Indigenous Ocean Innovation Receives Funding Support from Samqwane’jk Ocean Partnerships Initiative

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Indigenous ocean companies have been selected to receive funding and support under the Samqwane’jk Ocean Partnership Initiative for their innovative ocean projects, including 3D Wave, Miawpukek Horizon and Smak’nisMaritime Security.
Samqwane’jk is a first-of-its-kind initiative led by Ulnooweg Development Group, in collaboration with the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) and Upswing Solutions. Indigenous ocean businesses were invited to propose projects in partnership with companies at COVE. Three projects have been selected to receive funding support that will be rolled out over two years.

The purpose of the Samqwane’jk initiative includes building partnerships with ocean technology companies to boost competitiveness, enhance innovation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing for Indigenous and non-Indigenous ocean businesses alike. In addition to funding, the three selected initiatives will receive training and business development support while aiming to deliver measurable progress against the United Nation (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Indigenous ocean businesses receiving funding and support are:

• 3D Wave Design – based in Nova Scotia has developed proprietary ‘LiDAR ingestion software’ and created an interactive 3D visualization approach that readily communicates scientifi c sea level rise (SLR)/flood data and analysis for easy and rapid comprehension. This proprietary technology provides an important service allowing communities to model changes in their water table, fl ood zones, fi re zones and prepare for changes in their surrounding environment due to climate change. 3D Wave intends to deliver 3D LiDAR Climate Change modeling software in partnership with six (6) First Nations communities across Atlantic Canada.

• Miawpukek Horizon – based in Newfoundland has been developing seafarer and cadet recruitment and
training solutions with both the Nova Scotia Community College and the Marine Institute. The company
represents a formal joint venture between Miawpukek First Nation and Horizon Maritime. With Samqwane’jk’s support, Miawpukek Horizon will be conducting a seafaring training program targeted towards Indigenous participants aboard their vessel, the Polar Prince.

• Smak’nis Maritime Security – based in Nova Scotia is developing a prototype electric Rigid-Hulled
Inflatable Boat (RHIB) by incorporating an electric power source and battery bank to one of its 19-foot vessels. This work is a continuation from a recently completed feasibility study Smak’nis completed with the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) in the Summer of 2021 to design and blueprint the implementation of an electric engine into their sea vessel.

“Indigenous ocean businesses and technology companies are building a more sustainable future. And they can continue to champion climate change and sustainable development goals with better access to skills development. That’s what our Sustainable Development Goals Funding Program supports.” – The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Labour

“These projects will allow Indigenous ocean businesses to benefit from new ways to develop ocean innovation. The Samqwane’jk project perfectly embodies the vision of our government and our community. By working together, Indigenous ocean businesses and ocean technology companies to address climate change mitigation, develop innovative marine electrification methods, and grow a robust workforce for Indigenous communities.” – Jamie Battiste, Member of Parliament for Sydney–Victoria

“We are pleased by the interest shown in this initiative which proves that innovation in the Indigenous ocean sector is thriving. Congratulations to the companies selected to receive funding support – we are excited to watch your projects unfold.” – Chris Googoo, Chief Operations Officer at Ulnooweg Development Group

“COVE is excited to join Ulnooweg and Upswing Solutions in congratulating the winning companies for Samqwane’jk. The funding and support for 3D Wave Design, Smak’nis Maritime Safety and Security, and Miawpukek Horizon will further advance ocean innovation and positively impact communities and the environment. Each project is an excellent example of how indigenous ocean businesses are bridging gaps to address ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals and growing the Blue Economy.” – Melanie Nadeau, CEO of COVE

“The three projects selected for funding and support from the Samqwane’jk initiative demonstrated their potential to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We’re looking forward to working with the businesses over the next two years to measure and understand the impact this innovative partnership approach can have in the Atlantic region.” – Allison Murray, CEO of sustainability consultancy Upswing Solutions

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About Ulnooweg
Ulnooweg’s mandate is to empower Indigenous individuals, youth and their communities in business, education, entrepreneurship and wealth creation. It does so by providing them with the tools, means, thought leadership and opportunities that lead to positive capacity building on a long term basis.

About COVE
Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) is an ocean tech innovation hub and business park located in Dartmouth, Canada. COVE brings together people, ideas, industry, and research to enable our community and members to work in new ways. As part of its programming, COVE fosters the development of an engaged workforce for ocean industries to meet today’s and future needs and takes advantage of both on and offshore shared infrastructure to enable new ocean products and services. COVE is a catalyst in creating the world’s next practical, commercial, and revolutionary
ocean tech advances. COVE’s founding partner is Irving Shipbuilding Inc. (ISI) under the National Shipbuilding Strategy Value Proposition. To learn more about COVE, visit

About Upswing Solutions
Upswing Solutions is a consulting company based in Halifax, N.S. that delivers high-impact strategies with actionable plans for companies that want to grow sustainable, inclusive and resilient businesses. Our experience spans global industries to local small and medium-sized businesses. In partnership with our diverse network of sustainability experts, we create commercial strategies that position organizations to thrive in the economy of the future. To learn more about Upswing Solutions, visit

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