Author: Jess Hartjes

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announces $2.2m project to optimize maritime supply chain operations and reduce emissions

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announces $2.2m project to optimize maritime supply chain operations and reduce emissions

(Ottawa, ON) Today, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC) announced the Optimizing Maritime Supply Chain Operations Project to establish real-time carbon emissions monitoring and mitigation tools, integrated with advanced data analytics and tracking systems to align with sustainability goals. The project will enhance maritime supply chain efficiency, sustainability, and security, aligning with environmental goals by monitoring and reducing emissions.

Led by OceanSync in Halifax, NS, a key innovation of the new OSC project is the development of a Modal Optimization Tool (MOT) to create a resilient cargo distribution network which considers the CO2e associated with various route/modal choice, as well as modelling that includes climate change-related weather challenges and cybersecurity measures. The incorporation of real-time marine weather data into the risk models and the use of machine learning for dynamic risk analysis represent technological advancements in safety and risk management. The project’s risk framework will improve safety, positioning Canada as a technology leader and attracting international collaboration.

Together with partners BlueNode by Everstream Analytics and Bespoke Global Logistics & Strategies, this project has a total value of almost $2.2 million where Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is contributing almost $875,000 and the balance of funding coming from project partners.

Global port traffic, exceeding $4 trillion and handling 90% of global trade, faces challenges in reliability, particularly in maritime shipping where on-time arrival rarely exceeds 60%. This discrepancy prompts many organizations, especially those reliant on timeliness, to opt for air freight despite its higher carbon intensity and costs. The root cause lies in effective decision-making rather than transport efficacy. To foster growth in maritime shipping, an effective decision tool is imperative, one that considers speed, reliability, costs, carbon intensity, and external factors like weather and labor relations. The Optimizing Maritime Supply Chain Operations project aims to revolutionize logistics by introducing a Modal Optimization Tool (MOT) to enhance supply chain agility and resilience.

Quotes

“Supply chains are a crucial part of any business and essential for the health of our global economy, yet they face ever-increasing risk from natural disasters, geopolitical factors, and other disruptions,” said Jon Bovit, VP of Public Sector and Trade at BlueNode by Everstream Analytics. “Together with Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, we’re taking supply chain and trade intelligence further to enable global organizations to understand how to get their raw materials and products to customers safely and quickly while optimizing for speed, security, and sustainability.”

About Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster accelerates the development and commercialization of made-in-Canada ocean solutions in energy transition, food security, future of transport, and climate change while also growing more companies, creating more jobs, and attracting ocean talent. As Canada’s national ocean cluster, the OSC is a convenor of members, partners, and networks and a catalyst for transformative growth that helps build the robust ecosystem needed to help realize Ambition 2035 – a 5X growth potential in ocean in Canada by 2035. To date, the OSC has approved almost 100 projects which will deliver more than 220 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world. For more information visit oceansupercluster.ca

About BlueNode by Everstream Analytics

The world’s best supply chains run on Everstream Analytics. Through the application of artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to its vast proprietary dataset, Everstream delivers the predictive insights and risk analytics businesses need for a smarter, more autonomous and sustainable supply chain. Everstream’s proven solution integrates with procurement, logistics and business continuity platforms generating the complete information, sharper analysis, and accurate predictions required to turn the supply chain into a business asset. To learn more, visit https://www.everstream.ai/.

Media Contacts:
Nancy Andrews
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster
nancy.andrews@oceansupercluster.ca

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announces $7M project expediting the development and commercialization of electric propulsion systems

(Ottawa, ON) Today, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC) announced the Canadian Electric Propulsion Acceleration Coalition (CEPAC) Project to expedite the development and commercialization of electric propulsion systems through collaboration among marine industry stakeholders. By advancing electric propulsion systems collaboratively, CEPAC boosts Canada’s marine industry competitiveness, establishes a domestic, coast-to-coast supply chain, and fosters job creation.

Led by Photon Marine Canada in Victoria, BC, the CEPAC aims to establish a Canadian electric boat manufacturing supply chain, addressing challenges such as fleet electrification and hull design optimization. The Coalition’s diversity – which includes boat manufacturers, charging infrastructure providers, an electric outboard motor company, and an indigenous deep-water testing facility – ensures technology scalability.

Together with partners in Canada’s Ocean Playground Nova Scotia; BlueGrid, Rosborough Boats, ABCO Industries Inc, and in Beautiful British Columbia; Malahat Solutions, VoltSafe Inc., and Mostar Labs Inc., this project has a total value of more than $7 million. Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is contributing $2.7 million and the balance of funding coming from project partners.

This new OSC project not only delivers significant economic benefit but also contributes to environmental sustainability, reduces reliance on foreign entities, and drives innovation. CEPAC also addresses workforce needs, supporting a diverse, skilled workforce ready to tackle climate challenges. Overall, CEPAC propels Canada towards a greener, more prosperous future.

Quotes
“Our government is excited to support Canada’s Ocean Supercluster as it advances initiatives that promote sustainability while bolstering industry competitiveness and economic growth,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “The Canadian Electric Propulsion Acceleration Coalition project, one of three projects announced today, will help accelerate the development and commercialization of electric propulsion systems in Canada, reducing emissions and supporting innovation in the sector and creating job opportunities for Canadians.”

“The CEPAC Project brings together collaborators from across the ocean sector to advance electric propulsion capabilities, increase Canada’s competitiveness globally, while both contributing to environmental targets, benefits for communities, and economic growth potential under Ambition 2035,” said Kendra MacDonald, CEO of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster. “Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is thrilled to co-invest in this project with the project team which will help increase domestic supply chain and create good jobs.”

“The CEPAC initiative will allow us to accelerate the transition to electric propulsion across key maritime sectors while reducing commercialization risk for the consortium members,” said Marcelino J. Alvarez, CEO of Photon Marine. “Canada’s leadership in maritime decarbonization sets an example for the rest of the world.”

Andrew Boswell, CEO of BlueGrid, noted, “Vessel and energy data plays a major role throughout the design, operations, and commercialization elements of the project. Insights from customers’ existing conventionally powered vessels will be captured and used to inform everything from infrastructure deployment to hull designs, and then the new electric vessel data will be used to optimize performance to charging. This industry-leading use of data accelerates getting hundreds of electric boats in use, and we are thrilled to be a founding partner of CEPAC.”

“Malahat Solutions Inc. is proud to be the testing facility for this project. As a pivotal indigenous testing facility specializing in climate change adaptation and sustainability solutions, we’re eager to contribute to building generational knowledge for climate change mitigation and adaptation” said Allison Dame, Director of Partnerships at Malahat Solutions Inc. “Located within the diverse terrains of the Malahat Eco-Industrial Park, our partnership with the Malahat Nation allows us to integrate traditional ecological knowledge with cutting-edge technology. This unique collaboration enhances our ability to create and evaluate innovative solutions, driving meaningful impact and long-term climate adaptability for Indigenous communities and beyond.”

“In order to deliver on the demands of the commercial customer, safe, reliable charging infrastructure is critical. VoltSafe’s innovative technology ensures safe and efficient energy transfer, eliminating risks and enhancing energy management,” said Co-Founder & CEO of VoltSafe, Trevor Burgess. “VoltSafe is excited to be part of CEPAC, bringing our disruptive shore power solution forward as a key contributor in this proactive coalition of outstanding Canadian companies. We’re partnering together to achieve transformative growth in a sustainable blue economy.”

“This program will allow us to demonstrate the viability of electric propulsion to our Professional Marine Operators in Canada and abroad,” said Heaton Rosborough of Rosborough Boats. “It gives us a platform to scale our existing electric vessel program,” noted Colin Ross of ABCO Boats.

About Canada’s Ocean Supercluster
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster accelerates the development and commercialization of made-in-Canada ocean solutions in energy transition, food security, future of transport, and climate change while also growing more companies, creating more jobs, and attracting ocean talent. As Canada’s national ocean cluster, the OSC is a convenor of members, partners, and networks and a catalyst for transformative growth that helps build the robust ecosystem needed to help realize Ambition 2035 – a 5X growth potential in ocean in Canada by 2035. To date, the OSC has approved close to 100 projects which will deliver more than 220 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world. For more information visit oceansupercluster.ca

Media Contacts:
Nancy Andrews
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster
nancy.andrews@oceansupercluster.ca

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announces $5M project to advance kelp farming and carbon fixation assessment

(Ottawa, ON) Today, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC) announced the Verifying Ocean Climate Impacts Project to address the urgent need in the ocean industry for sustainable, scalable, and measurable solutions to evaluate kelp’s impact on carbon fixation, biodiversity, and ocean health.

