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Canadian Companies Provide Next-Gen Naval Maintenance and Dockyard Technology Solutions

COVE and Thales Canada have selected the winning proponents for the Naval Technology Innovation Challenges. Start-Up company CORSphere, and Small-Medium Enterprise (SME), Datifex, have been selected to innovate next-generation naval maintenance and dockyard technology solutions for Thales Canada to bolster the delivery of the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and Joint Support Ships (AJISS) program.

As the prime contractor of the AJISS program, Thales Canada partnered with COVE to develop the Naval Technology Innovation Challenges. The Challenges provided Start-Ups and SMEs working in Atlantic Canada with the opportunity to deliver solutions to some of the most complex challenges the Royal Canadian Navy faces—providing a methodology to evaluate naval condition-based maintenance solutions, and developing innovative tools that deconflict activities in a navy dockyard.

“The Naval Technology Innovation Challenges accelerate the already significant impact Atlantic Canada is having on Canada’s capabilities in defence innovation. By partnering with Thales Canada, a global defence sector leader, the industry challenges provide opportunities for innovative Start-Ups and SMEs to test, validate and commercialize a product and reach new markets,” said Melanie Nadeau, CEO of COVE. “CORSphere and Datifax are two prime examples of the expertise being developed that will support Thales Canada with the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and Joint Support Ships program and improve efficiencies and operating costs for the Royal Canadian Navy.”

Chris Pogue, CEO of Thales Canada, announced the winners of the Naval Technology Innovation Challenge at the H20: Home to Overseas Conference today in Halifax.

“With Atlantic Canada being a hub of defence innovation and growth, we knew that Thales – working with COVE and with ACOA’s support – would discover compelling Start-Ups and SMEs who Thales can collaborate with to support the Royal Canadian Navy,” said Pogue. “We look forward to extending our commitment to Atlantic Canada and to working with the Challenge winners to deliver new capability and trusted solutions to the RCN. Together, we can digitally transform naval in-service support, and cultivate engagements built on performance and trust to propel the Navy’s innovation agenda forward.” This initiative extends Thales’ commitment to Canada by investing in R&D and to collaborating with leading Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises to develop and commercialize key industrial capabilities.

The Vessel Maintenance Optimization Challenge focused on developing and testing methodologies that assess the technical and financial viability of Conditioned-Based Maintenance (CBM) solutions for the naval domain before they are implemented.

CORSphere is a Canadian mobile-first marine fleet management platform powered with Artificial Intelligence to optimize maintenance and fuel emissions. Their proposed technology will leverage Digital Twin technologies to predict failures based on available data before they occur and allow ship operators to improve system availability and assist in reducing operating costs.

“We are thrilled by this opportunity to work together with COVE and Thales Canada to help the Royal Canadian Navy adopt optimal condition-based monitoring solutions so that Canada’s fleet can achieve peak operational readiness and always be mission-ready,” said M Sazied Hassan, CEO of CORSphere. “We are a proud Atlantic Canadian company, and we are looking forward to continuing to support the defence sector and the blue economy.”

The Digital Dockyard challenge focused on innovative tools that coordinate activities in a navy dockyard collaboratively and proactively, ensuring that activities are de-conflicted and that resources are optimally allocated while meeting the day-to-day operational needs and priorities, which can be highly dynamic by nature.

Datifex, the winner of the Digital Dockyard challenge, is a Canadian software company whose SeaREADY™ suite of solutions accelerates modernization and digitalization of naval operations with immersive 3D environments using its IntelliVIEW 3D game engine and DigitalTWIN 3D technologies to combine digital twins, real-time data, and control systems technologies for command and control, situational awareness, condition monitoring, simulation, and training. Datifex has operations in Halifax and Toronto, and staff in Summerside, PEI, and St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

To aid with the testing, validation, and commercialization of the technology, the winning company from each challenge is awarded $175,000. Thales Canada contributed $100,000, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) contributed $75,000 in prize money for each challenge. COVE will work with CORSphere and Datifex to monitor the implementation process of their winning solutions for a period of five months before the companies present their winning solutions to Thales Canada.

“With a thriving aerospace, defence and marine sector, a world-class start-up ecosystem, and an ocean sector that is poised for exponential growth, it is clear that Atlantic Canada has the wind in its sails,” said The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA. “Initiatives like the Naval Technology Innovation Challenges spark creativity and help fuel the momentum we are experiencing in our region. Congratulations to the winners, CORsphere and Datifex, and to COVE and Thales Canada for their leadership in these Challenges.”

The success of the Naval Technology Innovation Challenges provides a path forward for COVE to develop and launch similar industry challenges for Start-Ups and SMEs in the future.

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