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  • BioMarine 2015 Feature: Bright Minds in Nova Scotia turn Exceptional Ideas into Reality

BioMarine 2015 Feature: Bright Minds in Nova Scotia turn Exceptional Ideas into Reality

Thursday, October 1, 2015



A year after partnering with the BioMarine Business Convention conference in Portugal, Nova Scotia is preparing to take part again this year in North Carolina.

Alexandra McCann, Investment Attraction Executive for the Science & Technology industry (NSBI) will continue the discussion on the exciting and rapidly evolving biomarine industry. She will be moderating a conference session called “What commercial trends for Marine compounds?” with three panelists. In addition, she will participate as a panelist amongst four other jurisdictions representatives who will offer an insight into the biomarine industry with respect to their region. Attendees will discover what countries, regions or clusters can offer in term of business attractiveness, regulatory framework, and research facilities.

In addition to acting as a platform for meetings and exchanges, knowledge diversification, and the chance to network and build new business opportunities, BioMarine Halifax also saw the launch of the new BioMarine International Clusters Association (B.I.C.A). This unique organization focuses on a trans-sector approach for small and medium-sized companies, working to establish connections for interested partners in different fields, to foster business opportunities, and to facilitate access to funding.

As of the 2013 convention, the biomarine industry accounted for an annual global value of $176 billion, largely in thanks to the fact that the industry is supported by a diverse group of sectors, each with a particular interest in the ocean. Biomarine research and applications seem endless, encompassing such areas as renewable energy, health supplements, and cosmeceuticals.

Located on the east coast of Canada, Nova Scotia is surrounded by over 7,000 km's of coastline; no one in the province is ever far from the ocean. Given this proximity, it is perhaps not surprising that Nova Scotia has dived into all that the biomarine industry has to offer.

- Nova Scotia scientists developed one of the first processes used to separate essential fatty acids from fish oil, which helped to spawn a nearly $1 billion  industry

- More than 200 ocean-related researchers and academics work out of Dalhousie University

- There are 600 scientists, engineers, and other researchers working out of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography

Our companies are exploring all areas of the biomarine industry. The founding of Acadian Seaplants Ltd. (ASL) in 1981 is credited with launching the algae bio products industry in Canada. With an emphasis on research and development and a global business outlook, ASL focuses their research in four separate, but complimentary, research divisions: Food Science, Plant Science, Animal Science, and Specialty Seaweed Ingredients. Backed by these divisions, ASL has created a globally successful company, with value-added products in food, biochemical, agricultural, and agri-chemical selling in markets worldwide.

Ascenta Health is a leading developer of natural health products and produces the #1 selling Omega-3 supplements in Canada. With algae, Ascenta Health is able to offer a vegetarian option, drawn from a renewable resource, for their Omega-3 supplements. The company was acquired by Nature's Way in 2015.

These are only three examples from the more than 200 ocean-related companies and 60 high-tech innovators that call Nova Scotia home. With so much innovation, potential for growth, and possible impact on the future, it’s not hard to see why the biomarine industry is so exciting. And with the highest concentration of oceans-related PhDs in the world, Nova Scotia is perfectly set to continue moving the industry forward.

For a full view of the biomarine industry in Nova Scotia, view our infographic PDF.