As one of Canada’s 20 Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR), Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) works to bridge the challenging gap between innovation and commercialization.
One of ONC's goals as a Centre of Excellence is to strengthen domestic collaboration nationally. To meet this objective, in 2012 ONC’s Innovation Centre facilitated the creation of the Ocean Technology Alliance Canada (OTAC), linking Canada's regional associations to help grow the economic capacity of Canada’s ocean technology sector.
In December 2016, OTAC was formally incorporated as a national association for the ocean technology sector. In August 2017, a new OTAC website was launched to take this Canada-wide blue economy collaboration to the next level. OTAC represents 350 companies and organizations across Canada through regional associations: the Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia, OceansAdvance, Technopole Maritime du Quebec and the Association of British Columbia Marine Industries, and the national ONC Innovation Centre Industry Network.
OTAC’s five-member Board of Directors includes Board Chair Scott McLean, Director of ONC’s Innovation Centre and ONC Board member David Fissel, Chair and Senior Scientist at ASL Environmental Services.
“OTAC provides Canada with a platform to create a national voice for the ocean technology sector,“ says Scott McLean. “OTAC will create national programs through international partnerships and new exports of Canadian technology to meet the demands of the global blue economy, predicted to triple to $4.5 trillion by 2030. China and the EU are investing billions of dollars to grow their blue economies, and OTAC is creating a national brand for the sector to help ensure Canada maintains a leading edge in this growing global market.”
Canada’s ocean science and technology sector is becoming more organized with both the creation of OTAC and recently with the creation of a new Oceans Research in Canada Alliance (ORCA), for which OTAC sits on the Board, representing the ocean technology industry.