The Ocean Startup Challenge, which aims to provide 10 oceantech companies with $25,000 each plus in-kind services, has produced a shortlist of 31 companies from across Canada and the U.S.

The competition was launched by the Ocean Startup Project, part of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, in June to encourage the development of more early-stage companies developing nautical technology. The shortlisted companies -- chosen from 158 applications -- will now attend bootcamps, to be followed by pitching sessions in two weeks. The finalists will be named Sept. 28.

The Ocean Supercluster – one of five innovation superclusters supported by the Canadian government – initiated the challenge with the goal of developing more oceantech startups, especially in Atlantic Canada. Several proponents of the region’s ocean sector have said their community faces “pipeline challenges”, meaning not enough new oceantech companies are launching.

“Applicants accepted our challenge by proposing creative solutions to solve industry hurdles, with more than a third of the shortlisted companies having ocean technologies in the earliest stages of development,” said Ocean Startup Project Executive Director Don Grant in a statement. “Another 19 shortlisted companies applied with working prototypes.”

Two-thirds of the shortlisted companies are from Atlantic Canada, while six are from other parts of Canada and three are from the U.S.

The companies’ applications range from environmental monitoring, to reducing marine mammal entanglement in fishing gear, to reducing corrosion and biofouling. Most of the companies aim to provide solutions for fisheries and aquaculture.

“We were pleased by the breadth of applications, and the overall response from coast to coast to coast within Canada, and from around the world,” said Grant. “The quality and influx of applications reinforce the momentum and opportunities in this country’s ocean sector.”

The following is a list of the shortlisted companies (which are described in more detail here):