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Contributions, grants and contracts awarded

smartEarth aims to give Canada's downstream space sector (data exploitation) the support it needs to accelerate innovations in the creation and delivery of new Earth observation (EO) applications.

smartHarbour initiative: satellite data to help monitor and protect our ecosystems

As part of the smartHarbour initiative, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is collaborating with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) and the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) to develop innovative applications using satellite data as part of the Port of Montreal expansion in Contrecœur.

As a result of a request for proposals published on February 28, 2023, and on behalf of the CSA, PSPC has awarded four research and development contracts, totalling $4 million, to the following Canadian companies.

These research and development projects would allow for tracking of different environmental variables that are important for conserving the biodiversity of natural habitats, both while the new MPA terminal is being built and afterwards.

List of projects that received funding for the smartHarbour initiative: satellite data to help monitor and protect our ecosystems
Organization Partner(s) Contract value Project description
WSP Canada Inc.
Montreal, Quebec
  • University of Ottawa
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Fluvial Systems Research onc.
  • Wyvern Inc.
$999,979 Develop cutting-edge satellite EO technology solutions in order to follow up on aquatic environmental variables in the St. Lawrence River.
Hatfield Consultants LLP
North Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Ducks Unlimited Canada
  • Arctus Inc.
  • Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
  • University of Victoria
$1,000,000 Develop and integrate innovative EO satellite solutions on the GEOAnalytics Canada platform in order to follow up on environmental variables in river and coastal environments.
Arctus Inc.
Sainte-Pétronille, Quebec
  • Université Laval
  • Hatfield Consultants LLP
  • Université du Québec à Rimouski
  • Northern Institute for Research in Environment and Occupational Health and Safety
  • Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
$1,000,000 Develop an aquatic and geomorphic monitoring system using EO satellite technologies in order to assess the impacts of port expansion in a river environment.
AECOM Consultants Inc.
Montreal, Quebec
  • Institut national de la recherche scientifique
$999,980 Develop a scientific system of following up on environmental variables in terrestrial environments within river areas using EO satellite technologies and artificial intelligence.

Announcement of Opportunity: Canadian downstream space sector delivering on Canada's better future

Following the launch of an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) in organizations from across Canada were selected. Contributions for these projects range from $150K to $500K and total approximately $8M. By funding the development of new innovations, the Government of Canada helps for-profit and not-for-profit organizations accelerate their journey to market and helps create good middle-class jobs across Canada.

