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Nova Scotia at Ocean Business 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thirteen Nova Scotia ocean tech companies exhibited at Ocean Business 2015 in Southampton, United Kingdom this past April as part of a pan-Atlantic Canadian trade mission. Known in the industry as one of the largest ocean technology events of the year, Ocean Business brings together world leading manufacturers, service providers, and showcases over 300 companies from around the world. The event provided Nova Scotia companies the opportunity to share their latest innovative knowledge and expertise to help expand their presence in Europe, particularly in the United Kingdom’s South Coast, which has a significant ocean technology cluster.

Among those Nova Scotia companies was local start-up, EMO Marine Technologies Ltd. The company’s Andrew Palmer and Tom Knox shared their insight on the event and discussed the opportunities resulting from the experience.

“As one of the newer ocean tech companies in Nova Scotia, we have hit our stride within the last 12 months and the culmination of this was exhibiting and telling our story at Ocean Business 2015, says Andrew Palmer, Technical Sales Manager, EMO Marine Technologies.

EMO Marine designs and manufactures subsea communications systems, primarily for remotely operated vehicles, and was established just over two and a half years ago in the workshop of President, Tom Knox’s Eastern Passage home.  The company has successfully developed and delivered the world’s smallest underwater microscope. Its core technology uses a range of fiber optic video/data multiplexers appropriate for many marine and subsea applications.

Tom Knox was actually born and bred on the Isle of Wight, not far from where Ocean Business was held in Southampton. He began his career in ocean tech in Nova Scotia and now calls the province home. When asked what is it about Nova Scotia that makes it the ideal place for ocean tech firms likes his to operate, Knox explains, “Our geographic location allows us to be readily accessible on a communications front for our customers.  We can provide coverage over various time zones which means our customers can always reach us at some point during their working day.  We also have the benefit of having the ocean at our fingertips which allows us to run accurate tests on our products at any time.”

The company has already sold into the UK marketplace within the last year and its contacts have shown further interest in that particular product line (Mini-T Mux), as well as its newest product, which was unveiled at Ocean Business 2015. The NANO-MUX offers the ability to convert High Definition video feeds, as well as high speed Gigabit Ethernet data within the most compact and lightweight form-factor available to date.

“We have already seen an increased interest in EMO Marine’s product lines, and we are very excited to provide first class products and customer service on a global scale, said Knox, reflecting on the event. “The connections we have made because of Ocean Business 2015 has given us an opportunity to do just that.”

Nova Scotia companies play a vital role in world ocean exploration and are pioneers in ocean technology – in fact, Nova Scotia has the highest concentration of ocean tech companies involved in acoustics, sensors, and instrumentation in North America.
Nova Scotia Business Inc. has a team of trade & export experts, with sector and market know-how, dedicated to helping Nova Scotia companies enter and continue to pursue growth in, markets around the world.

"Many of our companies are already creating some of the industry's most sophisticated products and services,” said Laurel Broten, CEO, Nova Scotia Business Inc. “The overall goal for participating in events such as this one is to showcase and promote the expertise and capabilities of Nova Scotian ocean technology companies, and to increase international business opportunities.”

Export markets are important to the revenue of Nova Scotia’s ocean technology firms. In a recent survey completed by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), 86% of respondents indicated that some of their sales come from export markets, while almost one-third of the responders indicated that more than 50% of their annual revenues come from markets outside Canada.