Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Announces Enhancing Environmental DNA Through AI Project

(Montreal, Quebec) Today, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced the Enhancing Environmental DNA Through Artificial Intelligence Project led by eDNAtec Inc. The project is based on the enormous amount of DNA data that the lead organization has collected from environmental samples—equivalent to more than 3000 human genomes. This extensive dataset presented significant opportunities for training AI models.

St. John’s, NL-based eDNAtec along with collaborator Toronto-based ESRI Canada will work together to exploit the technology of environmental DNA to facilitate the measurement of biodiversity through this project. This is a key measurement to industries that are trying to demonstrate good environmental stewardship as well as to regulators that are establishing conservation programs for Marine Protected Areas or that are implementing ecosystem-based approaches for fisheries management.

Based on the analysis of eDNA, large amounts of precise, comprehensive, and powerful data can be obtained involving the detection of hundreds or thousands of species within each sample. The analysis of new datasets through the lens of conventional biodiversity management is extremely limiting. Hence the goals include creating products that demonstrate the true power of eDNA data as a means of performing customer education. The project is believed to increase demand for AI-driven data solutions and for eDNA services themselves.

Through its funding allocated through the Pan Canadian AI Strategy (PCAIS) Program, the OSC’s is providing $75,000 in funding for this almost $352,000 project with the balance of funding coming from project partners.


“Through the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the Government of Canada is pleased to support Canada’s Ocean Cluster as it drives AI solutions for Canadian ocean companies. This environmental DNA project, one of nine projects announced today by OSC, will help industries understand their impact on ocean ecosystems and contribute to conservation programs for marine protected areas.” – The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“AI in ocean has the potential to help transform the way we do ocean business. Today Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced the Enhancing Environmental DNA Through Artificial Intelligence Project which will provide important information to ocean industries and regulators to support environmental stewardship and management. The advancement of eDNA and AI in ocean provides a greater ability to collect the data needed to support these activities critical to both our ocean environment and the sustainable development of it.” – Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

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 85 projects with a total value of more than $400 million which will deliver more than 200 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world. For more information visit

Media Contacts:
Nancy Andrews
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster