What is SURGE?

SURGE—Science Unleashed: Research Growing the Economy—is an innovation sandbox funded by the Nova Scotia government, whose aim is to train science students to translate scientific discovery into economic growth and solutions to the world’s big problems.

SURGE offers a range of programs to introduce, and systematically train, science students in the processes and methods of innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship. This complements the core training students in the Faculty of Science receive through their degree programs, providing them with the understanding and opportunities needed to take what they learn in the classroom out into the world, through founding startup companies and nonprofits, and working in industry.

While serving students across the Faculty of Science, SURGE has a close affiliation with the Ocean Frontiers Institute to support oceans-related innovation, and a specific mandate to foster science and technology innovation and entrepreneurship activities among traditionally under-represented groups, including indigenous people, African Nova Scotians, and women.


  • Engage undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows in the Faculty of Science in innovation and entrepreneurial activities
  • Become a recognized leader in the provincial and regional innovation pipeline for oceans and other science-based economic growth
  • Foster the establishment of innovative, science-based companies
  • Train highly-qualified personnel to have skills in both science and innovation, to work in provincial and regional startup and SMEs
  • Increase the representation of traditionally under-represented groups in sandbox activities, and in turn the provincial science & technology innovation sector
  • Work with key local, provincial, and regional partners to co-develop and -offer innovation and entrepreneurship programming, and to create pipelines for teams originating in the sandbox to move on to next stage opportunities such as incubators, accelerators, and early stage funding.

Meet Our Team