Nova Scotia attracts globally recognized companies working in the areas of naval defence, shipbuilding, sonar and sensing, in-service support, cyber security, and training and simulation.
With an innovative, high-tech cluster of companies, cutting-edge R&D opportunities, and a high concentration of military assets in the region, it's no surprise that one quarter of the world’s top aerospace and defence companies have chosen Nova Scotia.
Year after year, Nova Scotia consistently has the highest concentration of defence spending in Canada.
Nova Scotia is home to the East Coast Navy and the largest air force base in eastern Canada.
Although government decisions come from Ottawa, defense and security work happens in Nova Scotia.
Canada's next generation of combat vessels are being built in Nova Scotia - thanks to a contract a contract valued at $25 billion over the next 30 years.
Nova Scotia's clusters have natural synergies with other sectors, creating a variety of opportunities for the world’s top defence companies. Nova Scotia also offers cost competitive opportunities along and throughout the value chain. From R&D to exporting finished goods around the world, you'll find plenty of value here.
The province's economy has been closely connected to the sea for centuries. Its marine industry, rooted in 17th century shipbuilding, now leads in fields such as:
acoustic hull design
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 & 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.
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.
Nova Scotia is an established hub for In-Service Support (ISS), including maintenance, repair, and overhaul. Three of the four largest Canadian ISS procurement contracts are being completed in Nova Scotia.
Training & simulation
Nova Scotia hosts world-leading training and simulation companies like Bluedrop Training and CAE. The province is well-equipped to support their need for integrated training solutions including:
training needs analysis
integrated learning environments
training simulation products
Learn more about Nova Scotia's advantages in Digital Media [Link out to DIgital Media page].
Research & development
Nova Scotia has substantial capacity in research and development (R&D). Much of this capacity comes from a cluster of multinational companies that conduct high-value R&D work for the Department of National Defence (DND). Nova Scotia also has a number of institutions that provide 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
mine and torpedo defence
modelling and simulation of ship and combat systems
Learn more about Defence Research and Development Canada Atlantic.
Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO): This modern oceanographic research facility, located on the Bedford Basin, is Canada's largest centre for ocean research. Learn more about BIO.
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. Learn more about Boeing's strategic investment.
Nova Scotia is an ideal location for companies with high levels of exports, thanks to its:
strategic location between Europe and North America
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.
Link out to Export Development page.
Among the 17 nations that import Nova Scotia's defence and security products and services, the US market accounts for 75%. According to Global Affairs Canada, the country's top 5 export market in this sector are:
According to Global Affairs Canada, there are export opportunities for the sector in the following markets:
Aerospace: Brazil, Brunei, Chile, China, European Union, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, United States, Ukraine
Defence and Security: Australia, European Union, India, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United States
Innovators from around the globe have included Nova Scotia as an integral part of their global value chain. Companies include: