Millions in funding announced for Dartmouth ocean technology hub

The Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship (COVE) in Dartmouth will get $4.52 million from Irving Shipbuilding.

Published on March 17, 2017

The media get a tour of the yet to be built COVE research facility on Thursday.

©Jeff Harper/Metro

The tides are shifting for a new ocean tech incubation centre as they receive an investment from the largest shipbuilding company in Canada.

Irving Shipbuilding Inc. announced it will be investing $4.52 million into the Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship to help create a shared space for ocean tech research and development.

The centre, which is called COVE, is being developed out of the former Canadian Coast Guard lot on the Dartmouth waterfront, and will act as a “startup zone” for small ocean tech companies.

“COVE will bring together small, medium and large companies to strengthen the ocean economy for development and use of advanced ocean technology,” said Jim Hanlon, CEO of the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise at a press conference Thursday.

At the press conference, Irving Shipbuilding Inc. president Kevin McCoy said the investment will help create a high quality marine infrastructure and a collaborative space for companies to grow.

“On one side of the harbour, we have the most modern shipyard in North America. Where we stand today will soon become one of the world’s most innovative ocean technology incubators,” he said.

The facility will feature two deep water piers for large boats, two marginal wharfs, a floating dock for smaller boats, office space, space for shops and labs, and an incubator for a mix of small and large companies to collaborate.

“Yes it will be an incubator, but it is different from other incubators in different sectors in that there will be currently existing large and medium companies mixed in with smaller startups,” said Hanlon.

The facility will also provide the resources to allow smaller startups to get ahead of the game as a way to support ocean technology commercialization.

“Capital investment at the front of a startup in ocean tech is significant,” said Hanlon.

“We will have shared resources here that will enable those start up companies to get into business without as much of a capital investment, because they are able to access the shared facilities.”

The COVE facility is expected to open in 2018.