Digital Technology Supercluster Announces the First Two Cycle 3 Projects as Momentum Continues

Vancouver, British Columbia [August 13, 2020] – The Digital Technology Supercluster (the “Supercluster”) announces investments totalling nearly $4.5 million in the first two Cycle 3 projects in the Supercluster’s Technology Leadership Program. 

Protecting Our Oceans and Satellite-Based Environmental Analytics are two projects that deploy state-of-the-art digital solutions to address two challenges created by climate change: the collection of accurate imaging to monitor the effects of climate change, and protecting our wild fisheries by monitoring our oceans.

“Canada is rich in natural resources. We must protect these resources for our families, economies, and for future generations,” stated Sue Paish, CEO of the Digital Technology Supercluster. “These two new projects complement our existing work in protecting freshwater ecosystems and forests, and draw on our diverse community of committed Members to address the ever-evolving impacts created by climate change.”

The fishery sector provides food for dinner tables across the globe and livelihoods for almost 12 per cent of the world’s population. As climate change impacts the wild fish population, there is also global risk from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. This activity costs the ocean economy more than $23 billion a year. This self-reporting regulatory system creates a need for a comprehensive detection system to mitigate criminal activity created by these ‘dark vessels’ conducting illegal fishing.

The Protecting Our Oceans project team, led by MDA, applies satellite monitoring, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and data visualization techniques such as virtual reality, to recognize these dark vessels, deter and blacklist them and ultimately prosecute the owners to protect our global fisheries and marine ecosystems.This project has the potential to protect the environment, preserve the food and the jobs provided by global oceans, and help deliver information to increase border security and tackle human rights violations.  

Climate change, pollution, urbanization and natural disasters have accelerated the need to better monitor their impact on our planet. The Satellite-Based Environmental Analytics project, led by UrtheCast, seeks to understand these impacts on large areas over time, using space-based imagery of the earth. Today we rely on large collections of overlapping satellite images and data that are merged together to create “mosaics” which help us understand the health of wetlands, forests and agricultural regions around the globe. Unfortunately, only small targeted mosaics provide an accurate, high-resolution, fine-scale view of the environment and there is growing need to improve how we accurately monitor large areas. This project aims to supply what mosaic users need – location accuracy, faster delivery, and high-quality imagery for larger areas. This will help organizations across the spectrum enhance their work in global climate mitigation and environmental stewardship. 

“From coast, to coast, Canadians rely on our rich natural resources, including our oceans, for their well-beings and livelihoods”, stated the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, “these two innovative  projects demonstrate  how Canada can become a global leader in developing and deploying digital solutions to meet the climate crisis.” 

More information about these projects can be found here. Information about the Technology Leadership Program and its projects can be found here.

Media Inquiries: For more information, please contact Elysa Darling at or 1-587-890-9833. For media assets, click here. Interview opportunities with Sue Paish, CEO, Digital Technology Supercluster, are available upon request.

About Digital Technology Supercluster:

The Digital Technology Supercluster solves some of industry’s and society’s biggest problems through Canadian-made technologies. We bring together private and public sector organizations of all sizes to address challenges facing Canada’s economic sectors including healthcare, natural resources, manufacturing, and transportation. Through this ‘collaborative innovation,’ the Supercluster helps to drive solutions better than any single organization could on its own.  The Digital Technology Supercluster is led by industry leaders such as D-Wave, LifeLabs, LlamaZOO, Lululemon, MDA, Microsoft, Mosaic Forest Management, Sanctuary AI, Teck Resources Limited, TELUS, Terramera, and 1Qbit. Together, we work to position Canada as a global hub for digital innovation. A full list of Members can be found here.

About the Technology Leadership Program: 

The Supercluster delivers three technology programs to enable wide-scale adoption of digital transformation platforms in key industrial segments and develop and commercialize new products, services and platforms. The suite of technology programs includes: Precision Health Program, Data Commons Program, and Digital Twins Program. These programs are core to the Supercluster securing Canada’s global leadership in digital innovation, and securing social and economic benefits for Canadians. Media backgrounder here.