Dunnottar House, Victoria, British Columbia – Members of the OCEAN Industries BC industry association applaud the joint investment made by the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia in developing the business and development plans for a new Ocean Technology Park and Ocean Engineering Centre to be co-located at the University of Victoria’s Marine Technology Centre in North Saanich.

Mr. Ed Fast, Member of Parliament for Abbotsford, joined recently appointed Ida Chong, Minister for Trade, Technology and Economic Development for BC in announcing a cost shared venture that will facilitate the development of plans for a new Technology Park solely focused on the ocean and marinespace sector to be located on Canada’s Pacific Coast.

“This investment is the beginning of a series of milestones that enable Canadian’s to develop and invest in Ocean Industries efforts to create the technologies required to adapt to the transition from conventional energy and fuels, it will aide in the design of ocean and marinespace equipment, some of which combat climate change and will assist both science and technology advancements in research and commercial development in Western Canada,” said OCEAN Industries CEO Patrick Marshall, “This facility will take advantage of a cluster of institutions, small-medium size enterprise [SMEs] and government services located in British Columbia and will enable a new approach to bridging with investments in complementary facilities on the Atlantic Coast.”

OCEAN Industries BC [OIBC] called upon industry and government interests in September of 2007 to develop a transition strategy that dealt with the University of British Columbia [UBC] decision to close the Ocean Engineering Centre on its Vancouver Campus to make way for residential development. The association spent months door knocking on businesses and government agencies with a vested interest and found that the majority of people interested were SMEs.

Members of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, the Shipbuilding, Repair Maintenance and Overhaul, Movie Industry, Science and Technology, Universities and the College applied and pure science communities all have specific interests in access to a facility that none would otherwise have the resources to develop on their own.

“OIBC had only had its new CEO Patrick Marshall for a matter of weeks last year when the phone rang and everyone wanted an instant solution to the problem at UBC,” advised OIBC Chairman Brian H. Barnett, “ We were fortunate to have an economic developer in our CEO, that could act fast and support the key individuals that would turn this challenge into an opportunity for western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. We all stood to lose business to other parts of

the world with the closure of the UBC facility, now, we will be a major draw for more business and employment opportunity.”

The new Park will address needs for technology testing facilities for the ocean and marinespace. OIBC will take the opportunity to link in all ocean and marinespace facilities up and down the coast, places like the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, the BC Centre for Aquatic Health Science and Maritime Heritage Centre into a proposed “Ocean and Marinespace Enterprise Centre Pacific” designed to act as the focal point for private and public interests in the safe, clean and secure development of the ocean environment.

The University of Victoria has again, taken the lead in Ocean pure and applied research studies, adding this new Park to its impressive array of infrastructure that places British Columbia at the lead of oceans science and technology. OIBC has expressed its support for this investment as well as for the continued development of Ocean Networks Canada, the University’s not for profit organization responsible for the commercial, outreach and policy applications of the research supported by the world-leading VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada cabled ocean observatories.

“Ocean and Marinespace industry represents more than $11.5 billion to our economy and is the livelihood of more than 84,000 people employed in this exciting field.  It’s a part of every western Canadian’s heritage,” said Patrick Marshall. ”We really need to accelerate investment in this sector so that Canada can make measurable progress on climate change through the development of ocean renewable energy technologies. This means building our industry in a way that meets and exceeds our own expectations for a clean, safe and secure ocean and marinespace economy.”

OIBC values its new working relationship with the University of Victoria, Vancouver Island Technology Park, University of Victoria Properties Investments Inc, and Ocean Networks Canada.