Irving Shipbuilding Partners with Ocean Data Initiative – DeepSense

Dalhousie University, along with partners IBM Canada and the Ocean Frontier Institute, was pleased to welcome The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, attending on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development;  Mr. Andy Fillmore Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions and Member of Parliament for Halifax; and the Honourable Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia, to campus today to officially launch a world-class big ocean data innovation environment.

DeepSense is a unique ocean research partnership between industry, academia and government that will enable Atlantic Canadian companies to commercialize research and lead the way in the development of data analytics products and services that are sought after worldwide.

Businesses will collaborate with scientists to develop their products and services using high performance computing infrastructure and personnel support provided by IBM Canada, with an in-kind contribution valued at $ 12.6 million.

“Deep Sense will be instrumental in helping Atlantic Canada ocean businesses innovate, compete and succeed here in Canada and on the world stage,” says Ayman Antoun, President of IBM Canada. “IBM is committed to supporting the development and commercialization of ‘made in Canada’ products and services, and we are proud that our technology will help bolster the region's position as a global hub for ocean expertise.”

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Business Development Program have provided $6.9 million in funding. It is being used to help establish DeepSense, and fund its operations for five years.

“Innovation is critical to economic success,” says The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for ACOA.  Establishing an industry-leading analytics platform will help foster business innovation in Atlantic Canada by encouraging the scaling up of small firms, the promotion of technology transfer, and the commercialization of research and development in both emerging sectors and traditional resource-based industries that are part of the ocean economy.”

Dalhousie University and the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI) will be investing a total of $2,133,151 in DeepSense. The university’s Faculty of Computer Science will be the lead academic research partner, which will include collaborating with the Nova Scotia Community College and the Collaboration for Analytics Research, Education and Technology (CARET), and its member institutions to discover and attract academic research expertise, and develop curriculum and customized industry training.

“Dalhousie is proud to be part of this unique ocean research partnership,” says Dr. Alice Aiken, Vice President Research and Innovation at Dalhousie University. “By providing a platform that can be used by universities, industry partners, and government to support intensive ocean data science research, DeepSense will help position Atlantic Canada as a leader in the ocean economy for years to come.”

Additional partners for this initiative include the Province of Nova Scotia and the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship.

Over the next five years, it is estimated that DeepSense will be involved in 60-100 projects that address industry analytical challenges in the ocean economy. This includes Irving Shipbuilding, who announced a $750,000 investment in DeepSense for projects that will involve the vast amount of maintenance and logistics data from its shipbuilding and ship repair operations.

“We look forward to working with the DeepSense partners to strengthen the shipbuilding and marine industry through data analytics,” said Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding. “Today we use data analytics to optimize our processes and planning, which are leading to shipbuilding and ship repair efficiencies, but, there is much more that can be done to ensure that the data we can collect is being used to its full potential. The research and projects at DeepSense could have a significant impact on the shipbuilding and marine industry.”

Irving Shipbuilding’s funding is part of its Value Proposition commitment under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). To date, Irving Shipbuilding has committed more than $12 million in Value Proposition investments toward creating a sustainable marine industry across Canada. 


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