Canadian Manufacturing

Irving Shipbuilding investing $4.5M in Halifax marine innovation centre

The Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship will see researchers, start-ups, R&D-intensive companies and post-secondary institutions collaborate on marine innovation projects


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HALIFAX—Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is investing $4.52 million in the newly established Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE), an ocean innovation centre to be located on the waterfront in Dartmouth, N.S., right across the harbour from its Halifax shipyard.

The investment represents the largest private sector contribution COVE has received to date.

At COVE, ocean science researchers, start-ups, R&D-intensive companies, industry and Nova Scotia post-secondary institutions will work together on marine innovation projects.

COVE, operated by the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise, is in the early stages of transforming a former Canadian Coast Guard base on the Halifax Harbour into extensive marine facilities with two deep-water piers, office space, a start-up incubator, and space for shops and labs.

The federal and provincial governments are also contributing to COVE. In September 2016, the Government of Canada committed $7.17 million, and the Province of Nova Scotia committed $12.55 million.

Irving Shipbuilding’s funding is part of its commitments under the National Shipbuilding Strategy—Canada’s 30-year plan to renew the fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard.

In 2011, Irving was selected by the federal government to build Arctic patrol ships for the Navy. As part of the deal, the company committed to invest 0.5 per cent of its contract revenues in creating a sustainable marine industry across Canada.

“Irving Shipbuilding is proud to support COVE and contribute to Canada’s vibrant ocean economy,” said Kevin McCoy, president of Irving Shipbuilding.

He continued, “On one side of Halifax harbour we have the most modern shipyard in North America, where our 1,500 shipbuilders are proudly building Canada’s future fleet. Almost directly across the harbour we will soon welcome COVE, the world’s most innovative ocean technology incubator. This is a shining example of the National Shipbuilding Strategy creating a sustainable and vibrant marine industry in Canada.”


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