Ocean program

United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)
The Ocean program is a Decade Implementing Partner of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Canada has the longest coastline in the world, with borders on 3 oceans and the world's largest inland waterway. Although most Canadians live far from the coasts, we have a shared dependency on the ocean for trade, food security, an energy source, and employment. Across the globe, we also rely on the ocean as a natural buffer to climate change, and as a vital source of oxygen.

But increased human activity and warmer water temperatures have had disastrous effects on the overall health of the ocean. Its ability to sustain life, and support human needs, is rapidly decreasing.

Similar to the "green" economy, the "blue" economy is a growing effort to ensure that ocean resources are used in a sustainable way for economic growth. The NRC's Ocean program supports Canada's Ocean Supercluster and is helping grow our blue economy by placing equal value on ocean health and economic gain as we support the development of technology to improve ocean health.

The program has been endorsed as a Decade Implementing Partner of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and is aligned with Canada's first Blue Economy Strategy, led by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. At the close of the NRC Ocean program, by 2027, our goal is to see the ocean on the path to recovery.

Technology themes

Projects under the NRC Ocean program will support technology development within 4 themes to advance Canada's blue economy:

Coastal resilience

  • Flood prediction and forecasting systems
  • Nature-based solutions for flood and erosion risk reduction
  • Climate change impact assessment and adaptation
  • More resilient and sustainable marine infrastructure

Intelligent marine assets

  • Improved operational performance of marine assets
  • Autonomous asset operation in harsh environments
  • Long-range environmental prediction and digitalized seaways
  • Marine renewables in harsh environments

Pollution remediation

  • Impact and detection of pollutants
  • Transport and fate of pollutants
  • Extraction of pollutants for use as feedstock

Bio assets

  • Bio-sensing solutions for monitoring ocean health near industrial sites
  • Value-added products from marine bio-resources: mining; prospecting; and economical, sustainable production processes
  • Alternative source of proteins for food and feed applications (i.e. aquaculture)

Collaborate with us

We invite collaborators at Canadian and international universities, colleges, centres of excellence, not-for-profit organizations, governmental research organizations, and highly innovative firms to express their interest in collaborating with the program. Organizations should have an interest in the development of technology to improve ocean health.

Grant and contribution funding is available to help defray the costs of research for academic institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and other eligible recipients collaborating with the NRC.


Projects under the NRC's Ocean program support technology development within 4 themes to help grow Canada's blue economy. The projects listed are in various stages of development.


Program news

Funded collaborative R&D programs and initiatives

Additional information and resources

Support for the blue economy

Ocean program activities are aligned with and provide support to Canada's blue economy and to the Ocean cluster.

Want to know more?

There are many resources available on ocean research.

Contact us

If you are interested in collaborating with us, in making investments in this area, or if you have any questions, please contact:

Thomas Puestow
Program Director, Ocean program (acting)
Telephone: 613-299-3257
Email: OceanProgram-ProgrammeOceans@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

Related links

Stay connected

Follow the National Research Council of Canada on social media.

Twitter: @nrc_cnrc
Instagram: @nrc_cnrc
Search for: