Jan. 9, 2003, Gazette
|Oceans Advance will assist in building linkages
among ocean technology businesses and community organizations. Newfoundland
is home to a number of companies involved in ocean technology, including
those involved in the manipulation of icebergs in the North Atlantic.
Oceans Advance is getting ready to take
on the international market and put Newfoundland and Labrador on the map
as the place to be for ocean technology. Started in 2001, this public-private
partnership involving the National Research Council (NRC), provincial
government, local businesses, Memorial University, and other stakeholders,
has been created to build upon and strengthen linkages with like-minded
ocean technology businesses and community organizations.
Leading the way is development executive, Dennis Hogan. As the founding
CEO of the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Safety Association,
Mr. Hogan has considerable experience in building strong partnerships
and community linkages. Our job is to help weave a network of all
the academic, government and industry stakeholders, in whatever aspect
of ocean technology they operate whether from a pure R&D, commercial
or regulatory perspective to create an environment thats
conducive to enhancing ocean technology development, said Mr. Hogan.
Already, Newfoundland is home to numerous world-class ocean tech companies,
like Rutter Technologies, Lotek Wireless, Guigné International,
and Oceanic Consulting, to name just a few. Oceans Advance is looking
to create an ocean tech cluster that can build upon this foundation of
expertise by expanding upon core R&D programs at the NRC, constructing
an incubation facility for start-up companies at the Institute for Marine
Dynamics (IMD), and integrating community efforts.
We want to help create a positive environment for existing ocean
tech companies, but also foster an environment that is a catalyst for
the creation of new companies, added Mr. Hogan. There are
so many applications for ocean technology and St. Johns is perfectly
positioned for exploiting our capabilities and increasing international
The ocean technology cluster will play the role of facilitating industry
collaboration. Working under the motto that two is better than one, the
cluster will advocate combining capabilities to allow companies to create
a stronger presence on the international market. Oceans Advance will assist
with networking, international marketing, identification of business opportunities,
and branding of the St. Johns ocean technology cluster world-wide.
And what better place to develop an ocean technology cluster than in Newfoundland
and Labrador. As Mr. Hogan points out, Newfoundland and Labradors
historical and cultural attachment to the sea, strategic geographic location
in the North Atlantic, and the fact that over 90 per cent of the population
lives near the sea, makes an ocean technology cluster a natural development.
To date, Oceans Advance has been involved in a number of local and international
ocean tech initiatives. Meetings have been held with the City of St. Johns
and the St. Johns Board of Trade regarding an ocean technology industrial
park for the city. Oceans Advance also participated in a business mission
to Ireland this past fall and discussions are currently ongoing for a
technology transfer mission to Ireland with six to 10 local companies.
Starting in January 2003, Oceans Advance will be co-hosting a speaker
series with the City of St. Johns for and about local technologies
and businesses working in the ocean tech industry. This will be a great
opportunity to showcase research happening locally and demonstrate the
importance of this research to the economic development of the province.
They also plan to launch their Web site early in the New Year.
We look forward to working closely with Memorial University on R&D
related to the ocean tech industry. Memorial already has a very strong
reputation for ocean engineering and aquaculture research, says
Mr. Hogan. Working together we can build upon our core competencies
and really push Newfoundland and Labrador into the international market.