Collaborating for an inclusive ocean industry

Allison Murray

Published November 19, 2020
in News

By Allison Murray

Significant change can happen when organizations in an industry collaborate. The Ocean Allies initiative is an exceptional opportunity to invest in building a resilient, inclusive and sustainable Ocean Sector that is future ready. Upswing Solutions is excited to be involved in this pilot project alongside such a committed group of partners.

One of four Ocean Supercluster Projects Announced Today in Dartmouth

(Dartmouth, NS) – Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced four projects today including the cluster-building project called Ocean Allies. The Ocean Allies project has a total value of more than $420,000 where the Ocean Supercluster will provide $250,000 with the balance of funding coming from project partners. Led by Pisces Research Project Management Inc together with partners Upswing Solutions, Huntsman Marine Science Centre, Assembly of First Nations, BioNB, Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE), Irving Shipbuilding, Nova Scotia Business Inc, Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia, Ocean Frontier Institute, OceansAdvance, PanGeo Subsea, Synapse, Mitacs, and Ulnooweg, this project is designed to access, engage, and support a diverse ocean economy through targeted strategic activities across five work packages:

  1. Defining Success: Evaluate the current state of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion (DE&I) in Canada’s ocean sector, including engaging industry stakeholders to understand the key challenges they face. A final report will examine the current landscape and provide improvement recommendations for the industry.
  2. Training: Improve inclusivity outcomes through hiring training and cross-cultural network training.
  3. Changing Systems: Develop practical tools to help ocean sector companies address systemic barriers that prevent diverse communities from thriving in the ocean economy. The tailored DE&I toolkits will be piloted with five ocean companies with support to embed DE&I in their business strategies and operations.
  4. Improving Access: Support future ocean workers through targeted networking opportunities, improved connectivity with the Ocean Supercluster’s Technology Leadership program, and by demystifying the concept of access through the creation of an actionable community framework. The aim is to increase business linkages between ocean companies and diverse talent pools.
  5. Recognition and Support: Provide opportunities for peer connection, additional financial support for employers, and public recognition for great work.

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is an industry-led transformative cluster focused on tackling the shared challenges across ocean sectors through a collaborative program designed to accelerate the development and commercialization of globally-relevant solutions, while also building a highly-capable, inclusive workforce. To encourage innovation and trigger new industry investment during these challenging times, the Ocean Supercluster supplemented its core programs with an additional project stream called Accelerated Ocean Solutions Program (AOSP). This enables the development of smaller projects on a shorter timeline that deliver tangible outcomes, while continuing to build resiliency in our ocean sectors.


“Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is energizing the ocean sector through its support of innovation ecosystem projects, like Ocean Allies, that will engage partners across Atlantic Canada to support a diversified ocean economy. This project will help other Canadian companies and innovator access the ocean economy and provide innovative solutions to real-life ocean environment challenges.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“We are incredibly proud to announce the Ocean Allies Project knowing the incredible importance of achieving greater diversity, equality, and inclusion across our ocean sectors. Only when we remove barriers, build capabilities and connections, and create opportunities will we truly be on the path to realizing our full potential in ocean innovation.”
– Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster