Sea and be seen: Ocean technology in St John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador

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Sea and be seen: Ocean technology in St John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador

Stu GreenBy Stu Greenoff, the Canadian destination’s sales manager, meetings & conventions

St John’s historic ties to the ocean are well documented. From fishing to subsea imaging, the city’s industry has been shaped by the sea.

The ocean technology industry in St John’s is characterised by strong partnerships between educational institutions, private sector businesses and the provincial government. This level of understanding and collaboration among all stakeholders in the city, results in groundbreaking, innovative advancements on a regular basis.

St John’s is viewed as a ‘Gateway to the North’. Our province has been sustained by centuries of cold ocean development; and thanks to our world-class educational institutions, through their innovation and technological advances, never have ocean operations been safer and more efficient than they are today.

Oil & gas

Our ocean technology sector generates a large part of the provincial income here in Newfoundland and Labrador, with the oil and gas industry alone contributing more than 20% to the province’s GDP. This doesn’t take into account the contributions made by our fisheries and many knowledge-intensive enterprises developing specialised, innovative products and services for niche markets all over the world.

With the completion of our fourth major offshore oil platform, the Hebron Project, on the horizon and the recent discovery of a potential 25.5 billion barrels of oil and 20.6 trillion cubic feet of gas in the West Orphan Basin, our ocean technology sector looks to be going from strength to strength.

The economic impact of the sector is frequently recognised by provincial and federal agencies and is supported in due course. This support, and the hard work of the highly educated and dedicated local workforce, will assure that level of achievement and success in the ocean technology sector in St John’s will continue for the foreseeable future.

The economic impact of the industry is felt by the local hoteliers, restauranteurs, tourism operators and countless other smaller enterprises that make up our city’s diverse business community. The ocean technology sector is not only intrinsic to the success of the many other industries in St John’s; it is part of who we are.

Community is alive and well in St John’s and you’ll be embraced like one of our own should you come to ‘The Rock’. We’ve hosted many ocean technology-based conferences in the past and have been proud to have high profile events such as OCEANS’14 (September 2014), the International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering  (OMAE – June 2015) and the Arctic Technology Conference (October 2016) in recent years. The latter taking place in our newly renovated and expanded St John’s Convention Center (opened in May 2016) which, in itself, pays homage to our ocean faring culture in its design and decoration.

A meeting place of whales, icebergs and eventprofs

St John’s is the place to hold events, conventions and meetings for a diverse range of industries and sectors. Our world renowned education facilities regularly host international conferences and can offer guidance and expertise, to planning committees.

St John’s, the capital of Canada’s youngest province, Newfoundland and Labrador, has been welcoming adventurers from all corners of the world for 500 years. We’re a storied city whose people hold fast traditions while embracing modern amenities.

Rich with history, rife with culture, and sprawling with natural beauty, St John’s is a city of exaggerated proportions. Being the most easterly point in North America merits its very own time zone, half an hour off-kilter with the rest of the world. It is also the only place where crossing of the migratory paths of the humpback whales and the icebergs can be seen from land. Cool!

Beautiful vistas, unique culinary experiences and eclectic architecture are the start to an urban experience that feels like no other. As you weave through the winding alleyways you’ll encounter fashionistas, chefs and musicians. You will be dwarfed by towering cathedrals, ancient trees and the harbour’s high peak hillsides and instantly know that the ties to a European past are strong. There is an inexplicable sense that you have walked the streets before, a familiarity that can’t be explained, and a friendliness of the colourful characters you meet that has to be experienced to be understood.

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