Monitoring Canada's Arctic with Victoria tech

Plus, catch Victoria Tech Journal staff live and in-person this Friday.

Welcome to this week’s Midweek Memo, In this issue, learn how a local venture brought its boating technology onto land to monitor Canada’s Arctic, read about a local’s life of innovation after working in Silicon Valley, and discover where you can meet our Victoria Tech Journal staff in person later this week.

-Allison, @allisongacad

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Barnacle Systems launches its remote monitoring system for Canada’s Arctic

Pictured with the BRNKL Arctic Deploy, from left to right: Dillan Spencer, full stack developer; Darren Beckwith, chief technical officer; Cassidy Quaite, senior full stack developer. Photo: Barnacle Systems

Victoria-based Barnacle Systems (stylized as BRNKL), a security and monitoring tech company for boats, has developed a remote monitoring solution in the Arctic for the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF).

While the Arctic is a well-known global symbol for climate change, the Earth’s northernmost region is also an evolving marker of geopolitics. The area — which covers eight countries including Canada, the United States, and Russia — is home to valuable fossil fuel and mineral reserves. As sea ice melts, the region may also open up to activity such as increased shipping, illegal fisheries, and pollution.

A 2022 auditor general’s report found aging infrastructure and poor surveillance as tangible threats to Canadian monitoring of the Arctic. In the same year, the DND/CAF sought innovative solutions to secure and monitor ground-based assets operating remotely in the Arctic through its Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEAS) program.

Barnacle was awarded a contract under the IDEAS initiative in partnership with Virginia-based surveillance tech supplier McQ. The company recently completed production and testing of the BRNKL Arctic Deploy — an autonomous remote monitoring solution suitable for northern latitudes.

“Our team is incredibly proud to have successfully translated our maritime-based innovations into land-based deployments, thanks to the support of the IDEAS program,” said Brandon Wright, CEO of Barnacle Systems. “This transition has been a challenging yet rewarding experience, and we are excited to showcase the true impact of our technology in new and uncharted environments.”

Find us at Discover Tectoria!

🎤 This Friday, June 2, we’re headed to VIATEC's Discover Tectoria!

Meet us in the theatre for two events moderated by Victoria Tech Journal’s Allison Gacad:

🌊 10 a.m. | Victoria Tech Journal Presents: Dive into Victoria's Blue Economy

🤝 11 a.m. | Victoria Tech Journal Presents: Victoria's Women in Tech

  • Nancy Norris, Ministry for Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation, Government of British Columbia

  • Elizabeth Dutton, general partner, Women’s Equity Lab

  • Kate Fagan Taylor, board member, Island Women in Science and Technology (iWIST)

📰 More Victoria innovation news

🌸 Life after Big Tech: Ariel Rubin left her career at Apple in Silicon Valley to start a flower farm in Saanich. Read more »   

🎨 Life after community-focused tech: Comox-based youth Sophia Vaillant, founder of Zenius Labs — a space for student workshops in STEAM — is one of the 23 recipients of TD Scholarships for Community Leadership. Learn more about the winners »

🚗 Uber is OTW: In anticipation of next week’s launch in Victoria, Uber has sent emails to potential drivers in the region. Check out the requirements to drive »


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📅 Upcoming events

June 2: Victoria Tech Journal Presents at Discover Tectoria

May 29 to June 2: Scale YYJ

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