We’re One of Canada’s most exciting tech and innovation hubs

Halifax’s Innovation District has a high concentration of people, businesses, organizations and resources that are fostering innovation and growth. It’s a culture of collaboration and ingenuity. And it’s an incredible community where you can access the people and organizations that you’ll need to grow your company at every stage.

The business of innovation

From major companies to sector-specific startups, big and small organizations are coming together to create new and better ways of doing things. In Halifax you’ll find commercialization opportunities, partnerships with post-secondary institutions, research funding, incubators, accelerators, and resources. But we are looking for more, and want you to join us.

  • 2,000 companies large and small from startups to employers with 500+ employees

  • 360 professional, scientific, and technical services firms

  • Two-thirds of Halifax’s life and health sciences startups and scaleups

  • Over 80 software development and IT services firms – nearly 25% growth over five years

  • 18 Research and Development organizations

  • 200+ Startups & Scaleups (IT, Life Sciences, CleanTech, OceanTech, Manufacturing) benefiting from the District

People and Places

Our Innovation District is home to 22,000 people - young, highly educated, multicultural and tech savvy - ready to be part of great things. It’s one of the most concentrated talent pipelines in Canada, and you can be a part of it.

  • 40% between the ages of 20 and 40

  • 71% are university graduates

  • Over 70 languages spoken

  • 20% of adults in the District have post-secondary education qualifications in STEM disciplines

  • 29,000+ people enrolled in District universities and colleges

  • 6,500 international students

Funding, learning, and partnerships

Our district attracted 64% of all sponsored research income in the Maritime Provinces’ 12 universities in 2017. There are funding, mentorship, and partnership opportunities within the innovation ecosystem, with our municipality, our province, and with our established companies. These are a few of the organizations that can help you make the right connection.

  • Volta - Largest innovation hub in Canada outside of the KW-TO corridor.
  • Innovacorp – Manages an $85-million investment fund focused on start-ups in Nova Scotia.
  • Dalhousie University - A leading research university that hosts four innovation sandboxes across Nova Scotia.
  • Emera ideaHUB – Most advanced engineering and incubation space of its kind in the country.
  • Dalhousie Creative Destruction Lab – Portfolio companies have generated $4.2 billion in equity since 2012.
  • Ocean Frontier Institute – $220 million ocean research initiative studying the Atlantic Ocean.
  • BIO – Canada’s largest ocean research institute, home to 600 scientists, engineers and technologists.
  • DRDC’s Atlantic Lab – More than 200 scientists and engineers focused on naval defense and maritime security.
  • COVE – Canada’s ocean tech park with over 50 companies in a co-working innovation space.

Living the idea life

Quality of life is part of what defines Halifax. It’s hard to describe, but people often talk about the energy – something that you can feel. It’s the comfort that comes with knowing people, or at least knowing someone who knows someone. That connectivity makes it easy to settle into our vibrant coastal city. Here, you’ll feel that it’s possible to get the support you need – both personally and professionally.

  • Over half of the population walks or bikes to work

  • Growing community of co-working and collaborative spaces

  • Ample green spaces including the Halifax Commons, the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, the Halifax Public Gardens and an impressive, open waterfront

  • 200+ restaurants, bars, and coffee shops


Growing a culture based in ideas and innovation is a key strategy in achieving the Halifax Economic Growth Plan's ambitious vision of a population of 550,000 and GDP of $30 billion by 2031. Like other cities and regions that invest in innovation, Halifax will be in the position to experience greater economic growth, generate high-wage high-value jobs, and attract top talent and companies from around the world.

For Halifax, our District provides a platform to connect more startups, scaleups and established companies to our innovation assets and opportunities. It also allows us to leverage and build upon Halifax’s unique strengths – our ocean advantage, educated workforce and top-notch institutions, our strategic location and excellent quality of life, and our vibrant startup community and established firms – to scale-up innovation and accelerate growth.



Together with our public, private and post-secondary partners, we aim to increase the number of viable high-growth startups and scaleups by:

  • Advancing the Halifax Innovation District
  • Developing innovative solutions to social and civic issues and opportunities
  • Creating the conditions and assets to support startups and scaleups
  • Fostering inclusive growth (enhancing the role of underrepresented groups in entrepreneurial activity)

Learn about our Innovation District projects

What we're working on

Halifax's innovation ecosystem is growing and new ideas and spaces are popping up. Learn about the first Halifax Innovation District initiative - the Innovation Outpost.

Learn more about Innovation Projects


Looking for the right connections to make your big ideas a reality? You’ve come to the right place. We can help you find the support you need in Halifax.

Interested in becoming a part of the Resource Hub?

Contact us today

Resource Directory


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