SmartBay, a joint initiative of the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University (MI) and industry, is receiving a further $451,000 from the provincial government.
The province has put about $1.1 million in total into the initiative which is focused on providing real time data on ocean conditions to marine traffic in Placentia Bay.
“Placentia Bay is Newfoundland and Labrador’s industrial heartland,” said Shawn Skinner, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development.
“With this label come challenges and complexities, as well as a host of safety, and regulatory concerns. SmartBay helps bridge these concerns by proactively supplying the bay’s users with better information that leads to better decision making. y having this information readily available, we are helping to create a safer marine environment, which will lead to the continued economic development of Placentia Bay.”
Launched in September 2006 as a demonstration project, SmartBay became a fully-operational information service utilizing the technology of its partners — MI, AMEC Earth and Environmental, ICAN, and EIT Ltd. — for improved weather forecasting, environmental monitoring, and ship navigation in 2008. With provincial government support, the partnership will explore opportunities to ensure SmartBay’s long-term sustainability and market the province’s ocean observation capability globally.
“SmartBay is a proven service in our province and has the potential to be marketed to international users, clients and stakeholders,” said Glenn Blackwood, Executive Director, MI, “The latest investment into SmartBay by the provincial government helps the Marine Institute remain ahead of the curve when it comes to applied ocean observation and ensures it will continue to be a leader in the international ocean observing community. I want to thank the provincial government for its support of the SmartBay project. We are proud of the fact SmartBay is helping to build the province’s capacity in ocean technologies and make Newfoundland and Labrador a trendsetter in oceans industries, applied research and technology development.”
A news release states that, as the largest ocean observation project in Eastern Canada, SmartBay is frequently used by the bay’s wide range of users, which include large industrial vessels, smaller fishing crafts, and recreational boats that all operate in a harsh weather environment.