Canada’s economy relies on many ocean industries, including fishing, aquaculture, and shipbuilding. To help make these and other industries strong, the federal government is investing in superclusters — areas that are densely packed with businesses in the same industry. If you run a business related to the ocean, the Ocean Supercluster might be your ticket to better technology and connections with like-minded professionals.
Why Is Canada Investing in Superclusters?
Superclusters were introduced by the federal department of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development as a way to bring companies in important sectors together. The idea is to help businesses connect and speed up the development of new, more efficient, and more sustainable technologies to improve key industries.
The federal government hopes that the supercluster initiative can create around 50,000 new jobs and infuse an additional $50 billion into the domestic economy over 10 years.
What Is the Ocean Supercluster?
As of 2018, the Canadian government is investing in five superclusters located across Canada. Each of these superclusters is being fostered in an area that’s already known for having a strong focus on a particular economic sector. For example, the Digital Technologies Supercluster is located in British Columbia, which has a booming tech sector. The Protein Industries Supercluster is located in Alberta, the hotbed of Canada’s beef and dairy industries.
In a supercluster, businesses are well-connected to local research and development firms, as well as universities, giving them uniquely fast and easy access to new, more efficient tech in their industry.
The Ocean Supercluster is mostly located in Atlantic Canada, with businesses in the maritime provinces playing an integral role. The cluster had over 110 members as of its formation, including maritime universities, petroleum research and development companies, and ocean-based agricultural firms.
How Does the Ocean Supercluster Benefit Ocean-Based Industries and Business Owners?
Three of the Ocean Supercluster’s goals are:
- To connect ocean-based industries to the technology that enables them to do their work
- To attract a more diverse range of skilled professionals to new jobs in the industry
- To improve global business, networking, and marketing opportunities for member companies
One big goal of the Ocean Supercluster is to connect companies that are developing new technology with companies that can use that technology in practical ways. For example, the Ocean Supercluster is already host to universities and research teams. Say one of these universities comes up with a new design for a fish farm that reduces the risk of disease and contamination. In a vacuum, it might take years for researchers to move that new design from testing and prototyping to marketing and implementation.
Within a supercluster, however, businesses that know what to do with the technology are within arm’s reach. The businesses get to put innovations to work sooner. With demonstrated practical applications for their technology, the researchers stand to receive more funding, creating a "snowball effect" of innovation and progress. Essentially, a supercluster is business-to-business networking on steroids.
How Can You Join the Ocean Supercluster?
If you’re a business owner or proprietor in an ocean-related industry, you can express your interest in the initiative through the Ocean Supercluster website. You need to provide your contact information, a brief description of your company, and a note about how you want to get involved. The website also has a backgrounder that you can download to find out more.
Canada’s superclusters are helping to create more technological progress and improve the economy. Expressing your interest in the Ocean Supercluster can put you on the fast track to success and innovation.