Led by veritree Technology Inc. in Vancouver, BC, the project aims to develop robust methodologies for carbon fixation assessment, construct energy-efficient floats, establish microhatcheries for seed cultivation, train a skilled workforce, and implement an MRV system. Additionally, an Ocean Restoration SOP, with an integrated Ocean Index, will guide project evaluation.

Together with partner Coastal Kelp Inc., this project has a total value of almost $5 million where Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is contributing $2.1M under with the balance of funding coming from project partners.

The scalable design ensures benefits can be accessed across different regions, promoting inclusivity. The implementation of the Ocean Restoration SOP and Ocean Index empowers communities to manage local restoration projects, enhancing their sense of ownership and commitment to sustainability. Furthermore, the project aims to establish a complete value chain for verified ocean restoration impacts, positioning Canada as a leader in this field and providing a framework adaptable for global use.

By providing workforce development training in kelp farming and restoration techniques, this project creates sustainable employment opportunities, particularly in coastal and Indigenous communities. This not only supports economic growth but also fosters engagement in the blue economy.

Quotes
“Our government is excited to support Canada’s Ocean Supercluster as it advances initiatives that promote sustainability while bolstering industry competitiveness and economic growth,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “The Verifying Ocean Climate Impacts project, one of three projects announced today, will support economic opportunities for coastal and Indigenous communities and will position Canada as a leader in sustainable ocean restoration practices.”

“Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is proud to co-invest in the Verifying Ocean Climate Impacts Project, recognizing the need for sustainable, scalable, and measurable solutions to evaluate kelp’s impact on carbon fixation, biodiversity, and ocean health,” said Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster. “This project will help empower communities focused on restoration activity, creating jobs and new growth, and building towards a more sustainable ocean future.”

About Canada’s Ocean Supercluster
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster accelerates the development and commercialization of made-in-Canada ocean solutions in energy transition, food security, future of transport, and climate change while also growing more companies, creating more jobs, and attracting ocean talent. As Canada’s national ocean cluster, the OSC is a convenor of members, partners, and networks and a catalyst for transformative growth that helps build the robust ecosystem needed to help realize Ambition 2035 – a 5X growth potential in ocean in Canada by 2035. To date, the OSC has approved close to 100 projects which will deliver more than 220 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world. For more information visit oceansupercluster.ca

Media Contacts:
Nancy Andrews
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster
nancy.andrews@oceansupercluster.ca

Global Seaweed Connectivity: A Colourful Future?

 

By: Phoebe Lewis, Marine Science Researcher and Designer

How does a researcher in the North East of England meet the CEO of the Pacific Seaweed Industry Association (PSIA)? The answer is at a small pub on the west coast of Scotland, but it wasn’t a love of whiskey that brought us together, instead, a (healthy) obsession with seaweed which only grew during the 2023 Scottish Seaweed Industry Association (SSIA) conference held in Oban, UK.

On reflection, the SSIA conference showcased such an inspiring collection of expertise and diverse perspectives, but also highlighted how uniquely fragmented the seaweed industry really is. The UK and Canada’s seaweed industry’s unique fragmentation is largely down to them both being in their infancy. Whilst this might seem a little disheartening, it’s actually one of the most exciting aspects of the industry – we are still in a position to decide how it grows, which is not something that can be said for many other industries. That is why I first found the work of the PSIA to be so valuable, they are paving the way to connect farmers to product developers to academics to engineers to conservationists to communities and everyone in between – all under the notion of ‘let’s make this work, but actually work’. 

Fast forward 5 months and I have been fortunate enough to join Mark Smith, CEO and President, of the PSIA on Vancouver Island for a deep dive into the west coast of Canada’s seaweed industry. The opportunity for this came about after being successful in a knowledge transfer grant awarded by the Doctoral College at Newcastle University – one small step closer to global seaweed connectivity. Since arriving in Canada, Mark and I have embarked on a journey across some of the jaw-dropping scenery of Vancouver Island, meeting with industry insiders and enthusiasts to map out pathways for sustainable growth. This has been an opportunity for me, a designer now turned marine scientist, to build on my own research with international connections. My focus has always been on developing sustainable products that help restore marine ecosystems and coastal communities, most recently, this has involved extracting pigments from seaweed for commercial use in textile dyes.

