Lab2Market Oceans Kicks Off with 20 Incredible Research Teams

September 12, 2022  |  ,

CANADA, (September 12, 2022) – The Ocean Startup Project is thrilled to welcome 20 teams to the third cohort of its Lab2Market Oceans program. The seven-week program fosters an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset in postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and faculty, inspiring teams to explore their ocean research ideas in a new way and identify commercialization opportunities. 

“It’s exciting to see so many ocean researchers exploring commercialization in Canada, which adds to the significant momentum this country has in the Blue Economy,” said Don Grant, Executive Director at the Ocean Startup Project. “Canada is uniquely positioned to be a global leader in developing innovative, sustainable ocean technologies that can help us better understand and protect our ocean resources. The potential for these researchers to create new products and services is huge, and the benefits to our economy and our environment are significant.”

This year’s recruitment process resulted in 30 applicants from 10 post-secondary institutions; twenty teams were accepted to the program from seven universities. Forty per cent of our Entrepreneurial Leads self-identify as female – up from 23 per cent in 2021 and 11 per cent in 2020. Participating students will receive $15,000 in Mitacs funding to support them through the program. 

“The Lab2Market Oceans program is not just about commercialization – it’s about training ocean researchers to be better communicators, entrepreneurs and problem solvers,” said Dr. Paula Mendonça, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Memorial University, who oversees Lab2Market Oceans. “By participating in the program, these teams are opening up new doors as they enhance their professional networks, explore new business ventures and foster a better understanding of the ocean ecosystem.”

Participating teams include: 

  • Smart-ER, Memorial University: The Spill Management and Response Toolbox (SMART) for marine oil spill accidents
  • Precision Pathway, Memorial University: Route selection tool for vessels in ice-covered waters 
  • APEL UOIT, Ontario Tech University: Small-scale mobile waste-to-energy facility with advanced plasma torch for marine ships
  • PhyCo, Simon Fraser University: Biodegradable and non-toxic plastic made from Seaweed 
  • Sea Cucumber Nutraceuticals, Memorial University: Conversion of underutilized sea cucumber by-product (flower) to nutrient supplements 
  • Avalon Navigation, Memorial University: Model predictive controller and monitoring systems for Marine Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS)
  • SwarmRobot, University of Victoria: The cooperative planning and control of the unmanned surface vehicle and unmanned aerial vehicle
  • IceCube, Memorial University: Shipborne Data Acquisition system for Arctic Autonomous Shipping
  • i-Land, Memorial University: UWB based Instrument Landing system for VTOL vehicles
  • BioCure Bandage, Concordia University:  
  • Recycling Technologies, University of Alberta: Intelligent recycled plastic boat, Recycling plastics in the ocean 
  • Blind Interference Suppression (BIS), Memorial University: Wind turbine interference suppression in HF-radar data
  • The Fusers, Memorial University: Sensor Fusion for Ocean Surface Wind, Wave and Current parameter Estimation
  • Bio-Feed, Memorial University: Novel aquafeed made by two microbial oils to improve stress resistance in freshwater aquaculture
  • Marisk, Dalhousie University
  • Aquacare, Memorial University: Developing a Drinking Water Filtration System for Arsenic Removal
  • Ocean Yeast, Memorial University: Evaluation of Marine Yeast Utilization in Aquafeeds, Brewing, Baking and Pharmaceuticals Canadian Industries
  • ReEng, Memorial University: Triboelectric nanogenerators for renewable energy harvesting from the ocean
  • Autonomous Underwater Manipulator (AUM), Memorial University: A Novel Observation and Estimation Algorithm for Underwater Manipulators with Limited Measurements
  • SES-FCS, Ontario Tech University: Development of Mobile and Fixed Models of Hybrid Energy Charging Station for Marine Applications and Waterfront Infrastructures


The program is part of the
Ocean Startup Project, hosted by Memorial University, and supported by Springboard Atlantic, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and Mitacs. Facilitated by world-class experts, teams learn entrepreneurial methodologies and business best practice with topics such as customer discovery, market sizing, stakeholder engagement, intellectual property, regulatory processes, revenue stream, cost structure, and more. To learn more about the program, visit oceanstartupproject.ca/lab2market-oceans.  

About the Partner Organizations: 

Ocean Startup Project inspires, initiates and invests, making Canada the best place in the world to start and grow an ocean tech venture. The project team creates and delivers activities to support ideation through commercialization, for innovators and entrepreneurs from industry to academia. As a co-funded, pan-Atlantic collaboration, the Ocean Startup Project offerings complement existing industry accelerators, incubators and other support organizations across Canada’s world-class innovation ecosystem. Together with its founding partners – Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), Genesis, Innovacorp, New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, PEI BioAlliance and Springboard Atlantic – the Ocean Startup Project seeks to accelerate how homegrown startups get their technologies to market and attract international companies to Canada’s shores.

The Lab2Market Program is Canada’s national-level research commercialization program led by Ryerson University, University of Manitoba, Dalhousie University, and Memorial University. Lab2Market is made possible with support from the Government of Canada through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Prairies Economic Development Canada, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), Mitacs as well as the Ocean Startup Project and Ocean Supercluster.

Memorial University of Newfoundland is a multi-campus, multidisciplinary university dedicated to creativity, innovation and excellence in teaching and learning, research, scholarship and public engagement. With campuses in St. John’s and Corner Brook, N.L., and Harlow, Essex, U.K., Memorial University welcomes students and scholars from all over the world, including more than 18,000 students from nearly 100 countries. Memorial’s inclusive community is committed to fostering and promoting ingenuity while contributing knowledge and expertise locally, nationally and internationally.

Founded as a living memorial to our residents who died during the First World War, Memorial University has a special obligation to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and is responsive to their professional and personal aspirations. To take a closer look at Memorial, visit www.mun.ca.

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is a pan-Canadian, industry-led transformative cluster focused on tackling some of the biggest challenges across ocean sectors through a collaborative program designed to accelerate the development and commercialization of globally relevant solutions, while also building a highly-capable, inclusive workforce. The Ocean Supercluster has approved more than 60 projects with a total value of $320 million which will deliver more than 110 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world.

Springboard Atlantic is Atlantic Canada’s commercialization network. We represent the collective academic research and development expertise of 19 universities and colleges across the region. We act as a bridge between academia and industry bringing world class ideas to the marketplace and drawing in industry challenges to be solved. With over 10,000 researchers, 30 industry engagement professionals and over 6000 research deals done in the last 3 years our model stands alone in Canada as an example of collaboration.

Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit research and training organization dedicated to advancing collaborations between industry, academia and government in Canada, and to fostering international research networks between Canadian universities and the world.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency works to create opportunities for economic growth in Atlantic Canada by helping businesses become more competitive, innovative and productive, by working with diverse communities to develop and diversify local economies, and by championing the strengths of Atlantic Canada. Together, with Atlantic Canadians, ACOA is building a stronger economy. For more information, please visit www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca.

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