During November 2015, ONC’s Innovation Centre circled the globe, showcasing Canada’s ocean observing expertise and world-class technologies to some of the world’s fastest growing marine economies.
According to the director of ONC’s Innovation Centre, face-to-face meetings are essential to any successful international partnership.
“These countries are investing billions of dollars in their blue economies, which includes monitoring their ocean environment. Canada has the expertise in Smart Ocean Systems™ to help them expedite their monitoring goals,” says Scott McLean.
Through the Networks of Centres of Excellence program (NCE), Ocean Networks Canada plays an international role in accelerating the development and adoption of new Canadian commercialization of ocean science and technology, as one of Canada’s Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR).
With this mandate to develop global partnerships and promote Canadian expertise, ONC‘s Innovation Centre recently participated in major conferences in South America, Asia, and Europe.
Shanghai, China (3 – 5 Nov)
Oceanology International China 2015 is Asian’s premier event for marine science and ocean technology. Over 200 exhibitors from 20 countries and regions come to Shanghai, the largest city in the world.
Oceanology connects domestic and international suppliers with Chinese buyers in ocean technology and leading edge marine science. The conference and exhibition promote academic research, information exchange and international cooperation in marine resources, ecological environment protection, offshore oil and gas exploration, ocean engineering and marine monitoring.
This is ONC’s third year attending Oceanology. As part of its mandate to promote the ocean technology sector in Canada, the Innovation Centre, together with the Nova Scotia Business Incorporated, brought together 20 companies from across the country—the largest Canadian pavilion to date at Oceanology.
Over 5,000 visitors attended, creating great networking opportunities for Canadian organizations. Scott McLean observed that “visitors from national organizations and institutes are increasingly knowledgeable about ocean technology, and they’re looking for long-term solutions and partnerships.”
This annual international conference was well supported by the federal and provincial governments including British Columbia’s Ministry of International Trade, which provided funding for British Columbia companies.
Santa Marta, Colombia (Oct 7-22)
ONC was invited to present at a joint gathering of the XVI Latin American Congress of Marine Science and Colombia’s Marine Research and Technology Seminars.
Since 1979, Marine Science Congress members have gathered to share information on major ocean issues. This year, over 800 participants gave more than 900 presentations in subjects ranging from sustainable ocean resources and climate change, to marine protected areas and the Antarctic.
Ocean researchers and decision makers, from Mexico to Chile, showed great interest in ONC’s Spanish presentation given by Tania Lado Insua, Ocean Analytics Program Manager.
The Colombia Commission for the Oceans, an agency similar to Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans, was particularly interested, and subsequently met with the Innovation Centre team to identify ONC’s strengths and discuss areas for future collaboration.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (27 – 29 Oct)
Offshore Technology Conference Brazil is one of the world’s foremost events for the development of offshore resources in the areas of drilling, exploration, production and environmental protection.
The Innovation Centre was there to support a new joint project with the University of Rio de Janeiro and the energy corporation Petrobras that aims to monitor carbon dioxide and methane on the seafloor at depths similar to ONC’s NEPTUNE observatory sites in the Pacific Ocean—as deep as three kilometres below the sea surface.
In her first-ever presentation at a conference, Brazilian engineering student, Bruna Wanke, provided an eloquent overview of the project.
For over four years, ONC’s Innovation Centre has worked closely with Global Affairs Canada (formerly the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Development) to promote the Canadian ocean observing sector around the world. Centre director, Scott McLean, is Canada’s lead in facilitating ocean technology collaborations with Brazil as part of the science and technology agreement between the two countries.
Barcelona, Spain (4 – 6 Nov)
On the other side of the Atlantic, ONC helped organize a multinational meeting to explore a future transatlantic ocean research alliance. Hosted by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, key organizers included the Spanish National Research Council and The Embassy of Canada to Spain, with the cooperation of the European Commission and Canada Foundation of Innovation.
The Canada-Europe Working Sessions on Oceans brought together 100 scientists, academics and government decision-makers to explore collaborative research and technological development in the ocean observation sector. Canada Foundation for Innovation President, Gilles Patry, also spoke at the event, encouraging international collaboration and a global vision.
The two-day event generated some intense brainstorming that identified key areas of mutual interest. Seven sessions ranged from financing marine infrastructure and maritime traffic safety, to tsunami forecasting and ocean health monitoring.
The goal of this working session was to identify critical joint projects that could respond to future funding opportunities through Horizon 2020. The largest EU Research and Innovation programme ever, Horizon 2020 is making nearly 80 billion euros of funding available over seven years (2014 to 2020).