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Making waves

$7 million for ocean technology, entrepreneurship and innovation

By Annagray Campbell

Atlantic Canada has been tied economically, culturally and socially to the ocean as a way of life for centuries.

Yet there is still so much we don’t understand.

When Canada’s Ocean Supercluster initiative was announced in 2018, the opportunity arose to position Canada as a global leader in the knowledge-based ocean economy.

Today, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced that Memorial’s Genesis, along with Springboard Atlantic, Creative Destruction Lab (Atlantic), New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, PEI BioAlliance and Innovacorp are, together as the Ocean Startup Project, the latest recipients of approximately $7 million in funding.

The Ocean Startup Project aims to create 30 high-potential ocean technology companies based in Atlantic Canada in the next two years. These companies will generate intellectual property, attract investment, hire and retain competitive talent and generate revenues.

“The Ocean Startup Project represents an unprecedented collaboration and investment to grow more ocean companies in Atlantic Canada,” said Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster.

“This is an incredibly important part of building capacity, expanding our capabilities and setting ourselves up for success as we embark on what we know will become a $3-trillion global ocean opportunity by 2030.”

Four categories

The companies will be developed through four distinct projects.

Engage will bring together stakeholders during a series of entrepreneurial cafés and bootcamps. High-quality business prospects will be identified and advanced through to acceleration and incubation programs in the region from these events.

Lab2Market will move commercially viable technology from academia into business model development then eventually to the marketplace.

The Challenge Competition will accept ocean technology-based business proposals from around the world and shortlist a collection of candidates, with one winning a top prize.

Finally, Creative Destruction Lab will host a specialized ocean venture stream of its accelerator program.

“We cannot wait for the next generation of ocean tech startups to be developed.” — Michelle Simms

The end goal of the project is to re-invigorate an already strong entrepreneurial ecosystem with a focus on the ocean economy.

Developing cutting-edge ocean technology will benefit the many ocean industries that serve as the bedrock of the Atlantic Canadian economy; technology that will improve safety, reduce costs, reduce environmental impact, create new jobs and save lives.

Genesis as partner

Genesis is a natural choice to help take on the project.

Local ocean technology success stories such as Genoa Design International, Virtual Marine, Rutter, and SubC Imaging all began their entrepreneurial journeys with Genesis’ Enterprise program.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Atlantic Canada to expand its collective potential in the ocean economy,” said Michelle Simms, president and CEO, Genesis.

“Genesis is proud to undertake the Ocean Startup Project with our amazing partners. We cannot wait for the next generation of ocean tech startups to be developed.”

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