Whilst each of the colour swatches in the photo above showcase my own journey of material exploration and growth in understanding, there is still a big disconnect between that and implementing a sustainable product into a well-defined supply chain. To move forward with this work and maintain alignment with my evolving climate concerns, I am developing a framework to assess the viability of new pigment sources by asking two key questions: ‘can it be done?’ and ‘should it be done?’. The former is understanding if obtaining the pigments is possible and the latter being an evaluation of the social, environmental and economic impacts at each stage of the supply chain. Embedding these simple questions across the wider context of the conversations being had with people during my time in Canada has sparked creativity and new ideas for the PSIA. One of the ideas that Mark and I are working together on is to connect the voices of the industry and create a platform in which to showcase the stories that make up this very eclectic mix of innovations, opportunities and life-long passions. Keep an eye out later this year!

I’m very grateful to have been at that pub in Oban last year and to now be working alongside the very dedicated PSIA. The conversations so far have been very encouraging to see such a strong desire to collaborate and share knowledge in the journey to a common goal – building what we hope to be a safe and sustainable, globally connected industry that protects biodiversity and empowers communities.

Growing the Blue Economy

By: Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

As the CEO of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, I am continually reminded of a striking reality: Canada, a nation blessed with the world’s longest coastline, currently captures only about half the global average value from our ocean economy. Recognizing this underutilization presents a significant opportunity for improvement, not only economically but also for the betterment of our planet’s well-being. 

Recently, during an interview on the Insights Podcast with Don Mills and David Campbell, I had the opportunity to explore a number of topics including the collective ocean ambition for Canada we launched last year, Ambition 2035. This national platform is designed to bring Canada’s ocean network together around the potential to grow Canada’s sustainable ocean economy 5X by the year 2035. 

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announces $2.6M OceanAI Navigator ProjectAI-Integrated Fleet Management platform

(London,UK) – At Oceanology International today, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC) announced the OceanAI Navigator Project. This project is designed to help marine shipping companies optimize their fuel-emissions, maintenance and operations by creating a co-pilot for marine fleet operations. The advanced AI models will be interactive and adaptive, allowing marine engineers to feed in their insights, and operational context, ensuring more accurate and efficient results.
The OceanAI Navigator Project represents a pivotal opportunity for Canada to provide leadership in the AI landscape. By focusing on AI development within a key growth sector and also one where emissions reductions are critical to achieving net zero, this project contributes significantly to the broader AI ecosystem where marine fleet operators will gain greater agility, insight, and adaptability, bolstering their competitive edge on the global stage.


The project will be led by CORSphere Software Inc. Along with Dartmouth, NS based project partner Leeway Marine and collaborator Energy Research & Innovation Newfoundland and Labrador (ERINL). With a total project value of $2.4M, OSC will contribute $950K from its funding under the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy (PCAIS) with the balance of funding coming from project partners.


The project entails developing an AI-powered SaaS platform by CORSphere for optimizing marine fleet operations, a co-pilot to proactively assist fleet operators. This platform will seamlessly integrate with existing systems, utilizing AI to minimize fuel consumption, lower emissions, and predict maintenance needs accurately. Its interactive and adaptive AI models allow marine engineers to contribute insights and add operational context, ensuring efficiency in a continuously evolving industry.


About Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster accelerates the development and commercialization of made-in-Canada ocean solutions in energy transition, food security, future of transport, and climate change while also growing more companies, creating more jobs, and attracting ocean talent. As Canada’s national ocean cluster, the OSC is a convenor of members, partners, and networks and a catalyst for transformative growth that helps build the robust ecosystem needed to help realize Ambition 2035 – a 5X growth potential in ocean in Canada by 2035. To date, the OSC has approved more than 90 projects which will deliver more than 200 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world. For more information visit oceansupercluster.ca

Media Contacts:

Nancy Andrews Canada’s Ocean Supercluster nancy.andrews@oceansupercluster.ca

About CORSphere

CORSphere aims to democratize AI across defence, marine, and industrial sectors to enhance operational efficiency. Our next-generation AI suite, featuring a unique Human-Machine-Teaming interface, transforms machinery and IoT data analysis, focusing on predictive maintenance, logistics, and operations. CORSphere aims to pave the way for organizations to use their data to leverage secure and reliable AI solutions.

