Ottawa to invest up to $153 million in ocean supercluster
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The funding is an effort to promote innovation and economic growth in marine-based industries, including renewable energy, fisheries, aquaculture and shipbuilding.
HALIFAX – Ottawa is pledging up to $153 million to the so-called ocean supercluster to promote innovation and economic growth in marine-based industries.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains announced the funding in Dartmouth, saying it will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the private sector.
The supercluster is part of Ottawa’s $950-million Innovation Superclusters Initiative and involves a group of businesses, post-secondary institutions and non-profit groups working together to promote innovation in Canada’s oceans.
Bains says the funding deal will allow the supercluster to work on emerging technologies related to such things as marine renewable energy, fisheries, aquaculture, oil and gas, defence and shipbuilding.
He says linking business, academics and other groups in the marine industry should create thousands of jobs in various ocean-based industries.
Kendra MacDonald, CEO of the ocean supercluster, says the funding gives the different groups the chance to identify ways to maximize the economic benefits of ocean-based activities.
“We are incredibly excited to have the contribution agreement signed and are eager to enter a new stage of the ocean supercluster,” she said in a statement.
“The team remains very focused on building our project pipeline and identifying cluster building activities. This is an incredible opportunity for the region and the country to sustainably grow the ocean economy.”
The five winning supercluster bids were announced last February and ended a nine-month competition that represents the centrepiece of the Liberals’ so-called innovation agenda.
They included an AI supercluster in Quebec that will work on building intelligent supply chains through artificial intelligence and robotics; a manufacturing one in Ontario that will connect technology strengths to the manufacturing industry; and another in the Prairies that will focus on making the country a leading source of plant proteins.