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Leading Operational Observations and Knowledge for the North - LOOKNorth

$20.6 million for 2011-24
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Leading Operational Observations and Knowledge for the North

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Managing Director
Paul Adlakha Paul Adlakha

Board chair
Dennis Clarke Dennis Clarke
Lawyer, Goodland Buckingham

Networking the Canadian Remote Sensing Sector, Leveraging Innovation for Canada’s North

The opportunity

As a Northern nation, Canada contains some of the world’s most pristine and fragile ecosystems. There is an urgent need for accurate and continuous environmental monitoring to ensure responsible, sustainable land/water use management and safe operations in a changing global climate system.

Canada has developed extensive internationally recognized expertise in remote sensing. By networking, advancing and promoting that expertise, Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with innovative satellite and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies and services are poised to capture an emerging market of well over $1 billion. Additionally, remote sensing technologies/services can supplement indigenous traditional knowledge to help understand environmental conditions, especially in remote or challenging areas with sparse infrastructure; delivering remote sensing services in Northern communities has the potential to build local capacity and create significant socio-economic benefits in and for Canada’s North.

How LOOKNorth is seizing the opportunity

LOOKNorth networks Canadian remote sensing innovators and provides a bridge to commercial markets through a combination of remote sensing technology expertise, project management support, continuous engagement with end users to understand market needs, and business development support. The Centre is partnering with Canada’s leading satellite SMEs to define and launch industry-relevant missions, with Unmanned Systems Canada to support Canada’s UAV sector and advance beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations, and with Arctic innovators to establish Northern remote sensing enterprises.

Among the results

  • LOOKNorth’s partnership with GHGSat continues to grow with collaborations aiming to increase the impact of their world leading, high-resolution greenhouse gas satellite monitoring constellation. GHGSat has recently launched the second and third satellites, closed their Series B financing of US$45M that will see them through the launch of the next ten satellites, and they are making news by detecting fugitive emissions equivalent to eliminating the impact of a million cars on the road! GHGSat and LOOKNorth have been successful in pursuing several contracts for further analytics developments into new markets, ground systems support for the satellite constellation, and recently for business development activities.
  • The Northern investments provide training and help with the formation of community-based enterprises that provide high-value careers and business opportunities for Northerners. LOOKNorth’s partners are creating a network of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) operators in remote communities, which will enable the North to take advantage of the growing demand for local RPAS services. To date we have engaged with 29 communities and have trained over 50 HQPs.
  • Since 2017, LOOKNorth has been implementing a program of larger investments in satellite and RPAS innovations as well as a significant program to increase the remote sensing capacity and community enterprises in the Arctic. With the CECR investment, LOOKNorth committed to delivering a $50M program. At the end of year three of the five-year program, LOOKNorth has exceeded that goal with the $10M CECR investment plus $30.6M of industry investment. They’ve generated $15M in revenues and $3.7M of university/government contributions, for a $59M program to date. In addition, LOOKNorth is pleased to report their network partners attracted an investment of $55M into their companies.
  • LOOKNorth supported the development of an international collaboration of companies to pursue opportunities in Integrated Remote Sensing for the Arctic (IRSA). The IRSA Development Group (IDG) includes organizations from Norway, Denmark, US, Finland, Germany and Switzerland. The IDG launched ArcticX21 in August of 2021 to focus IDG’s capabilities in maritime surveillance for the defence and security community. As part of ArcticX21, LOOKNorth has integrated six partner technologies and expertise to deliver the remote sensing elements of maritime surveillance.

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