Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announces $1.3M Virtual Ocean Project for a more digital ocean sector

Today, alongside project partners, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC) announced the $1.3 million Virtual Ocean Project, led by DSA Ocean based in Victoria, BC. This project is creating a digital engineering platform called Virtual Ocean. A collection of custom software ‘apps’ will be built on the platform that will capitalize on specific needs in every ocean sector, including marine aquaculture, marine renewables, defence, and offshore energy.

Through this platform, marine businesses will be able to obtain answers to sector-specific questions in a simpler way compared to existing general-purpose desktop solutions. The Virtual Ocean platform will be based on accepted engineering-analysis technologies that allow users to understand how marine assets, technologies, and operations react in real ocean conditions.

In the Virtual Ocean Project, DSA Ocean will work with partner Cermaq Canada on creating, testing, and commercializing the platform. With a total project value of $1.3 million, under the cluster’s first round of funding, the OSC will provide $614 thousand to the project, with the balance of funding coming from project partners.

Virtual Ocean will benefit the ocean community by improving safety, supporting economic growth through the development of sustainable marine engineering projects, and providing accessible and affordable technology for businesses of all sizes, with a particular emphasis on smaller enterprises that otherwise may not be able to access marine engineering software at a reasonable cost.

At its essence, the Virtual Ocean Project embodies a cooperative initiative that actively involves Canadian ocean enterprises in resolving genuine issues encountered during the deployment and upkeep of marine hardware. Upon completion, Virtual Ocean will facilitate widespread utilization of simplified engineering software tools tailored to specific product niches within the marine industry, making the information more accessible to persons employed in the ocean sector who lack specific engineering expertise, and create and maintain 12 full time jobs and the potential for 60 indirect jobs.


“This new sustainable marine project, supported by Canada’s Ocean Cluster, is strengthening Canada’s ocean economy by making marine engineering software more accessible and affordable for businesses of all sizes. This provides smaller businesses with a greater chance of success, increasing Canada’s competitive advantage in the ocean sector.” – The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“With support from the Ocean Cluster, one of Canada’s five Global Innovation Clusters, this Virtual Ocean Project will bring valuable technologies to smaller sized companies, enabling them to compete in the larger ocean economy. It’s great to see innovations like this one benefitting Canadian companies of all sizes” – Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and Member of Parliament for Halifax

“DSA Ocean and team are creating technology to adapt to ocean sectors, improving processes, increasing safety, and supporting economic growth. We are excited to announce the Virtual Ocean Project that will help make technology accessible to small and medium ocean companies.” – Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

“The challenge we are taking on is how to make it easier for marine organizations to understand how wind, waves, currents will impact their structures. We’re excited to work with Cermaq to create new products that will be used to support the development of sustainable finfish aquaculture and marine renewable energy in Canada. This project is an important first-step for DSA Ocean in creating a suite of easy-to-use marine analysis software tools.” – Dean Steinke, Co-founder and CEO, DSA Ocean

“Cermaq Canada works in cooperation with nature and under the Governance of Indigenous rights holders to grow sustainable Atlantic salmon on the east coast and west coasts of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. The technology and information developed from this project is critical to helping us ensure our innovation pathway has sustainability as a central objective by developing improved site-evaluation and engineering technologies for semi-closed containment systems.” – Brock Thomson, Cermaq Canada

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 OSC has approved 86 projects with a total value of more than $400 million which will deliver more than 130 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world. For more information visit

Media Contact:
Nancy Andrews
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster