Port of San Diego Pairs with Canada’s Ocean Supercluster for Ocean Innovation

The formalized Memorandum of Understanding opens up collaboration and exchange of information opportunities for the port and the supercluster.

SAN DIEGO一 On June 15 the San Diego Board of Port Commissioners approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Port and Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, a private industry-led partnership focused on ocean sustainability.

The MOU formalizes the relationship between the Port and OSC and focuses on collaboration and the sharing of resources while stimulating more Blue Economy projects in San Diego and in Canada.

“The idea of the MOU is to actually stimulate more projects,” said Paula Sylvia, program manager for aquaculture and blue technology for the Port of San Diego. “Both of our organizations can share more ideas, can share company pipelines that are coming to us or through us and sort of grow our respective blue economy ecosystem. The MOU facilitates a larger role for both of our organizations to play a role in each other’s projects… On the front end it’s regular meetings and regular coordination between projects coming through their pipeline and coming through ours, so the regular meetings set up, facilitates communication on a regular basis and improves opportunities for deploying projects.”

The Port began an informal informational partnership with Canada in 2017 after the first-ever Oceanography International conference where the Port gained a first look at sustainability practices in Canada.

The conference led the Port to sign an MOU with another Canadian organization, the Center for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship, a collaborative-hub based in Nova Scotia that focuses on ocean technologies.

The Port held the conference again in 2019, where they continued to work with the Canadian government and were introduced to OSC which has government backing with almost $4 million in funding.

“It seemed to be a natural linkage between what we were doing here in San Diego and what was happening in Canada,” said Jason Giffen, vice president of planning, environment, and government relations for the Port of San Diego. “Especially with us having the opportunity to grow our incubator and develop some stronger relationships with the Canadian organization Ocean Supercluster.”

The Port found a natural linkage between the environmental factors they were covering and what Canada was facing on their own shores, the challenge of creating and focusing on innovative solutions that would benefit the coastal environment and contribute to ocean sustainability.

OSC began launching projects in early 2018, the company works with leaders from several ocean-centered sectors, fisheries, bio-resources, ocean technologies, and several others, to facilitate and develop change for the world’s oceans.

The Port launched its Blue Economy Incubator, a program that supports entrepreneurship opportunities for sustainable blue technology, in 2016 and has since launched nine innovative pilot projects.

One project that is a direct link with OSC is the approval of a stormwater monitoring device that received approval in Dec. 2020, it is a five-in-one field testing sensor device to provide real-time metals analysis for stormwater monitoring.

It will automatically test storm waters for aluminum, copper, lead, zinc, and nickel and provide real-time data for stormwater programs to make faster adjustments to better management practices.

The device came from a Canadian-based company FREDsense Technologies and is in a two-year pilot program with the Port.

To learn more about the port’s blue economy initiative visit their website at https://www.portofsandiego.org/waterfront-development/blue-economy.


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