The Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship, or COVE, has received a pledge of $8.5 million in funding from the Nova Scotia government to continue its programming over the next five years.

Economic Development Minister Susan Corkum-Greek announced the new funding Thursday at a press conference at the marine technology facility on the Dartmouth waterfront.

Now five years old, COVE is a multi–faceted facility for ocean innovation and is recognized as the pre-eminent ocean technology hub in Canada. It is a business-focused research centre that offers an urban location with direct access to salt water. In 2018, Innovacorp (now Invest Nova Scotia) opened its Start–Up Yard incubation facility for early–stage companies on its grounds.

“Over the past few years, Nova Scotia has emerged as a global leader in marine technology,” said COVE Chief Executive Melanie Nadeau in a statement. “This investment from the province will ensure COVE and marine innovators can make more timely strategic decisions about the site, services, and programming to advance the marine sector here in Nova Scotia and our impact globally.”

Speaking at the press conference, Nadeau said 65 local, national and international marine-related enterprises are now working out of COVE, and the facility has relationships with more than 135 other such companies.

One program that she said would continue to be emphasized was the development of international relationships, including the ties COVE has built in the past few years with organizations in Norway, Germany and the U.K. COVE will also endeavor to build up the talent pipeline for ocean industries, she said, through such means as training programs at schools across Canada.

“More and more, the world is realizing Nova Scotia’s potential, and COVE is helping us leverage this potential through its work,” said Corkum-Greek. “This funding will help continue to increase our province’s share of the global marine economy and support innovators to grow successful companies, all while creating jobs here at home for Nova Scotians.”