Dartmouth startup accelerates roll-out of AI solution to help the maritime and logistics sector

News release

Government of Canada investments support clean, inclusive recovery and long-term economic growth  

July 5, 2022 · Dartmouth, Nova Scotia · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

A key part of Canada’s economic recovery is supporting businesses as they adapt, grow and move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic. Small and medium-sized businesses and the organizations that support them represent the backbone of regional economies. They generate quality local jobs and are a source of pride for their communities. To do so, businesses and entrepreneurs need a strong foundation, built on technological innovation, inclusivity, and clean growth to create the workforce of the future.

Federal investments support business growth

Today, Darren Fisher, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for Dartmouth – Cole Harbour, announced a repayable investment of $500,000 through the Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF) for Global Spatial Technology Solutions Inc. (GSTS). The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

GSTS is creating five full-time positions to bring its artificial intelligence (AI) platform, OCIANA™, to market faster. The system collects and analyzes data from satellites and sensors, including information on ocean, weather, vessel, port and marine species activity. It transforms the large quantities of data it receives into usable, decision-making information for the military, civil and commercial sectors. Through the project, GSTS will establish its first two systems at the ports of Halifax and New York, digitally connecting the two maritime cities. Scaling up and building on the product’s features will help the firm meet growing global demand for its vessel management capabilities.

Launched in July 2021, the Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF) provides $700 million over three years to Canada’s regional development agencies to support a regional response and stimulate economic recovery following the COVID-19 crisis by investing in projects that will help to create jobs. Through the JGF, the Government of Canada aims to support the transition to a green economy, foster an inclusive recovery, enhance competitiveness, and create jobs in every corner of the country.  


“The vitality of our business communities across Atlantic Canada is key to our economic recovery. We’ll continue to invest in our local businesses and the organizations that support them to create good jobs, support inclusive and clean growth opportunities, and build resiliency for years to come.”
- The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“GSTS has a strong track record of job creation, drawing talent from our region to transform big volumes of data into concrete, useful information. We’re pleased to help GSTS grow and accelerate the roll-out of its OCIANA™ AI platform – technology that will change and improve the way decisions are made at sea.”
- Darren Fisher, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour.

“OCIANA™ capabilities address a critical need in the maritime and logistics sector, as witnessed by the impact on global trade due to climate-based and global health events over the past two years. We are seeing an increase in the demand for OCIANA™ and the vessel management capability it offers. As a result, our plans for commercial rollout have been accelerated. This funding from ACOA allows us to accelerate that process and continue to build the world’s most powerful maritime AI capability right here in Canada, the country with the world’s longest coastline.”
- Richard Kolacz, CEO, Global Spatial Technology Solutions Inc.

Quick facts

  • Global Spatial Technology Solutions Inc. (GSTS) staff helped establish Canada's first satellite to collect vessel information from space. This data is collected from all ships over 300 gross tonnage.

  • OCIANA™’s maritime decision-making tools include fuel consumption forecasting, route optimization, marine mammal detection and arrival times up to 21 days in advance.

  • Global Spatial Technology Solutions Inc. was expected to create 10 new jobs through its last project with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it exceeded the projection with 15 new jobs, bringing its staff complement to 35. The forecast for 2024 is a total of 75 employees.

  • In Atlantic Canada, ACOA is delivering $70 million of the $700-million national Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF) to eligible businesses, non-profit organizations, community economic development partners, and Indigenous-led organizations and businesses, with projects that: 

    • support the transition to a green economy
    • foster an inclusive recovery
    • preserve Canada’s competitiveness and future-proof businesses through digital adoption
    • strengthen capacity in sectors critical to Canada’s recovery and growth
  • For more information on the application process, eligibility criteria and eligible expenses, or to apply for the JGF, reach out to your regional development agency.

  • Canada’s regional development agencies are continuing to deliver targeted support for economic recovery in the region. Application intake is open through ACOA for the Canada Community Revitalization Fund, Jobs and Growth Fund, Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative and Tourism Relief Fund.

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Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Lori Selig
Communications Manager
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Wendy Gregory
Director Operations
Global Spatial Technology Solutions

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