List of projects that received funding for the Announcement of Opportunity: Canadian downstream space sector delivering on Canada's better future
Organization Contribution value Technology description
3v Geomatics Inc.
Vancouver, British Columbia
$400,000.00 Create an automated data processing pipeline and provide access to this data through a web visualization platform that can be used for monitoring infrastructure extending across thousands of kilometres, while still highlighting displacement areas as small as tens of metres.
A.U.G. Signals Ltd.
Toronto, Ontario
$499,969.40 Develop a technology that can provide a reliable estimation of snow water equivalent for monitoring and forecasting of potential snowmelt flood events through utilizing RADARSAT Constellation Mission data.
AIRM Consulting Ltd.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
$400,000.00 Develop an innovative AI-driven device that integrates multi-spectral sensors and ground data leading to novel quantitative data and improved crop monitoring, protein management, decision support, and insurance applications, overcoming technological hurdles pertaining to cost, scale/range, image quality, computational intensity and seamless interoperability.
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
$400,000.00 Develop the world's first high-resolution offshore platform Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions monitoring from satellites. This project will advance offshore emissions monitoring to an application solution ready for operational implementation.
CubeWerx Inc.
Gatineau, Quebec
$400,000.00 Develop a platform with an improved data access and usability allowing value adders of EO solutions to offer their applications as a service to users of the platform.
Deploy Software Solutions Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario
$331,899.87 Combine different observational approaches in a new method of environmental and disaster assessment using Space-based Earth Observation (SBEO) techniques and imagery. This will help close a critical communication gap and allow scientists and government officials to enlist citizens to validate and enhance the satellite image processing algorithms directly and in near real time, to determine the "ground truth."
EarthDaily Analytics Corp.
Vancouver, British Columbia
$499,999.30 Test the ability to use SBEO data to quantify both the amount of phosphorus phytoextracted and carbon sequestered for a set of varied field trials carried out by partners in the Lake Winnipeg basin.
Geosapiens Inc.
Quebec City, Quebec
$298,514.23 Improve knowledge and management of flood risks through an enhanced E-NUNDATION solution by allowing decision makers to have a global and up-to-date vision of the risk and allowing insurers to better assess the risks of their clients. This will contribute to ensure the safety of citizens and increase their resilience to this natural hazard, particularly in the context of climate change.
GHGSat Inc.
Montreal, Quebec
$400,000.00 Develop an innovative capability for validated dynamic three-dimensional greenhouse gas emissions estimation on a global scale using data from GHGSat satellites and third-party satellites.
HabitatSeven Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario
$429,335.00 Develop a software framework that can be used by a variety of stakeholders (agriculture, finance, government and others) to develop, visualize, and integrate historical and operational evapotranspiration estimates.
Kepler Space Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario
$500,000.00 Provide streamlined methodology and data to generate product for wide-area monitoring of ground deformation over the entire Quebec City–Windsor transportation corridor as well as the Hudson Bay Railway in northern Manitoba, and validate such data for use in railway and bridge infrastructure monitoring systems.
Kongsberg Geospatial Ltd.
Ottawa, Ontario
$221,293.39 Merge the airborne track picture with the maritime track picture (Automatic Identification System) integrated with geospatial decision support tools providing rapid situational awareness accessible anywhere in the world via space-based Internet access. This near-real-time picture of vehicle movements, combined with real-time weather and geospatial data will allow commanders to make informed decisions, anywhere, anytime, wherever deployed around the world.
KorrAI Technologies Ltd.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
$150,000.00 Provide near-real-time, dynamic surface deformation monitoring and commercialize the petabytes of over 20 years' worth of historical radar data collected from the previous RADARSAT-1 mission, as well as ongoing data collected by the RCM mission.
Liquid Geomatics Ltd.
Ottawa, Ontario
$292,875.00 Turn a prototype satellite-derived bathymetry into an operational product to map and detect shallow water from available satellite imagery, to help avoid accidents, environmental damage, rescue and salvage costs, and loss of life.
Lux Aerobot Inc.
Alma, Quebec
$351,247.00 Develop a platform-agnostic wildfire management system, in collaboration with INO and using requirements from SOPFEU and Natural Resources Canada, to accomplish near-real-time processing to provide a high-resolution thermal mapping of active wildfires within less than 15 minutes of the image being acquired.
MLVX Technologies Inc.
Vancouver, British Columbia
$150,000.00 Build a method to systematically and methodically quantify the carbon dioxide (CO2) level present at ground-elevation using hyperspectral data. Provide the information required for the governments and private entities such as farmers to track their carbon footprint and capture the associated economic benefits.
NextGen Environmental Research Inc.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
$499,946.71 Develop a commercial capacity to monitor freshwater lake ice hazards from space using satellite radar and distribution of ice hazard maps to user's cell phones and desktop computers in near real time.
SkyWatch Space Applications Inc.
Waterloo, Ontario
$399,000.00 Develop a state-of-the-art cloud-enabled cataloging, ordering, searching, processing, distribution and collaboration platform for EO data, catering to the unique needs of large organizations and governments.
The Arctic Eider Society
Sanikiluaq, Nunavut
$500,000.00 Develop an enhanced version of the SIKU Ice Map to identify persistent hazards in the landfast ice and set the groundwork for the first-ever Indigenous-trained machine learning algorithm that delivers EO derived products at scale for the benefit of northern shipping, sea ice travel safety and climate change research.
Vertex Professional Services Ltd.
Sherwood Park, Alberta
$299,998.20 Assist Vertex and the T'Sou-ke Nation SNA-QUA Centre in co-developing new environmental solutions relevant to Indigenous and coastal communities through analyses of EO big data.
Xona Space systems Canada Inc.
Vancouver, British Columbia
$495,120.00 Enable advanced remote sensing and navigation applications from a commercial PNT satellite constellation.

