Category: News

Important Upcoming Event: Cluster Building Forum: IP, Data and the Strategy


Date: June 25th, 2019.

Location: Delta Hotels Conference Centre, St. John’s, NL.

Time: 12:45 – 6:00 pm

All OSC stakeholders are encouraged to come to the launch of the Ocean Supercluster’s IP and Data strategies, two integral components of technology leadership programs and projects, and important strategic frameworks for a strong and dynamic Supercluster.

The OSC has developed a forward-looking data strategy that aims to foster information exchange between ocean industries and provide a clear vision on how we can transform data generated from project activities into a strategic national asset.

The IP strategy aims to incent high-impact collaborations, provide a foundation for the development of flexible and predictable IP policies, ensure members are able to secure appropriate rights that are in line with their commercial interests, and position Canadian organizations to maximize the return of their innovations.



Newest Team Members of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

Two familiar faces of the OSC interterm Executive Team are now full time with the OSC, being:

Susan Hunt: Chief Technology Officer

Melody Pardoe: Chief Engagement Officer

Please join us in extending a very warm welcome to the newest team members of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster:

Rob Barton – Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)

Having held managerial positions in finance and strategy for two large multinational organizations, to both set up and strengthen back office functional areas, Rob possesses a wealth of knowledge in administration. As CAO, Rob will oversee critical functional support services, such as Finance, IT and HR. Rob’s experience spans elements such as systems, solutions, policies and processes that will enable the OSC to support staff and ensure operational delivery for our members and ocean economy stakeholders.

Torrie George – Communications Manager

As the OSC’s Communications Manager, Torrie George brings extensive marketing know-how to Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, with work that has touched many facets of communications – in both the private sector and not-for-profit arenas. Having held communications positions focused on identifying and promoting the development of Atlantic Canada’s regional energy & resource development projects, Torrie possesses a keen understanding of engaging stakeholders across the ocean economy supply chain and will be working to leverage the profile of the OSC across the country.

Beverly Nowotczynski – Office Manager

As the Office Manager, Bev Nowotczynski comes to Canada’s Ocean Supercluster with over 20 years of experience providing meticulous office management support to senior management across Atlantic Canada – most recently as an Executive Assistant at Deloitte Canada’s St. John’s office. Bev has considerable experience in event and office management. As the day to day gatekeeper for the OSC, Bev is excited for the opportunity to assist in the OSC leadership team and its members in organizing a viable and sustainable future for our ocean economy.

Melissa O’Rourke – Innovation Ecosystem Program Manager

Curious about people and passionate about economic development, Melissa is a community builder who will be responsible for leading processes to build internal networks across the Ocean Supercluster’s Innovation Ecosystem suite of programs and activities. Prior to joining the OSC, Melissa worked as an Accelerator Program Manager with the University of New Brunswick’s Technology Management & Entrepreneurship (TME) Centre. During this time, she helped 50+ new ventures launch and grow.

Matthew P. Johnson Jr. – Technology Leadership Program Manager
[Secondment – Development Officer (Atlantic), ACOA]

Matthew is a business development practitioner passionate about viable economic growth for this region and the country. He brings many years of business and economic development expertise to Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, by way of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) – most recently as the Atlantic Development Officer to the Advocacy and Industrial Benefits team at ACOA Ottawa. Prior to his return to ACOA, Matthew was the Director of Business Development and Client Relations at the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE).

George Power – Technology Leadership Program Manager
[Secondment – Account Manager, ACOA]

A professional engineer specializing in technical and business evaluation, George has been involved in the acceleration of innovation projects across Atlantic Canada for over 40 years, with special focus on large scale financial assessment. George has mentored the business development and project delivery of various regional clients, including the intellectual property agreements for countless academic stakeholders. George’s expertise and knowledge spans cross sectorial advisory positions to alternate energy, oil & gas innovation, ice engineering, environmental projects and health innovation.

