Dalhousie University Sexton Campus, Barrington Street, Halifax, NS, Canada


Jeff Larsen
Executive Director, Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship
Dalhousie University


Areas of expertise

Dalhousie University, Atlantic Canada’s leading research university, plays a crucial role in our Innovation District. As one of the epicenters of innovation, it is the birthplace of the IDEA (Innovation in Design Engineering & Architecture) Project and the Emera ideaHUB.

Launched in April 2019, the Emera ideaHUB is an advanced incubator that supports new products emerging from engineering and applied science research. By leveraging the unique capabilities and strengths of Dalhousie, the ideaHUB supports start-ups, small-and-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporate innovation teams with guidance and access to space and equipment.

Founded on a shared investment and commitment from the private sector, post-secondary institutions and government, it is empowering the next generation of innovators, and strengthening the networks in Halifax’s Innovation District.

“I think Canada has identified innovation and growth as keys to success for our economy... we need to grow more companies here in Atlantic Canada, and where better than our academic institutions for these next-gen ideas?” said Margaret Palmeter, Director of the Emera ideaHUB.

Located in the heart of the Innovation District, the Emera ideaHUB facility is home to a dozen resident startups. Companies such as Clean Valley, which is developing solutions for aquaculture facilities using a bio-filter to prevent micro-plastic from continuing to enter the food chain. And Gibli, a startup developing real–time aerodynamic sensors for cyclists and triathletes to validate equipment and position changes during races.

The HUB offers an open-concept workshop with top notch tools and technology to develop prototypes, including 3D-printers, mechanical assembly tools, and electrical testing equipment. They also offer a variety of programs:

  • The Bridge – a residency program which helps students, researchers and faculty create physical product-based companies and transition to the larger startup community.
  • Design2Build – a program to help science and engineering-based ventures to design, develop and build physical products.
  • Multidisciplinary and extracurricular programs for students and entrepreneurs such as the NASA Space Apps Challenge and The IDEA Speaker Series, showcasing innovation leaders in the Nova Scotia community.

The Emera ideaHUB has been a significant player in developing the next generation of competitive technology companies. Through their facilities, programs, and industry connections, they are continually empowering students and entrepreneurs with the resources they need to build exciting, breakthrough physical products.

Operations during COVID-19

All upcoming in-person ideaHUB events have been cancelled or are being converted to remote/virtual events. The HUB team is accessible and available to provide support. They have compiled a list of available programs, resources and opportunities to help companies navigate COVID-19.

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
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