Quotes:


“Canadian innovation is stepping up to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues. The OceanAI Navigator Project has the potential to significantly impact our ocean economy. By optimizing routes and reducing fuel consumption, this initiative by Canada’s Ocean Cluster will contribute to cleaner oceans and a cleaner environment for Canadians.” – The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry


“Today Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced three new projects with a total value of almost $18 million, including the OceanAI Navigator Project. This project will deliver a solution that leverages the power of AI to act as a co-pilot to proactively assist fleet operators. Leveraging existing systems, operator insights, and AI, the solution will help minimize fuel consumption, lower emissions, and predict maintenance needs accurately in marine transportation.” – Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster


“Today marks an important milestone as we embark on this journey to work on the OceanAI Navigator, an AI co-pilot to propel the marine industry and Canada’s blue economy towards a greener future, promising enhanced efficiency and reduced environmental impact. We’re thrilled to steer this initiative towards a cleaner, more sustainable global ocean economy with our partners.” – Co-founder & CEO, CORSphere, M Sazied Hassan.

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Announced $3.2M AtoN Project for Safer Marine Transport

(London, UK) – At Oceanology International, today Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC) announced the $3.2 million Aids to Navigation (AtoN) Project. The focus of this project is to ensure safer and more efficient maritime transportation by enabling important upgrades to navigation buoys and mooring systems, through advanced technology, design, and management software integration. Beyond preventing damage and drifting occurrences of bouys, this project will make a significant contribution to maritime safety, fostering innovation, benefiting businesses, and providing cost-effective solutions for the lighthouse authorities and coast guards in Canada and around the world.


The project will create a Software as a Service (SaaS) product for AtoN systems with advanced dynamic analysis capabilities. Project lead DSA Ocean will leverage ProteusDS software platform and marine dynamics expertise. The project will help ensure safe navigation, protecting those working on the water, the environment, and marine industry operations. This project is a significant advancement for Canadian maritime safety where the Canadian Coast Guard and its supply chain can benefit from this innovative SaaS tool, aligning with the national AtoN modernization goals.


The project will be led by Victoria, BC based DSA Ocean, with partner Go Deep International (NB) Inc. based in Saint John, NB. With the total project value of $3.2 million, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is investing $1.2 million, with the balance invested by the project partners.
Potential end-users, including the Canadian Coast Guard the US Coast Guard, and Bouy designers will receive tailored products, ensuring enhanced operational capabilities and substantial cost savings.


About Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster accelerates the development and commercialization of made-in-Canada ocean solutions in energy transition, food security, future of transport, and climate change while also growing more companies, creating more jobs, and attracting ocean talent. As Canada’s national ocean cluster, the OSC is a convenor of members, partners, and networks and a catalyst for transformative growth that helps build the robust ecosystem needed to help realize Ambition 2035 – a 5X growth potential in ocean in Canada by 2035. To date, the OSC has approved more than 90 projects which will deliver more than 200 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world. For more information visit oceansupercluster.ca

Media Contacts:

Nancy Andrews Canada’s Ocean Supercluster nancy.andrews@oceansupercluster.ca

Quotes:

“Canadian innovation is stepping up to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “The Aids to Navigation Project, an initiative by Canada’s Ocean Cluster, exemplifies how Canadian innovation can reduce operating costs while promoting a safer and healthier environment for Canadians.”


“Today Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced three new projects with a total value of almost $18 million, including the Aids to Navigation Project. This project will be delivered by project partners from Canada’s west and east coasts who will work collaboratively to deliver a solution that will make a significant contribution to both increased maritime safety and providing cost-effective solutions for the lighthouse authorities and coast guards in Canada and worldwide. ” – Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announces $12M AI powered berth schedule management project

(London, UK) – At Oceanology International, today Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC) announced the launch of a project for Empowering Maritime Collaboration with AI powered intelligence. This project will develop and implement a Collaborative Berth Scheduler, a solution which connects ships, pilotages, and ports to provide optimal berth schedule management, the equivalent of an Air Traffic Control System for Ships. This advancement in digitization will empower increased maritime collaboration, enablement of digital corridors, facilitation of just in time operations, and optimized management of resources to minimize emissions, reduce fuel consumption and decrease wait-times.


Berth on-time arrival rates is an industry-wide challenge and can be as low as 30-50% at ports around the world. At the same time, vessels often arrive in port to find no berth available. This results in inefficient port resource utilization, excess shipping costs, excess fuel use and excess GHG emissions along trade routes and/or at anchor. The project lead, Global Spatial Technology Solutions Inc. (GSTS), based in Halifax, NS, will work in partnership with Canada Steamship Lines (CSL) as well as its customers and collaborators, Montreal Port Authority (MPA), Laurentian Pilotage Authority (LPA) and Clear Seas, to leverage its proprietary platform, OCIANA™ and implement novel AI algorithms to improve the overall efficiency of the maritime supply chain as well as support Green Digital Shipping Corridors.


