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COVE CEO Melanie Nadeau. (CREDIT: Skye Bryden-Blom)

Irving Shipbuilding invests $4.4 million in marine tech innovation

By Skye Bryden-Blom Oct 5, 2022 | 5:39 PM

Irving Shipbuilding is investing $4.4 million to help foster innovation in the marine technology sector.

The Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) in Dartmouth is described as a global innovation hub for marine tech. CEO Melanie Nadeau says the money will help get new projects flowing and attract talent.

“We’re going to continue to grow, grow the ecosystem, grow the innovators that are developing amazing technologies in the marine sector,” Nadeau says. “We’re also going to work on developing the talent pipeline for people to work in the sector, not only here in Nova Scotia, but across Canada.”

She explains the investment is significant as it will aid many different industries that people across the country rely on.

“The work that we do impacts Nova Scotians and Canadians. We’re surrounded by the ocean, it’s so important to our fabric in Nova Scotia,” Nadeau says.

“So when you think about fisheries and innovation and fisheries, innovation in defence and security – which is some of the work we do with Irving Shipbuilding – innovation and marine transportation and electrification, those are all areas that are really important for every Nova Scotian.”

Nadeau adds it’s especially important for youth with an interest in our oceans.

“Earlier this week, we did a whole National Forum on talent. And it’s anywhere from youth that are looking at someday pursuing a career in the marine sector or post-secondary students that are coming out of their colleges,” she says.

Nadeau believes the industry is also a great place for people with work experience who are eyeing a career change.

The funding will be rolled out over five years. Nadeau looks forward to the future.

“We opened in 2018 with a vision. We’ve expanded so quickly. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen in the next five years,” she says. “I just know that it’s going to be a force multiplier for more companies, more innovators, more job opportunities, all related to the marine sector.”

Irving Shipbuilding was a founding investor in the development of the former Coast Guard Property in Dartmouth five years ago. The company was selected in 2011 to build the Royal Canadian Navy’s new fleet of combat vessels.

Irving is obligated under the National Shipbuilding Strategy to invest 0.5 percent of the contract value in research and initiatives to support the marine industry in Canada.


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