They once came in sailing ships for grapes and wood and butternuts.

But next week Icelandic visitors are flying in to talk trade in seafood and technology.

Several Icelandic firms will be in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Sept 8-9 to meet with ocean industry and seafood enterprises from Atlantic Canada and grow business for both.

The trade show is a collaboration of The Icelandic Embassy in Ottawa, Business Iceland, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster and The Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE).

The meeting, explained Iceland’s ambassador Hlynur Guðjónsson,, is not only to enable Icelandic companies to pitch their marine and seafood technology and services to Canadian companies, but to explore potential partnerships in ocean technology.

“The partnerships could be in research and development or in existing technology that a Canadian company might have that could fit with something an Icelandic company is working on to improve their system.”

It’s not as if Icelandic and Canadian companies have not done business before.

Fishing and fish processing technology from Iceland is already being used by companies like Ocean Choice International and at the Labrador Fishermen’s Shrimp Processing Company in Mary’s Harbour, Labrador.

The trade show, however, is the first for Iceland in Atlantic Canada.

The format is also a little different.

Guðjónsson said it’s a “table top” type of show, where the companies will have lots of time to talk with each other without the distraction of formal presentations or the typical room full of trade show booths.

“It’s going to be a very up close and personal type of trade show,” he said, adding about 35 Atlantic Canadian companies have been invited to participate.

Those companies will get to meet people from companies like HPP Solutions, which has a system to use 100 percent of fish waste and offal to create oil and meal for animal and human consumption; Frost , a pioneer in freezing and refrigeration systems; KAPP, known for its liquid ice machines; and Slippurinn a leader in the design and servicing of fishing vessels.

Representatives from three Icelandic banks will also be attending.

“Iceland has a strong connection to Atlantic Canada, including our shared connection to the ocean sector,” said Guðjónsson. “We are excited to build relationships with Atlantic Canadian organizations and create opportunities in the blue economy.”

Tinna Hrund Birgisdóttir, Project Manager, Trade & Invest at Business Iceland, added the Icelandic businesses coming to Dartmouth next week see great potential for collaboration with businesses in Atlantic Canada.

“There are many parallels between Iceland and the Atlantic provinces and capitalizing on our similarities will lead to growth and exciting opportunities," said Birgisdóttir.

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