Ocean Connector Events


The Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE) hosts frequent Ocean Connector events offering thought-provoking discussion on current topics in ocean technology, science and research. Typically held on the last Thursday of each month, these events draw members from the industry, academic and government research communities. One of IORE’s main goals is to connect these groups and encourage collaboration and positive change.  Ocean Connector events are an opportunity to learn and network in a relaxed atmosphere that encourages interaction.

For the details of future events, visit our Ocean Connector blog frequently: oceanconnector.wordpress.com

To watch videos of past Ocean Connector events, visit our Youtube channel: IORE Youtube Channel

Presentations and discussions in 2018 include:


Ocean of Promise: Creativity and Collaboration in a New Nova Scotian Economy

The Atlantic Ocean has provided abundance to humans for millennia. Connecting creativity and innovation for a sustainable, ocean based-future is vital for the continued prosperity of Nova Scotia. Collaboration and stewardship are imperative in creating a bold economic vision, yet can be inspiring and challenging at the same time.

In this talk, Gary Markle will be sharing his progress in developing new sustainable materials using ocean resources, such as, seaweed, chiton, and fish skin.


Venturing into Ocean Tourism

Five years ago, Brookes and Fiona Diamond embarked on a new chapter of innovation, bringing original Nova Scotia-made content together with 360° digital technologies to create authentic immersive stories about Canada’s east coast in their own 50’ geodesic dome.

Their unique collaboration with the region’s largest Maritime museum and its supporting charitable foundation, has enabled them to build a cutting edge attraction, reflecting our special relationship with the sea, while increasing the capacity of the Museum.

As the partners look to create a brand new visitor experience, they are looking for input into the development of an exciting presence in ocean tourism – engaging the community and visitors in conversations about our ocean, and its importance in our world.


Diving into Big Data

By far, the majority of international trade is carried over ships, some sources putting that figure upwards of ninety percent. Chances are that most of what you have in your home, what you wear, even maybe what you eat, was once on a ship. Port cities like Halifax and Saint John have a huge dependency on its seaport operations for its economic well-being. It is therefore important that all these goods, and the people and ships that bring them to you, get tracked very efficiently.

Although there has been much talk of “Big Data” in recent years, the concept of aggregating large quantities of data from different sources has been around for quite some time.

Pat d’Entremont will dive into the ins and outs of tracking data on shipping vessels, crews and cargo movements, and how the software can lead to models that can be used to detect trends that lead to more efficient movement of goods.

Past Presentations and discussions from 2017:


GSC’s Projects and Priorities: How technology used in labs and field equipment is evolving

For over thirty years, Gary Sonnichsen has worked for the Geological Survey of Canada – Atlantic (Natural Resources Canada) as a Marine Geologist and as a Research Manager. His research has focused on the Arctic, and the east coast offshore from Nova Scotia to Labrador. Gary manages a team of thirty marine geoscientists and technologists. Together they collect and analyze seabed information from all of Canada’s ocean territories.

Gary will provide an overview of the current projects and priorities of the Geological Survey of Canada (Natural Resources Canada) and how that’s driving technology in their labs and field equipment. He will explain how a federal research lab such as Natural Resources Canada works, how it has changed, and how it collaborates with industry and academia.

What is the Ocean Supercluster?

Jim Hanlon and Matt Hebb will lead a presentation and interactive discussion by key stakeholders in the Ocean SuperCluster.

Canada’s ocean companies are coming together in a collaboration of established and emerging sectors that is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

Companies from sectors including marine renewable energy, fisheries, aquaculture, oil and gas, defence, shipbuilding, transportation, and ocean technology are building a partnership along with post-secondary institutions, entrepreneurs, and governments to accelerate technology solutions to big challenges in the ocean economy.

During this Ocean Connector, Special Event, Jim and Matt will be talking about the Ocean Supercluster Partnership, and answering questions such as:

  • Why an Ocean Supercluster?
  • What does it mean to me?
  • What is the Government of Canada’s Innovation Supercluster Initiative?


Tidal Energy Sensor Innovations

The Minas passage, home to the FORCE Test Site, has the strongest tidal currents in the world. While attractive for tidal energy development, this extreme environment challenges the limits of standard oceanographic work. The Fundy Advanced Sensor Technology (FAST) Program was established by the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) in 2012 as a platform to redefine the limits of our capabilities in relation to site characterization, environmental monitoring, and marine operations at tidal energy sites.

Over the last several years, FAST has evolved to include an array of onshore and offshore infrastructure, which have been the basis of innovative research projects that have looked at turbulence and wake effects, marine sound, fish detection and general marine operations.


Trends in SR&ED

Greg MacDonald has extensive experience in technology, food and beverage, and biopharmaceutical industries. His consulting work for manufacturing companies reviewing processes, systems and procedures has helped his clients continue to grow and develop efficient and sustainable organizations.

Greg, a member of Grant Thornton LLP’s Tax Services, specializes in government tax credits and incentive processes, including the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Credit. As a professional engineer and business consultant, Greg’s experience and knowledge of key industries has helped clients source project funding and find opportunities for efficiencies and cost saving.


Learn more about the Ocean Frontier Institute

Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright, Chief Executive Officer of the Ocean Frontier Institute and Dr. Marlon R. Lewis, Professor Emeritus and Scientific Director of the Ocean Frontier Institute at Dalhousie University give an overview of what OFI is all about.

Headquartered at Dalhousie University in Halifax, and in partnership with Memorial University of Newfoundland, the University of Prince Edward Island, federal Canadian and provincial governments, industry and eight international institutes in five other countries, the OFI is an interdisciplinary transnational organization whose aim is the safe and sustainable development of the ocean frontier, with a focus on the Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic gateway.


An Ocean of Opportunity

Andrew Stone, Director of Business Development at Genome Atlantic, and Dr. Marc Skinner, senior Marine Scientist at Stantec Consulting, discuss genomics and Environmental DNA (eDNA), and how they are used in ocean related projects.

Environmental DNA (eDNA) tools are being investigated as a means to address a broad array of environmental management applications in aquatic systems including but not limited to, detection of cryptic or rare species, population dynamics, wildlife forensics, as well as ecosystem health and community assessment. Genome Atlantic helps Atlantic Canada in multiple sectors including Aquaculture, Energy and Environment that intersect with the Ocean sector.


Update on COVE

Jim Hanlon (CEO, COVE) Sheila Paterson (COO, COVE), Shelley Hessian (Executive Director, Start-up Yard at COVE), and Peter Bigelow (Senior Planner, Waterfront Development Ltd.) are the brains and brawn behind COVE.

The Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) is a collaborative facility for applied innovation in the ocean sector. This space will be home to local and global ocean technology businesses, start-ups, researchers, and marine-based and service businesses that support the ocean technology sector.

The programs, facilities and services offered through COVE are under development now through to April 2018, with the goal being to bring the ocean technology cluster together to advance Canada’s competitive position.