Ottawa invests in ocean commercialization centre

The following Government of Canada news release highlights $4.4 million in new funding recently awarded to the Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre at the University of Victoria:

Government of Canada news release

Victoria, British Columbia, January 10, 2014—The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today visited the Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre at the University of Victoria, a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) that was recently awarded federal funding.

“The Government of Canada invests in R&D to support jobs, growth and the long-term prosperity of all communities across Canada, including here in Victoria,” says Minister of State Rickford. “The Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research program endeavours to bridge the gap between ideas and the marketplace by providing support for product and business development early in the innovation process and by strengthening relationships among private sector, academic and government players.”

On November 13, 2013, Minister of State Rickford announced $22.2 million over five years through the CECR program for the renewal of three centres: the Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre, the GreenCentre Canada and the Canadian Digital Media Network.

The CECR program matches research expertise with the business community to share knowledge and resources. The program invests $30 million per year in Canadian innovation through a portfolio of 21 active centres across the country. Since 2008, CECRs have helped launch more than 100 new companies and leveraged $420 million in partner contributions.

“One of the strengths of this program is the high level of private sector involvement, both in the operation of each centre and in the peer review process,” says Janet Walden, Chief Operating Officer of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. “This helps ensure that the program will bring Canadian research breakthroughs to market in the short term and that the centres will sustain their impact after the government funding period has ended.”

Established in 2009, the Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre commercializes marine monitoring technologies used in underwater ocean observatories. The Innovation Centre also works with partners to market a suite of products and services designed to benefit sectors as diverse as marine safety and security, energy, and transportation management. Through the CECR program, the Innovation Centre received a funding extension of $4.4 million over five years, bringing its total funding support to nearly $11 million.

“We’re very grateful to the Government of Canada for its continuing support of Ocean Networks Canada and its pioneering work in ocean science and technology,” says University of Victoria President Jamie Cassels. “With this new funding, the Innovation Centre will continue to mobilize its expertise to support growth in the Canadian ocean technology sector over the long term.”

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Keywords: Ocean Networks Canada, funding, government, oceans

People: Jamie Cassels, Janet Walden

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