Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
Natural Resources
Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
April 11, 2019

Expansion of Holyrood Marine Base Will Accelerate Oceans Sector Growth

The oceans sector is an important part of Atlantic Canada’s economy and creates significant employment, business and export opportunities. In order to fuel further innovation, collaboration and growth and to take advantage of the growing ocean economy, the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University is expanding the Holyrood Marine Base.

The new 36,000 square foot mobilization and launch base will provide researchers, ocean technology companies and students with physical space and new technology to test products. It will include technical work space, dry laboratories, classrooms and office space, and will focus on collaboration among researchers, businesses and students. By providing a common location to develop and test new products and technologies in a harsh marine environment with an underwater test bed, the Holyrood Marine Base will act as a conduit for technology development and commercialization.

The Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation is contributing $2.5 million to the project, while a $1 million investment from the Department of Natural Resources, through the Innovation and Business Development Fund, will be used to acquire a fully electric research class remotely operated vehicle and a survey grade autonomous survey vehicle. This specialized equipment and technology will be used by supply and service companies in our offshore to support innovation and new business opportunities. These vehicles will also enable the institute to train highly qualified personnel who are needed in the province's expanding ocean industry. The Government of Canada will also provide a contribution of $5 million.

The Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, and the Honourable Siobhan Coady, Minister of Natural Resources, made the announcement today. They were joined by Ken McDonald, Member of Parliament for Avalon, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and Betty Parsley, MHA for Harbour Main.

Economic growth and the creation of good jobs for Atlantic Canadians require innovation and diversification. Support for this project is one way the Government of Canada is growing the innovation economy by working to sustain strategic clusters, and enhance the development and reach of business accelerators and incubators. Projects like this also contribute to the Atlantic Growth Strategy outcome of long-term economic prosperity in the region.

Provincial support for this project also delivers on commitments of The Way Forward to strengthen the province’s economic foundation. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at

“Marine Institute’s Holyrood Marine Base is an integral part of the innovation ecosystem in Newfoundland and Labrador. Our province has the largest ocean economy in Canada, therefore it is no surprise that the existing facilities at the Holyrood Marine Base have reached capacity and there is a demand from researchers and the private sector to expand. This new facility will continue to foster public-private collaborations in support of advanced education and research, while accelerating the growth of ocean technology firms through the provision of space and latest technologies to test products.”
Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore
Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

"I am pleased to support this initiative as the project will support increased supply and service sector capabilities in our offshore. This funding from the Innovation and Business Development Fund supports Advance 2030: A Plan for Growth in the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industry. It will also help the province train the workforce of tomorrow, needed for the growth of our industry."
Honourable Siobhan Coady
Minister of Natural Resources

“Memorial University’s Holyrood Marine Base contributes to our government’s efforts through The Way Forward to provide world class, affordable, and accessible post-secondary education. These significant investments in the marine base will expand applied oceans research and enhance the overall learning experience for students at the Marine Institute.”
Honourable Bernard Davis
Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour

“Our government is laying the foundation for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy. Today’s investment in the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University is building on our competitive advantages by developing opportunities for local businesses, enhancing oceans-based research and development, and building on the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems needed to boost economic growth and create good, middle class jobs for Canadians.”
Honourable Navdeep Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Over the past few years, Holyrood has developed a strong base of expertise, amenities and research capacity to support growth and innovation in Newfoundland and Labrador’s oceans economy. This investment from the Government of Canada will help the Marine Institute to further advance its offerings to both local and international oceans industries, and position it to take full advantage of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster and the growing global blue economy.”
Ken McDonald
Member of Parliament for Avalon

“The Holyrood Marine Base is a strategic asset which supports the plans of Town of Holyrood to advance the Oceans Holyrood Initiative. Holyrood has established itself as a competitive location to conduct oceans-related research, education, training, and business development. Today’s significant investment builds on many previous commitments and recognizes the economic development opportunities in the District of Harbour Main.”
Betty Parsley
MHA for Harbour Main

“This federal-provincial investment is critical to the realization of the Marine Institute’s vision of supporting the contribution of our students, researchers and technology partners in the global ocean economy. An expanded Holyrood facility will be a collaborative hub for testing and refining new ocean technologies in harsh environments and educating the next generation of researchers and business people.”
Glenn Blackwood
Vice-President, Memorial University (Marine Institute)

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Media contacts
Eric Humber
Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
709-729-4819, 725-9655

Lisa Lawlor
Natural Resources
709-729-5777, 631-8155

Ryan Crocker
Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
709-729-1795, 709-725-9595

Paul McGrath

Kim Thornhill
Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland

Dianne Randell
Government Members Office
709-729-6854, 689-0786 

2019 04 11                              12:20 p.m.