Living in Halifax, it’s pretty hard to go a couple days without catching a glimpse of the ocean. Our history and culture are carved from the ocean. Yet there’s much we don’t know about it.
Recently, the Halifax Research Marine Institute (HRMI) was launched. While it’s not a physical building, the institute is a powerhouse of super smart people working in the ocean sector. The new institute will connect global, national and regional companies with talent, expertise and infrastructure, including world-class facilities like Dalhousie University’s Aquatron Laboratory.
This is a huge advantage for Halifax because there are several federal research labs, multiple universities and a growing private sector focused on oceans. The HRMI is about building partnerships to expand and attract additional research capacity, inform public policy and help build a stronger, more robust commercial sector in marine products.
That’s how the HRMI will benefit the increasing number of private sector companies who are about to discover even more business opportunities. Companies such as Ocean Nutrition (the world’s largest supplier of Omega-3 EPA/DHA ingredients) and Secunda Marine Services who manages a fleet of offshore support vessels servicing oil and gas companies worldwide.
The Province of Nova Scotia recognizes this and committed $1.75 million over the next 5 years to the HRMI. Already, oceans activity brings $5 billion in revenue to Nova Scotia, and that number is about to grow. As Martha Crago, Dalhousie University’s Vice President of Research says, “it will help increase exports, grow high value jobs, increase GDP and grow the economy.”
Halifax has one the highest concentrations of PhD’s in marine science in the world. Nova Scotia is home to the largest concentration of oceans researchers in Canada. Since my childhood dream of being an oceanographer will never be realized, I look forward to the innovation and opportunities that lay ahead for the ocean sector.