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Irving Shipbuilding invests $4.5 million in Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE)


Irving Shipbuilding Inc. announced today a multi-million dollar investment to support marine innovation and commercialization in Nova Scotia and across Canada.

Irving Shipbuilding is investing $4.52 million in the newly established Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE), an ocean innovation centre to be located on the waterfront in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The investment over the next five years represents the largest private sector contribution COVE has received to date.

At COVE, ocean science research, start-ups, R&D-intensive companies, industry, and Nova Scotia post-secondary institutions will work together to create a cluster of marine innovation and commercialization, and become global leaders.
Irving Shipbuilding’s funding is part of its Value Proposition commitments under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) – Canada’s 30-year plan to renew the fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard. The funding will support the establishment of various operations and programs at COVE.

COVE, operated by the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE), is in the early stages of transforming a former Canadian Coast Guard facility on the Halifax Harbour into extensive marine facilities with two large, deep-water piers, office space, a start-up incubator and space for shops and labs.

The federal and provincial governments are also supporting the establishment of COVE. In September 2016, the Government of Canada committed $7.17 million and the Province of Nova Scotia committed $12.55 million to support the refurbishment of the site and development of facilities at COVE.

By bringing together all elements of the ocean ecosystem, COVE will generate technical and commercial synergy through co-location; train, attract and retain ocean talent; share resources; and further enhance the global reputation of Canada’s marine technology cluster.

In 2011, Irving Shipbuilding was selected by the Government of Canada to construct Canada’s future naval combatant fleet and committed to investing 0.5% of its contract revenues in creating a sustainable marine industry across Canada. This will amount to approximately $12.5M over the construction of Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS), the first class of vessel under construction at Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

This is an exciting time at Halifax Shipyard as it constructs Canada’s future naval fleet.  Currently, the shipyards 1,500 shipbuilders are hard at work building Canada’s first two AOPS, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf and the future HMCS Margaret Brooke. The first AOPS is scheduled to be delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy in 2018.

 ISI Cove 


The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board
“Irving Shipbuilding’s investment in COVE helps grow Canada’s marine innovation and commercialization cluster, a key part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.  Halifax is home to world-class centres of excellence for shipbuilding and marine innovation, which are greatly contributing to our ocean based economy.”

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
“These investments by governments and industry are going to position Canada as a global centre for innovation. That means making Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into middle-class jobs and start-up companies into global successes.”

The Honourable Kelly Regan, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education
“Nova Scotia's economy is impacted by our geography; from shipbuilding to ocean tech, we're advantaged by our seaside location. Through government and private sector investments, like Irving Shipbuilding’s investment in COVE, we are well on our way to building a top-calibre ocean technology cluster in Nova Scotia. This will put us on the map as one of the best places in the world to do ocean-based technology research and development.”

Darren Fisher, Member of Parliament, Dartmouth-Cole Harbour
"Today's announcement shows the strength in Atlantic Canadian shipbuilding, ocean science and innovation. The COVE project is an excellent example of industry and government working together to grow our economy."

Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding Inc.
“Irving Shipbuilding is proud to support COVE and contribute to Canada’s vibrant ocean economy. On one side of Halifax harbour we have the most modern shipyard in North America where our 1,500 shipbuilders are proudly building Canada’s future fleet. Almost directly across the harbour we will soon welcome COVE, the world’s most innovative ocean technology incubator. This is a shining example of the National Shipbuilding Strategy creating a sustainable and vibrant marine industry in Canada.”

Jim Hanlon, Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise
“We are so pleased to celebrate the contribution from Irving Shipbuilding supporting the operation of the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship - COVE. Unique in the world, COVE will bring together ocean sector start-ups, small and large industry and commercialization experts to move the region and the country to the forefront of the new knowledge-based ocean economy.”

About Irving Shipbuilding Inc.
Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is the most modern shipbuilder and in-service support provider in North America. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, our skilled team and innovative facilities provide efficient building, fabrication, conversion and servicing of vessels and offshore platforms. As Canada’s chosen shipbuilder, Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is working with the Royal Canadian Navy on the next class of Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) and Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) vessels under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). We are proud to continue our long history as a trusted partner in Canadian shipbuilding.  Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is a member of the J.D. Irving, Limited group of companies, a diverse family owned company with operations in Canada and the United States. Learn more at or
About COVE
COVE – Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship -- is a collaborative facility for applied innovation in the ocean sector. COVE’s mission is to propel the ocean economy by providing high quality marine infrastructure and a collaborative space in which a community of ocean enterprises can start, grow and prosper. Its primary goal is to support ocean technology commercialization. COVE is at the centre of Nova Scotia’s globally recognized ocean cluster, located in the former Coast Guard facility on Halifax Harbour. The COVE site features extensive marine facilities with two large, deep-water piers, office space, an incubator and space for shops and labs. COVE is a place where innovations will be developed and brought to market. It’s a place where start-ups will be inspired and guided. COVE is a working facility for ocean enterprises with access to water and testing facilities. For more information, go to


Irving Shipbuilding Inc
Sean Lewis
Director, Communications
Irving Shipbuilding Inc.
Office: (902) 484-4595 
Cell: (902) 240-6964 

Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship

Jim Hanlon 
Chief Executive Officer 
Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise
(902) 334-2683 

Leslie Munro
Coordinator of Operations and Communications
Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise
(902) 830-2392