Canada's Ocean Supercluster has announced an extension and expansion of its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion-focused Ocean Allies project.

Ocean Allies 1.0 aimed to improve the inclusiveness of the blue economy in Atlantic Canada through training, mentorship and “awareness building” about systemic barriers. Ocean Allies 2.0 will expand the program nationally, with a particular focus on the Arctic regions.

“Ocean Allies has become a leading driver advancing diversity and inclusion in Canada’s ocean technology sector,” said the Supercluster in a statement.

“The project team will leverage existing resources and infrastructure in the ocean technology ecosystem to establish meaningful communication channels with diverse organizations throughout Canada.”

The program is led by Pisces Research Project Management, the Huntsman Marine Science Centre in New Brunswick and industry group Perennia, with numerous secondary partners involved, including Dartmouth’s Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship and the global Ocean Frontier Institute.

All told, Ocean Allies 2.0 is budgeted to cost $1.1 million, with the Supercluster providing $750,000 and the balance coming from the private sector partners. By comparison, version 1.0 cost a total of $420,000, $250,000 of which came from the Supercluster.