Government Funds Two Companies Innovating Drone Space

Two Canadian companies—one in Newfoundland and one in Labrador—have received government funding for their innovation in the unmanned aerial vehicles market.

The Government of Canada is contributing a combined $5.5 million through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency in the companies’ projects.

Fugro Geosurveys is adapting and demonstrating sensor technology for use with autonomous underwater vehicles. Solace Power is focused on wireless charging technology for small electric unmanned aerial vehicles.

“Initiatives like the ones announced today support advances in technology that will enable these businesses to compete internationally, strengthen and grow the middle class and create jobs,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA.

The investments from ACOA are provided through the Atlantic Innovation Fund, which encourages partnerships among private sector firms, universities, colleges and other research institutions to develop and commercialize new or improved products and services.

“These projects will have a positive impact on residents and contribute to a dynamic, thriving and competitive technology industry in Newfoundland and Labrador,” added Seamus O’Regan, a Member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl

Over the next five years, all six regional development agencies across Canada, including ACOA, will invest a total of $1.5 billion to strengthen innovation capacity and economic growth in each region.

“We are excited to accelerate the research and development of our wireless power technology, which has the potential to transform multiple industries with real-world applications,” said Kris McNeil, CEO of Solace.

In 2016, the Government of Canada, through ACOA’s AIF, invested more than $35 million in 16 innovation and R&D projects in the Atlantic region.