Ocean technology facility on Halifax harbour gets $4.5 million investment

A project that will transform a section of Halifax's waterfront into an ocean research and development facility has received a multimillion-dollar investment.

Irving Shipbuilding announced Thursday it will contribute $4.52 million to the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship, in Dartmouth, as part an obligation under the National Shipbuilding Strategy that requires the company to re-invest a portion of its contract revenues.

In September, Ottawa committed about $7 million and the province about $12.5 million towards the project, which is transforming a former Canadian Coast Guard site into marine facilities with two deep-water piers.

Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise CEO Jim Hanlon says the 3.2 hectare site with a five hectare water lot will be shared with small, medium and large private sector businesses.

He says centre, referred to by the acronym COVE, will foster ocean technology start-ups and help existing ones grow, serving as a centre for local and global ocean technology companies, post-secondary institutions and researchers.

Hanlon says they put out a call for prospective tenants last week and there has been much interest in COVE, which is slated to open next year.