Request for proposals: smartWhales

As a result of a request for proposals published in , the Government of Canada is investing $5.3 million in five companies to advance solutions, using satellite data, that could help detect and monitor the presence of North Atlantic right whales (NARWs) in Canadian waters and predict their movements.

To fuel innovation and maximize the sharing of knowledge and expertise, each company has built a team of experts, including external collaborators from academia and non-government organizations, to carry out their projects.

The CSA is leading smartWhales in collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Transport Canada.

These projects fall under two streams: detection and monitoring of the NARW; and prediction and modelling of NARW behaviour and movement in their habitat.

The five funded projects are:

List of projects that received funding for the request for proposals: smartWhales
Lead company Collaborators Contract value Project description
Stream 1: Detection and monitoring
Hatfield Consultants Ltd.
  • University of New Brunswick
  • Dalhousie University
  • Duke University
  • AltaML
  • Canadian Wildlife Federation
$1,199,520 Develop a system that will detect NARWs, using deep-learning algorithms, high-resolution satellite imagery, automation, and geoscience computing.
Global Spatial Technology Solutions Inc. (GSTS)
  • Dalhousie University
  • Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI)
  • DeepSense
  • British Antarctic Survey
  • Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
$1,102,417 Develop a system that will detect NARWs, using machine learning and high-resolution satellite imagery, hosted on the artificial intelligence based maritime management platform, OCIANA™.
Fluvial Systems Research Inc. (FSR)
  • University of Ottawa
  • Canadian Whale Institute
$1,176,682 Develop a system that will monitor NARWs and their habitat, using high-resolution satellite imagery.
Stream 2: Prediction and modelling
Arctus Inc.
  • Takuvik (Laval University)
  • Hatfield Consultants
  • Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, New England Aquarium
  • MExpertise Marine
  • Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
  • Merinov
$900,000 Develop a modelling system to help predict the presence of NARW in the Northwest Atlantic shelf, including the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Gulf of Maine.
WSP Canada Inc.
  • DHI Water & Environment
  • Canadian Whale Institute
  • Dalhousie University
  • Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski
$899,582 Develop a system that will provide near-real-time information about the forecasted presence of NARWs and potential risks of encountering a vessel.

AO: Bridging the information gap with space-based analytics

With the growing number of EO satellites, there is an unprecedented volume of space data available. We continually need innovative solutions to process and effectively use this data, which also fosters science excellence, economic growth and job creation.

Increased access to this data, combined with advanced analytic technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, deep learning and high-performance computing, will unlock the potential for a great deal of new cutting-edge solutions to meet today's and tomorrow's challenges on Earth.

The CSA is supporting the downstream space sector (data exploitation) so that it can build its expertise to take full advantage of all the opportunities provided by space.

As a result of this AO Bridging the information gap with space-based analytics, published in , the CSA is funding 17 Canadian companies so that they can develop new disruptive applications with EO data. Applications will contribute to improving the lives of Canadians.

As part of these contributions, it is anticipated that 240 new jobs will also be created.

