NBOC Attends Seafood Expo North America

NBOC Attends Seafood Expo North America

NBOC Attends Seafood Expo North America

NBOC Business Development Manager, Carlos Avila, attended the Seafood Expo in Boston, March 10-12, the largest seafood trade show in North America. The expo showcased over 1,200 seafood companies representing importers, exporters, and processors from over 45 nations and provided the NBOC a great opportunity to network with local fisheries and processing partners from New Bedford.

The event clearly demonstrated the scale and many markets within the commercial fishing industry from catch to processing, buyers and  

sellers, and storage and logistical freight needed to transport fresh products globally. The event was full of energy with large international delegations passionately representing their nation’s seafood markets.

Amidst these vibrant displays, engaging crowds, and delicious samples, local seafood companies like Northern Wind, Marder, Raw Seafoods, Atlantic Cape Fisheries, Seatrade International, Eastern Fisheries, and Red’s Best, distinguished themselves as leaders in the industry, solidifying the Port of New Bedford’s long-standing position as the #1 commercial fishing port in the country.

If you’re in the seafood industry, the Expo should be on your calendar. It’s a must-see event and we look forward to attending again when it returns to Boston next year.

NBOC Hosts Ecosystem Tour for Blue Tech Companies in New Bedford

NBOC Hosts Ecosystem Tour for Blue Tech Companies in New Bedford

NBOC Hosts Ecosystem Tour for Blue Tech Companies in New Bedford

In late February, the NBOC attended the Blue Innovation Symposium in Newport, Rhode Island. The BIS is the region’s premier blue technology event and truly keeps with its mantra of “by the industry, for the industry.” This year’s event presented a diverse range of topics and attracted 300 attendees, 100 speakers, and 40 exhibitors. The NBOC was among one of them and we certainly valued our time on the show floor meeting with so many ocean technology start-ups and SMEs advancing products and services to support our pillar industries.

Immediately following the conference, the NBOC hosted an Ecosystem Tour in New Bedford for 30 conference attendees, which included mostly blue technology companies. A good portion of those companies were part of a Canadian delegation organized by the Consulate General of Canada in Boston. During the tour, attendees heard presentations from NBOC Executive Director, Jennifer Downing; New Bedford Port Authority Executive Director, Gordon Carr; and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Managing Director for Offshore Wind, Bruce Carlisle. They also participated in a Port Tour and visited New Bedford Research and Robotics and UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology.

According to Jennifer Downing, “Attending the Blue Innovation Symposium and having the opportunity to host post conference tours in New Bedford for attendees over the last two years has helped the NBOC expand its blue tech network and develop several business connections that could have big impacts for New Bedford’s ocean economy. Bravo to Toby Stapleton and his team at the Blue Venture Forum for putting on another stellar event. We are pleased to participate and support it.”

Consortium of Partners from Rhode Island & Southeastern Massachusetts Launch Ocean Tech Hub

Consortium of Partners from Rhode Island & Southeastern Massachusetts Launch Ocean Tech Hub

Consortium of Partners from Rhode Island & Southeastern Massachusetts Launch Ocean Tech Hub

In October, Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts were named 1 of 31 Tech Hubs, designated by the Biden-Harris Economic Development Administration (EDA). The Ocean Tech Hub of Southeastern New England (OTH) is a consortium-led cross-state initiative committed to activating the ocean technology ecosystem through research and innovation in undersea robotics, automation, advanced materials, and composites. (Read the full release here).

The OTH strategy builds upon Rhode Island’s Grow Blue initiative and the comprehensive study, Charting the Course: A Regional Assessment of the Marine Science & Technology Sector in Southeastern New England that was conducted by UMass Dartmouth in 2019.

The OTH Consortium, which is being coordinated by Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and includes the NBOC, UMass Dartmouth, the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District, and other partners. As an EDA Tech Hub Designee, the OTH is eligible to compete in Phase 2 of the competition to potentially receive between $40-$70 million in implementation funding to support the advancement of our efforts. Tech Hub proposals are due to the EDA on February 29th and awards will be announced by the summer.

