Dartmouth oceans facility gets $4.5M investment from Irving Shipbuilding

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Dartmouth oceans facility gets $4.5M investment from Irving Shipbuilding. Global's Natasha Pace reports.

A former Canadian Coast Guard Base located along the Dartmouth waterfront will soon be home to COVE – the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship.

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Once renovated, COVE will be a link for researchers, start-up companies, industry and post-secondary institutions.

“COVE will bring together small, medium and large companies to increase the rate of growth of the ocean economy through development and use of advanced ocean technology,” said Jim Hanlon, CEO of Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise.

The COVE site will not only offer office space extensive marine facilities and two large, deep water piers. The goal of the project is to help grow marine innovation.

This is the inside of one of the buildings that will make up COVE.
This is the inside of one of the buildings that will make up COVE. Natasha Pace/Global News

“COVE is a place where our past meets our future,” said Kelly Regan, Nova Scotia’s Labour Minister.

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“This place served as a coast guard base for many decades. It’s an anchor to our proud marine heritage. Today, this bright open space with spectacular harbour views is a window into our world of opportunity and possibility.”

Last fall, the provincial and federal governments announced a commitment of $19.72 million for the project.

EXCLUSIVE: First look at Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship under construction

On Thursday, COVE received its largest private sector contribution to date.

“Irving Shipbuilding is investing $4.52 million dollars in COVE to help establish the organization’s operations and programs,” said Kevin McCoy, president of Irving Shipbuilding.

Renovations are already underway at COVE.
Renovations are already underway at COVE. Natasha Pace/Global News

Under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, Irving Shipbuilding committed to investing 0.5 per cent of its contract revenue – or $12.5 million – over the construction of the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships Program (AOPS) to help create a sustainable marine industry across Canada.

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McCoy said the company will need highly talented people over the next 30 to 40 years as they work to build Canada’s future Navy ships.

“I see this COVE as actually developing products that will be used on some of the combat ships that we build eventually here,” he said.

READ: Halifax-area firm gets $7.3M rescue boat contract for Arctic patrol ships 

Don Bureaux, president of the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), says COVE will allow students to work in the fastest growing sector of Atlantic Canada – the oceans sector.

“There’s a large, large number of opportunities for students to work with our industry partners, in terms of applied research, in terms of curriculum development and also to provide a smooth transition to the work force,” said Bureaux.

READ MORE: ‘Unprecedented investment’ in ocean science to create world-leading institute in Halifax

Construction to convert the old coast guard base is already underway with COVE scheduled to open in 2018.