Rural Innovation Centre Highlight

Graham Daborn from The Tidal Research Institute

“My advice is to find the courage to work on the things that really interest you and if necessary, step out on your own and do it.”

Tell me a little about your business and what role you play in it’s operations.

The Institute was established it 2007, officially. It’s purpose is to work with those who are interested in developing tidal power, to ensure that the options are environmentally sound. Since 2007 we have worked on a variety of different projects. Everything from fish and mammals to the ways mud behaves, all of which are relevant to try and determine the environmental effects.

I’m now a retired professor but my role at the present time is to work a variety with committees that are set up by the government or proponents for the Tidal Development Centre over in Parsboro, which is called Force. I sit on their advisory committee, and a variety of other committees that are organized around research. The role is really to help move the research along so we can really address all the issues that are of interest.

What is your favorite part about the Rural Innovation Centre?

It’s a great spot. I’ve had an office in this building since 1975 but it’s much more different now. It’s much more pleasing in terms of the space itself. I think the other thing that appeals to me, although I’ve been away a good deal recently, is the interaction that occurs periodically with everyone else in the space.

What piece of advice would you give to students who are looking to get into entrepreneurship?

Go for it. My belief is that we really have to encourage people to work on their own initiative a little more, rather than just expecting that there is going to be a job that is highly suitable for them, waiting for them when they graduate. I think the world has changed. 30 years ago, it was quite possible that you could go through your degree, and inevitably there would be someone out there who would be willing to pick you up. My advice is to find the courage to work on the things that really interest you and if necessary, step out on your own and do it.

What’s an interesting fact about your business or something cool you are working on?

The research that’s being done on fish for example. Trying to predict how fish will react to one of the spinning turbines. This is a worldwide interest. There are not that many places that are suitable for tidal power. The questions are much the same no matter where you are, as they focus mainly around fish and mammals. Trying to predict how they will behave. We have the advantage of having spent decades here, working on understanding both the fish and the mammals in the Bay of Fundy, but also in the context of tidal energy. We are doing work that it world class here at Acadia.