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A big blue opportunity

Written by Tim Benzie on 28 July 2020

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Innovate UK's Global Business Innovation Programme delivered by EEN is looking for 15 companies focused on marine technology to visit Canada.

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Marine technology

© Getty

From mapping the spread of plastics pollution in our oceans to providing delivery platforms for offshore inspection drones, there is a sea of opportunities in the world of marine robotics. It’s a market in which the UK has a strong position - now a substantial new opportunity is on offer for innovative SMEs to develop partnerships with another key marine technology country, Canada. 

Canada has become a world leader in engineering products and services suited to extreme harsh ocean environments, marine remote sensing technologies, and ocean observing systems. More than half of Canada’s $30bn ocean economy is anchored in Atlantic Canada, and the province of Nova Scotia, in particular where strong synergies between the private sector, academia and regional government have contributed to the growth of a robust ocean technology sector. 

Companies in the sector have a broad range of marine robotics systems, technologies and expertise suited to both surface and underwater vehicle applications - from marine defence and energy to tourism and transport, and fisheries and aquaculture technology. 

Visit Canada

To explore opportunities for innovation, to find potential partners and collaborators, and to gain a detailed understanding of doing business in this market, Innovate UK's Global Business Innovation Programme (GBIP), delivered by EEN, is looking to take 15 ambitious, innovative companies focused on surface and underwater marine robotics systems and technologies to Canada as part an extensive, 12-month programme.

The GBIP will include visits to Canada (subject to travel and other restrictions) in November 2020 and June 2021. Each will consist of tailored site visits, introductions to key players, high level contacts and networks, providing exclusive access to the Canadian market. 

Between visits to Canada, participants will also get the opportunity to meet with leading-edge industrial and research organisations at international B2B matchmaking events running in parallel to Oceanology International 2020 in London and Ocean Business 2021 in Southampton. The GBIP participants will also benefit from an exclusive 12-month tailored wrap-around support programme delivered by a dedicated EEN adviser, all with the aim of building innovation partnerships and fostering future international growth.

The 12-month marine robotics GBIP itinerary

30 September 2020
First Pre-Visit Briefing Workshop

Participant companies will be briefed by sector and market experts to build knowledge and understanding of the market and potential opportunities. These workshops provide advice on the particular challenges and opportunities of conducting business in Canada. This “getting ready for market” phase ensures that businesses understand the market, how to operate in it, understand the sector, and receive help to find partners and arrange meetings in advance. The workshops also provide advice on how to protect your IP, and training on how to improve your pitch and articulate your value proposition.

02-06 November 2020
First Innovation Visit

This four-day tailored programme (subject to travel and other restrictions) will consist of tailored site visits, introductions to key players, high level contacts and networks, providing exclusive access to the Canadian market.

01-03 December 2020
Support will be available for selected participants to attend the international B2B matchmaking event running in parallel to Oceanology International 2020 at Excel London, the world’s largest ocean technology exhibition and conference.

27 January 2021
Participants will benefit from one-to-one tailored support from an EEN advisor to build relationships with Canadian and international partners and exploit international funding opportunities.

13-15 April 2021
Support will be available for selected participants to attend the international B2B matchmaking event running in parallel to Ocean Business 2021 in Southampton

05 May 2021
Second Pre-Visit Briefing Workshop

06-11 June 2021
Second Innovation Visit: a five-day tailored programme of activities in Canada incorporating a high-profile presence and matchmaking events at Canada’s premier event for the ocean technology sector, H2O: Home to Overseas Conference, Industry Showcase and Exhibition in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The event attracts significant international participation. This will provide opportunities to meet Canadian and international R&D collaboration partners and develop project ideas through strategic and targeted sessions and pre-arranged B2B meetings. 

14 July 2021
Second Post-Visit Workshop

Innovate UK and EEN will organise and fund flights, hotels, and in-country logistics for participants on the visits to Canada.

Apply to take part in the Global Business Innovation Programme

The Global Business Innovation Programme brings together cohorts of up to 15 ambitious innovative UK SMEs looking to grow and scale globally. Each programme focuses on a specific country and technology or sector area and enables the businesses to build collaborations and partnerships and explore innovation opportunities.

To learn more and register your interest in the Canada marine technology GBIP, apply here.

To learn more about forthcoming GBIPs, contact your local EEN adviser.