The total value of this project is $12 million with Canada’s Ocean Supercluster investing $5 million through its funding through the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy (PCAIS) and with the balance of investment coming from project partners.


About Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster accelerates the development and commercialization of made-in-Canada ocean solutions in energy transition, food security, future of transport, and climate change while also growing more companies, creating more jobs, and attracting ocean talent. As Canada’s national ocean cluster, the OSC is a convenor of members, partners, and networks and a catalyst for transformative growth that helps build the robust ecosystem needed to help realize Ambition 2035 – a 5X growth potential in ocean in Canada by 2035. To date, the OSC has approved more than 90 projects which will deliver more than 200 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world. For more information visit oceansupercluster.ca

About Global Spatial Technology Solutions (GSTS)

Global Spatial Technology Solutions (GSTS) is a global maritime intelligence company delivering solutions to enhance decision making across the maritime and logistics industry. Our predictive solutions are enabled by a range of operational, environmental, vessel and cargo data to provide real-time decision making intelligence for ports, terminal operators, shipping lines, logistics companies, importers, exporters, national and international agencies as well as security organisations.

About Canada Steamship Lines (CSL)

The CSL Group is a world-leading provider of marine dry bulk cargo handling and delivery services. CSL owns and operates a highly diversified fleet of specialized self-unloading vessels, offshore transhippers and handy-size bulk carriers, and delivers more than 78 million tonnes of cargo to industrial customers annually.

About Montreal Port Authority (MPA)

Montreal Port Authority is a hub for international trade that contributes to the economic development of Canada. It does everything in its power to put innovation, sustainable development, and collaboration at the heart of its business processes. Their mission is to build together a more resilient, smarter and sustainable marine corridor.

About Laurentian Pilotage Authority (LPA)

The Laurentian Pilotage Authority, a federal Crown corporation created in 1972, is responsible for establishing, managing and providing marine pilotage services as well as related services in the Laurentian region waters, notably in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the St. Lawrence River and the Saguenay River. The LPA monitors navigation manages regulations and provides services for three pilotage districts that cover a distance of 265 nautical miles between Montreal and Les Escoumins and another 70 nautical miles on the Saguenay River.

About Clear Seas

Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping was established in 2014 after extensive discussions among government, industry, environmental organizations, Indigenous Peoples and coastal communities revealed a need for impartial information about the Canadian marine shipping industry. It provides impartial information on marine shipping in Canada to policy makers and the public.

Media Contacts:

Nancy Andrews Canada’s Ocean Supercluster nancy.andrews@oceansupercluster.ca

Quotes:


“Canadian innovation is stepping up to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “The Empowering Maritime Collaboration through AI Project has the potential to significantly impact our ocean economy. By optimizing routes and improving port efficiencies, this initiative by Canada’s Ocean Cluster will strengthen supply chains and support cleaner oceans for Canadians.”


“Today Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced three new projects with a total value of almost $18 million, including the Empowering Maritime Collaboration through AI Project. This project will help advance maritime operations through enhanced digitization, fostering collaboration, and streamlining processes. By creating digital corridors and enabling just-in-time operations, the project will help optimize resource management, minimize emissions, and reduce fuel consumption in marine shipping.” – Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

“We are extremely pleased to continue to work with our valued customers and innovation partners”, said Richard Kolacz, Chief Executive Officer, GSTS. “On a daily basis we see events that have an impact on vessel routing and schedules. These include the Red Sea Crisis, Panama Canal issues, weather events, like hurricanes and labour events such as strikes. OCIANA’s novel capability will allow vessels to respond to events and identify optimal routes and arrival times by coordinating with ports and pilotage authorities thereby reducing emissions, fuel use and transport costs”.


“As the first shipowner to participate in the Ocean Supercluster project, we are excited to support GSTS’ development of the OCIANA™ platform”, said Jean Fahmy, Vice President – Digital, Canada Steamship Lines. “By contributing real-time data from our Canadian fleet, we aim to help advance efforts to leverage artificial intelligence to support decarbonization in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway by optimizing Just-in-Time routing and voyage ETAs.”


