News Release Article from  Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Halifax Company Developing First-of-its-kind Underwater Microscope

Government of Canada Invests in 4Deep Inwater Imaging to Support Product Development and Marketing

March 29, 2016 – Halifax, N.S. – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

4Deep Inwater Imaging of Halifax is developing the world’s first underwater fluorescence microscope, a device that will detect harmful algae at a very early stage. The microscope is expected to become a standard instrument in water quality monitoring and research, with applications in public health, aquaculture and shell fisheries. The Government of Canada is investing $500,000 in the project. The repayable contribution through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)’s Business Development Program was announced today.

4Deep has finished and tested the first product prototype and now requires additional development and testing before commercializing the microscope.

The Government of Canada’s investment enables 4Deep to complete design, engineering, testing and final components for the product. The investment also supports improvements to existing products. To capitalize on these product developments and 4Deep’s growing international customer-base, the Government is also investing in marketing activities.

4Deep will hire additional staff to complete the required work. In addition to creating jobs for skilled workers, the project is creating commercialization and export opportunities for an innovative local company.


“Companies like 4Deep Inwater Imaging produce not only incredible technology, but incredible opportunities for Canadians. As Budget 2016 has reinforced, the Government of Canada is committed to helping Canadian businesses like 4Deep grow, innovate and export so they can create good quality jobs and wealth for Canadians. Our focus is on innovation. Innovation is about creating the right conditions for ideas to thrive, for creativity to flourish and for Canadian entrepreneurs and businesses to grow.”

     - The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

“With applications in oceanography, oil and gas, biomedical, manufacturing and more, 4Deep Inwater Imaging is creating solutions for a broad cross-section of industries locally and globally. The Government of Canada is pleased to support 4Deep as they develop a new solution—the world’s first underwater fluorescence microscope, right here in Nova Scotia.”

     - Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax

“The world’s first underwater fluorescence microscope will serve as an early detection of fluorescence signals from harmful algae before a full-blown algae bloom appears. This type of monitoring is crucial for public health and other applications such as aquaculture and fisheries.”

     - Dr. Stephen Jones, CEO, 4Deep Inwater Imaging

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Alex Smith
Director of Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
(902) 426-9417
(902) 830-3839 (cell)

Stephen Jones
4Deep Inwater Imaging
(902) 444-4449
(902) 817-5621 (cell)


4Deep Inwater Imaging (formerly Resolution Optics Inc.) was established in 2008. The company develops specialized microscopes that can be used in a variety of environments. Current products include a submersible (underwater) microscope, a desktop microscope and a sampling microscope. The company also provides software so that its microscopes can be used in biomedical, marine, aquaculture and industrial settings. 4Deep’s products are used locally as well as internationally by clients such as the Australian Government and City University of Hong Kong.

A Government of Canada investment through ACOA’s Business Development Program enables 4Deep to develop and commercialize the world’s first underwater fluorescence microscope, with support for design work, engineering, internal testing and final product components. An underwater fluorescence microscope will detect harmful algae in very low concentrations and act as an early monitoring device. The repayable contribution also supports improvements to existing products, including the development of a custom laser driver board that will be used in all 4Deep devices to dramatically reduce the size of the submersible microscope and lower production costs. 4Deep will also focus on the development of a custom-pulled fibre optic cable with a smaller diameter than is currently used. This will increase light intensity and increase the resolution of the microscope. Finally, to support these product development initiatives, the investment supports marketing activities including trade shows, banners, a product catalog, professional product videos and website enhancements.

The Government of Canada investment is designed to generate several benefits.

The project will:

  • Provide support for an innovative and technologically-advanced company looking to expand its operations in Nova Scotia.
  • Enable 4Deep to hire additional employees to further the company’s product development and marketing activities.
  • Enhance productivity and technical development skills relating to proprietary technology directed at export markets.    
  • Increase capacity for commercialization through activities that will help 4Deep export its proprietary product to new markets.
  • Lead to the development of both new and improved technologies.    

ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP) helps businesses start up, expand or modernize. Focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises, the BDP provides access to capital in the form of interest-free repayable assistance. Most business sectors are eligible except retail/wholesale, real estate, government services, and services of a personal or social nature. The BDP also provides financial assistance, in the form of non-repayable assistance, to not-for-profit organizations that provide support to Atlantic businesses.

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