The Victoria-based Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies, or COAST, has announced veteran bluetech and industrial executive Jason Goldsworthy as its new executive director.

Goldworthy was previously Vancouver Island operations manager for Halifax-based environmental consulting firm Pinchin and CEO of Victoria-based startup Accumulated Ocean Energy, which captures wave energy and stores it via compressed air. More recently, he headed up Australian building services specialist Westside Group during the pandemic, overseeing annual revenue of about $40 million.

He also holds a PhD in engineering from the University of Adelaide and is licensed as a professional engineer in B.C.

“I’m excited to return to Victoria from Australia for this opportunity because of the enormous potential of B.C.’s oceantech and marine industries and the integral role COAST plays in building Pacific Canada’s innovation ecosystem, which includes industry, government and research partners,” said Goldsworthy in a statement.

“The world needs more climate-conscious ocean and marine innovation, and B.C. is uniquely positioned to offer this.” 

Created in 2021 and operated by regional business group the South Island Prosperity Partnership, COAST is developing into the main innovation hub for the blue economy on Canada's West Coast. The Prosperity Partnership’s CEO, Emilie de Rosenroll, is also chief executive of COAST.

Last month, COAST received a $2 million funding boost from the British Columbia government via its Innovative Clean Energy Fund — part of a broader, joint funding partnership with Sustainable Development Technology Canada that began in 2017, dubbed the B.C.-SDTC Joint Call Partnership.

COAST has also partnered with the Vancouver Island tech hub VIATEC to launch the COAST Venture Accelerator Program, under which Executive-in-Residence Shannon Bard helps early-stage bluetech companies to grow. 

Previously, the organization hosted a bluetech pitch competition under a partnership with the Unviersity of Victoria and offered accelerator programming with the help of local industry group the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology & Entrepreneurship Council.