2016 2016: Cross-border collaboration bolsters ocean tech opportunities

2016 2016: Cross-border collaboration bolsters ocean tech opportunities
Cross-border collaboration bolsters ocean tech opportunities

UMass Dartmouth’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE) in Nova Scotia signed a Memorandum of Understanding to deepen commercial and innovation ties.

Fall River, MA, November 30, 2016 -- The lighting of the Boston Christmas tree, a gift each year from Nova Scotia, is a visible reminder of the strong relationship enjoyed between New England and Atlantic Canada. One sector that benefits significantly from these close ties is the ocean technology community.

Today, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to deepen commercial and innovation ties. The institutes have entered a partnership agreement to enable access to the CIE as well as the new Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

"I am excited by the opportunities this Memorandum of Understanding offers for both organizations," said Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil. "I am pleased to see that it includes student internship exchanges as it is critical that Nova Scotia students get the opportunity to gain experience in the ocean technology field which is so important to our province's future."

A collaborative space supporting ocean technology commercialization, COVE will be home to local and global ocean technology businesses, start-ups, researchers, and marine-based and service businesses that support the ocean technology sector.

The partnership is a natural one for the two regions as the economies and quality of life of Nova Scotia and New England both benefit from ocean-related jobs and earnings, representing $23.8 billion in GDP combined.

"The advancement of ocean technology plays a crucial role in maintaining the economic strength and opportunities our coasts provide for the maritime economy in Massachusetts," said Carolyn Kirk, Deputy Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. "Centers such as CIE and COVE help to ensure continued innovation, job creation and a long-term commitment to our coastal economies." said Carolyn Kirk, Deputy Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

“This MOU represents a significant step in solidifying a longstanding relationship between regions,” said Toby Stapleton, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director of the CIE. “We are greeting it with great enthusiasm, and believe this will be valuable to the development and commercialization opportunities in ocean technology for us and our partners.”

The agreement will result in several areas of collaboration, including providing visiting space for members of each partner organization, shared access to services and equipment, student exchange opportunities, commercialization of new technologies, and new channels for ongoing communication.

"As someone who has lived and worked in the ocean technology sector both in Atlantic Canada and in Massachusetts, I recognize the significant value of this Memorandum of Understanding to ocean businesses on both sides of the border.  Companies in both regions will be able to grow their businesses through increased market access, through collaborative product development and by exposing young talent to the larger international market," said Jim Hanlon, CEO of IORE.

The signing took place at the Maritime Innovations Conference, held Wednesday at the CIE. The annual event brings together leading edge marine technology companies to provide an overview of current trends in the industry, and showcases start-up companies and their new technologies. The event was sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and is part of the Center’s mission to connect key stakeholders in order to grow the region’s economy. Canada had a strong presence at the event with a group of 16 Atlantic Canadian firms and organizations taking part.

"Atlantic Canada is an important market for Ocean Server Technologies and this MOU will serve to enhance our ability to identify partnership opportunities, form new commercial relationships, and create cross-border research relationships with Canadian academic institutions", said Robert Anderson, President of Ocean Server Technologies, a resident of the CIE's Tech Venture Center. 

About UMass CIE

In 2001, UMass Dartmouth opened the Advanced Technology Manufacturing Center (ATMC) in Fall River on the site of a former textile mill to encourage and support technology-focused businesses. In 2015, the ATMC reviewed and refined its mission to provide more experiential opportunities for UMass Dartmouth students and faculty and to proactively expand economic development in the region. The CIE has graduated dozens of successful start-ups in the fields of marine technology, clean technology, and biomedical engineering. For more information, go to www.umassd.edu/innovate

About IORE

Ocean expertise abounds on Canada’s east coast. In Nova Scotia alone, ocean-related activity generates $5 billion in revenue and produces about 14 per cent of provincial employment. More than 10 per cent of all researchers in Atlantic Canada are focused on oceans. And an increasing number of private sector companies are discovering new economic opportunities in key ocean-related sectors. The Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE) exists to align these assets to benefit the region and the marine science and marine technology sectors. By brokering partnerships among industry, universities, government and private institutions, IORE is working to enhance both the competitiveness of ocean industries and our knowledge base. For more information, go to www.iore.ca

About COVE:

COVE – Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship -- is a collaborative facility for applied innovation in the ocean sector. COVE’s mission is to propel the ocean economy by providing high quality marine infrastructure and a collaborative space in which a community of ocean enterprises can start, grow and prosper. Its primary goal is to support ocean technology commercialization. COVE is at the centre of Nova Scotia’s globally recognized ocean cluster, located in the former Coast Guard facility on Halifax Harbour. The COVE site features extensive marine facilities with two large, deep-water piers, office space, an incubator and space for shops and labs. COVE is a place where innovations will be developed and brought to market. It’s a place where start-ups will be inspired and guided. COVE is a working facility for ocean enterprises with access to water and testing facilities. For more information, go to www.coveocean.com



Media contacts:


John Hoey

Assistant Chancellor for Public Affairs

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth






Jim Hanlon

Chief Executive Officer

Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise






Katie Cook

Coordinator of Operations and Communications