Halifax is a destination of choice for first-class researchers and innovators
Critical Mass of Scientists
Halifax has a critical mass of government scientists undertaking exciting research and development in various industries, including renewable energy, aerospace and defence, and environmental studies, among others. Many are based at:
- The Bedford Institute of Oceanography, home to 500 scientists, engineers, technicians and natural resource managers and support staff from the federal departments of Fisheries and Oceans, Environment, Natural Resources Canada, and Defence.
- The National Research Council Institute for Marine Biosciences (Atlantic), consisting of 120 scientists, technicians and support staff undertaking world-class R&D in marine biosciences and biotechnology.
- The NRC’s Institute of Biodiagnostics, home to the Brain Repair Centre and key innovators in the health-related visualization and simulation. This institute advances research and development of non-invasive technology in medicine.
- Defence Research Development Canada (Atlantic), where 240 staff are developing marine security solutions, with an emphasis on sonar technology and torpedo defence.
- Environment Canada Meteorological Service of Canada (Atlantic), home to 100 meteorologists, scientists and support staff.
- Acoustic Data Analysis Centre Atlantic (ADAC Atlantic), operated by DND and recognized as an expert in acoustic analysis and training in Canada.
Halifax is also home to many private enterprises spearheading research and innovation in the region.
- Lockheed Martin Canada, an industry giant in Aerospace & Defence, opened a new facility in 2009. The Maritimes Advanced Training and Test Site (MATTS) is a 100,000 square-foot facility in Halifax. Its Technology Collaboration Centre in the MATTS facility provides a near-at-sea environment for Canadian businesses to test and develop solutions for the Canadian Navy.
- Canadian Aviation Electronics (CAE), who are a global leader in flight simulation technology and involved in research in development at both the commercial and military levels.
- CGI Group Inc, the massive information technology services firm houses its Information Technology Development Centre in Halifax. The company as a whole employs 13,700 professionals across North America.
- Origin Biomed, a Canadian pharmaceutical and health product manufacturer is involved in the life sciences cluster in Halifax. They are one of many companies engaged in cooperative work with the NRC’s Institute of Biodiagnostics.
- InNOVAcorp, the Nova Scotia based business development firm, has taken a particular interest in emerging R&D opportunities. Their commercialization services have been focused on several companies taking root in Halifax.
- Vemco, Ocean Nutrition Canada, Immunovaccine, and Satlantic are all examples of university-industry spin-off companies that are undertaking exciting ocean and life sciences R&D.
Growing Halifax's R&D Capacity
Both the public and private sectors are committed to growing Halifax’s R&D capacity by helping companies invest in research and innovation and transform great ideas and inventions into commercially viable products.
- ACOA’s Atlantic Innovation Fund, a $300 million pool of research funding, is designed to assist the region’s innovation capacity and help companies develop new commercial products and services. The AIF is one of the many Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency programs.
- NRC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program, supports small and medium business enterprises develop their technological capabilities, whether it is through technical assistance, expertise, facilities, or resources.
- Nova Scotia’s Productivity Investment Program, is designed to assist companies improve the productivity of their workforce. In particular the Capital Investment Incentive contributes towards the cost advanced machinery, new equipment, and software.
- Springboard Atlantic, a strategic network that maximizes the commercial potential of the research coming out of the region’s universities, and also links higher education expertise and facilities with the region’s industries.