The NBOC has also joined with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to advance a project to develop and enhance critically needed ocean testing sites, programs and services that will support the commercialization of the key technology focus areas to grow the OTH, with an emphasis on ocean renewable energy (ORE) industry applications. The project’s ocean testing sites and support services will run through, and in parallel with, a new ORE Innovation Center being developed by MassCEC in the Port of New Bedford to support innovation, business incubation, and technology transfer.

Jennifer Downing, NBOC Executive Director believes the regional OTH is poised for success. “Those of us in economic development know that collaboration, especially across state lines, is challenging to say the least. However, it takes leadership and vision to get out of our siloes and look beyond our borders to leverage opportunities that if successful, will only make us stronger together. The Ocean Tech Hub is one such opportunity. Regardless of what happens with this competition, the Ocean Tech Hub is laying a strong foundation for regional collaboration and industry growth into the future.”

New Bedford Offshore Wind Conference

New Bedford Offshore Wind Conference

October 24th-25th, 2024








The City of New Bedford has for generations been tied to the sea. The Port of New Bedford is home to America’s highest grossing commercial fishing industry. Today, it is also home to America’s first, commercial-scale offshore wind project, Vineyard Wind 1. New Bedford is once again lighting the world, actively positioning itself to be a leading hub for the U.S. offshore wind industry and a robust ecosystem for blue innovation and technology.

Join us in historic, downtown New Bedford for a unique and immersive industry event that will include tours, diverse program tracks, and ample networking opportunities with industry leaders, local businesses, and key stakeholders at the center of advancing offshore wind in New Bedford and the Commonwealth. Engage in insightful conversations on industry trends, opportunities, and challenges, and learn how New Bedford is growing into a model cluster of diverse marine industry businesses and assets.

Didn’t join us for our 2023 conference? Check out last year’s agenda.

Thursday, October 5th

Networking Breakfast: 8:00 – 8:50 a.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Harbor View Gallery, Sponsored by DEME Group

Opening Remarks & Keynote Presentations: 9:05-10:20 a.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Cook Memorial Theater
Welcome: Jennifer Downing, New Bedford Ocean Cluster; Keynote Presentations: John Mitchell, Mayor of New Bedford; Jan Kjaersgaard, GE Renewables; Klaus Moeller, Vineyard Wind

Break: 10:20-10:35 a.m.

Panel Discussion on Fishing & Offshore Wind Coexistence Challenges & Opportunities: 10:35-11:35 a.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Cook Memorial Theater
Panelists: Eric Reid, New Bedford Ocean Cluster & New England Fishery Management Council; Crista Bank, Vineyard Wind; Gordon Carr, New Bedford Port Authority; Capt. Jarrett Drake, New Bedford Lobsterman

Lunch: 11:35 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Harbor View Gallery

Break: 12:30-1:00 p.m. (Board buses and travel to program tracks)

Program Tracks: 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Workforce Development & Training, “Developing a Diverse & Equitable Offshore Wind Workforce of the Future” at Bristol Community College’s National Offshore Wind Institute

Track includes a facility tour, fireside chat with NOWI leadership, and a panel discussion with industry leaders.

Speakers & Panelists: Jennifer Menard, Bristol Community College; Dr. Alan Lowden; Dr. Cynthia Brown, IWNL Energy; Carlos Avila, New Bedford Ocean Cluster; Jennifer Cullen, Vineyard Wind; Jennifer Daloisio, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center; Callum Dewar, Maersk Training

Supply Chain, “Building the Offshore Wind Supply Chain in Massachusetts: Reflecting on Progress and Preparing for the future” at Shoreline Marine Terminal North, Pope’s Island, Sponsored by Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

Track includes a facility tour, panel discussion, and engaging roundtable discussion with industry leaders.

Speakers & Panelists: Bruce Carlisle, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center; Dan Kent, Vineyard Wind; Michael Quinn, Quinn Fisheries & Shoreline Offshore; Vicki Chapman, Chapman Construction Group; Philip Hamels, Jan De Nul; Joel Whitman, Foss Offshore Wind; Matt Cadwallader, TerraSond

Innovation & Technology, “Fisheries & Offshore Wind: Advancing Science and Opportunities for Innovation” at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology

Track includes a facility tour, presentations, and panel discussion with industry leaders.

Speakers & Panelists: Kevin Stokesbury, UMass Dartmouth; Pingguo He; Steven Cadrin, UMass Dartmouth; Travis Lowery, Vineyard Wind; Tim Barrett, Owner/Operator of F/V Odessa and President of Northeast Fishing Sector 10

Port Asset Tour #1: 3:30-4:15 p.m. and Port Asset Tour #2: 4:15-5:30 p.m. at Cuttyhunk Ferry, 66B State Pier, New Bedford(rotating tours)
Speakers: Gordon Carr, New Bedford Port Authority; Andrew Saunders, New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal; Tim Griffin, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

Free time: 3:30-5:30 p.m. We encourage you to explore historic, downtown New Bedford during your free time. We recommend a visit to one of the following locations, which are in walking distance to the waterfront.

Cocktail Reception: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at The Black Whale

    After-Hours: 8:00 p.m. Not ready to call it a night? These great spots are in walking distance to The Black Whale: 

    Friday, October 6th

    Networking Breakfast: 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Harbor View Gallery 

    Speaking Program I: 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Cook Memorial Theater 

    Vineyard Wind 1- Electrical Service Platform
    Anthony Janeczek, Semco Maritime Operations Manager

    Fireside Chat
    Andrew Saunders, New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal; Gordon Carr, New Bedford Port Authority 

    From Chemistry to Offshore Wind
    Megan Eddings, NewWave Chief Strategy Officer 

    Break: 11:00 – 11:15 a.m. 

    Speaking Program II: 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Cook Memorial Theater 

    From Catch to Current: Transforming New Bedford Fishing Vessels into a Renewable Energy Pioneer
    Ed Washburn, Coast Line Transfers Managing Director/Partner

    Fireside Chat: Vineyard Wind & Chapman Construction Group
    Dan Kent, Vineyard Wind Labor Relations Manager; Vicky Chapman, Chapman Construction Group President 

    Break: 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

    Lunch, Self-Guided Museum Tours, Offshore Wind Industry Videos in Cook Memorial Theater 

    Thank you to our 2023 sponsors

    Happy Holidays from the NBOC!

    Happy Holidays from the NBOC!

    Dear NBOC Members, Partners, and Friends,

    2023 was an amazing year and we want to take a moment during the holidays to express our heartfelt gratitude for your support as we continue our work to drive growth and innovation across our four pillars: Aquaculture, Commercial Fishing, Innovation & Technology, and Offshore Renewable Energy. Together, we’ve achieved milestones that have set the stage for an even brighter future. Here are a few highlights from 2023 that bring us joy and excitement for the work ahead.

    At the center of the most vibrant clusters is a diverse and insightful network of engaged businesses. This year, our membership grew to 17 companies. We also launched a Fisheries Advisory Committee to inform our strategy and serve as a deliberative platform for cross industry coordination. A big thanks to Quinn Fisheries, Eastern Fisheries, BASE Seafood Auction, Norpel, Seatrade International, Red’s Best, Cynthia C. Charters, New England Marine, and Drake Lobster for their valuable engagement.

    Collaboration lies at the heart of the NBOC. This year we forged new partnerships in our local community and beyond that are opening doors to new initiatives and investments that will position New Bedford and the region to be a leading ocean economy. For example, the NBOC is one of several Consortium partners leading the Southeastern New England Ocean Tech Hub, an unprecedented collaboration between Rhode Island and Southeastern, MA recognized by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. We are excited about the potential of this cross-border initiative to significantly advance ocean technology.

    We continued to raise the profile of our region on global stages. In 2023, we participated in offshore wind industry trade missions to Denmark, Norway, and Northeast England. These trips continue to connect our maritime businesses to the world and pave the way for local industry growth.

    We hosted our first major conference in 2023! The NBOC’s New Bedford Offshore Wind Conference brought industry leaders from all over the world to our community to discuss the latest trends, advancements, and opportunities in offshore wind. The overwhelming positive response from attendees underscored the importance of such forums in advancing our collective goals. If you missed it, this video provides a great recap. Stay tuned for details about our second-annual conference in fall 2024!


    We were also fortunate to expand our team in 2023. Carlos E. Avila joined us as our Business Development Manager to expand membership and engagement offerings. Gabriella Brianna Kearns, started as an intern and is soon increasing her time with us as our Outreach & Events Assistant.

    Did you see we have a new look?! We rolled out a new logo this year as part of a comprehensive Marketing and Communications Plan.
    Well, that’s a wrap! Thanks again for being a part of our growing ocean cluster. We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season. See you in 2024!

    With hope & cheer,
    Jennifer Downing
    Executive Director

    Connecting With Purpose: New Bedford Ocean Cluster Introduces A Logo Redesign Aligned With Its Mission

    Connecting With Purpose: New Bedford Ocean Cluster Introduces A Logo Redesign Aligned With Its Mission

    Connecting With Purpose: New Bedford Ocean Cluster Introduces A Logo Redesign Aligned With Its Mission

    NEW BEDFORD, MA, November 8, 2023 The New Bedford Ocean Cluster (NBOC) announces the launch of our new logo, marking a significant moment in our ongoing organizational development. The newly unveiled logo reflects the organization’s goal to establish New Bedford, Massachusetts, and the surrounding region as the foremost ocean economy on the East Coast.

    The motivation behind the logo redesign stems from a comprehensive marketing and communications planning process the NBOC has undertaken. While the NBOC just launched in late 2021, our journey began back in 2017 when we signed a partnership agreement with the Iceland Ocean Cluster, making us part of the global ocean cluster network. The Iceland Ocean Cluster and other cluster organizations worldwide are making their fisheries and ports more profitable and sustainable through the clustering concept. The NBOC’s Founders knew that New Bedford was fertile ground to do the same, and that vision drove the organization to where it is today.

    In the words of the NBOC’s Executive Director Jennifer Downing, “Until now, we’ve shared a logo with the Iceland Ocean Cluster. Iceland has been a huge pioneer to the ocean cluster movement, so it has made a lot of sense to visually align with their brand. We continue to gain a lot of value from being a part of the network, and this will not change. However, the Port of New Bedford and our maritime economy is unique. We’ve also come a long way as an organization in just two years. It is time for the NBOC to have a distinct brand identity that captures our mission, values, and four pillars while also honoring the global ocean cluster network we proudly are part of.”

    The New Bedford Ocean Cluster is a non-profit marine industry association that facilitates connections between maritime companies in greater New Bedford and strengthening their markets across the world. Our efforts are strategically focused on four interrelated marine industry pillars: Aquaculture, Commercial Fishing & Processing, Innovation & Technology, and Offshore Renewable Energy. According to Downing, “We have four industry pillars at the NBOC; while we want to see each prosper, we also seek to facilitate their intersection whenever possible. The convergence of industries will create a true ocean economy in the Port of New Bedford. It’s ambitious but incredibly exciting.”

    The new logo now encapsulates these aspects, offering a holistic representation of the organization. This redesign symbolizes the New Bedford Ocean Cluster’s dedication to our mission, its uniqueness in the marine industry, and our commitment to growth and development.

    “The ocean has always been a source of opportunity for the people who have come to New Bedford to build our city while building better lives for themselves,” said NBOC Board President John Bullard. “The Ocean Cluster is showing how related sectors of our ocean economy can thrive together through mutual respect and understanding.”

    The New Bedford Ocean Cluster (NBOC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization created to leverage New Bedford’s strategic coastal position and extensive ocean economy and knowledge base to attract investment, support the formation and growth of maritime businesses, and foster initiatives that can create economic and community impact from the sustainable use of ocean resources. The NBOC works collaboratively with the private sector, public sector, and academic institutions to establish New Bedford and the region as a leading ocean economy through the advancement of Aquaculture, Commercial Fishing & Processing, Innovation & Technology, and Offshore Renewable Energy.

    Learn more about the New Bedford Ocean Cluster at www.nboc.org/ or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.