Ocean Supercluster launches project to support Atlantic Canada startups

The Atlantic Canada-based Ocean Supercluster, part of the federal government’s Innovation Supercluster Initiative, announced a project on Friday in an effort to support local startups.

The Ocean Supercluster is bringing together a collective of six partner organizations: Creative Destruction Lab, Genesis, Innovacorp, New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, PEI BioAlliance, and Springboard Atlantic. Dubbed the Ocean Startup Project, the initiative aims to support the development of ocean technology startups and increase the industrial use of marine technologies.

“I see this project helping to bridge the technology gap that has long hampered the ocean economy.”

The goal of the Ocean Supercluster’s newly announced project is to help revive rural and small communities in the Atlantic Canada region. The group noted that by working with accelerators and incubators it plans to bring entrepreneurial opportunities to regions that have been largely driven by traditional ocean industries in the past.

“One of our strongest economic drivers here in St. John’s and in Atlantic Canada is our ocean and marine sector,” said Seamus O’Regan, minister of natural resources and MP for St. John’s South – Mount Pearl. “By supporting accelerator and incubation programs, I see this project helping to bridge the technology gap that has long hampered the ocean economy in areas like offshore oil and gas, shipping, and seafood.”

Kendra MacDonald, CEO of the Ocean Supercluster, added that the Ocean Startup Project represents “an unprecedented collaboration and investment to grow more ocean companies in Atlantic Canada.”

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“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,” she stated.

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 ($3.9 million from the Innovation Superclusters Initiative and $535,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) and $2.4 million from provincial governments and other partners. The exact allocation and breakdown of the funding to the six partners has not been disclosed.

This marks the second project announcement from the Ocean Supercluster, which announced its first project in June – focusing on building an underwater technology service hub with tech company Kraken Robotic Systems.

Since the Ocean Supercluster, and the four other federally-funded groups, received funding in late 2018, each has been slowly rolling out and funding projects in their respective regions. The Atlantica 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 Ocean Supercluster via Twitter

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Associate Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.