Auteur Joe Rios

Sea Change for Ocean Tech

New technologies for ocean-based industries are experiencing a rising tide of growth.

Pictures from outer space clearly show that the ocean dominates the earth’s surface. Canada is fortunate to lie between the two biggest bodies of water, which create rich resources and economic benefit for our country.

What’s less visible is that Canada has more than 700 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) that invent, develop and produce technology for four key ocean-based industries — offshore oil and gas, marine science, shipbuilding and water transportation. The resulting ocean technology is now among the fastest growing sectors in our economy – one in which Canada is well positioned to become a global leader.

The global ocean tech sector is forecast to grow by an estimated US$3 trillion – or 15 to 25% over the next five years.

It’s not surprising then that our ocean tech sector is attracting interest from international oil companies looking to learn from and expand their access to Canadian technology and expertise.

In particular, Canada is recognized for hydrographic mapping and other nautical services, coastal management (to prevent erosion, for example), remote sensing and satellite data, engineering for freezing-cold and other harsh ocean conditions, spatial data management software…the list goes on.

Today the offshore oil and gas sector is the biggest buyer of ocean tech. For example, in St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, companies are overcoming the challenges of developing offshore resources in the face of sea ice, icebergs, fog and worse. Many Canadian firms offer the know-how to diagnose and alleviate these problems.

EDC too is working hard — to help create more trade opportunities in this field for our clients and other exporters. Take Hebron, for example, a heavy oilfield project located offshore of Newfoundland & Labrador; it’s estimated to contain more than 700 million barrels of recoverable oil.

This adds up to immense contract opportunities for those 700 SMEs I mentioned. The $19 billion Hebron Project , although based in Canadian waters, will be an export platform — therefore both direct and indirect suppliers to the project can benefit from EDC solutions — in particular, our Security Guarantee Program (PSG) and Export Guarantee Program (EGP).

By contributing to the financing of such mega projects, EDC also plays a big role in connecting Canada’s ocean technology companies, especially smaller ones, to the international project owners and buyers involved. If you are in this sector, look out for a new wave of opportunities coming your way.

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