Economic development

New federal money for fish and tech sectors

Federal officials announce $2.7M for 7 N.S. companies

Economic Development minister Bains shakes hands with Treasury Board president Scott Brison before announcing the new investments.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains shakes hands with Treasury Board President Scott Brison before announcing the latest ACOA investments.   Jesse Laufer

The province’s fisheries, cleantech, and information and communication technology sectors received a $2.7 million boost from the federal government today.

Navdeep Bains, the federal minister of innovation, science and economic development, made the announcement alongside Kings-Hants MP and Treasury Board President Scott Brison.

The funds came from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the federal agency responsible for promoting economic development in the region.

“The businesses and organizations we are investing in today illustrate a commitment to excellence and to innovative practices that help set them apart in the marketplace,” Bains said in a news release.

The Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia (AANA) received a $223,009 non-repayable investment. That was the second largest investment after the $499,500 investment in Volta Labs, a non-profit corporation based in Halifax’s Maritime Centre that mentors local tech startups. 

The announcement took place at Volta Labs and brought the company’s total non-repayable investment from ACOA to slightly more than $1.1 million since its incorporation in 2013.

Two tech firms were given repayable investments from Ottawa as well, but the fisheries and aquaculture sector received the majority of the federal money.

Tom Smith, Director of AANS
Tom Smith says his association will use the investment to help grow and farm Atlantic halibut.   Jesse Laufer

“We are currently mapping the genome to farm Atlantic halibut, a very challenging species to grow,” said association executive director Tom Smith at the news conference earlier today.

The association already grows more than 14 different species of fish and marine life.

The federal officials said the new investments will provide sustainable exports for Nova Scotia, as well as create jobs for recent graduates from the province’s universities.