One local organization is equipping B.C.’s ocean innovators to take on the $3 trillion global blue economy. Spearheaded in 2021 by the South Island Prosperity Partnership, COAST (the Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies) supports its members to start-up, scale and adopt sustainable ocean innovation for national and international markets.
Within the broader ocean economy, the blue economy sector works to conserve marine environments, seeking sustainable ways to utilize its resources while protecting its biodiversity. It attracts industry and innovators who are finding solutions to key challenges facing our oceans today, often engaging new technologies and new products.
B.C. is on the leading edge of research and commercial development of ocean technology, generating more oceantech startups in 2022 than any other province in Canada. Its confluence of world-class ports, research institutions, robust investment and entrepreneurial ecosystem mean the sector is ripe for massive growth over the next decade.
As Pacific Canada’s hub for the sustainable blue economy, COAST is well positioned to accelerate that momentum.
“Our ocean and marine industries are a vital component of our economic and social prosperity and we’re seeing an increasing number of innovators and entrepreneurs working to better our use and interactions with the ocean,” says Executive Director Jason Goldsworthy. “COAST supports these enterprises on their path to market, helping find solutions to key industry challenges, attracting talent, capital and partnerships, identifying and providing training opportunities and connecting an ecosystem of private and public organizations.
”Earlier this year COAST announced a $2 million funding investment from the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation’s Clean Energy Fund and $3 million from the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan) and began building out its team, membership and programs.
“As we develop Pacific Canada’s hub for the sustainable blue economy, we’re bringing innovative solutions, progressive industries and inspirational entrepreneurs together to nurture a sector that’s not only well positioned for growth, it’s also an important contributor to a sustainable future,” says Goldsworthy. “We encourage ocean and marine businesses in B.C. to get in touch with us to explore ways to work together.”