Atlantic Region Boat Builders and Designers Challenged to Create Fuel Efficient Hull

News release

Challenge aims to reduce costs for fishing boat owners and lower greenhouse gas emissions

July 31, 2019 – Moncton, NB – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Canada is an ocean nation and home to a valuable fisheries industry. Fueling innovation to increase the creation and adoption of clean technologies in key sectors of the Canadian economy, like fisheries, will lead to better stewardship and sustainability of jobs in the industry and the environment for years to come.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), today launched the ACOA Hull Design Efficiency Challenge and encouraged boat builders, designers and entrepreneurs to submit hull designs that will reduce fuel use.

The challenge consists of three stages, including the initial application intake that starts today. ACOA will invest up to $740,000 during the next two stages of the challenge:

  • Up to $240,000 will cover costs of providing computer simulations for up to 10 semi-finalists; and scale model building and testing for up to three finalists; and,
  • $500,000 from the Business Scale up and Productivity stream of the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program will go to the Grand Prize winner as a non-repayable contribution to continue basic research and development to move their design toward pilot and pre-commercialization phases.

This challenge supports the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year plan to make Canada a global innovation leader and prepare Canadians to succeed in tomorrow’s economy. It also supports action on climate change to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the goals of the Ocean Supercluster to accelerate innovation and commercialization to drive increased sustainable economic growth from our oceans.


“There are approximately 13,000 inshore fishing boats in Atlantic Canada, which means there’s a substantial potential market for the innovations we’re supporting. The Hull Design Efficiency Challenge will motivate the region’s boat builders to design a hull that uses less fuel than conventional boats. An improved hull design will reduce operating costs, lower greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on the environment, while fueling innovation and creating jobs in the boat building industry.”

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

Quick facts

  • The fisheries industry in Atlantic Canada is valued at more than $3 billion and sustains thousands of jobs in rural and coastal areas of the region.

  • The Hull Design Efficiency Challenge is pan-Atlantic in scope and open to entities registered to do business in Atlantic Canada, including:

    • Small and medium-sized businesses;
    • Other for-profit and not-for-profit organizations;
    • Indigenous organizations and groups; and,
    • Post-secondary/academic institutions.
  • The intent of this challenge-prize is to fuel innovation in boat building design – to create an improved and efficient boat hull available to industry that will reduce operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions by increasing fuel efficiency.

  • A challenge-prize is an incentive-based approach that offers a reward to the first or best solution to a specific problem, based on a set of conditions. It can invite proposals in stages and provide funding along the way to develop ideas and prototypes before selecting the final prize recipient.

  • The National Research Council’s Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering Research Centre in St. John’s, NL, is providing the technical evaluation and advice for this challenge.

  • This challenge-prize is hosted by Impact Canada Initiative (ICI), a whole-of-government effort that helps departments accelerate the adoption of outcomes-based approaches to deliver meaningful results to Canadians.

  • The application deadline for the initial intake is August 31, 2019. The Grand Prize winner will be selected in July 2020.

Associated links


Ronald Levesque
Senior Communications Officer
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

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