New Bedford Ocean Cluster incorporated as nonprofit

The New Bedford Ocean Cluster (NBOC) has announced its official incorporation as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

The NBOC aims to enhance the city of New Bedford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.'s maritime industries while “advancing new programs, start-ups, and technology partnerships with a primary focus in four different industry areas,” NBOC said in a press release.

The overall goal is to drive employment and wealth creation by focusing in four industry areas: commercial fishing and processing, aquaculture, offshore renewables, and the innovation and technology sector.

Formed in 2015 as a program of the New Bedford Port Authority, the NBOC merged with the New Bedford Wind Energy Center in 2019. Its core mission, according to its website, is to work collaboratively with the public and private sector, along with academic partners, to establish the city of New Bedford as the “leading ocean economy on the East Coast.”

“I have often said you can describe New Bedford in one word: seaport. We send our people to sea,” NBOC President John Bullard said. “The mission of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster is to build on that centuries old relationship to create economic opportunity for future generations by building on our dominance in commercial fishing, leading the way in offshore wind, breaking new ground in marine technology, and joining the fast-growing field of marine aquaculture.”

The organization is governed by a 10-member board, with members that represent focus areas of the organization – such as local seafood companies and marine biologists. The board hopes to steer New Bedford toward successful development in the four industry areas it is targeting.

“These four fields and the relationships between each of them create the potential for thousands of local jobs that pay well and that involve every segment of our diverse community,” Bullard said.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell – serving in an ex-officio role on the NBOC board – said the organization will be “instrumental in ensuring New Bedford achieves its full potential as a leading maritime center.”

“We seek to capitalize on our advantages in fishing, offshore wind, and other industries so that we can create new and sustainable opportunities for the residents of our region,” he said.  


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