“We are particularly proud of the work accomplished by our multidisciplinary team, in close collaboration with GSTS. This collaborative effort has resulted in a significant advance in port management. I congratulate the multidisciplinary team of experts in information technology, the environment, research and port operations management, who worked together at every stage of the project to create a collaborative platform dedicated to dock occupancy management”, said Julie Gascon, Chief Executive Officer, Montreal Port Authority. “Our approach began with the aim of improving the predictability of ship arrivals at the port, and then expanded to integrate the operational needs of stakeholders on the ground. This approach enabled us to develop an innovative tool that facilitates collaboration among all stakeholders, with the goal of optimizing the entire supply chain and the efficiency of maritime trade corridors”, she added.


“The Laurentian Pilotage Authority is pleased to join GSTS and the Ocean Supercluster project and thus contribute to the protection of the environment on the waters under its jurisdiction”, said Marc-Yves Bertin, Chief Executive Officer, Laurentian Pilotage Authority. “This initiative is directly in line with the Authority’s mission to provide a safe, effective, and efficient pilotage service with strong willingness to protecting human health, property and the environment, by innovating and using state-of-the-art technology that will improve the fluidity of the supply chain.”


“Clear Seas is excited to collaborate on this new initiative to develop a more efficient and intelligent maritime system in Canada”, said Paul Blomerus, Executive Director, Clear Seas. “Better information leads to better decisions, enabling marine shipping to continue its critical role in the supply chain while reducing its impact on the ocean.”

 The ocean opportunity in Africa

By: Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

Last week I was in market for the Ocean Innovation Africa conference.  Following several conversations with different groups and leaders in ocean in Africa, I was looking forward to joining them in person for this conference now in its fifth year. During COVID, I had the opportunity to virtually present at this conference, but the opportunity to be in person was critical to advancing some of the connections and conversations already underway. 
Taking advantage of a variety of experiences  throughout the week from presentations to workshops, to matchmaking to networking at a historical property and finally a study tour that included a kelp farm, seaweed lunch, wastewater management and rehabilitating turtles, it was exciting to explore ocean solutions being developed and deployed and also to have conversations around where Canada has complimentary solutions on offer.  There were hundreds of participants from all over Africa and around the world. 

There are many takeaways from my time at Ocean Innovation Africa, as well as opportunities for us to learn from each other and about each other. Here are a few: 

  • Community:  While South Africa is very far from Iqaluit, I heard many themes at this conference that were very similar to those that I heard at our roundtable in the North last month – the importance of community, sustainable practices, food security and thinking for the long term. There was also a lot of discussion about the value of Indigenous knowledge, how to make sure it is captured and how to right size projects for communities.  Finally, a focus on the importance of consultation, taking the time to understand communities before proposing solutions.  While I am a big believer in the power of technology, there are many low-tech solutions that can create positive impact for a community and scale to others. 
  • Talent: Africa has the world’s youngest and fastest growing population, expected to nearly double by 2050.  I was impressed by the energy and passion at the conference from startups to NGOs to investors looking to both grow the ocean economy for Africa creating economic prosperity and build sustainable solutions for a healthier ocean and a healthier planet.  Those that had the opportunity to present their solutions had tailored them to the local environment and community.  At the same time, South Africa’s unemployment rate is over 30%, a significant challenge to address as the population continues to increase. 
  • Biodiversity: Throughout the week, we were exposed to the tremendous biodiversity within South Africa. From seaweed to kelp forests to sharks, penguins, seals, and turtles, we were reminded of the tremendous adverse impact we are having on our planet as many of these species are under threat – this reinforced the important link between a healthy ocean and economic prosperity.  South Africa is increasing its focus on Antarctica and the Southern Ocean and the impacts of climate change as we continue to increase our focus on the North Atlantic and Arctic. 
  • Collaboration: Throughout the conference, there were many networking opportunities.  I was impressed by the number of conversations intended to provide support, mentoring and new contacts and avenues to explore.  There is much more opportunity for collaboration with Canada and I am thankful for the Canadian Trade Commissioner’s support in identifying meetings and opportunities for connections. 

As I sat at a restaurant on Thursday in the dark as Cape Town experiences significant and repetitive energy shortages, I was reminded that while Africa has many opportunities, it also faces many challenges including corruption, poverty, health and education outcomes which brings me back to my first point, this is all about building the right solutions that fit the community and as we bring our solutions from all over the world to Africa to try to help, we need to remember this. 

