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Nova Scotia start-ups, do you need commercialization support for your new ocean technology? We want to help!

Invest Nova Scotia’s Start-Up Yard at COVE is helping Nova Scotia ocean technology companies accelerate commercialization of their innovations through two opportunities: Stella Maris Platform and OceanTech Pilot Program

** Stella Maris Platform and OceanTech Pilot Program are now closed for submissions. **

Below are details about the opportunities.

Stella Maris Platform

The Stella Maris is a multi-user seabed platform that facilitates testing, demonstration, and commercialization of marine instrumentation. Located 10 metres below the surface and 100 metres from the wharf at the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, the testbed has data communications and electrical power connections to a shoreside operations centre nearby.

The Stella Maris platform can host subsea devices as follows:

  • 12, 24, and 48 VDC power is available. Power is typically limited to less than 30 W.
  • Data communications to host devices is offered as 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet via Subconn DIL 13M connectors and RS232 or RS485 serial connections at up to 115200 bps via MCIL 8 M connectors. (Not all combinations of power and data communications are possible.)
  • The preferred device dimension is cylindrical with a maximum length of 400 mm and a maximum radius of 40 mm. Other shapes are possible.
  • A subsea "project can" is available to house dry equipment up to about 1000 ml.
  • It is possible to use the power and data communications resources in the Stella Maris operations centre for marine devices that are independently deployed in the water adjacent to the centre.
  • There is a data visualization internet portal where instrument data can be displayed. Data is also captured and stored in a database.

Invest Nova Scotia’s Start-Up Yard at COVE is offering one start-up a three- to six-month placement on the Stella Maris in September 2022 or January 2023.

Submissions are due on Thursday, August 11. Interviews will be held with the shortlist the week of August 15-19. Selection will be made by Invest Nova Scotia and COVE.

Learn more about the Stella Maris.

OceanTech Pilot Program

The OceanTech Pilot Program lets Nova Scotia companies demonstrate pre-commercial ocean technologies in a real-life setting and enables pilot projects with a Nova Scotian partner.

SEATAC is the Nova Scotia Community College’s (NSCC) Technology Access Centre, dedicated to advancing the ocean sector through applied research and innovation services. SEATAC will assist program participants with their commercialization plans and help identify pilot partners. Learn more about SEATAC

Successful applicants have space and access to services at Start-Up Yard at COVE. This Invest Nova Scotia incubator is located at COVE and helps early stage companies commercialize their ocean technologies and succeed in the global marketplace. Learn more about Start-Up Yard at COVE.

The OceanTech Pilot Program provides:

  • Up to $10,000 for demonstration and/or pilot projects (minimum two companies selected)
  • Commercialization services from SEATAC
  • Services and expertise available through Start-Up Yard at COVE
  • Space at Start-Up Yard at COVE, 27 Parker Street, Dartmouth, for six months

Funds can be used to build the product and operate it during testing, as well as for company travel and other costs related to product deployment. Founder salaries are ineligible.

Submissions are due on Thursday, September 8. Interviews will be held with the shortlist the week of September 26-30. Invest Nova Scotia, NSCC SEATAC, and invited reviewers will select the program participants.

Program Eligibility

Applicants for the Stella Maris Platform and OceanTech Pilot Program must be an incorporated or registered start-up based in Nova Scotia. Details on how to register with Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies (RJSC) are available from Service Nova Scotia.
Location: Nova Scotia-based
Company Stage: Less than $1 million in cumulative sales and less than $250,000 in equity investment (including convertible debt) raised to date 
Product Stage: New product with zero sales and the following technology readiness levels (TRL) (refer to this page for level descriptions):

  • Stella Maris Platform: TRL 6+ 
  • OceanTech Pilot Program: TRL 6+

People: Founders and/or management team have industry knowledge, management experience and commitment to the venture
Market: Large, growing international market
Competition: High barrier to competitive entry
Execution: Credible plan to reach key milestones

Entrants must be the majority owner(s) (51 per cent or more) of the company and plan to work full-time with the business. The strongest applicants will be those who plan to have a presence at Start-Up Yard at COVE.

For more information, contact Grant Ruffinengo at Grant.Ruffinengo@investnovascotia.ca or at 1.782.641.1240.