The Dartmouth-based Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship plans to roll out a system to digitally monitor Halifax harbour with an eye to commercial applications, initially under a partnership with local data company CarteNav Solutions.
Under its Digital Harbour: Seabed to Space program, COVE plans to gather data from buoys, underwater sensors, land-based and aerial sensors and satellites. For the first phase of the rollout, COVE and CarteNav will collaborate on research and development for sensors on the surface of the ocean.
In a statement, COVE said Digital Harbour is intended to cultivate technology applicable to multiple regions globally, with the aim of “revolutionizing” the role of oceans data in both public and private sector decision-making.
“For the first time, (Digital Harbour) creates opportunities for the public and private sectors to access integrated real-time data related to the environment, biology, and port traffic and uses, to make better decisions and create opportunities and partnerships to build Artificial Intelligence and machine learning solutions,” said COVE Chief Executive Melanie Nadeau.
“Halifax’s dense cluster of innovative ocean and aerospace companies paired with naval, commercial, research, and recreational activities that occur simultaneously in a constrained physical harbour space make it the optimal location for a project of this scope.”
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is contributing $497,706 to fund phase one.
The technology will be a development of COVE’s existing SmartATLANTIC buoy in the Halifax harbour and Stella Maris sensor suite about 100 metres out from the docks at the organization’s headquarters — a former Coast Guard base.
The announcement comes the same week COVE hosted a contingent of oceantech entrepreneurs from the United Kingdom as part of a collaboration with that country’s government. Five of the eight companies that pitched were involved in data or artificial intelligence in some way.