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MEOPAR and Irving Shipbuilding Award $1.8 million to Ocean Research

The Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) network and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. are pleased to announce the recipients of $1.8 million to support nine new ocean research projects that align with MEOPAR’s aim to strengthen Canada’s ability to anticipate and respond to marine risk. Irving Shipbuilding Inc. partnered with MEOPAR to contribute $1 million toward the call.

“Irving Shipbuilding’s $1 million contribution in support of progressive, coast-to-coast-to-coast marine research highlights the importance of effective industry and academic partnerships”, said MEOPAR Scientific Director Dr. Douglas Wallace.  “As a result of their investment, MEOPAR contributed $800,000 to support these 9 research projects, which also leveraged a further $2 million from 27 contributing partners. We are proud to partner with Irving Shipbuilding on this important research.”

MEOPAR’s Research Management Committee (RMC) issued a call for proposals in August, 2015 to solicit project proposals. Applicants were encouraged to submit proposals that develop and/or apply new technologies or approaches to advance environmental observation, safe operations and/or emergency response on Canada’s coasts and oceans. The successful projects were selected by the RMC.

“The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy Value Proposition investments grow and sustain Canada’s shipbuilding industry,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “These investments will help us to understand changes to our marine environment, but also how these changes affect our marine industries. They demonstrate how we can work together to protect our environment while growing our economy.”

Irving Shipbuilding’s funding is pursuant to its Value Proposition obligation under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, whereby Irving Shipbuilding is committed to spending 0.5% of contract revenues with the aim of creating a sustainable marine industry across Canada. 

“Ensuring Canada has a sustainable and vibrant marine industry is a priority for Irving Shipbuilding under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy,” said Kevin McCoy, president of Irving Shipbuilding. “We are proud to work with MEOPAR to support leading edge research across the country that can help achieve this goal.”

The nine primary investigators leading the projects are based at six Canadian universities (see full listing, below). Altogether, the projects will involve 48 partner organizations (27 of whom are also contributing financially to the project) and will create 57 student and recent graduate research positions at 12 universities across Canada. Research, collaborative work and/or community engagement related to the projects will occur in nine Canadian provinces and two territories, including regions of the Canadian Arctic.

The selected projects are:


Created through the federal government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program in 2012, the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) network is building Canada’s capacity to anticipate and respond to marine risk by funding interdisciplinary academic research, developing highly qualified personnel with expertise in marine risk and response, and by connecting academic research and technology to national and international partners in government, industry, and the public sector.


About Irving Shipbuilding Inc:

Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is part of the J.D. Irving, Limited Group of companies which includes operations in Agriculture, Construction & Equipment, Consumer Products, Energy, Food, Forestry & Forestry Products, Retail & Distribution and Shipbuilding & Industrial Fabrication. ISI’s primary site is Halifax Shipyard, with four other locations in the Maritime Provinces. ISI was selected in 2011 as Canada’s Combatant Shipbuilder under the merit-based National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy and is in the early stages of a 30-year military shipbuilding program. 



Contact for more information:


Janet Stalker

Communications Manager


Cell:  (902) 717-8472



Mary Keith

Vice President, Communications

J.D. Irving Limited

Work: (506) 632-5122

Cell: (506) 650-8209



Click here to view a list of university media contacts

Follow @MEOPAR_NCE and @IrvingShipbuild on Twitter


(Left to right) Dr. Douglas Wallace, Scientific Director, MEOPAR; Ms. Leona Alleslev, Parliamentary Secretary, Public Services and Procurement Canada; Dr. Mario Pinto, Chair, Networks of Centres of Excellence 
and Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding. 


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