List of projects that received funding for the Announcement of Opportunity: Bridging the information gap with space-based analytics
Organization Contribution value Project title Project description
Telesat Canada / Telesat Leo Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario
$300,000 Space-Based Analytics Solutions for Mitigating Rain Fade Use real-time precipitation data, AI and machine learning to predict rain fade attenuation and enable a more reliable connection for critical infrastructure and Internet connection.
A.U.G. Signals Ltd.
Toronto, Ontario
$299,853 Improving Space-Based Radar Reflectometry for Better Ocean State and Target Monitoring Using Advanced Data Processing Improve the performance of space-based radar reflectometry for ocean-surface target monitoring by using state-of-the-art data processing technology.
Global Spatial Technology Solutions Inc.
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
$279,642 Deep learning system for enhanced spatio-temporal maritime analytics using big data streams from new Canadian EO constellations Develop a flexible and powerful AI capability that will benefit shipping lines, port and terminal operators and maritime regulatory authorities.
ASL Environmental Sciences Inc.
Saanichton, British Columbia
$299,989 Artificial Intelligence for Earth Observation Use big data and AI capabilities for monitoring trends in vegetation and lake dynamics in the Canadian North.
MDA Systems Ltd.
Richmond, British Columbia
$300,000 Detecting Object Behaviour of Interest Using Deep Learning Use advances in deep learning to develop a system for detecting object behaviour of interest from satellite imagery.
Complex System Inc.
Calgary, Alberta
$293,738 Urban monitoring using satellite data, ground, and mobile crowdsensing for hydrological modelling and change detection events Develop a short- and long-term urban monitoring system, with a focus on hydrological monitoring for flood risk.
GHGSat Inc.
Montreal, Canada
$300,000 Automated plume detection algorithm for high‐resolution methane measurements from GHGSat satellites Develop a new AI algorithm to detect methane emissions plumes measured by GHGSat's satellites, with little or no human intervention.
ADGA Group Consultants Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario
$300,000 Mixed Relevant Features Analysis for Deep Learning Ship Detection in RADARSAT Constellation Mission Data Incorporate RADARSAT Constellation Mission data into an existing AI-enabled Amari platform for automated ship detection.
Dromadaire Géo Innovations Inc.
Montreal, Quebec
$84,483 ICEBERG Put in place a Web platform for client orders to optimize imagery processing and classification.
BGC Engineering Inc.
Vancouver, British Columbia
$299,430 Space-Enabled Reservoir Slope Management Toolkit Update the approach to support quantitative risk management decisions by BC Hydro and other operators as part of structures and reservoir slopes performance monitoring.
Hatfield Consultants LLP
North Vancouver, British Columbia
$192,161 Evaluating Earth Observation Data and Deep Learning Methods to Support Landscape Disturbance Mapping Develop an EO-based solution through the use of deep learning methods to identify landscape disturbance areas for habitat restoration purposes for study sites in northeastern BC and northwestern Ontario.
HabitatSeven Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario
$216,401 Cloud-Based Delivery of Space-Based Analytics Build a cloud-based computing architecture that reliably predicts the costs for space data storage, delivery and use of cloud-based data analytics for projects of varying sizes.
Vertex Professional Services Ltd.
Sherwood Park, Alberta
$300,000 Automated Monitoring of Reclamation Status using Remote Sensing and Artificial Intelligence Develop new services in the areas of EO and AI for the natural resource development and oil and gas industry.
MDA Geospatial Services Inc.
Richmond, British Columbia
$157,924 Deep Learning for Classification of SAR-Derived Forest Change Use Canadian radar technology, combined with AI algorithms, to detect and map forest changes.
OODA Technologies Inc.
Montreal, Quebec
$295,154 Combining deep learning techniques with cloud computing and big remote sensing data towards a better situation understanding Develop a new cloud-based solution to process a high volume of remote sensing images using deep learning techniques for different applications, such as flood monitoring, ship detection and land use/cover classification.
NorthStar Earth and Space Inc.
Montreal, Quebec
$299,575 Development of Multi-Source Analysis Ready Data based on the fusion of Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2 and NorthStar-like hyperspectral data Use advances in multi-source date fusion and machine learning techniques to characterize a wetland area.
Arctus Inc.
Rimouski, Quebec
$299,995 Earth Observation Solutions for Environmental Monitoring of Industrial Port Zones Develop a cloud-based near-real-time EO monitoring system for environmental management of ports, tailored to meet the needs of industrial port zones.

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