Nova Scotia seafood companies will be able to improve current products, create new ones and look at new export markets through a new Seafood Accelerator Program. Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell announced the new program today, June 25, which represents an investment of $570,000 over two years. The program will be managed by Perennia, Nova Scotia’s development agency supporting sustainability and competitiveness in the province’s agriculture and seafood sectors. “Helping our producers bring their new and innovative ideas to life can make all the difference in creating growth and jobs in our rural communities,” said Mr. Colwell. “These investments will help industry find opportunities to bring new products to market and increase the value of our seafood industry.” The Seafood Accelerator Program will be broken down into three areas: Seafood Market Access Food Safety program: up to $15,000 to help seafood companies take the Global Food Safety Initiative certification to enter and expand in new export markets Technical Obstacles initiative: $55,000 per year to help companies produce samples, improve packaging, extend shelf life and address other barriers New Product Creator initiative: $55,000 per year to help companies develop new products and prototypes “Member companies of the Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance are highly dependent on the sale of our world class products to other countries and to other regions of Canada,” said Leo Muise, executive director, Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance. “This new initiative can help Nova Scotia seafood processors obtain additional value out of the resource.” Nova Scotia remains Canada’s seafood export leader with more than $2 billion in exports – 29 per cent of Canada’s total seafood exports. The province’s seafood exports have more than doubled since 2012 when they stood at $922 million. “More export markets are requiring seafood companies to have rigorous food safety programs and the demand for innovative seafood products continues to rise,” said Noel Despres, vice chair, Perennia board of directors. “Through this program and with Perennia’s guidance, Nova Scotia seafood companies will become better innovators, better marketers and will continue to supply our top-rated seafood products.” This investment comes from the Building Tomorrow Fund, a three-year, $9 million provincial investment in agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture. To apply for the Seafood Accelerator Program visit http://www.perennia.ca/acceleratorprogram .