NRC-IRAP Research Grants Help Kraken Sonar Develop Marine Robotics

NRC-IRAP Research Grants Enhance Marine Technology

Marine technology manufacturer, Kraken Sonar Systems Inc., will receive up to $1.47 million in NRC IRAP research grants to support the development of underwater robotics. This investment will help the company develop a technology demonstration platform to increase Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) capabilities.

The contribution will be provided through the NRC-IRAP Mid-Size Project program, which supports large-scale research and development projects. Applicants may receive up to 80% of eligible project costs to a maximum $500,000 in Canadian research grants. IRAP funding can be used to offset labour costs associated with the development or enhancement of commercially viable technologies that fill a current market gap.

NRC-IRAP’s investment will allow Kraken Sonar to make significant upgrades to their proprietary autonomous underwater vehicle technologies. The company will implement new innovations that provide real-time sonar data processing, 3D seabed mapping abilities, and image mosaicking. In addition, the AUV will be equipped with an underwater laser scanner that provides high-quality underwater imaging capabilities.

Related Post: $485,000 in IRAP Research Grants Awarded to Kraken for Marine Technology Development

Kraken Sonar Systems Inc. Awarded $1.47M in NRC-IRAP Research Grants

Kraken Sonar Systems Inc. specializes in advanced sonar and acoustic velocity sensors for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles and robotics engineering. The company is recognized as a world leader in underwater imaging technology used during seabed surveying. Kraken’s in-demand marine technologies support military and commercial applications.

NRC-IRAP’s $1,470,000 contribution will support the development of Kraken’s underwater robotics program that utilizes a state-of-the-art technology demonstration platform. The investment will allow Kraken to enhance the DEDAVE AUV by installing hydrodynamic, payload, and control system upgrades. Specifically, Kraken will upgrade the AUV to include its AquaPix MINSAS-60 Synthetic Aperture Sonar technology.

Kraken’s sonar technology will increase the DEDAVE AUV’s area coverage rate to 2 square-kilometres per hour at 3 cm x 3 cm resolution [see image].

Side Scan Sonar vs SAS

Picture Source: Marine Technology News, Side Scan Sonar vs SAS Towrope (

In addition, the manufacturer will install advanced geo-referencing software and a new underwater laser scanner to the Fraunhofer Society’s DEDAVE AUV. These upgrades will provide real-time sonar data processing, image mosaicking, 3D seabed mapping, and the ability to capture sub-millimeter resolution and full-colour images.

“By combining our advanced sensor technologies with cutting edge artificial intelligence algorithms, it’s our objective to deliver a cost-effective AUV solution that is truly autonomous as opposed to being simply automated.”
– Karl Kenny, President and CEO, Kraken Sonar Systems Inc.

NRC-IRAP Research and Development Grants

The Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) supports innovative technology development projects. Leveraging NRC-IRAP funding helps businesses enhance processes and products and boost market competitiveness. Canadian companies can access NRC-IRAP research grants through the organization’s funding streams, including IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP) and IRAP Mid-Size Projects.

NRC-IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP)

The IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP) program supports innovative research and development projects that help manufacturers solve internal technical challenges. Funding can be used to accelerate projects that help businesses conduct product and/or process improvements. IRAP grants support exploratory research projects that facilitate business growth, improve market competitiveness, and increase the project’s return-on-investment (ROI).

Applicants may receive up to 80% to offset internal labour expenses and up to 50% to cover third-party Canadian consulting costs to a maximum $50,000 in research grants.

NRC-IRAP Mid-Size Projects

IRAP Mid-Size Projects supports large-scale R&D projects that develop or enhance innovative products, processes, or services that are considered commercially viable. Innovative projects must address a current market gap. Eligible businesses can receive IRAP research grants to offset technical labour expenses associated with the project.

Applicants may receive up to 80% to offset project labour costs and up to 50% of consulting fees to a maximum $100,000–$500,000 per year in government grants.

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