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Other ways to reach us: 1.800.260.6682 | 902.424.6650 | info@nsbi.ca
1800 Argyle Street, Suite 701 | Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3J3N8

Home to the largest formation of the Canadian Navy

Nova Scotia attracts globally recognized companies working in naval defence, shipbuilding, sonar and sensing, in-service support, cyber security and training and simulation.


  • Nova Scotia has the highest concentration of defence spending in Canada
  • Eight of Canada's top 10 defence companies are in Nova Scotia
  • Nova Scotia is home to the East Coast Navy and the largest air force base in eastern Canada
  • Canada's next generation of combat vessels are being built in Nova Scotia - thanks to a contract estimated at up to $70 billion over a thirty year period

Nova Scotia's high performing clusters


Nova Scotia's marine industry leads in fields such as: 

  • Acoustic hull design
  • System electronics
  • Sonar technologies
  • Computer-aided manufacturing

Irving's Halifax Shipyard Assembly and Ultra Hall facility is the largest single building for constructing ships in North America - and it's also where Canada’s next generation of combat vessels are being built. Learn more about Irving’s progress.

Sonar and sensing

Nova Scotia specializes in the area of acoustics, sensors, and instrumentation. This sub-sector develops and deploys surveillance equipment that collects and processes data for a variety of marine-related applications. Learn more about Nova Scotia's advantages in Ocean Technology.

In-service support (ISS)

Given the high level of Department of National Defence (DND) presence and activity in Nova Scotia, the province has established a world-class capability for In-Service Support (ISS). These capabilities include engineering, platform and mission system modernization, life-cycle maintenance, repair, and overhaul within the aerospace, naval, and land vehicle sectors. Three of the four largest Canadian ISS prime contractors have established operations in Nova Scotia. ISS organizations in Nova Scotia include global players such as IMP Aerospace & Defence, Babcock Canada, Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications, General Dynamics and Thales Canada.

Cyber security

Nova Scotia's vibrant IT sector has a talented labour force supported by respected academic institutions. University programs like the computer science degree specializing in cyber security offered by Dalhousie University set Nova Scotia apart in Atlantic Canada. These qualities have attracted a growing cluster of companies such as BeyondTrust and Track Group. Learn more about Nova Scotia's advantages in ICT.

Training and simulation

Nova Scotia hosts world-leading training and simulation companies like Bluedrop Training, Modest Tree and CAE. The province is well equipped to support integrated training solutions including:

  • Training needs analysis
  • Instructional design
  • Content development
  • Integrated learning environments 
  • Training simulation products

Learn more about Nova Scotia's advantages in Digital Media.

Research and development

Nova Scotia has substantial capacity in research and development (R&D). Much of this capacity comes from a cluster of multinational companies conducting high-value R&D work for the Department of National Defence (DND). Nova Scotia also has a number of institutions  providing invaluable support to the aerospace and defence sector, including:

Defence R&D Canada (DRDC): This government department offers world-leading expertise in a range of areas including:

  • Sonar and sensing
  • Antisubmarine warfare
  • Mine and torpedo defence
  • Modelling and simulation of ship and combat systems

Learn more about Defence Research and Development Canada Atlantic.

Dalhousie University: Boeing is one of the major investors in R&D at Halifax's Dalhousie University, supporting projects in the fields of advanced materials development, mobile graphics, and text analytics. 

COVE: Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship (COVE) is a collaborative facility for applied innovation in the ocean sector. The primary role of COVE is to support ocean technology commercialization. This collaborative space is home to local and global ocean technology businesses, start-ups, researchers, marine-based and service businesses that support the ocean technology sector. 

Strategic location

Nova Scotia is an ideal location for companies with high levels of exports, thanks to its:

  • strategic location between Europe and North America 
  • infrastructure connectivity
  • logistics facilities 
  • competitive costs


Nova Scotia Business Inc. has a team of experts, with sector and market know-how, dedicated to helping Nova Scotia companies grow in markets around the world. Export and trade programs help your company take full advantage of the province's capabilities in shipping and logistics.

    You'll be in good company

    Innovators from around the globe have included Nova Scotia as an integral part of their global value chain. Companies include: