On behalf of the Ocean Technology Alliance Canada (OTAC) Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre is seeking participants for an upcoming Canadian Ocean Technology mission to Brazil in late November or early December, 2012.
As one of the world’s fastest growing economies with a particular focus on the marine sector, Brazil provides great opportunities for Canadian ocean technology companies. Travel support is available through Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre from the DFAIT GOA program. Background and mission details follow.
Networking for Canadian Ocean Technology
The OTAC was formed in August 2011 by the regional ocean technology associations in Canada to create networking opportunities that strengthen the economic capacity of Canada’s Ocean Technology sector, for the benefit of sector companies and affiliated organizations (see OTAC history). OTAC currently represents 192 companies and organizations in Canada that are affiliated with Ocean Initiatives BC (BC), Oceans Advance (NL), Technopole maritime du Québec (QC), Ocean Tech Council of Nova Scotia (NS) and Ocean Networks Canada Centre for Enterprise and Engagement (National).
To find out more about OTAC and how you can get involved contact your regional or national representative:
- Oceans Advance (NL) – Les O’Reilly
- Technopole maritime du Québec (QC) – Laurent Bellavance
- Ocean Tech Council of Nova Scotia (NS) – Paul Yeatman
- Ocean Initiatives British Columbia (BC) – Scott McLean
- Ocean Networks Canada Centre for Enterprise and Engagement (National) – Scott McLean
Looking for funding support
The OTAC associations agreed to collaborate on an export development plan that was to outline key activities and market segments that the sector in Canada should address. The plan was to target possible funding agencies to help fund activities of Canadian companies in the Ocean Technology sector, whether or not they are part of an established regional association. One initial activity was to seek funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) under the Going Global for Associations (GOA) program. OTAC developed an international business development strategy in December of 2011 and on behalf of OTAC, Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre applied for GOA funding. This funding was approved by DFAIT in June 2012.
OTAC's Ocean Tech Working Group
The initial OTAC business development strategy can be obtained from your regional local OTAC representative. This strategy was intended to align with key strategic directions for Canada nationally and with rapidly growing economies with a focus on the marine sector, the initial target market is Brazil, one of the world’s fastest growing economies.
In 2008 Canada and Brazil signed a co-operative science and technology agreement and established a joint committee, and in 2011 four bilateral working groups to facilitate collaboration. One of the four working groups is Ocean Technology. Canadian members of the Ocean Tech Working Group are:
- Jane Rutherford (co-lead) – DFAIT
- Kevin Fitzgibbons – DFAIT
- Les O’Reilly – Oceans Advance
- Scott McLean – Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre
- Marlon Lewis - Satlantic
- Carl Harris – NRC IOT
- Bharat Rudra – ISTP Canada
The Working Group established a common framework of interest for the Ocean Tech sector in both countries and framed it in the broad context of Ocean Observing Systems as follows:
Ocean observing systems represent a portfolio of technologies that provide sustained monitoring of the ocean environment. These technologies include sensor systems, observatory infrastructure, data management and archiving tools, models for prediction and forecasting, and systems for marine spatial planning and marine hazard assessment. Together these systems provide a layering of tools for informed decision making about the complex marine environment. For Canada one priority area is our most rapidly changing region, the Arctic. In discussions with Brazil key areas of interest include climate change, biodiversity and monitoring O&G production fields.
Based on discussions to date these developments would seek to establish a program for sustained ocean monitoring in Brazil using a combination of in situ monitoring (cabled, moored buoy, vessels of opportunity, AUVs and gliders) and satellite remote sensing (possibly including coastal HF radar) to cover both the spatial and temporal scales of phenomenon for marine hazards, environmental monitoring, climate change and marine diversity. These platforms would require a wide range of sensor technologies to meet core industry or research objectives and would form a base system for developing future sensor technologies and oceanographic research in Brazil. These near real- time inputs would be used to establish baseline and long term trends for critical zones on the Brazilian coast. They would also be used to feed forecasting models for the prediction of hazards and extreme events that can have significant economic and ecological impacts on the coast and offshore areas of Brazil. The combination of these elements provides needed near real-time data inputs to drive models for prediction and forecasting, covering the full range of technology areas discussed in the Joint Canada-Brazil Ocean tech Working Group. Related scientific research activities around these technology areas opens up a wide range of possible collaborative areas. Opportunities may also exist for use and/or development of Brazilian technologies in partnership with Canada. In January of 2012 Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre completed an initial scoping mission to identify key potential partners in Brazil, in advance of a planned ocean technology workshop.
In May, 2012 this workshop, led by the Canada-Brazil Ocean Tech Working Group, was held in Rio de Janeiro. Hosted by Petrobras, the objective was to help establish joint programs between the two countries. The workshop brought together 12 Canadians and approximately 25 Brazilians, representing industry, academia and government. From Canada, industry was represented by the leads from OTAC. A workshop report will be made available, pending final review from the Working Group.
A mission to build on new relationships
Although not formally part of the Ocean Tech Working Group action plan, an industry mission is well timed to build upon the relationships being established between our two countries. This more industry-focused mission—with funding support provided by DFAIT—is now in the early planning stage. The mission details will be worked out once we have a list of Canadian companies participating in the mission. The mission will be led by Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre on behalf of OTAC and coordinated with the Canadian Trade Commissioners in Brazil. The mission objective is to establish relationships and sales opportunities in Brazil’s $225B offshore development program. We are be making plans to have meetings with 50 companies and organizations in Brazil that are seeking products and services in ocean observing related systems in both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The Canada-Brazil Ocean Tech Working Group has already established the ocean observing sector as a key interest for joint activities between the two countries. This mission and future programs seek to establish Canada as an international leader in ocean observing system products and services from sensor systems, infrastructure, marine ICT, to modeling and prediction systems. With the significant Brazilian investment and interest in the ocean sector this is an ideal opportunity for both Brazilian and Canadian industry.
Including travel time the mission is expected to be approximately 7 days long, with 5 days in Brazil. DFAIT funds can cover up to a maximum of:
- 50% of economy airfare (estimated at $2500)
- 50% of per diem at $400/day – including hotel (estimated at $2800)
- 50% of internal Brazil flights (estimated at $250)
- 50% of ground transport (estimated at $500)
- 50% of costs for meeting rooms and AV equipment (estimated at $415)
Total maximum contribution from DFAIT (reimbursed through Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre ) for up to 12 companies - $3232 each
OTAC currently seeks approximately 12 companies who would be interested in participating in a mission to Brazil in early December 2012. We will be developing selection criteria over the summer to put together a team of companies that have the highest potential to develop new business in Brazil.