
Nova Scotia-based companies have already been working in the sector in other parts of the world. For instance, XOcean is using its advancements in Uncrewed Surface Vehicles to map the seabed and monitor the environment for offshore wind developments globally.
COVE resident companies, including PanGeo and Leeway Marine, have extensive experience supporting offshore wind developments. LeeWay Marine’s world-class fleet of offshore survey platforms has supported development in New England, and PanGeo has been delivering sub-seabed imaging for offshore wind developments as far away as Taiwan.
COVE Companies Lead the Charge in the Blue Economy
There was no slowing down for companies in the marine sector. This year, COVE welcomed more companies to our global innovation hub, including CFN Consultants (Atlantic), Hydrosurv, Mersey Consulting, MetOcean and Thales Canada.
Throughout the year, COVE resident companies have continued success. Here are newsworthy highlights.
- The Ocean Tracking Network receives $38.5 million in funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation
- Kraken Delivers Significant Technical Upgrade for Royal Danish Navy’s Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Effort
- Building on Success in Commercial Market, GIT announces a deal with Eastern Pacific Shipping
- Indigenous Ocean Innovation Receives Funding Support from Samqwane’jk Ocean Partnerships Initiative
- Resqunit receives breakthrough initial order from Entreprises Shippagan Ltd worth SEK 9,4 million
- Sensor Technology Expands Manufacturing Facility
- IntelliReefs launches Massive Kelp Module in Dartmouth Cove
Activity at COVE
- Climate tech Start-up, Planetary Technologies, invited the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, and MP Andy Fillmore to COVE to demonstrate its innovative carbon removal technology- which received a $1 million XPRIZE earlier this year. They discussed the need for ocean carbon dioxide removal (CDR)- one of the biggest levers in addressing climate change.
- With no human captain or onboard crew, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) used the power of AI and automation to traverse the ocean in its quest for data and discovery and landed at COVE.
- Students across Nova Scotia experienced hands-on learning and careers in the marine sector at COVE, with Take Your Kid to Work Day and visits from Ulnooweg Education Centre STEAM Pre-Collegiate Program and Dalhousie Univerity Ocean Technology Field Course.
- COVE welcomed many visitors this year, including the Halifax International Security Forum Peace with Women Fellowship and trade delegations from Iceland, Wales, and Scotland. Parliamentary officials from Transport Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Innovation, Science & Economic Development, Senator Colin Deacon, and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK were eager to see the technological advancements taking place at COVE.