One thing is certain, there is much more to come from the ocean ecosystem in Africa, they are just getting started and there is a role for us to play as collaborators and global partners.

Actions and Reactions: the future of the sustainable ocean economy in the Arctic

By: Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

Over the last couple of weeks, I had the opportunity to spend time in the Arctic exploring both the opportunities and challenges. Last week, with the much-appreciated support of our local partners, including our host sponsor Qikiqtaaluk Corporation, we held our first Ocean Innovation for a Sustainable Arctic workshop in Iqaluit, Nunavut. This week I attended the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromso, Norway. The theme of the conference was Actions and Reactions, our responsibility to be proactive in shaping the future of the Arctic despite the challenges we are facing.
 
These provided me with an important opportunity to connect with communities in the North – to listen and understand more about opportunities and priorities in ocean. We heard from Government, communities, NGOs, researchers and industry and focused discussions both on the significant opportunities that exist across the Arctic but also the significant challenges.
 
While there are certainly many differences across Arctic nations, I was also struck by the consistency of several of the messages over the last two weeks including:
 

  • Arctic has unique challenges – there are harsh weather conditions, communities are small, remote, and widely spread, there is a very high cost of operations and development, and there are infrastructure and data gaps. At the same time, Northern communities have a long history and experience facing these challenges and much can be learned from their experiences. Challenges bring opportunities, therefore innovative approaches and solutions are needed.  The Arctic needs long-term thinking and long-term funding commitments and partnerships.
  • Climate – the Arctic is warming at least 4X as quickly as the rest of the planet.  One speaker referred to the Arctic as the canary in the coal mine, giving us a glimpse into the impacts of climate to come to the rest of the world.  There was much focus on changing sea ice, biodiversity loss, vulnerable ecosystems, and significant impacts on traditional ways of life.  Any solutions must be sustainable.  How do we move quickly given the urgency of the climate challenges but also with respect?
  • Solutions or programs must be co-designed and co-led with communities – this was repeated throughout the two weeks. Every community is different, and solutions must meet them where they are at. However, we must balance engaging communities and overburdening them. Communication with communities must be culturally relevant. Priorities of the communities can be season dependent and organizations that wish to work with them must have a good understanding of these priorities. Traditional knowledge within communities must be respected and can bring significant value to any partnership.  There must be ongoing dialogue with those who call Arctic home, Indigenous communities are partners and rightsholders, not just stakeholder consultations that tick a box.  Looking at the opportunity in inshore fisheries for example – this is important both for food security and market opportunities and solutions must be co-led by communities. Solutions need to consider the broader challenges facing communities including food security, day care, housing, health care and education.  As more than one Indigenous speaker shared “nothing about us without us.
  • Significant gaps in data – it is hard for decision-makers to make the right decisions without access to the data.  There is a lack of baseline data, shortage of publicly accessible data exchange platforms, no interoperability of existing datasets, as well as capacity and training on visualizing raw data. This is a significant challenge across the Arctic.  Knowledge must be at the centre of decisions. There is a need to leverage technology to collect more data but there was also a reminder that gathering data should not be extractive, companies and researchers need to be mindful of the CARE principles, data should be for the Collective benefit of Indigenous peoples, Indigenous people should have the Authority to control the data, those working with the data have a Responsibility to share how that data is being used and data should be used Ethically with Indigenous People’s rights and concerns a primary concern throughout. There is much opportunity for artificial intelligence to support better decision making but this is more difficult with missing data.
  • Increasing access – Melting sea ice is increasing access to shipping lanes and natural resources.  There is significant focus on maintaining peace across the North but also risk with Russia as a key Arctic stakeholder.  Regulation plays on important role in ensuring appropriate activity in the North and Arctic governance continues to evolve.
  • There is a meaningful value in enhancing collaborative innovation by bringing people together where ideas happen. Additionally, it creates opportunities to offer novel technological solutions to support the traditional knowledge.


It is our hope that the discussions that began in Iqaluit will continue to grow and flourish into opportunities to work together in the Arctic in a way that benefits Arctic communities. More than half of Canada’s coastline is in the Arctic, and meaningful relationships with Inuit communities are critical to achieving Ambition 2035 for our ocean economy. As we work towards a 5X growth potential in ocean, it is more important than ever that we first understand the unique opportunities across all three oceans, and find ways to work together to deliver important solutions for communities, as well as generate significant economic opportunity in the process.