Canada's Ocean City

Halifax's motto, E MARI MERCES, means “Wealth from the Sea”

Why Halifax?

Given our strategic location on North America’s east coast, the focus of our universities and community colleges, and the depth of our science-based workforce, it’s no surprise that Halifax is a world leader in the ocean sector. Halifax ocean technology companies include ocean acoustics, sensors and instruments; fisheries and aquaculture; life sciences; shipbuilding; ocean observation; marine-centric defence and security; transportation; and energy.

Ocean Technology

  • One of the region’s largest advanced technology industries with high levels of R&D and innovation, highly skilled talent, and an export focus.
  • Key concentration areas: acoustics, sensors and instrumentation; data, information and communications systems; marine geomatics; marine biotechnology; unmanned surface and underwater vehicles; and naval architecture.

Health and Life Sciences

  • Marine-derived natural health products and bioproducts and the development and production of marine-derived nutraceuticals. Private sector players include:
    • Acadian Seaplants, the world’s largest manufacturer of seaweed-based specialty product
    • DSM, the world’s largest producer of Omega-3 supplements

Defence and Security

  • Highest concentration of military assets in Canada and 9,800 Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces personnel
  • Strengths in technologies related to military, search and rescue, surveillance, port security and system integration.
  • Defence R&D Canada (DRDC Atlantic) is Canada’s leader in defence and security science and technology.

Competitive Advantages

Accounts for about one-fifth

of all R&D performed by businesses in Nova Scotia

100’s of companies

doing oceans-sector business in Nova Scotia

60+ ocean tech innovators

Halifax is home to new high-tech ocean products and services.

$62 billion naval defence contract

with Irving Shipbuilding provides substantial economic benefits through supply chain development and R&D activity

Nancy Phillips's Photo

Nancy Phillips
Vice President, Investment & International Partnerships

Need more information on the Ocean economy?

Our team is here to help. Get in-depth industry information, help with site selection, and incentive evaluations. Learn what makes Halifax the right location for your business and get connected to key business leaders.

Contact Nancy

Reach out to us

Nancy Phillips

Vice President, Investment & International Partnerships


Need more information on the Ocean economy?

Our team is here to help. Get in-depth industry information, help with site selection, and incentive evaluations. Learn what makes Halifax the right location for your business and get connected to key business leaders.

Considering Halifax as your next business location? Please tell us more about your expansion plans.

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Key Players

Halifax has a critical mass of organizations driving growth and innovation in the ocean economy.

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Logo

Halifax is at the centre of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster which aims to accelerate innovation and commercialization and to drive increased sustainable economic growth from the ocean.

Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship Logo

The Centre for Ocean Venture and Entrepreneurship (COVE) is a collaborative facility for applied innovation in the ocean sector where ocean technology enterprises can commercialize and grow.

Dalhousie University

Dalhousie University is a world leader in ocean research, a member of the U15 – Canada’s 15 most prestigious research-intensive universities, and home to the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI), Ocean Tracking Network (OTN), and Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR).

NSCC Nova Scotia Community College

Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) has advanced applied research in renewable energy, ocean research, engineered technology, environmental science, geomatics and more.

Bedford Institute of Oceanography Logo

Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO) is Canada’s largest centre for ocean research with 600 staff from the federal departments of Fisheries and Oceans, Environment and Climate Change, Natural Resources, and National Defence.

Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy Logo

Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) is Canada’s leading test centre for instream tidal energy technology – harnessing the highest tides in the world in the Bay of Fundy. It is estimated these tides contain 2,500 megawatts of extractable power.


Whether starting, relocating or expanding a business, you will benefit from a number of incentives at both the federal and provincial level to help you invest in Halifax. We’ll be glad to assist you in identifying the ones that best suit your needs.

Nova Scotia Innovation Equity Tax Credit

The Innovation Equity Tax Credit provides a non-refundable personal income tax credit to individuals taking an equity stake in a small-to-medium sized Nova Scotian business. For eligible investments, investors will earn a 35% credit, or a 45% credit for investments in the Oceans Technology and Life Sciences sectors.

Aquaculture Loan Program

Access funding to help offset the costs of materials and stock for your aquaculture business.

Notable Companies

  • Irving Shipbuilding

    The most modern shipbuilder and in-service ship support provider in North America. Irving Shipbuilding is building Canada's next generation of combat vessels under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy – 30 years of business.

  • Lockheed Martin

    An American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company and servicing national and international clients from Halifax. One of six partner companies that have been awarded the Canadian Surface Combatant design contract by Irving Shipbuilding.

  • Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline

    A natural gas transmission pipeline that runs from the Sable Offshore Energy Project gas plant in Goldboro, Nova Scotia, Canada to Dracut, Massachusetts, United States.

  • ExxonMobil Canada

    One of the world's largest publicly traded international oil and gas company. The Sable Offshore Energy Project was Canada’s first offshore natural gas development project. The project is a mature field and decommissioning activities are underway.



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