Ocean Technology Enterprise Centre

The Ocean Technology Enterprise Centre, located in the new NRC Industry Partnership Facility in St. John's, Newfoundland, is a place for ocean technology companies to develop their technology and business opportunities in a supportive and cooperative environment.

The mission of the NRC Ocean Technology Enterprise Centre is to promote the development of ocean technology business in Newfoundland by:

Providing a supportive environment to assist the growth and development of new ventures in ocean technology and:

Providing co-location facilities to assist collaborative activities between NRC researchers and ocean technology companies and organizations.

A man pulling a lever on a lifeboat release mechanism

Mad Rock Marine Solutions Inc. is manufacturing and marketing its innovative lifeboat release mechanism.

The Ocean Technology Co-Location Program is directed towards ocean technology companies that can benefit from co-location with NRC. These companies are either engaged in collaborative activities with NRC or its facilities and expertise in the development of their technology or prosecution of their business. These tenants can locate all or a portion of their operation within OTEC and normally pay commercial rates for space and services. They can also rent shop and laboratory space that is either surplus to NRC operations or can be made available through some reallocation of resources.

Campus incubation consortium

The National Research Council provides technical expertise in support of Canada's ocean technology industries. NRC conducts ocean engineering research through modeling of ocean environments, predicting and improving the performance of marine systems, and developing innovative technologies that bring benefits to the Canadian marine industry.

The National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) is Canada's premier innovation assistance program for small and medium-sized Canadian enterprises (SMEs). IRAP provides Canadian SMEs with value-added technological and business advice, financial assistance and a range of other innovation assistance. IRAP helps SMEs realize their full potential, turning knowledge and innovation into strategic opportunities, jobs and prosperity for all Canadians.

The Genesis Centre helps technology-based ventures which have the opportunity for high growth, and which seek business support and capital. The Centre is a support network developed to help Newfoundland and Labrador knowledge-based businesses/entrepreneurs create high-growth enterprises. It provides a wide range of resources and services for its clients with a long-term goal of preparing its clients to become "investor ready". Clients of the Genesis Centre are paired with world class mentors. These mentors volunteer their time, energy, and contacts to the entrepreneurs, providing assistance with both personal development and business support. One of the many functions of the Genesis Centre is to recruit consultants for clients. These consultants help the clients develop their business plans under the guidance of the mentor, and assist with time-consuming activities such as market research and operational planning.

The P.J. Gardiner Institute was the first small business consulting centre to be established within a Canadian university. The Institute provides assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners through counselling and consulting services. Its most recent initiative is the Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Gateway that assists technology-oriented students, alumni, faculty and staff in accessing business development resources. Annually, the Institute presents several awards, including the Newfoundland and Labrador Entrepreneur of the Year award and undergraduate and graduate financial awards for initiatives in entrepreneurship.

The Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Gateway can help turn ideas into great business ventures. The Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Gateway is a resource centre that connects young entrepreneurs with the programs, agencies, and expertise necessary for them to successfully develop their business ideas.

The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science operates a small incubation facility under its Industrial Outreach Program. The Faculty has been the primary source for OTEC's talented young entrepreneurs and is often involved in research and development with OTEC tenants.

The Inco Innovation Centre – The federal government has invested over $13 million through the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) in this state-of-the-art facility. The Centre includes space available to incubating companies. Genesis manages this space, which will also be available to OTEC clients.

Facilities

OTEC is housed within NRC's new Industry Partnership Facility (IPF) on the campus of Memorial University. The tenants have access to meeting rooms, audiovisual equipment, copiers, and telephone and computer connections. Space may also be available in the shops and laboratories for use by the tenants.

The Centre is strategically located in close proximity to NRC's research offices, facilitating interaction and collaboration between tenants and researchers.

A man suspended above water with a propulsion device attached to his back.

Jetlev Development Corporation is perfecting a personal propulsion device that enables a rider to fly at up to 35 mph.

Housed on the first floor just below OTEC is the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI), an invaluable resource for companies needing leading edge information services related to ocean technology.

Also housed in the same complex is the Newfoundland headquarters of the NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). This office has highly skilled and experienced Industrial Technology Advisors who can provide the tenants with technical and business advice. Companies may also apply for financial assistance under various IRAP programs.

The Centre is located adjacent to the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and within a short walk of the Genesis Centre and the Faculty of Business, which houses Gateway and the P.J. Gardiner Institute.

Organization

The OTEC manager is the tenant's primary point of contact and is responsible for negotiating occupancy agreements, ensuring that the required services are available to the tenants and arranging access to technical expertise, shops and research facilities.

OTEC is part of the Campus Incubation Consortium, a larger community of incubation and industrial support in and around the campus of Memorial University. Potential clients can come directly to OTEC or access the program through Genesis, Gateway or the NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program. The Genesis Selection Board, with input from NRC and Gateway, determines the suitability of applicants on the basis of the eligibility criteria. The successful candidates receive business coaching through Gateway and technical coaching through NRC.

On an annual basis the Genesis Selection Board assesses the growth and development of the companies to determine their suitability to remain in the program and if they are ready to graduate from the OTEC Incubator to become a Genesis client or to strike out on their own.

Computer generated image of a lifeboat and release mechanism on an offshore platform

Virtual Marine Technology Inc. provides high quality marine training simulators that are customized to its clients' requirements.

OTEC Co-location Program

Organizations who best meet the following criteria are eligible to rent available space within the Ocean Technology Enterprise Centre.

  • The company is engaged in the field of ocean technology development.
  • The company or group is engaged primarily in pre-commercial activities.
  • The development activity will benefit from close association with the research program and access to NRC facilities and expertise.
  • The company is engaged or is likely to become engaged in collaborative research activities with NRC.
  • The activities of the company are complementary to the mission of NRC.

The rate structure for rental of space is flexible with preferred rates for companies who best meet the eligibility criteria and are at an early stage in the development of their technology and markets. Where preferred rates are offered, the rate will increase over time to encourage movement from the IPF to commercial rental space as the business matures.

Contact

Noel Murphy
Telephone: 709-772-4939
EmailNoel.Murphy@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca