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In Nova Scotia, more than 300 companies are doing oceans-sector business, including over 80 innovators of new, high-tech products and services. 

Industries involved in our ocean economy

The ocean industry in Nova Scotia is diverse, providing goods and services in:

  • oceans technology
  • fisheries and aquaculture
  • tourism
  • boatbuilding
  • shipbuilding
  • offshore oil and gas
  • transportation
  • marine-centric defence and security
  • life sciences
  • renewable energy
  • marine science and research

Making Waves in Ocean Tech

Leading technologies

Ocean technologies are our strength with high levels of R&D and innovation, a pool of experts, and a proven track record of growth and export. Nova Scotian companies are pioneering technologies in:

  • Underwater acoustics, sensing and imaging
  • Marine communication and navigation
  • Enhanced engineering and environmental services
  • Wireless networks and sensors
  • Robotics and autonomous vehicles
  • Informatics and artificial intelligence

Knowledge clusters

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is an industry-led partnership with Government, small-to-large sized companies, and innovators from across ocean sectors who are committed to collaborative research and development, driving economic growth, and positioning Canada as a leader in the global ocean economy. The Ocean Supercluster is growing the ocean economy in a way that has never been done before, where leaders in fisheries, aquaculture, defense, offshore resources, marine renewables, bioresources, shipping, and ocean technology are coming together to develop and commercialize solutions to shared ocean challenges, while advancing Canada’s position as a global leader in ocean

Learn more at https://oceansupercluster.ca/.


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.

The facility includes a mix of short and long-term workspace to support members locally and those visiting from other locations. They will receive access to a range of services and shared infrastructure.

Research ecosystem

Nova Scotia has become a hub for cutting-edge research and technology development. The establishment of several research labs and institutions have made Nova Scotia a leader in the ocean sector. 

  • The Bedford Institute of Oceanography is Canada’s largest centre for oceans, with over 600 scientist, engineers and technicians
  • Dalhousie University has Canada’s first and only multidisciplinary bachelor’s degree program in ocean sciences. It also offers master’s and doctoral programs in oceanography, marine biology, marine management, and marine law. It’s home to institutions like the Ocean Tracking Network, IBM’s DeepSense platform, and the Aquatron laboratory
  • Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) has several applied programs and degrees including the Sensing, Engineering and Analytics Technology Access Centre (SEATAC). SEA-TAC supports innovation in the ocean sector by offering industry access to the array of technical capabilities that exist within Nova Scotia Community College’s applied research and academic programs. It enables innovators to sense, engineer and analyze opportunities in the rapidly growing global ocean economy.
  • The Ocean Frontier Institute is an international hub for ocean science, bringing together researchers and institutes from across the globe to understand our changing ocean and create safe, sustainable solutions for development.
  • The Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) Network of Centres of Excellence funds research, trains high-qualified personnel, develops strategic partnerships, and mobilizes scientific knowledge for real-world impact.
  • The National Research Council is the Government of Canada’s largest research organization supporting industrial innovation and the advancement of knowledge and technology development. It has several research facilities in Nova Scotia focused on marine research, algal carbon conversion, and aquaculture.

Fast facts

  • Nova Scotia has one of the highest concentrations of oceans-related PhDs in the world
  • Including spin-offs, ocean-related industries generate approximately $4.5 billion, or 12.2% of provincial GDP.
  • The ocean-technology industry accounts for about one-third of total research and development among Nova Scotia businesses
  • The ocean industries employ almost 35,000 Nova Scotian workers.
  • Dalhousie University has 25% of all federal National Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) oceans research grants
  • The $70 billion naval defence contract with Irving Shipbuilding provides substantial direct and spin-off benefits for the province through supply chain development as well as research and development activities.

You’ll be in good company

For an inclusive listing of oceans technologies companies in Nova Scotia, please visit the Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia’s Capabilities Guide.