Ocean Supercluster launches competition for ocean tech innovators


The Ocean Supercluster’s Ocean Startup Project has launched a new competition for entrepreneurs from rural, Indigenous, and urban communities, across Canada and internationally.

“The challenge is an opportunity to identify, support, and grow the next Canadian ocean tech success stories.”

The Ocean Startup Challenge was created to find and support innovators and companies developing products or technologies that can be applied to solve obstacles experienced in the ocean industry. The competition’s initial phase consists of 10 prizes of $25,000 each, available to startups and scaleups to prototype their solutions.

“For the Ocean Startup Challenge, we sought input from industry and thought leaders who shared their top pain points across each of those areas,” said Don Grant, executive director of Ocean Startup Project. “Based on that input, the challenge presents innovators with a pre-identified potential market need and asks them to step up to apply their ideas or technologies as ways to solve the challenges.”

The challenge is seeking solutions that address hurdles in aquaculture, fisheries, ocean transportation, bioscience, energy, ecosystem services, energy, and data analytics, among other areas.

RELATED: Ocean Supercluster calling for projects that support Canada’s ocean sector during COVID-19

In addition to the 10 prizes, winners will receive $18,000 in collective services and resources from in-kind sponsors as well as industry connections. They may also be eligible to participate in a subsequent Ocean Startup Project activity, involving up to another $100,000 awarded to finalists.

Entrepreneurs who are not named as winners during the challenge will still receive training through invitation-only, virtual boot camps, as well as support from partnering organizations in the Atlantic Canada region.

“We welcome applications with innovative solutions and perspectives that could have a major
impact on industry and the ocean economy,” Grant added. “The challenge is an opportunity to identify, support and grow the next Canadian ocean tech success stories.”

As the first innovation ecosystem project announced by the Ocean Supercluster, the Ocean Startup Project is a pan-Atlantic collaboration to create and grow high-quality ocean technology companies and attract more ventures to the region’s ecosystem. The project was first announced in February and is being executed in partnership with organizations like Creative Destruction Lab and Innovacorp.

RELATED: Digital Technology Supercluster investing in eight new projects through COVID-19 program

The Ocean Startup Project represents a total investment through the Supercluster of $6.8 million, which includes $4.4 million from the Government of Canada and $2.4 million from provincial governments and other partners.

The Ocean Startup Project is the second project announced by the Ocean Supercluster, which announced its first project in June 2019, focused on building an underwater technology service hub with tech company Kraken Robotic Systems.

The Atlantic Canada Supercluster received $153 million from the federal government with the expectation to create over 3,000 jobs and contribute more than $14 billion to Canada’s economy over a 10-year period.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Paul Einerhand.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

0 replies on “Ocean Supercluster launches competition for ocean tech innovators”