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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 7, 2020
This story has been updated to correct the funding total.
SubC Control Ltd., an ocean technolgy company based in Clarenville, NL, is getting a financial boost from the provincial government to help improve its underwater camera system.
The province, through the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation (TCII), is providing a non-repayable grant of $262,500 through the Innovation and Business Investment Corporation.
In a press release to announce the funding, the province’s industry department said the funding would help the company further develop underwater image quality and big data functionality, and reduce system complexity and cost, by offering products that have multiple features in one system.
Chad Collet is one of the partners of SubC.
He told SaltWire the new technology they will be developing using the recent government funding should allow them to break into new markets, such as offshore wind, aquaculture and defense.
Collett founded SubC in 2010, with help from the Genesis Centre, a business incubator, at Memorial University. Adam Rowe, a longtime friend of Collett’s, is the other partner in the company.
Together, over the past 10 years, they have developed a client list for SubC around the globe, specifically into the United States, Saudi Arabia, Italy and Singapore.
Currently, they have 20 employees. He expects they will need more sales and marketing employees to push their technology into new markets.
The company offers a suite of underwater solutions and scientific survey platforms (Trawl Camera), while providing a wide range of services including mechanical design, computer-aided design, and rapid prototyping for equipment serving in hostile marine environments.
COVID-19 has created some challenges for this company, Collett acknowledged.
Like many other companies, SubC has switched to a work-from-home solution for its employees. About 50 percent of the team is working from home, either partially or fully, said Collett and this will likely continue after the pandemic ends.
“Unfortunately, we did purchase and move into a much larger facility in 2018, but with a positive outlook and at home working, this gives SubC even more room to grow,” said Collett.
For now, there are no face-to-face sales opportunities for the company.
“Trade shows are canceled or on hold, and this was SubC's primary form of lead generation,” he said, adding many of their clients have put a hold on projects in the last few months.
In 2019 he said 83 percent of the company’s revenue came from international sales, which injected new money into the provincial and Atlantic Canadian economy.
They are focused on maintaining that momentum.
“We are now investing heavily in marketing and we have hired a full-time Digital Marketing Director, Mitch Colbourne, to improve our marketing strategy.”