Andy Stone – Technology Leadership Program Manager
[Secondment – Director, Business Development, Genome Atlantic]

Having spent most of his career helping companies and organizations benefit and thrive from science & technology development, Andy’s experience with the multifaceted aspects of innovation management and his understanding of opportunity assessment, partnerships, de-risking R&D, and technology transfer will be an enormous asset to Canada’s Ocean Supercluster. As Director of Business Development for Genome Atlantic, he has led the successful implementation of an end-user led strategy with a focus on increasing Business Enterprise Expenditure on R&D (BERD). Under his leadership, Genome Atlantic’s cumulative project portfolio has expanded to more than $100 Million in funded R&D projects, with business investment now making up more than 25% of the current portfolio.

Ocean Supercluster Collaboration Event: A Recap

On Tuesday March 26th, over 450 stakeholders from across Canada came together to: learn about the value of becoming an Ocean Supercluster member, discuss ecosystem building opportunities, increase their understanding about how to initiate and develop collaborative technology leadership projects, and most importantly highlight the urgency of Canada’s ocean opportunity.

Thank you again to our event sponsors, Air Canada and Emergence Incubator!
Thank you to our partners who shared Virtual Reality experiences during the event, InnovaSeaOcean School and Invest in Canada!

Download the presentation >


“I believe what we are trying to do is different and it is truly important to the future of our region and to our country. If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”
– Kendra MacDonald, Ocean Supercluster

“It’s not ‘a’ Supercluster or ‘the’ Supercluster; it’s ‘our’ Supercluster”
– Dave Shea, Kraken

“My presentation at the event gave GIT good visibility…we had a very productive day and were able to schedule 5 meetings with big industry players.”
– Mo AlGermozi, CEO of Graphite Innovation and Technologies


Q. Will the app be available after the event? 
A.YES! The app will remain available until a permanent solution has been developed, at which time the information you’ve provided in the interim will be transitioned, so keep those connections going, upload a profile or a video to your existing profile!

Q. Are members investing in specific projects, or the pool of all projects in the Supercluster? 
A. Members are investing in the collaborative projects that they choose to initiate and/or invest in, not a pool of all projects.

Q. Great event and Seminar, curious to know of the attendees here today, what percent represent a) industry and b) startup companies?
A. Industry: 38%
Startups/SMEs: 15%
Researchers: 13%
Community Partners: 19%
Government: 15%

Q. Are projects outside of the highlighted area welcome or open for consideration?
A. Any project that contributes to the growth of Canada’s ocean economy and meets the project criteria may be eligible, please reach out to the OSC, we would be pleased to discuss your idea.

A Message from Kendra MacDonald, CEO of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

The following message was sent to stakeholders and supporters of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster. To join our mailing list, please fill out our online form.

Dear Stakeholders,

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I begin my position as Chief Executive Officer of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster.

This is a very exciting time for our country and I am ready to get to work. I am looking forward to meeting with members and stakeholders, in the near future to shape our collective vision for the supercluster. With the projected growth of the ocean economy, the opportunities are abundant and Canada can emerge as a global leader. There has never been a better time to capitalize on our ocean resources by fostering new partnerships, developing innovative technologies, addressing challenges related to sustainability, and building an ecosystem filled with highly qualified personnel. Together, we can build upon our world-class ocean-related business activity, research capacity, and expertise. Let’s get to work.

I’d like to recognize and express sincere thanks to two outgoing members of the interim management team: Matt Hebb and Jeff White.

Matt has been part of the Ocean Supercluster since it was merely an idea being discussed among colleagues and friends. His leadership, vision, and dedication brought the Ocean Supercluster to life, and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to build on what he has accomplished to date.

Jeff joined the Ocean Supercluster earlier this year, bringing his senior financial leadership to the ocean sector. He has helped to create the conditions for success, working with the interim management team on financial agreements and structures that will allow the Ocean Supercluster to reach its objectives.

Thank you for your commitment to the future of Canada’s ocean economy.

