NorthStar Earth & Space Inc., based out of Montreal, Quebec, is a software analytics company serving the forestry, agriculture, urban planning, energy and natural resources, environment and water, and space object tracking sectors. The company has developed NorthStar, which is a global environment information platform transforming traditional Earth observation into Earth information and intelligence.
NorthStar has received a total investment of $13,000,000 from the Strategic Innovation Fund and the Quebec Economic Development Program.
The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) is targeted at Canada’s industrial and technology sectors. The program focuses on accelerating innovative business expansion projects which generate benefits for the company and help secure competitiveness in both regional and national economies. Federal and provincial funding will allow NorthStar Earth & Space to collaborate with post-secondary institutions, hire and train skilled workers, and revolutionize the Canadian aerospace industry.
$13M in Innovation Funding for Low Earth Orbit Satellites
NorthStar Earth & Space’s NorthStar system is based on a satellite constellation with powerful hyperspectral and infrared sensors that can image, digitize, and analyze all matter on the surface of the Earth multiple times per day. These optical sensors will also continuously image Earth’s near space orbit to monitor and protect high-value space assets from disastrous collisions with space debris. The many possibilities of this hyperspectral imaging technology include monitoring biodiversity, tracking water and plant stress, identifying wetlands, and detecting soil and plant health.
NorthStar has received $9.5M in funding from the Strategic Innovation Fund, and $3.5M in repayable funding from the Quebec Economic Development Program.
The NorthStar project is an example of how Canada’s aerospace industry is driving more innovation and answers to real-world problems. Funding will also allow Quebec to remain a strong competitor in the field of advanced information technology.
In addition, the investment is permitting NorthStar Earth & Space to implement a diversity and gender plan throughout 2019, collaborate with Canadian post-secondary institutions, and train students and workers.
Canadian Government Funding: Strategic Innovation Fund
The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) is a Canadian government funding program uniquely targeted at Canada’s industrial and technology sectors to fuel the research and development of innovative products, processes, and services. Eligible businesses may offset a portion of costs related to strategic investments which lead to sustained productivity, economic benefits to Canada, and long-term competitive advantages within the organization.
The Strategic Innovation Fund provides up to 50% of eligible project costs with a minimum funding request of $10 million.
There are four streams of SIF funding. These include:
Stream 1: Research, development, and commercialization;
Stream 2: Business growth and expansion;
Stream 3: Investment attraction and retention; and
Stream 4: Collaborative technology development and demonstration.
Streams 1-3 accept applications on continuous intake, while Stream 4 specifies annual intake dates. The next deadline for Stream 4 applications is March 1, 2019.
Canadian businesses interested in learning about additional funding programs that support technology-based projects, please download Mentor Works’ Canadian Business Funding Guide.