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Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre - ONC Innovation Centre

$11 million for 2009-18
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Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre

Number of partners

Partner contributions
$14.2 million

Victoria, British Columbia

Scott McLean Scott McLean

Board chair
Jim Roche Jim Roche
President and CEO of Stratford Managers Corporation

Opening new global markets for ocean monitoring technology

Canadian firms have already demonstrated their global expertise in working with Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) to build and operate the world’s most advanced subsea cabled observatories (NEPTUNE and VENUS), which enable researchers to operate instruments remotely and receive data at their home laboratories anywhere on the globe in real time. As a result, other countries have come calling to see how it was done. Canada turned this $200-million investment into global business opportunities by creating a commercialization centre to qualify and link prospective customers with the industrial, scientific and engineering expertise and experience needed to build similar systems. This $3-billion global market is projected to double in size in just a few years.

Among the results

  • Since 2009, the ONC Innovation Centre has demonstrated a Canadian economic impact of $100 million, including revenues, Canadian industry investments in new product research and development related to the centre’s activities, and funds to develop new products and services.
  • In partnership with IBM Canada, the ONC Innovation Centre created a Deep Analytics Centre in 2014 to develop ocean analytic products and train the next generation of highly qualified personnel to work with big data from the ocean. To date, more than 100 students have been trained in industry related projects.
  • The ONC Innovation Centre’s Technology Accelerator Program helped Canadian marine manufacturers launch globally successful technologies, such as Ocean Sonic’s hydrophones, AML Oceanographic’s UV anti-biofouling system, JASCO’s AMAR hydrophone system and JMesh’s software tools, thanks to access to rigorous testing on the centre’s cabled ocean observatories.
  • The ONC Innovation Centre established the world’s most advanced real-time civilian underwater listening station for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. The station allows the Port Authority to monitor inbound vessels for acoustic noise levels, determine ambient noise levels and track marine mammals.

Connect with ONC Innovation Centre


Helping ports protect whales from noisy ships
June 26, 2017
A homegrown technology that can monitor underwater noise is helping Canada’s largest port protect at-risk marine life while continuing to support $200 billion in annual marine trade and over 98,000 jobs. Read more
Exporting Canada's expertise in ocean science
June 26, 2014
First, Canada built the world’s most advanced subsea cabled observatories, resulting in an unprecedented flow of real-time data and images from the ocean floor. Then other coastal countries came calling to see how we did it. Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre (ONCIC) not only fields those calls, it is also assembling consortia of Canadian companies with the expertise and experience needed to build and maintain similar systems for a $3-billion global market projected to double in size in just a few years. Read more
Building Canada's Strengths: Oceans R&D
April 17, 2014
Canada is a global steward of the sea, with three world-class science clusters (British Columbia, Quebec and Atlantic Canada) and the longest coastline in the world. A recent Council of Canadian Academies report concluded that coordination across jurisdictions and disciplines is critical to maintaining this leadership position. The NCE has been doing exactly that since funding the first national network in this sector in 2003. Read more