Halifax-based QRA Corp. said Tuesday it has received $3 million in funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and gave its first indications that its two main products are finding a home with customers.
In a ceremony in Halifax, Treasury Board President Scott Brison announced that the company will receive a $2.995 million conditionally repayable sum from ACOA’s Atlantic Innovation Fund. QRA, which now employs 17 people, will use the money to develop a commercial, industry-ready software platform to assist engineers with the rigorous analysis of early-stage engineering designs. The Canadian Press reported the money will allow the company to hire 13 people for its research and development team.
Growing out of a research project at Dalhousie University, QRA has developed technology that helps large manufacturers identify flaws in complicated machinery early in the design stage. The idea is to work out the kinks before the manufacturer spends millions of dollars prototyping a machine that has ill-matched components.
“For new systems such as autonomous cars and commercial spacecraft to be deployed and accepted, we need to ensure that errors in the integrated design are caught during the earliest stages of development,” said Co-Founder and CEO Jordan Kyriakidis in a statement. “These are early days, but that’s what we do. It’s why we exist - and this funding is allowing us to work even harder towards fully accomplishing our mission.”
QRA, which has a close relationship with the world’s largest defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, has two main products: QVTrace, an enterprise solution that helps large teams identify design flaws; and QVScribe, which helps engineers understand the requirements listed in the documents they write when they are first proposing a piece of machinery.
On Tuesday, four-year-old QRA said it has it has now conducted more than $6 million worth of projects for the aerospace and defense industry.
The company also said QVScribe, which launched its beta-test in May, is now in use in 25 countries. It will move out of its beta test soon, said the company.
The funding for QRA was part of a $7.1 million financing package that federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains announced earlier this month for four innovative projects under AIF. The funding meshes with the Atlantic Growth Strategy announced by the federal government and four Atlantic provinces to stimulate the region’s economy.