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Fund supports robot marine monitoring, ‘blue’ economy

March 28, 2023 at 10:27 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Seven projects recently funded from the Province’s Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund are helping B.C. transition to a low-carbon economy, while creating new job opportunities in developing technologies.

Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies (COAST)

South Island Prosperity Partnership’s (SIPP) COAST initiative will help local innovators connect to large industry players, supporting their growth and the development of technology and research that will help improve ocean management as well as efforts to reduce climate change. COAST will support development in traditional blue economy industries, such as aquaculture and fisheries, global shipping routes and port activities, and offshore oil and gas, as well as shipping, shipbuilding and defence/aerospace.  

Open Ocean Robotics 

Based in Victoria, Open Ocean Robotics develops and operates un-crewed surface vehicles (USVs) with data acquisition and analytics to provide autonomous monitoring of ocean conditions, marine life and maritime domain awareness. The Data Xplorer is a compact robotic vessel that is solar-powered and can withstand rough ocean conditions, while conducting missions of weeks to months. The data from its optical, physical and acoustic sensor systems is available in near real-time for improved ocean awareness and protection.

Pani Energy

Pani, headquartered in Victoria, is using artificial intelligence tools to optimize the operation of water-treatment infrastructure, resulting in as much as a 10% reduction in energy use and 10% reduction in chemical use.

Technology developed by Pani will be demonstrated at eight sites throughout Canada, the United States and Asia, creating an anticipated 27 jobs in the near term and throughout the project, including in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as marketing, sales and administration.

Axine Water

Axine Water is headquartered in Vancouver and has 21 employees. The company was created to develop and commercialize advanced electrochemistry technology and was named a 2020 Global Cleantech 100 company.

Axine’s second-generation wastewater treatment system includes improvements in hardware and software that yield efficiency and cost savings, as well as environmental benefits, by using new sensors, data analytics and a unique electrode, which more efficiently treats the entire stream.

Ecoation Innovation

Ecoation, headquartered in North Vancouver with 53 employees, will develop and demonstrate a robot- and artificial-intelligence-enabled platform for greenhouses that reduces pesticide use and increases grower yield by 5%.


Terramera is headquartered in Vancouver and has 115 employees. The company is developing a remote-sensing, data-enabled verification technology to provide highly accurate estimates of soil carbon and a detailed history of farming practices for a given piece of land.

Miru Smart Technologies

Miru Smart Technologies (formerly Click Materials) is a venture-backed, advanced-materials, University-of-British-Columbia spinoff based in Vancouver.

Miru’s new process creates electrochromic windows that tint electronically. Their process cuts window costs by half and can result in home energy savings as much as 30%, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the built environment.

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