Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announces the $920k Blue Mentorship and Leadership Pathways Project

The project will recruit industry mentors and connect them with ocean technology entrepreneurs and focus on providing employment opportunities for emerging leaders from underrepresented groups into growing ocean companies

Together with project partners, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced the Blue Mentorship and Leadership Pathways Project. The project will help create a system for professional advancement within the ocean sector through a strong and sustainable mentorship network, which includes exposure to the diverse thinking and industry experience of ocean leaders.

Led by ECO Canada from Alberta with their Atlantic-based project partners, the Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship (COVE), the College of North Atlantic (CNA), Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) and the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI), the Blue Mentorship and Leadership Pathways Program will specifically focus on the needs of ocean companies and will combine a peer mentorship program with traditional mentor-mentee relationships. The total value of the project is $920k with close to $460k coming from the Ocean Supercluster.

This project will create new connections between participating Ocean Supercluster members through various project activities and mentorship opportunities.  Participants in the program will also receive toolkits to help understand and get the most out of the experience with the program, as well as to continue to make lasting and meaningful changes within the organizations. These toolkits will lay out evidence-based, best practices strategies for finding and developing talent, discuss the logic and benefits of cultivating a diverse workforce, and provide guidance for how to access the largest possible pool of talent.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are some of the driving principles of this project that will ensure that women, Indigenous participants, and other visible minorities have access to career advancement and new employment opportunities.

About Canada’s Ocean Supercluster
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is a pan-Canadian, industry-led, transformative cluster focused on tackling some of the biggest challenges across ocean sectors through a collaborative program designed to accelerate the development and commercialization of globally relevant solutions, while also building a highly capable, inclusive workforce. The Ocean Supercluster has approved more than 70 projects with a total value of more than $360 million which will deliver more than 110 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world.

Media Contacts:
Nancy Andrews
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster


“With support from Canada’s Ocean Cluster, this project is building a stronger and more resilient marine sector for all Canadians. Our government is proud to support this project to ensure that under-represented groups have equitable access to opportunities and that we have more Canadians seeing the incredible opportunities available in the ocean economy.” – The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“As the Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation, Science and Industry, and as the Member of Parliament for the coastal city of Halifax, the importance of having strong connections to support ocean industries is clear to me. The new Blue Mentorship and Leadership Pathways Project from Canada’s Ocean Supercluster will help ocean industries work in a collaborative and diverse environment for the betterment of the industry.” – Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation, Science and Industry, and Member of Parliament for Halifax

“There is a tremendous need for increasing numbers of experienced leadership talent and expert mentors to participate in the sustainable blue economy. Canada’s small to medium sized businesses are actively recruiting for highly skilled roles including technical and leadership capacities. We are pleased to support the partners leading this project as they work collaboratively on providing new opportunities for ocean innovators.” – Melody Pardoe, Chief Engagement Officer, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

“Canada’s Blue Economy sectors offer significant potential for growth and employment. It is expanding as it has never before with many new and emerging sectors within the ocean economy. A diverse and inclusive labor pool is critical to support the rapid growth in this sector. The Blue Mentorship and Leadership Pathways Project will develop tools and work with employers to build and support a diverse and inclusive workforce in our Blue Economy.” – Dr. Yogendra Chaudhry, Vice President-Professional Services & ESG, ECO Canada

“COVE is a proud partner of the Blue Mentorship and Leadership Pathways Project. Everything COVE does is engrained with equity, diversity, and inclusion, from our programs and services to our research. Innovation in the ocean sector can only grow when all perceptions, knowledge and backgrounds are heard. As a leader in the Blue Economy, our future workforce depends on programs such as this.” – Melanie Nadeau, CEO, COVE

“NSCC is pleased to collaborate with partners like ECO, COVE, JEDI and College of the North Atlantic. Identifying mentors and champions to assist in the development of those aspiring to train for a career in the oceans sector is a key to building capacity for this exciting field.” – Dr. Jeffrey Taylor, Associate Vice President, Applied Research and Innovation, Nova Scotia Community College