Ocean Aware Project Announcement

For Immediate Release

July 28, 2020

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Announces $29M Ocean Aware Project’

Today, alongside project partners, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced the Ocean Aware project. The Ocean Aware project will develop and commercialize world-class solutions for monitoring fish health, fish movement, and the environment, and supporting both profitable and sustainable practices in the ocean.

With a total project value of $29 million, the Ocean Supercluster will provide $13.74 million in funding for the project, with $15.7M in funding coming from industry partners. Ocean Aware is led by Innovasea together with Emera, Nova Scotia Power, Ocean Choice International, Irving Shipbuilding, Dartmouth Ocean Technologies, Xeos Technologies, and with the support of the Ocean Tracking Network, Dalhousie University, Fisheries Marine Institute of Memorial University, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and others.

Ocean Aware represents the first-of-its-kind collaboration across ocean sectors in fisheries, aquaculture, energy, shipping, and ocean technology where the project team will develop world leading aquaculture technology to monitor fish health; new approaches to stock assessment modeling and predictive fishing in the wild fishery, and; innovative and increased capability to monitor marine life around fixed subsea structures. This will not only enable ocean growth that is sustainable, but also disrupt competition on a global scale, position Canada as a leader, and help grow the economy and create new jobs.

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is changing the way ocean business is done. With an innovative model for growth that reduces risk for Canadian companies, we are increasing collaboration and data exchange across ocean sectors, creating a platform for the development for commercial, sustainable ocean solutions, building an inclusive and highly-capable workforce, and continuing to drive resiliency in our oceans.


“As the country with the longest coastline, the Ocean Supercluster is helping Canada capitalize on our natural advantages, establishing itself as a hotbed for innovation and collaboration. The Ocean Aware project is a great example of the supercluster’s ability to bring together a variety of industry partners to develop new aquaculture technology and further support sustainable fishing practices.”
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“The Ocean Aware project is a game-changing project that demonstrates the transformational opportunities we have in ocean innovation when we bring partners from across ocean sectors together. This will create significant benefits for Canadians now and for generations to come. To bring this to fruition while we continue to see the impacts of a global pandemic only adds to its significance.” – Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

“This is a big day for Canada, and Innovasea is proud to be leading this consortium in tackling this important challenge. When this project is complete, we will have given three key maritime industries the technology, tools, understanding and insight they need to operate in a more ecologically sustainable manner. Ultimately, the impact of the Ocean Aware project is going to be felt far beyond Canada and the Atlantic provinces; it will serve as a blueprint for the rest of the world.” – Mark Jollymore, President, Innovasea

“Providing safe, reliable and affordable power to our customers while keeping our environmental commitments at the forefront is paramount in everything we do. The opportunity to work with like-minded partners to develop and test this leading-edge technology will assist us in better tracking and understanding the fish health and movement in our operating environment.” – Mark Sidebottom, Chief Operating Officer, Nova Scotia Power

 “We are pleased to be a partner in the Ocean Aware Project; and to be working with global industry leaders in innovation and technology from Atlantic Canada and with the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University to build new spatial stock assessment models to support sustainable fisheries. It is extremely important to Ocean Choice that we invest in finding new innovative solutions for smarter fishing. Projects such as this, will allow us to better understand species distribution and movement between stock boundaries that will ultimately lead to more predictive fishing models where we can optimize performance within a sustainability framework.” – Martin Sullivan, CEO, Ocean Choice

 “Halifax Shipyard is home to 2000 proud shipbuilders and has invested $3.1 Billion in more than 275 businesses and organizations across Canada as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. We are 100% focused on Canada’s Ocean Future – from coast to coast to coast. This means the building the best next generation of ships for those who serve to safeguard our shores. It also means investing in Canada’s marine and ocean potential through innovation, research and conservation. Ocean Aware – the project we are announcing today – is a collaboration that will deliver on these 3 priorities and we are proud to be a part of it with 7 great partners. The National Shipbuilding Strategy is about a lasting legacy of ocean and marine progress that continues to drive jobs, boost communities, preserve the environment, and foster innovation and discovery. Our hope that through this investment, scientists can identify where and why so many Atlantic salmon are not returning home from the ocean.  We are proud to contribute to Canada’s ocean future from coast to coast to coast in partnership with Canada’s Ocean Supercluster and other leaders in the ocean and marine industries.” – Kevin McCoy, President, Halifax Shipyard

 “As one of the smaller partners in the Ocean Aware Project, we are excited about the opportunity to leverage the market reach of this formidable partnership as we embark on a potentially transformative technology development initiative. This is an incredible opportunity that will help launch Xeos on a new path.” – Geoff MacIntyre, Vice President, Xeos Technologies

 “The team at Dartmouth Ocean Technologies are very excited to be part of such a significant project, and are pleased to be funded to develop, produce and deliver our microfluidic Lab-On-Chip (LOC) technologies in concert with the Ocean Aware partners. This project will lead to a need to increase our technical staffing levels.” – Arnold Furlong, President, Dartmouth Ocean Technologies


Media contact:

Nancy Andrews



Ocean Aware Project Overview

Media gallery – project partner materials