Canadian Government backs Open Ocean Robotics in effort to help protect its oceans and meet its climate objectives

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Canada’s cleantech entrepreneurs are proving their power to take on today’s environmental challenges. Working in partnership with innovative companies, the Government of Canada is supporting the growth of a greener economy.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced an investment of $2.8 million in Victoria-based Open Ocean Robotics through Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

“Now is the time for ambitious climate action. Cleantech innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization are key to the vital shift to a healthier environment and a net-zero carbon economy. Today’s announcement will boost our leadership in climate and waste reduction technologies and help foster a truly Canadian success story.”

François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

This is the second SDTC investment in Open Ocean Robotics and part of a continuing collaboration that is helping the company advance its cleantech solution for gathering ocean data and protecting the marine environment.

Open Ocean Robotics is a graduate of SDTC’s Seed Fund for early-stage entrepreneurs who have gained solid ground and are ready to scale up. The company used previous funding to build one of its first solar-powered uncrewed surface vehicle (USV) prototypes. Its USVs are designed to monitor and protect marine environments for months at a time, without producing greenhouse gas emissions. They capture key data to help conserve marine biodiversity, prevent overfishing and other threats to ocean health, and better understand the impacts of climate change.

OOR will use the latest SDTC investment to advance its SeaSense initiative, which aims to protect the marine environment with the latest generation of zero-emission autonomous vessels, artificial intelligence and advanced sensors.

“We are delighted to have the support and recognition of SDTC for our technology to advance ocean monitoring.  This will accelerate the development of our solar-powered autonomous boats and real-time data analytics systems to help transform how we understand and protect our oceans.”

Julie Angus, CEO, Open Ocean Robotics

Quick facts

  • Clean technology companies currently employ more than 211,000 Canadians in rewarding, well-paying jobs.
  • SDTC is an independent federal foundation that funds companies with the potential to become world leaders in environmental technologies and help solve some of the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges, such as climate change and polluted air, water and soil.
  • SDTC is Canada’s largest funder of clean technology entrepreneurs, and its support makes a significant difference in today’s hyper-competitive global market.
  • Since 2001, SDTC has invested more than $1.38 billion in 460 companies that have generated $2.8 billion in annual revenues, created 16,930 jobs, brought 177 new technologies to market and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 22.4 megatonnes of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to taking almost 7 million cars off the road every year.
  • The world is taking notice of Canada’s leadership in clean technology: 11 Canadian companies, 9 of which have been funded by SDTC, placed on the 2021 Global Cleantech 100 list.
  • In December 2020, the Government of Canada announced A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, Canada’s strengthened climate plan, which has increased support for SDTC with an additional $750 million over five years, representing the single largest Government of Canada investment in SDTC since its inception in 2001.

The Government of Canada said “Today’s investment will help grow our economy and support Canada’s ability to meet its 2030 climate commitments and reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

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