March 16, 2012– A delegation of 19 Atlantic Canadian companies from the ocean technology sector concluded a successful business mission to the Oceanology International 2012 conference and exhibition in London, England. The event, the largest of its kind in the world, took place March 13-15.

“The ocean technology industry is a key component of the Atlantic Canadian economy and a principle source of research and development, technology and innovation activity,” said the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and La Francophonie. “In recent years, the substantial increase in international demand for ocean technologies and services has presented global opportunities for our region. That is why our government is pleased to support trade missions like this one, which ultimately will bring jobs here at home.”

Minister Valcourt added that the knowledge and expertise gained by Atlantic Canadian ocean technology companies at Oceanology International 2012 comes at an important time, as the Government of Canada is encouraging companies to pursue opportunities presented by the Government of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

“Newfoundland and Labrador is widely-recognized for its world-class capacity and performance in ocean-related research,” said the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development. “This conference represented a key avenue for local companies to expand their access into the European marketplace. It provided them with the opportunity to identify and further develop relationships with industry stakeholders and to market their products to a targeted audience.”

The focus of this year’s edition of Oceanology 2012 was on key technology areas in industry sectors such as offshore oil and gas and maritime security. Oceanology International is the global forum where industry, academia and government share knowledge and connect with the marine technology and ocean science community, improving their strategies for measuring, protecting and operating in the world’s oceans.

Oceanology International 2012 is the world’s largest marine science and ocean technology event, attracting more than 530 exhibitors and over 7,000 visitors from 75 countries around the world. While at this exhibition, Atlantic Canadian delegates interacted with key industry specialists, participated in various marketing and networking events, and met with international buyers from around the world.

“Taking part in this mission has allowed our company to have discussions with many existing and potential clients,” said Ron Collier, Director of Sales and Marketing with Clarenville-based SubC Control Limited. “It is very important for us to attend events like Oceanology International 2012 because all of the main stakeholders from the global ocean technology industry are present.”

The Atlantic Canadian business mission to Oceanology International 2012 was led by Nova Scotia Business Inc.

A total of $198,000 in funding for the business mission was provided through the International Business Development Agreement (IBDA). The IBDA is a federal/provincial agreement between the Government of Canada (ACOA, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and Industry Canada) and the four provincial governments in Atlantic Canada. It is designed to help Atlantic Canadian businesses enter, explore and succeed in international markets. The IBDA is a key component of a pan-Atlantic effort to foster business relations, attract foreign investment and nurture technological co-operation.

– 30 –

Media contacts:

Andrea Richer, Press Secretary, Cabinet of Minister Valcourt, 613-790-3637

Scott Barfoot, Director of Communications, Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 709-729-4570; 690-6290

Robert Bourgeois, Senior Communications Officer,  Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency,