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Ocean technology in Nova Scotia, Canada. Uncover opportunities for business.
  • Fishing Where the Fish Thrive. Like the ocean itself, the ocean tech industry depends on a healthy ecosystem.

Fishing Where the Fish Thrive. Like the ocean itself, the ocean tech industry depends on a healthy ecosystem.

Friday, May 31, 2024

By Jonathan Coles 

Warren Buffet’s right-hand man, Charlie Munger, applied a classic fishing maxim to investment advice: Fish where the fish are. It’s a quote that seems perfectly applicable to investments in the ocean tech industry. But let’s take it a step further. The savvy investor or ocean tech company will look deeper than current fish populations to see if the fish will be there long-term while growing in numbers. And the key to determining that is the health of the local ecosystem.  
In ocean tech, Nova Scotia’s greatest advantage goes beyond its extensive coastline and lengthy maritime history. Nova Scotia’s advantage is a comprehensive ecosystem perfectly suited to help ocean tech companies thrive.  

Ecosystem Diversity 
With one of North America's highest per capita concentrations of ocean tech companies, the province excels in developing underwater acoustics, sensors, and robotics, among other technologies. Companies across Nova Scotia are at the forefront of research and commercial development, crafting advanced technologies that serve clients around the globe. From marine defence and security to ocean science and energy, the local industry's diversity fosters innovation and ensures the long-term sustainability of the sector. 

Hub for Research and Development 
Nova Scotia boasts a high concentration of ocean sector researchers, with one-third of all private business R&D dedicated to this field. Key institutions like the Bedford Institute of Oceanography and the Ocean Frontier Institute contribute to this critical mass of research activity. The Bedford Institute is Canada’s largest centre for ocean research with more than 600 researchers, engineers, and technicians.  
Meanwhile, accelerators and hubs like the Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship (COVE) and The PIER create a collaborative environment that fuels innovation and commercialization. At COVE, companies enjoy deep-water access and testing facilities that are second to none. 

Symbiosis with Naval Defence 
Halifax is home to the Canadian Navy’s East Coast Fleet and is building Canada’s next generation of combat vessels. Nova Scotia is home to two air bases whose aircraft conduct maritime operations. And NATO’s DIANA (Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic) program has its regional office in Halifax. DIANA supports the development of dual-use technological solutions for the Alliance’s defence and security needs. This cluster of naval defence resources supports the ocean tech ecosystem by providing opportunities, investment, and expertise to advance new technologies.  

Education and Talent Development 
The province’s educational infrastructure, with 10 universities and 14 community college campuses, ensures a steady pipeline of skilled professionals. Nova Scotia attracts a high number of international students, contributing to growing diversity among the local workforce. This talent pool is essential for maintaining the innovative momentum and growth of the ocean tech sector. 

Strategic Location 
Nova Scotia’s location on Canada’s east coast provides several strategic advantages. Nova Scotia is home to North America’s closest mainland ports to Europe. It has direct air connections to major markets such as New York, Boston, and Toronto. And its Atlantic time zone enables more workday overlap between North America and Europe to maximize global team productivity.  

A quick look will reveal that Nova Scotia is Canada’s leading ocean tech hub. Look just below the surface and you’ll see that the ecosystem is in place for long-term growth on an increasingly global stage. Investing in Nova Scotia’s ocean tech sector is fishing where the fish are today and where the even bigger fish will be tomorrow.  

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