Into the deep sea with Victoria's oceantech

Plus, the story behind a local entrepreneur's journey with no investors, and a suite of newly elected board members.

Welcome to this week’s Midweek Memo. In this issue, check out the deep-sea footage of our local oceans, take a look at the suite of new board members for local economic development, and listen to a tech entrepreneur’s journey to two million users.

-Allison, @allisongacad

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Exploring where no human has gone before, with local ocean science and tech

A photo captured on the 2023 Northeast Pacific Deepsea Expedition by Cherisse Du Preez, marine biologist at the federal department of fisheries and oceans. Photo: Twitter

The 2023 Northeast Pacific Deepsea Expedition recently wrapped up its time surveying the Tang.ɢwan-ḥačxʷiqak-Tsig̱is Marine Protected Area, just west of Vancouver Island. The study was made possible thanks to a suite of oceantech tools, including drones and remotely operated vehicles.

“For the first time, a science expedition has explored life at all three of B.C.’s deep-sea biodiversity hotspots — seamounts, vents, and seeps — discovering and documenting vibrant communities, unique phenomena, and captivating never-before-seen behaviours,” said Cherisse Du Preez, marine biologist at the federal department of fisheries and oceans in a YouTube video documenting the trip. “It is globally rare for these ecosystems to occur together, in such extremely high densities, and in domestic waters, but B.C.’s deep sea boasts an incredible concentration of seamounts, hydrothermal vents, and cold seeps owing to the region’s uniquely small, active, and nearshore tectonic plates."

The study travelled to the depths of the Pacific Ocean for two weeks, thanks to local oceantech. North Saanich’s Canadian Scientific Submersible Facility, a non-profit dedicated to supporting ocean scientists with the tools for deep-sea research, provided the machinery which allowed for imagery, navigation, and sample collection. This expedition set the record for the deepest remotely operated vehicle submersible dive in Canadian waters, reaching depths greater than 3200 meters.

The trip was a collaboration across Ocean Networks Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Council of the Haida Nation, the Pacheedaaht First Nation, the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, the Quatsino First Nation, as well as UVic researchers and scientists.

Last week, we asked — what #VicTJtalks topic would you most like to see this year. 50 percent of you said you’re interested in “The AI hype cycle: where are we now?”

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📰 More Victoria innovation news

🎤 A solo journey: Ania Wysocka, founder of Rootd, was featured on the Traction podcast: Bootstrapping to +2M Users with 0 Employees and No Investors.

🇺🇸 Expanding south: MarineLabs announced that it is now an industry solutions provider member of the American Association of Port Authorities.

👩🏻‍💼Victoria tech moves

Major personnel changes, including promotions, hires, and departures:

  • The South Island Prosperity Partnership has announced its board for 2023/2023:

    • Frank Bourree, Chair — Principal and Owner at Bourree and Associates

    • Jennifer Vornbrock, Vice-Chair — Executive Director of Community and Government Relations at UVic

    • Kear Porttris — Owner of Porttris Consulting Group

    • Susanne Thiessen — Assistant Professor of Indigenous Community Development at UVic’s School of Public Administration

    • Peter Cowan — Co-founder of Innovation Asset Collective; Founder and Principal Consultant at Northworks IP

    • Sonterra Ross — Director of Finance and Administration at Beacon Community Services

    • Tony Payne — Senior Vice President of Technology and Innovation at British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI)

    • Suzanne Bradbury — Co-owner of Fort Properties Ltd.

    • Basma Majerbi — Associate Professor at UVic’s Gustavson School of Business, and Development Lead of the Vancouver Island Impact Investing Hub (VI3Hub)

    • Terry Gunning — Senior Managing Partner (Technical) at DXC Technology

    • Robert Mittelman, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Management, Associate Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, and Co-Director of the School of Business at Royal Roads University


TKS is the world’s top innovation program for students ages 13-17. The program is designed to make students future-ready with the tools and mindsets needed to solve important problems in the world.

At TKS, students:

  • Gain real-world work experience with organizations like Google and the UN

  • Be future-ready with a good understanding of emerging technologies like AI and nanotech

  • Develop a portfolio of projects for university and internship applications

  • Learn the mindsets, confidence, and problem-solving abilities needed to lead

  • Be mentored by professionals from Apple, Stanford, Uber, and more

🕴️ Tech jobs of the week

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