More than 300 companies are doing oceans-sector business in Nova Scotia, including more than 80 innovators of new, high-tech products and services.
Industries involved in our ocean economy
The ocean industry in Nova Scotia is diverse, providing goods and services in:
- oceans technology
- fisheries and aquaculture
- offshore oil and gas
- marine-centric defence and security
- life sciences
- renewable energy
Making Waves in Ocean Tech
Ocean technologies are our strength with high levels of R&D and innovation, a pool of experts, and a proven track record of growth and export. Nova Scotian companies are pioneering technologies in:
- Underwater acoustics, sensing and imaging
- Marine communication and navigation
- Enhanced engineering and environmental services
- Wireless networks and sensors
- Robotics and autonomous vehicles
- Informatics and artificial intelligence
Canada's Ocean Supercluster
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is an industry-led partnership with Government, small-to-large sized companies, and innovators from across ocean sectors who are committed to collaborative research and development, driving economic growth, and positioning Canada as a leader in the global ocean economy. The ambition of the Ocean Supercluster is to create high-value jobs, invest in high-impact projects, and bolster the performance of Canada’s ocean industries by accelerating the adoption of new technologies and fostering connectivity between companies and innovators.
Learn more at https://oceansupercluster.ca/.
Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship (COVE) is a collaborative facility for applied innovation in the ocean sector. The primary role of COVE is to support ocean technology commercialization. This collaborative space will be home to local and global ocean technology businesses, start-ups, researchers, marine-based and service businesses that support the ocean technology sector.
The facility will include a mix of short and long-term workspace to support members locally and those visiting from other locations. They will receive access to a range of services and shared infrastructure. There will also be a full mix of programming that can be accessed on site and on a virtual basis. Members from across Nova Scotia will have access to services via regional node arrangements.
Nova Scotia has become a hub for cutting-edge research and technology development. The establishment of several research labs and institutions have made Nova Scotia a leader in the ocean sector.
- The Bedford Institute of Oceanography is Canada’s largest centre for oceans, with over 600 scientist, engineers and technicians
- Dalhousie University has Canada’s first and only multidisciplinary bachelor’s degree program in ocean sciences. It also offers master’s and doctoral programs in oceanography, marine biology, marine management, and marine law. It’s home to institutions like the Ocean Tracking Network, IBM’s DeepSense platform, and the Aquatron laboratory
- Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) has several applied programs and degrees, including: the Nautical Institute, a NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Integrated Ocean Mapping Technologies, and advanced diplomas in Ocean Technology, Marine Engineering Technology, and Marine Navigation
- The Ocean Frontier Institute is an international hub for ocean science, bringing together researchers and institutes from across the globe to understand our changing ocean and create safe, sustainable solutions for development.
- The Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) Network of Centres of Excellence funds research, trains high-qualified personnel, develops strategic partnerships, and mobilizes scientific knowledge for real-world impact.
- The National Research Council is the Government of Canada’s largest research organization supporting industrial innovation and the advancement of knowledge and technology development. It has several research facilities in Nova Scotia focused on marine research, algal carbon conversion, and aquaculture.
- Nova Scotia has one of the highest concentrations of oceans-related PhDs in the world
- Including spin-offs, ocean-related industries generate approximately $4.5 billion, or 12.2% of provincial GDP.
- The ocean-technology industry accounts for about one-third of total research and development among Nova Scotia businesses
- The ocean industries employ almost 35,000 Nova Scotian workers.
- Dalhousie University has 25% of all federal National Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) oceans research grants
- The $70 billion naval defence contract with Irving Shipbuilding provides substantial direct and spin-off benefits for the province through supply chain development as well as research and development activities.
View our ocean technology infographic PDF.
Do business with the world
The ocean economy is a key source of food, energy, minerals, health, leisure, and transport upon which hundreds of millions of people depend. OECD values the ocean economy's contribution in 2010 very conservatively at USD 1.5 trillion, and projects growth to $3 trillion by 2030. The Nova Scotian oceans industry is export-driven, and its top export markets are the US, Asia, and Europe.
You'll be in good company
- Acadian Seaplants Ltd.
- Ascentia Health
- AML Oceanographic
- CartNav Solutions
- DSA (Dynamic Systems Analysis)
- FOCAL Technologies
- Geospectrum Technologies Inc.
- Hawboldt Industries Ltd.
- Irving Shipbuilding Inc.
- Kraken Robotics
- LeeWay Marine
- MAN Diesel & Turbo Canada Ltd
- MacArtney Canada Ltd.
- MetOcean Telematics
- Nautel Limited
- Ocean Sonics
- Pro-Oceanus Systems Inc.
- Realtime Aquaculture
- Turbulent Research
- UltraElectronics Marine Systems
- Vemco Ltd.
- Xeos Technologies
For an inclusive listing of oceans technologies companies in Nova Scotia, please visit the Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia's Capabilities Guide.
Igniting entrepreneurship across Nova Scotia
Let’s say you need help growing your business, or you have an idea for starting one. Where do you start? You know there are support organizations that can help – but which one? With so many options, it can seem overwhelming at first – especially if you live in a rural area where offices might be geographically spread out. This is where Ignite Labs comes in.
A.F. Theriault & Son: Craftsmanship for 80 years
By the time most of us reach our 80th birthday, we might be forgiven for putting our feet up and taking it easy. For A.F. Theriault & Son Ltd., Nova Scotia’s oldest and largest family-owned shipyard, last year’s 80th anniversary marked new vitality and new investment.
Aerotec Engines: The sky's the limit
An NSBI pilot project has led to spectacular growth for Aerotec Engines. Scale-Up Hub Cambridge, a 2018 pilot in Massachusetts, was designed to help high-tech, innovative companies tap into northeastern U.S. markets. Aerotec, based in Beaver Bank, overhauls and repairs piston engines in planes such as Cessnas and Pipers owned by fight schools, commercial operators and private pilots.