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Remote Sensing innovation and commercialization for responsible, sustainable development of natural resources.

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LOOKNorth receives NCE funding extension

NL-based Centre of Excellence for Commercialization & Research receives funding extension for next five years

The LOOKNorth Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) has been awarded extended funding for an additional five years. LOOKNorth was established in 2011 under Industry Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program to foster remote sensing innovation to support safe, sustainable development of Canada's northern natural resources.

During its initial five-year mandate, LOOKNorth worked with end users in oil & gas, mining, hydro-power and transportation sectors to identify their monitoring needs that could be matched with Canadian remote sensing technologies to provide more efficient or cost-effective solutions.

The Centre brings Canadian technology SMEs together with natural resource companies, executing 18 projects to date and demonstrating technologies that improve performance and/or reduce the cost of resource development. LOOKNorth has leveraged CECR's initial $7.1M investment, attracting an additional $9.4M and generating  over $80M in direct and indirect economic activity, as well as 660 person-years of continued, re-oriented or new positions in the remote monitoring solutions industry.

“We’re proud of our achievements, which help advance Canadian industry's position as a world leader in Earth observation.” says Executive Director Bill Jefferies. “LOOKNorth has done everything we proposed, and more, and the Centre’s value is being recognized by end users: we have evolved from seeking out clients to support and participate in our projects to being increasingly sought out by the community to develop and manage integrated solutions that address operational issues.  Truly game-changing solutions call for information from multiple sources that is easily visualized, shared, understood and integrated with operational and/or regulatory requirements. The Extension Phase will ensure that LOOKNorth’s original vision comes to full fruition, as validation projects mature into the long-term provision of remote monitoring services that will create a sustainable and growing business for LOOKNorth and its network of SME partners.”

Created in 2007 by NCE to bridge the gap between research and commercialization, the CECR program matches clusters of research expertise with the business community to share the knowledge and resources.  There are currently 22 active, funded centres across the country. The most recent CECR competition resulted in three existing centres being awarded extended funding, including LOOKNorth.

The Honourable Ed Holder, Canada’s Minister of State (Science and Technology), said: “Under our government’s updated Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy, we are focused on harnessing Canadian science to boost business innovation. The Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research are supporting competitive Canadian businesses to move ideas from the lab to the marketplace while creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians.”

During the Extension Phase, LOOKNorth will continue to be supported by host C-CORE and by the Government of Newfoundland & Labrador.  LOOKNorth will focus on developing opportunities in the resource, transportation and regulatory sectors for its network, as well as on technical management and service integration.  Technologies and expertise will be provided by Canadian partner corporations, and integrated with LOOKNorth as a complete solution that reduces cost, improves operational awareness and efficiency, and/or supports regulatory compliance for resource development. 

LOOKNorth will continue to advance and commercialize outputs in three of the five research priority areas in Canada's Science & Technology Strategy:  Environment and Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy, and Information and Communications Technologies, with specific focus on sustainable methods of accessing energy and mineral resources from unconventional sources, disaster mitigation, responsible development and monitoring of the Arctic, pipeline safety, and advanced data management and analysis. The Centre will also leverage Canada's significant investment in Earth observation satellites and related on-ground infrastructure to promote Canada's remote monitoring capability in international markets.