New Innovation Centre for Remote Operations to Transform Province

Dec 19, 2022 | News


New Innovation Centre for Remote Operations to Transform Province  

December 19, 2022 – St. John’s, NL: Today, the Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Federal Minister of Labour, 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. Multiple sectors and communities in the province will benefit including technology, energy, healthcare, mining, ocean, aquaculture, and fisheries. This Innovation Centre will foster collaboration and technology growth to accelerate the development of the innovation-driven economy in Newfoundland and Labrador.  

“Our vision is to create a world-class ecosystem for remote operations,” says Florian Villaumé, techNL CEO. “This funding will establish a collaborative innovation space built to address the technology development needs of established and growing companies through programming, access to special technology assets, proximity to other innovators, collaboration, and visibility. It will attract companies, partners, and investment from outside the province to our ecosystem and contribute to our vision to make the local technology sector the most sought-after technology sector in Canada.” 

“This Innovation Centre is the largest infrastructure project we’ve seen for the Newfoundland and Labrador tech sector,” says Jacqueline Lee, techNL Board Chair and PolyUnity CEO. “The Centre will help transform the economy and encourage youth to stay in the province to work in a world-class ecosystem. We are known for our collaborative environment and the Innovation Centre will build on that unique strength.”  

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 other 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. 

“Momentum and support for the Innovation Centre have been steadily growing across multiple sectors,” says Villaumé. “Letters of support for the Innovation Centre were received from 23 companies and organizations and many volunteers spent hours supporting the development of this project, which speaks to the truly unprecedented collaboration that has been happening behind the scenes to make this project become a reality. We are grateful to the Federal and Provincial governments for investing in this project that will position the province as a global centre for excellence in remote operations.”  

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: 



“Today is about providing another building block to further advance the technology community and create more opportunities for partnerships, synergies, and collaboration. Together, we are going to further transform Newfoundland and Labrador’s tech ecosystem and encourage innovation for all stages of business. I am so excited to see this come to fruition and can’t wait for what lies ahead.” 

Honourable Andrew Furey 
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador 

“We’ve always been globally competitive. We’ve historically been at the centre of commerce and trade.  And whenever the ground has shifted beneath our feet, we’ve always figured out how to regain our balance and excel. We excel at tech. Creativity is in our DNA. So, let’s take on the world.” 

Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr. 
Minister of Labour and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South – Mount Pearl, on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA 

“A lot of hard work and considerable effort by industry associations, research organizations, and those working towards advancing tech in our province has been put into achieving this new space. The new Innovation Centre was a key priority for the Premier and for me as Minister, and I am so happy to work with all partners to get it over the finish line.” 

Honourable Andrew Parsons 
Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology 

“Collaboration is key to success for any sector as demonstrated by the industry associations and governments who have come together to make the Innovation Centre a reality. Collaboration is also what will make the Innovation Centre a success and place Newfoundland and Labrador at the leading edge of technological innovation. The energy sector of our province is driven by innovation and now has a new focal point of collaboration and diversification. I thank all partners for their dedication to making this a reality and look forward to the significant benefits the Innovation Centre will offer the energy sector and beyond.” 

Charlene Johnson  
CEO, Energy NL 

“Newfoundland and Labrador is uniquely positioned to be a global leader in remote operations, leveraging digital technologies to manage industrial activity near and far, from right here. This is a transformative opportunity for the province’s economy, and we are proud to be a part of it. Through the establishment of the Innovation Centre we will not only be able to come together from across different sectors and disciplines to rally behind this opportunity but to make it happen. The future is digital and this is our chance to lead.” 

Kendra MacDonald 
CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster 

“Digitalization and remote and autonomous operations are a big part of the future for many industries, and we need to increase the pace and depth of our innovation if we are going to remain competitive and take advantage of the major opportunities that the future will offer. The Innovation Centre will be a central support for our entire economy in those ambitions, and we’re excited to see it take another big leap forwards.” 

Dave Finn 
CEO, Energy Research & Innovation Newfoundland and Labrador 

“Today is an exciting day for both Newfoundland and Labrador, and our local business ecosystem. Thank you to techNL for their enormous effort to get us to this announcement. This centre will bring together the brightest minds in our province – where we will focus on innovation, collaboration, and continuously raising the bar of what we can achieve together.  We are delighted that Atlantic XL will be one of the first tenants in this facility, and look forward to operating this province’s first commercial 3D metal printer in the Innovation Centre. Additive Manufacturing will support sustainable supply chain optimization and help our province reach its net zero goal. The Innovation Centre is an ideal place to house that evolution.” 

Karen Winsor 
COO, Atlantic XL 

techNL is a not-for-profit membership association that enables a thriving innovation-driven economy in Newfoundland and Labrador. techNL provides visibility, business growth services and a collective influential voice to the tech sector in Newfoundland and Labrador with a vision to make Newfoundland and Labrador the most sought-after Canadian tech ecosystem, globally recognized for its collaborative community, diversity and quality of life.  

A key focus on business growth includes programs and services to support talent pipeline expansion, member connections, digital transformation and ecosystem development in Newfoundland and Labrador. More information can be found on the website  

Energy NL represents approximately 460 member organizations worldwide which are involved in the energy sector. Members are active in all areas of the supply and service sector and include a diverse representation of businesses that range from offshore supply vessels and helicopters, carbon reduction and sustainable technologies, health and safety equipment and training, engineering solutions and fabricators to law firms and human resource agencies. 

Energy Research & Innovation Newfoundland and Labrador (ERINL) is a not-for-profit organization that facilitates collaborative research, development and demonstration (RD&D) opportunities and projects on behalf of Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil and gas industry. ERI’s members include all the operators and major partners in the province’s offshore, global leaders in innovation in the sector. 


Marlayne Hardy  
techNL, Director, Innovation Programs  

Meghan McCabe 
Office of the Premier, Director of Communications 

Eric Humber 
Industry, Energy and Technology, Media Relations Manager 
709-729-5777, 725-9655, 

Paul McGrath  

ACOA, Director of Communications 


Ken Morrissey 
Energy NL, Senior Advisor Communications, Research and Policy  

Nancy Andrews 

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, VP Government Relations and Communications