While attending the Blue Innovation Symposium earlier this year, COVE was honoured to accept the Rising Tide Award presented to an organization providing exemplary contributions to the blue economy through technology innovation, collaboration, and leadership.
The symposium was held in Rhode Island over three days and is the premier event in New England for assembling the marine technology industry for education, networking and facilitating partnering opportunities. This year, the event included over 50 speakers discussing marine energy, aquaculture, and defence. In addition, the symposium brought together over 300 representatives across the industry from the US and beyond, including representation from about 50 Canadian organizations and companies.
Toby Stapleton, a recognized leader in New England’s blue economy sector and Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Blue Innovation Symposium, describes the Blue Innovation Symposium as a “for the industry by the industry” event focused on bringing together key stakeholders to discuss new technologies, up and coming innovation, products, and services.
“We created the Rising Tide Award because we wanted to recognize the people making significant contributions to their ecosystem, but in this case, to an organization making global contributions in the blue tech ecosystem,” said Stapleton. “We were happy to award COVE the Rising Tide Award this year.”
When discussing COVE’s reputation in the New England area, Stapleton said, “I’ve watched COVE grow, and their impressive reputation has attracted many companies to Nova Scotia. COVE has capabilities that are not yet duplicated anywhere else, which also made them a clear frontrunner for the award once they were nominated. Halifax is quickly becoming the place to be if you’re a blue tech company, it’s a globally recognized place, and at every conference I attend, everyone knows COVE’s name. COVE will continue to be at the centre of the blue tech innovation ecosystem.”
Also attending the symposium was Rodger Cuzner, Consul General of Canada in Boston. Cuzner was raised in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and started working in federal politics in 2000. Although his experiences varied, many were spent with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, giving him a front row seat to how the focus on our oceans have evolved over that period of time.
While the symposium has grown over the last few years, the Canadian Consul General has always been instrumental in bringing people together for the event, ensuring Canadian participation.
Cuzner states that strengthening the marine sector is of utmost importance, and without institutions like COVE, we would be falling behind. “The Rising Tide Award was very fitting, and I don’t think COVE is a place that will rest on any laurels,” said Cuzner. “It seems to be closer to the beginning than to an end, and their level of commitment to doing the work that has to be done is obvious. I think that’s exactly what the Rising Tide Award recognized.”
Rumsey has extensive career experience working in technology start-ups, and for the last few years, has worked for the government and Commerce Secretary in Rhode Island to set up hubs that were conceived of “innovation campuses”. He spoke at this year’s symposium about economic development around creating a blue tech innovation campus in Rhode Island. Rumsey has also referred to COVE as “a best practice” organization to observe in the marine economy space.
“The facilities around innovation in the marine technology sector are important,” said Rumsey. “I think the most valuable thing COVE did was rehabilitate the Coast Guard building. The fact that companies who work at COVE can sit with their team in a curated and innovative space, then be able to walk outside and drop tech in the water and run tests, is invaluable for companies. They can go from theory to prototype, to testing, all in the same space, and that is exactly what ventures need to be successful. If you’re involved in the blue economy and you’re anybody, you certainly know about COVE.”
COVE is overjoyed to have received the Rising Tide Award and would like to thank the organizing committee of the Blue Innovation Symposium.