Two Halifax companies have been accepted into an ocean-tech competition in Savannah, Ga., where they will compete for one of two US$100,000 prizes.

Ashored Innovations and Graphite Innovations and Technology will present at the eighth annual Ocean Exchange, an event run by a non-profit of the same name that seeks innovative solutions for the sustainability of our oceans. Ashored and GIT are two of 12 finalists chosen from countries including Ireland, the U.S. and Fiji.

Ashored will present its bottom-bound ropeless fishing trap. The Modular Ocean Based Instrument, or MOBI, gets rid of the need for ropes and buoys on lobster and crab traps, and instead alerts the fisher when they are near their traps via onboard tracking technology. By eliminating ropes, Ashored is reducing the risk of whale entanglement and lost traps, which pollute the ocean.

GIT works with graphene material and has designed a marine undercoating for ships and long-haul vessels. The graphene undercoating reduces drag on ships and minimizes carbon consumption.

The two companies were born out of universty programs in Halifax; Ashored got its start at Saint Mary's Masters of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation and GIT went through Dalhousie University's LaunchPad program.

Both companies are entering the industry at a crucial time for the Atlantic region, which has formed an Ocean Supercluster that will invest $300 million to $360 million in marine R&D over the next five years.

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Other companies at the 2018 Ocean Exchange will present technology that ranges from a wireless modem for underwater internet access, to a microalgae for fish vaccination.

The twelve finalists will present their companies to a panel of judges who will determine the top two winners who will receive $100,000.

The WW Orcelle Award will be presented to the company which provides a solution for sustainable logistics practices, and the Neptune Award will go to the company that can further our understanding of the ocean and our impact on its ecosystems.

The event will take place Oct. 7 to 9 in Savannah. This year’s theme is Impact Through Sustainability.