Blue Economy Canada - An ocean of opportunity in Halifax

Posted: November 30, 2020

By 2030, the global ocean economy is expected to double in value to $3 trillion, outpacing the growth of the broader global economy by almost 20 percent. With the world's leading ocean scientists, innovators, and a collaborative community of infrastructure, industry, post-secondary institutions, and government all working together, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada is appropriately known as Canada’s Ocean City and one to watch in the growing blue economy.

Positioned on the east coast of North America, in Halifax you’ll find hundreds of ocean companies ranging from startups to global corporations that are developing and advancing solutions in ocean technology used around the world. And with the highest concentration of ocean PhD’s in the world and leading ocean science, education and research being undertaken at the city's post-secondary institutions and government labs, it should come as no surprise that 1/5 of all R & D undertaken in Halifax is tied to the ocean. All of this is supported by government, industry associations, and collaborative institutions building partnerships and investment in a strong, sustainable future for the Canadian and global blue economy.

With a growing global ocean economy and an established ecosystem, the opportunity to grow an ocean business in Halifax couldn't be greater. We caught up with local leaders in Canada's blue economy to ask what they see as the greatest opportunities in Halifax's oceans sector.

Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship Logo

"Halifax has a world-class ocean innovation ecosystem that is growing at a pace that is globally unique. As an industrial growth hub, COVE is central to many facets of the ecosystem such as the Ocean Frontier Institute, Creative Destruction Lab, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Royal Canadian Navy and the supply chain to the National Shipbuilding Strategy to name a few. The talent that is being developed and accessible at a regional level is extremely competitive and valuable as innovation continues to propel us internationally.”

- Melanie Nadeau, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship

Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia
“Local Halifax SME’s have globally recognized capabilities particularly in the acoustic and sensor technologies which well positions Halifax and the local industry to play a major role in associated global supply chains in the Blue Economy."

- Gordon Gale, Executive Director, Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia

Canada's Ocean Supercluster
"As a country, we have some incredible untapped opportunities in ocean. We truly are an ocean nation, with the longest coastline in the world, incredible experience and expertise across marine sectors, and some of the most innovative people on the planet. This is something we encourage people to see first-hand by exploring Canada’s Ocean Asset Map available on our website at Halifax and Nova Scotia are an important part of this story with a long history in ocean and a focus on ocean opportunities for the future with participation as both leaders and partners in Ocean Supercluster projects and also to which the Centre for Ocean Ventures Entrepreneurship (COVE) in Dartmouth has played a critical role in the development of new ocean companies."

- Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada's Ocean Supercluster

MacArtney Underwater Technology

“There are so many. A few notable ones would be the National Shipbuilding Strategy, to Marine Renewables Projects, and Canada’s Ocean Supercluster. All showcase the opportunity for immense possibility for long term sustainable business here in the ocean sector.”

- Andrew Palmer, General Manager, MacArtney Underwater Technology

GeoSpectrum Technologies Inc.

“Halifax is an ocean tech hub, centered around our large ice-free harbour. Many businesses here were started as spin offs from the universities, and government labs, with a large number of ocean researchers working here, and Canada’s largest Naval base. The single largest opportunity is perhaps the construction of a new fleet of warships at Halifax Shipyards, but there are also a myriad of other opportunities associated with a rapidly growing industry and increased spending both at home and worldwide on understanding the ocean better.”

- Paul Yeatman, President, Geospectrum Technologies Inc.


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