Ocean Technologies Industry Profile
Ocean technology firms provide goods and services for marine and ocean related industries:
Range from marine robotics and subsea vehicles to communications and electronic navigation equipment.
Comprise professionals with enhanced engineering, environmental and computer knowledge.
Size of the Industry
The ocean technologies industry consists of few large companies and many small and medium-sized firms.
A typical ocean technology firm employs 10–20 persons and generates sales on average of $100,000 to $120,000 per employee.
Canadian Company Capabilities Database lists more than 500 ocean technology firms in Canada.
Most ocean technology firms are located in the Atlantic provinces, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Alberta hosts a few ocean technology firms related to the oil and gas sector.top of page
The Domestic Market
Who's buying ocean technology goods and services?
- In 2000, the estimated value of domestic expenditures by marine and ocean industries on the ocean technology goods and services was approximately $600 million
- Exports are not reflected in the above estimate and are substantial, representing 95 percent of activity for some firms in the ocean technology sector.
- Most of the goods and services are purchased from the Atlantic provinces, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec
…ocean technologies are largely services orientated…
…offshore oil and gas expenditures have the greatest impact on ocean technology firms…
- In 2000, offshore oil and gas exploration, development and production accounted for 43 percent of the total domestic demand for ocean technology goods and services in Canada. This percentage translates into a GDP impact of approximately $300 million.
- Offshore oil and gas demands account for most of the expenditures in Newfoundland's ocean technology sector and over half of the expenditures in the ocean technology sectors in Nova Scotia, Ontario and Alberta
…in particular, offshore oil and gas exploration and development expenditures…
- This is especially the case for Newfoundland where 98 percent of the ocean technology goods and services purchased by the offshore sector were related to exploration and development activities
…offshore oil and gas operations demand services…
- 97 percent of the total ocean technology purchases by Canada's offshore oil and gas sector are in the ocean technology services sector
…government defence operations demand goods
- Defence operations account for almost half of the total domestic demand for ocean technology goods. Most of the demand for ocean technologies through government defence operations consists of communications and related equipment
The International Market
A Solid International Reputation
Canada's ocean technology firms have built a solid international reputation for producing quality custom products for niche markets
- underwater vehicles for marine tourism
- hydrographic services and products
- coastal management technology
- remote sensing and satellite data analysis
- harsh/cold ocean engineering, products and services
International Competition and Opportunities
- Domestic and export competition comes from the United States, France, Germany, Norway, Japan, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom
- These countries maintain barriers to market entry by foreign owned companies. When market entry is achieved it usually involves a strategic alliance with a firm in the targeted country
- These countries have b domestic purchasing programs through naval procurement or other applications, allowing export potential to remain b
- Competing countries often use targeted aid or preferred financing arrangements to secure contracts
- Tier 1 firms from competing countries present a unified approach, combining government participation, private companies and university research
- International competitors have the ability to provide a turn key package for customers
- New market opportunities are emerging internationally with the growing environmental awareness that is fostering regulatory regimes in coastal zones. The European Union, for example, has regulatory directives and is implementing the polluter-pay principle while stiffer regulations have been brought about by the North America Free Trade Agreement
- New markets are also emerging with the obligations imposed on countries that have laid claim to their offshore regions as Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ's) with the obligation to manage them in accordance with United Nations requirements
Strengths and Emerging Product Markets
- Canadian firms in the ocean technology fields are particularly b at developing measurement and interpretative systems for data derived from over, on or under the ocean surface and beneath the ocean floor
- Some emerging areas of Canadian technological excellence include electronic navigation, electronic charts, spatial data management software, hydro acoustic data processing for advanced fish stock and biomass assessment, marine environmental monitoring and management systems, and sustainable management decision support
- Ocean technology equipment and expert advice from professionals are frequently used in designing offshore platforms, conducting environmental impact assessments and coastal management practices
A Pillar of Knowledge
Canada is also home to a number of private and publicly funded ocean technology research facilities:
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