Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada is donating $3 million to help grow B.C.'s ocean and marine technology sectors and foster Indigenous entrepreneurship and expertise in emerging industries.

The federal government’s economic development agency is contributing the money to the South Island Prosperity Partnership. The Partnership will use the funds to support the blue economy through its Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies, the division responsible for nurturing ocean technology.

Otherwise known as COAST, the branch brings together entrepreneurs, government, researchers and industry partners to address and support the local blue economy.

“Our ocean and marine industries are a vital component of our economic and social prosperity,” said Emilie de Rosenroll, founding CEO of COAST. “We will help find solutions to key industry challenges, attract talent, capital and partnerships, identify and provide training opportunities, connect an ecosystem of private and public organizations, and drive the momentum to establish Pacific Canada as a world leader in ocean and marine innovation.”

SIPP is one of five ocean organizations in the Greater Victoria area to receive a portion of the $5.7 million in funding offered by PacifiCan.

This funding will also support SIPP’s Indigenous-led arm, the Indigenous Prosperity Centre, which aims to provide essential services to support Indigenous entrepreneurs.

““In our conversations with South Island First Nations, they’ve identified the blue economy as a sector they are taking a leadership role in building,” said Christina Clarke, the executive director of IPC. “We will work closely with COAST to connect Indigenous marine stewards to the training, investments, partnerships and support needed to achieve their goals.”