Canada funds ocean business supercluster

Illustration (Photo: NS Department of Energy)

The government of Canada has announced C$950 million ($757 million) investment in five business innovation superclusters including the one established to advance ocean-based industries.

The investment, which will be matched dollar for dollar by the private sector, is expected to create more than 50,000 middle-class jobs and grow Canada’s economy by C$50 billion ($39.85 billion) over the next 10 years, according to the Canadian government.

In 2017, the government of Canada challenged Canadian businesses of all sizes to collaborate with other innovation actors, including post-secondary and research institutions, to propose bold and ambitious strategies that would transform regional economies and develop job-creating superclusters of innovation, like Silicon Valley.

This resulted in the establishment of five superclusters, including the Atlantic Canada-based Ocean Supercluster that will seek to exploit innovation to improve competitiveness in Canada’s ocean-based industries, including fisheries, oil and gas, and clean energy.

Robert Orr, Managing Director of Cuna del Mar, said: “The government’s investment in the Ocean Supercluster will position Canada as a global leader in the ocean economy of the future. It catalyzes unprecedented private investment in collaborative innovation across Canada’s ocean sectors, including energy, food and bio products, shipping, defense, and ocean technology. This will kick start new partnerships, innovations, and economic opportunities.”

The investment is being made as part of the Innovation Superclusters Initiative which represents a centerpiece of the government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan – a multi-year strategy to prepare Canada for the innovative jobs of today and tomorrow.

Superclusters are dense areas of business activity where many of the middle-class jobs are created. They attract large and small companies that collaborate with universities, colleges and not-for-profit organizations to turn ideas into solutions that can be brought to market.

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