Published: December 23, 2022
New Innovation Centre for Remote Operations to Transform Province
Virtual Marine first tenants in newly established Innovation Centre for remote operations
December 20, 2022 St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada – Yesterday the Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., on behalf of the Honourable Minister Petitpas Taylor, Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Florian Villaumé, CEO of techNL, together with industry stakeholders announced $9.6 Million in funding to establish an Innovation Centre for remote operations in the province.
The establishment of an Innovation Centre for remote operations will build on exceptional levels of innovation, diversification, and collaboration. Though renovations haven’t started on the space, Virtual Marine are proud first tenants, already having set up operations building simulators for commercial clients.
“Virtual Marine has been part of the local innovation community for over 18 years, and is proud to be the first tenant in the new Innovation Centre.” said Randy Billard, President and CEO of Virtual Marine. I applaud all the organizations and individuals involved in bringing this project to life to create a hub for industry and academic collaboration that will showcase the expertise we have in our province. As Premier Furey said yesterday, this is another building block and creates more opportunities for partnerships, synergies, and collaborations to further grow our local innovation ecosystem” he continued.
“Randy Billard, CEO of Virtual Marine has been an advocate for the creation of an Innovation Centre for a long time. Having Virtual Marine already using the light-industrial space of the Innovation Centre, before any construction is completed, shows the need and excitement for the Innovation Centre. We look forward to hearing from more interested tenants in the next few months.” said Florian Villaumé, techNL CEO.
The Innovation Centre initiative is led by techNL, in partnership with Energy NL, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC), and Energy Research & Innovation Newfoundland & Labrador (ERINL) with support from many companies, organizations, and volunteers.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, through the Department of Industry, Energy and Technology, is providing $7.1 million over six years through the Innovation and Business Development Fund. The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), is contributing $2.5 million over the next three years towards the Innovation Centre.
“As a company with deep Newfoundland and Labrador roots which sells and operates in countries worldwide, we look forward to the impact this Innovation Centre will make for growing companies like us, through collaboration with our research partners, access to technology, and visibility,” says Billard.
The Innovation Centre for Remote Operations will be located at 710 Torbay Rd in St. John’s, which was previously leased by Rona. The Centre will integrate light industrial work in warehouse space, office/hot desk space, and event space for programming. This location was chosen following a robust RFP process. To learn more and request further information on the Innovation Centre, visit the website: https://technl.ca/innovationcentre/
Virtual Marine specializes in the development of state-of-the-art maritime safety training simulators. Virtual Marine’s safety training simulators offer skill enhancing, hands on, realistic, risk free training. The ability to frequently practice in realistic scenarios using simulation technology is proven to increase the confidence and competence of seafarers. To learn more about Virtual Marine visit www.virtualmarine.ca.