OceansAdvance enjoys a highly collaborative and productive relationship with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development’s commitment and support to the growth of the NL ocean technolgy innovation cluster is unparalleled, evidenced by the creation of an Ocean Technology Branch within the Department. 



The Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development (BTCRD) supports regional development and economic diversification. Its lines of business are small and medium-sized enterprise development, industrial diversification, innovation, investment and economic intelligence.

The mandate of the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development is to lead:

  • The creation and maintenance of a competitive economic environment that encourages and supports private sector business growth and long-term sustainable employment opportunities for the people of the province
  • The diversification of the economy on a provincial and regional basis, with particular attention to rural areas
  • The promotion and encouragement of increased trade and export of goods and services by provincial industries and businesses in the national and international marketplace
  • The creation of a climate conducive to innovation in business through the facilitation of research and development, technology transfer and technology commercialization within provincial industries and individual business enterprises
  • The provision of business information, counselling and financial support programs and services to Small- and Medium-sized enterprises; including private businesses, co-operatives, credit unions and community development corporations to stimulate economic and employment development within the province
  • Promoting the value of an enterprise culture and encouraging economic self reliance throughout the province
  • The negotiation and administration of comprehensive federal/provincial economic development co-operation agreements and other forms of collaboration.

Visit BTCRD’s website at: http://www.ibrd.gov.nl.ca

Key Programs:

Financial support:




Innovation lives here:




Arctic Opportunities Initiative

The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture promotes the development of the province’s fishing and aquaculture industries. The Provincial Government works with industry and other partners to ensure the fishery is economically viable, internationally competitive, and ecologically sustainable over the long term. The objective is to optimize the value of the fishery for all participants and for the province, ensuring the long-term security of resources for the benefit of future generations of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Visit the Department’s website at: http://www.fishaq.gov.nl.ca/

Key Programs:

Coastal and Ocean Policy Development Program:


Fisheries Technology and New Opportunities Program:




The Research & Development Corporation (RDC) was established in 2009 to improve research and development in Newfoundland and Labrador. RDC provides leadership, strategic focus and investments in order to strengthen and improve the research system throughout the province. Increased R&D activities play a major role in driving innovation, creating wealth and increasing economic growth in Newfoundland and Labrador for future generations. Visit RDC’s website at: http://www.rdc.org/

RDC’s business-led programs include:

R&D Vouchers:

The R&D Vouchers program provides businesses with improved access to technical expertise and facilities required to support their research and development (R&D) activities. R&D Vouchers provide up to 75% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $15,000 per project. Eligible activities include applied R&D, prototyping, performance testing against pre-determined criteria, field trials and small-scale demonstration projects. R&D Vouchers can be used to expand the reach of operations and engage external resources that the business would not normally be able to access, including expertise, infrastructure and equipment. If required, RDC will work with the business to identify and access potential R&D facilities and collaborators that can address the technical challenges identified in the project description. As such, RDC maintains a list of eligible R&D providers. Visit the website at: http://www.rdc.org/funding/rdvouchers.htm

R&D Proof of Concept:

R&D Proof of Concept helps reduce the technical and financial risk of pre-commercial research and development (R&D) projects for businesses where R&D is required to realize the commercial potential of innovative products, processes or services. R&D Proof of Concept funds up to 75% of the eligible project costs of R&D projects, to a maximum non-repayable contribution of $250,000 per project. Eligible activities include applied R&D, prototyping, performance testing against pre-determined criteria, field trials and small-scale demonstration projects. Visit the website at: http://www.rdc.org/funding/rdconcept.htm

Petroleum R&D Accelerator:

PetroleumR&D Accelerator focuses on leveraging R&D investments with significant potential to impact petroleum exploration, development and operations. Projects leverage industry investments in R&D that address technical challenges, that enhance industry capacity as a R&D performer and maximize the potential for petroleum resource development. Visit the website at: http://www.rdc.org/funding/petroleum.htm


ArcticTECH (2012-14) is an RDC-directed research program in support of Arctic technology development. Directed research is an internationally recognized program framework for accelerating R&D in priority areas, and is often characterized as thematic, problem solving, capacity building and collaborative. Visit the website at: http://www.rdc.org/funding/arctictech.htm

Industrial R&D Fellowships:

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Industrial R&D Fellowships (IRDF) program provides financial support to companies to hire recent doctoral (PhD) graduates in support of their research and development (R&D) activities. It also encourages recent PhD graduates in science and engineering to seek first time careers in the Canadian private sector. Visit the website at: http://www.rdc.org/funding/industrial_fellowship.htm

RDC’s academic-led programs include:


LeverageR&D supports academic-led research that attracts R&D investments in priority areas where the majority of funds are coming from non-provincial, public funding sources. Target sources of funding include: the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC),
the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), along with other sources of funding. Visit the website at: http://www.rdc.org/funding/leverage.htm


IgniteR&D supports academic-led research and invests in new or first-time academic researchers to start R&D activities in Newfoundland and Labrador. Visit the website at: http://www.rdc.org/funding/ignite.htm


CollaborativeR&D supports academic-led research that fosters R&D partnerships and collaboration locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Visit the website at: http://www.rdc.org/funding/collaborative.htm

Oceans Industries Student Research Awards:

The Ocean Industries Student Research Awards designed for post-secondary undergraduate and graduate students in Canada and around the world who are interested in pursuing ocean industries-related studies and research in Newfoundland and Labrador at Memorial University, its Marine Institute, or the College of the North Atlantic. Relevant fields of study include areas such as offshore petroleum engineering, geoscience, ocean engineering, ocean technology including marine transport, fisheries, aquaculture, and other areas such as marine science that support R&D, innovation and the commercialization of ocean technologies. Visit the website at: http://www.rdc.org/research_awards/index.htm

Research Inspired Student Enrichment Awards:

The Research Inspired Student Enrichment (RISE) Awards provide top Newfoundland and Labrador high school students with the opportunity to attend research-related enrichment programs focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  Through these awards, RDC recognizes the need for early development of the talent required by R&D stakeholders and the importance of R&D to innovation and economic growth. Visit the website at: http://www.rdc.org/funding/rise.htm

RDC/MITACS Accelerate Internships:

Through unique research and training programs, Mitacs is developing the next generation of innovators with vital scientific and business skills. The Mitacs Accelerate program is Canada’s premiere research internship program providing interns with the opportunity to transfer their skills from theory to real-world application, while companies gain a competitive advantage by accessing high-quality research expertise. A new funding arrangement between RDC and Mitacs – through its Accelerate program – is providing graduate-level researchers with new research and development (R&D) opportunities in Newfoundland and Labrador. Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows will have the opportunity to lead R&D projects, connect with local businesses and apply their specialized skills and ideas to real-world technical challenges. These four-month internships will enable them to attain practical research and business skills, and businesses to access the research talent they need to drive innovation. Visit the website at: http://www.rdc.org/funding/mitacs.htm