The ocean is vital to British Columbia's economy
Ocean-oriented activities in British Columbia account for eight per cent of B.C.'s jobs and seven per cent of the province’s GDP. Ocean sector revenues and government/not-for-profit ocean-oriented expenditures in B.C. represent $11.6 billion annually. Corresponding direct economic impacts included $5.76 billion in GDP, $4.2 billion in wages, salaries and benefits, and over 80,000 person-years of employment FTEs.
A world-leading asset for the province
The University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) manages the VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada cabled ocean networks as a world-leading ocean observatory, providing global access to continuous sea floor data in real time, via the Internet. The ONC Observatory is the research engine that supports vital components of B.C.’s ocean related economy—a “cornerstone” of technology as stated by Seaspan in its bid for federal shipbuilding contracts.
A research engine helping to generate jobs and wealth for BC
Leveraging the leading-edge technology and innovative research from VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada, the ONC Observatory is helping drive the development of international commercial opportunities for businesses in ocean technology and marine services.
In partnership with B.C. companies, the Observatory has active proposals with organizations in Korea, Italy, Brazil, Turkey, Atlantic Canada and the Arctic. Working with industry, ONC has also been responsible for opening doors to over $110M of ocean observing opportunities for B.C.-based companies such as:
OceanWorks International (Burnaby B.C.) – Subsea technology designed in collaboration with ONC is now serving a growing international market. Ocean observatory projects now account for up to 40 per cent of OceanWorks’ current and future revenue plans.
ASL (Sidney B.C.) and Rockland Scientific (Victoria B.C.) – These highly successful instrument technology companies have used ONC to improve product performance and aid global sales.
Canadian Scientific Submersible Facility-CSSF (Saanich B.C.) –Building upon work with the VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada cabled undersea networks, the CSSF research submersible ROPOS today assists scientists around the world with pioneering deep-sea research. Ocean observatory projects now account for 80 per cent of CSSF current and future revenue plans.
Projected economic impacts on BC communities
A recent Vancouver Board of Trade Study offers the following five-year economic projections for the economic impacts of the Observatory:
- 600 person years of employment
- $61 million contribution to GDP
- $83 million revenue generation by B.C. companies
- Multi-million dollar value of the data products used for managing resources, mitigating hazards, and protecting and sustaining BC communities
Protecting and sustaining BC communities
ONC serves as a unique asset for the Province to address high priority ocean issues related to hazard mitigation, resource management, safety and security, all of which have huge economic consequences.
The Observatory’s leading edge research in tsunami detection will improve coastal resilience in BC’s coastal communities, which are a major economic driver for the tourism sector.
Increasingly, there is a need for ocean observing systems to protect the marine environment and monitor major marine industry sectors such as oil and gas, ocean renewable energy, port and coastal security, marine transportation, aquaculture, and fisheries. ONC anticipates over $50 million in revenue for B.C. companies in environmental monitoring and ocean resource exploration.
Vancouver Board of Trade Economic Impact Assessment (January 2012)
Leslie Elliott, Ocean Networks Canada Communications and Marketing Manager
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