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The ocean technology sector in Newfoundland and Labrador is driven by an industrial cluster located in and around St. John's consisting of three distinct but highly interdependent pillars:
- The industry (companies operating in the sector)
- Relevant research and educational institutions; and
- Federal and provincial government departments and agencies which are active in the sector or which foster growth in the sector.
A frequently used analogy is that the three pillars of the cluster are like the three legs of a stool, all of which are equally important to maintaining the balance of a healthy and growing sector.
The early development of this cluster was largely led by provincial and federal governments through the provision of infrastructure plus educational and research programs directed primarily at opportunities in offshore oil development. More recently, OceansAdvance Inc. was established to ensure that the cluster continues to evolve and to build an industry that will create advanced employment opportunities and contribute significantly to the province's economy.
Today, representatives of the three pillars share a strong commitment to growing the sector which is evidenced in a broad range of initiatives and innovative projects.