Cluster Building Ocean Allies Project
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Announces Cluster Building Ocean Allies Project
One of four Ocean Supercluster Projects Announced Today in Dartmouth
(Dartmouth, NS) – Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced four projects today including the cluster-building project called Ocean Allies. The Ocean Allies project has a total value of more than $420,000 where the Ocean Supercluster will provide $250,000 with the balance of funding coming from project partners. Led by Pisces Research Project Management Inc together with partners Upswing Solutions, Huntsman Marine Science Centre, Assembly of First Nations, BioNB, Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE), Irving Shipbuilding, Nova Scotia Business Inc, Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia, Ocean Frontier Institute, OceansAdvance, PanGeo Subsea, Synapse, Mitacs, and Ulnooweg, this project is designed to access, engage, and support a diverse ocean economy through targeted strategic activities across five work packages:
- Defining Success: Evaluate the current state of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion (DE&I) in Canada’s ocean sector, including engaging industry stakeholders to understand the key challenges they face. A final report will examine the current landscape and provide improvement recommendations for the industry.
- Training: Improve inclusivity outcomes through hiring training and cross-cultural network training.
- Changing Systems: Develop practical tools to help ocean sector companies address systemic barriers that prevent diverse communities from thriving in the ocean economy. The tailored DE&I toolkits will be piloted with five ocean companies with support to embed DE&I in their business strategies and operations.
- Improving Access: Support future ocean workers through targeted networking opportunities, improved connectivity with the Ocean Supercluster’s Technology Leadership program, and by demystifying the concept of access through the creation of an actionable community framework. The aim is to increase business linkages between ocean companies and diverse talent pools.
- Recognition and Support: Provide opportunities for peer connection, additional financial support for employers, and public recognition for great work.
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is an industry-led transformative cluster focused on tackling the shared 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. To encourage innovation and trigger new industry investment during these challenging times, the Ocean Supercluster supplemented its core programs with an additional project stream called Accelerated Ocean Solutions Program (AOSP). This enables the development of smaller projects on a shorter timeline that deliver tangible outcomes, while continuing to build resiliency in our ocean sectors.
“Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is energizing the ocean sector through its support of innovation ecosystem projects, like Ocean Allies, that will engage partners across Atlantic Canada to support a diversified ocean economy. This project will help other Canadian companies and innovator access the ocean economy and provide innovative solutions to real-life ocean environment challenges.” The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“We are incredibly proud to announce the Ocean Allies Project knowing the incredible importance of achieving greater diversity, equality, and inclusion across our ocean sectors. Only when we remove barriers, build capabilities and connections, and create opportunities will we truly be on the path to realizing our full potential in ocean innovation.” Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster
“Innovation in the ocean industries is an emerging opportunity for the New Brunswick economy. BioNB looks forward to leveraging our network in the bioeconomy to promote the Ocean Allies project activities and help introduce new diversity and inclusion strategies to some of our region’s most important employers.” – Jennifer O’Donnell, BioNB
“Reaching under-represented workers, and building awareness of the range of opportunities available to them in the Blue Economy is a key focus of the COVE Workforce Initiative. Working with Ocean Allies and partners will amplify this work by cultivating an industry that is engaged, committed, and prepared to welcome diverse talent.” Sherry Scully, COVE
“The Ocean Allies initiative is an exceptional opportunity to invest in building a resilient, inclusive and sustainable Ocean Sector that is future ready. Upswing Solutions is excited to be involved in this pilot project alongside such a committed group of partners.” Allison Murray, Upswing Solutions
“Equity, Diversity and Inclusion are key aspects for growth and sustainability of our communities. The Huntsman Marine Science Centre applies these principles everyday amongst our own teammates and we look forward to applying our more than 50 years of ocean sector training and outreach to this important project.” Chris Bridger, Huntsman Marine Science Centre
“Decades of evidence have made it clear that Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive workplaces lead to more sustainable, more productive, and more profitable businesses. An equitable and diverse workforce is key to growing a sustainable and healthy Ocean economy. The potential benefits of increasing equity and diversity in the Ocean economy, which has traditionally suffered from poor equity and diversity, has huge potential for impact in the Atlantic Region and beyond, particularly given the current additional challenges posed by the COVID19 pandemic. Ocean Allies will take a direct and focused approach to increasing Equity and Diversity in the Ocean sector and Synapse is excited to be a partner on this exciting project.” Justin Moores, CEO, Synapse
“I am so grateful to our partners and supporters for making this project a reality. So many people were involved in turning this project into reality. We know the ocean community wants to be a diverse and inclusive ocean community, and sometimes it’s hard. We’re here to help. Canada is a diverse nation, and it is one of our strengths. Ocean Allies is enabling the strength of Canada’s diversity in Canada’s ocean industry to foster our global leadership.” Kes Morton, CEO, Pisces Research Project Management
“Ships and the marine industry have been connecting people around the world and enabling economic activity and growth for thousands of years. In fact, 90% of world trade moves across the oceans, so it is important that the industry continues to have all voices at the table to draw on the variety of skills and experiences available. Irving Shipbuilding is pleased to support this Oceans Allies initiative through the National Shipbuilding Strategy.” Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding Inc.
“Three years ago, NSBI launched its “Exporters of diversity strategy” to nurture diverse businesses owners as exporters and to open doors for underrepresented populations across the province. To strengthen and accelerate our efforts, we are forging new partnerships – such as the Ocean Allies Project – who share our vision of a more inclusive workforce.” Laurel Broten, president and CEO, Nova Scotia Business Inc.
“Reaching under-represented workers, and building awareness of the range of opportunities available to them in the Blue Economy is a key focus of COVE Workforce Initiative. Working with Ocean Allies and partners will amplify this work by cultivating an industry that is engaged, committed, and prepared to welcome diverse talent.” Melanie Nadeau, CEO of COVE