Federal government invests in marine satellite innovation in Cambridge

News release

Investment will help create and maintain 67 jobs and promote innovation in Ontario

October 19, 2018 – Cambridge, Ontario

In the face of global economic challenges, the Government of Canada is continuing to invest in innovation in Canada’s digital and space industries to create good middle-class jobs and ensure these sectors punch above their weight in a competitive global market.

Today, Marwan Tabbara, Member of Parliament for Kitchener South –Hespeler, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced an investment of $7.2 million in exactEarth Ltd., a company that uses advanced satellite technology to track ships at sea around the globe.

The funding will help exactEarth create and maintain 67 jobs and will help the Canadian company become a world leader in real-time satellite Automatic Identification System (AIS) services for ship tracking. The project will allow the company to update its existing satellite network and to develop and integrate big data analytics into its services. exactEarth’s products will be used by the global shipping industry to optimize ship routing, in turn helping reduce fossil fuel consumption and the impact of shipping on the ocean environment.

Thanks in part to this investment, exactEarth will invest more in R&D, see more intellectual property developed and retained in Canada, and continue its collaboration with universities and research institutions in the Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) group. This collaboration includes exactEarth’s support for the WHaLE project, which focuses on developing a satellite system to reduce the number of collisions between whales and ships.

This investment is being made through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), a program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments across all sectors of the economy by encouraging R&D that will accelerate technology transfer and the commercialization of innovative products, processes and services and will facilitate the growth of innovative firms.


“All Canadians should be proud of our country’s long-standing leadership in space technology. exactEarth’s project highlights Canadian know-how in this highly specialized domain and shows how small and medium-sized companies drive innovation. I am pleased that this project once again confirms Waterloo Region’s status as a leading community for innovation and entrepreneurship.”

– Marwan Tabbara, Member of Parliament for Kitchener South–Hespeler

“I want to thank the Government of Canada for the opportunity to participate in the SIF program. This funding will have an important impact on our ability to implement and enhance exactView RT—the world’s first full global real-time vessel tracking satellite system. This innovative capability can be utilized for such important functions as increasing maritime safety, conducting Arctic monitoring, protecting marine life, monitoring tanker traffic in real time and reducing vessel carbon emissions.”

– Peter Mabson, CEO, exactEarth

Quick facts

  • Founded in 2009 in Cambridge, Ontario, exactEarth was the first company in the world to offer global ship tracking using space-based detection technology.

  • Canada’s space industry includes more than 100 firms and organizations, contributes $2.3 billion to GDP and employs nearly 10,000 people in well-paying middle-class jobs.

  • The Strategic Innovation Fund is a $1.26-billion program that is helping Canada become a global leader in innovation.

  • In addition to the Strategic Innovation Fund, there are hundreds of programs and services to help businesses innovate, create jobs and grow Canada’s economy. With its simple, story-based user interface, the new Innovation Canada platform can match businesses with the most fitting programs and services in about two minutes.

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Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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