I am looking forward to meeting many of you in the near future. In the coming weeks, the Ocean Supercluster will begin to formalize its operations and will be looking to formally onboard members. To express your interest, please fill out a form on our website.

Kendra MacDonald
CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

Updates and Engagement Opportunities:

  • The Ocean Supercluster is now incorporated as a federal not-for-profit.
  • We have received Treasury Board approval and are working to finalize our funding agreement with the federal government. We are expecting activities will begin in early 2019.
  • To keep our members up-to-date on activity taking place across the ocean economy, we have built a calendar that will frequently be updated by partners in the region. These are great opportunities to connect and collaborate with members of the supercluster and the ocean sector.

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Appoints Innovator and Global Leader Kendra MacDonald as CEO

ATLANTIC CANADA – Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Kendra MacDonald as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). MacDonald will be responsible for leading the OSC to build Canada’s ocean economy into one of the country’s most significant and sustainable value-creating economic segments.

MacDonald brings extensive experience as an innovative leader and strategic thinker with a long history of capacity building in various roles that have spanned the globe. Skilled in engaging key stakeholders across international networks to accomplish outstanding results, she has led projects in a wide variety of industries including telecommunications, public sector, power and utilities, marine transportation and seafood with a focus on large public companies. Her experience, combined with her demonstrated leadership in information technology, governance, risk management and process efficiency and effectiveness, make her an ideal leader for this exciting initiative.

The OSC is an industry-led collaboration that is created around a critical mass of ocean-based companies in Atlantic Canada to tackle the shared challenges of multiple ocean sectors through a collaborative program of innovation activities. The OSC is a national undertaking, with investment from companies in eight provinces and one territory, and linkages initiated with indigenous groups and international partners.

The Ocean Supercluster is one of five superclusters receiving federal support as a part of the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The Initiative has allocated a small number of high-value, strategic investments in the form of non-repayable contributions to industry-led consortia. Selected superclusters will benefit from contributions totaling up to $950 million in funding that will be matched with private sector investment for maximum impact.

The core strategic priorities for the OSC are to formulate a shared innovation map to guide technology leadership projects, and to undertake a program of cluster building to enhance the quality of collaboration, while also extending their benefits widely. As the inaugural CEO, MacDonald will lead the forging of lasting relationships amongst the diverse stakeholders. She will also steward the necessary change and innovation to advance the OSC’s common agenda and lead the management and commercialization of new related R&D, science and technology activities in Canada’s Atlantic region.

Over the past 20 years, MacDonald has held progressive leadership roles in Australia, Hong Kong and Canada. Most recently, MacDonald was the first Chief Audit Executive for Deloitte Global and was responsible for building internal audit function for Global. During this time, she also maintained a role as Atlantic Risk Advisory Partner for Deloitte LLP in St. John’s, a position she held since 2010, providing leadership in the areas of cybersecurity, governance, risk management, internal audit and external audit, to both large and small organizations within the private and public sectors.

“It is an honour to be the inaugural CEO of the Ocean Supercluster and to have the opportunity to lead an organization that will have such a dramatic impact on Canada’s ocean economy,” says MacDonald. “Together, with the support of our diverse partners, I look forward to building on the current momentum to realize the untapped potential of our oceans.”

With a long track record of community and volunteer leadership, MacDonald is currently the Chair and Acting CEO for the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology Industries (NATI) and the Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee, BioCanRX.

Originally from Ontario, with family roots in Nova Scotia, and a graduate of the University of Ottawa, MacDonald currently lives in St. John’s NL with her husband and two children. She holds numerous designations including Institute of Corporate Directors, Director (ICD.D), Certified in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA).

MacDonald succeeds Matt Hebb, who became interim CEO in April 2018, leading the interim management team.

“Matt has done an outstanding job of laying the foundation for the next steps for the Ocean Supercluster. We are grateful for the time, energy and leadership he has dedicated to this initiative over the past few months,” says OSC Board member John Risley.

Media Inquiries: For more information, please contact Bridget Burgess, NATIONAL Public Relations, at