UVic’s undersea infrastructure grows with cloud funding from IBM

University of Victoria announces major funding with new Smart Oceans BC program

IBM will work with Ocean Networks Canada at the University of Victoria on a three-year project to equip B.C. with a monitoring and prediction system to respond to off-shore events.

The Smart Oceans BC program will use marine sensors and data analysis to enhance environmental stewardship, and public and marine safety along the west coast.

The program will monitor vessel traffic, waves, currents and water quality in major shipping arteries and will include a system to predict the impact of off-shore earthquakes, tsunamis, storm surges and underwater landslides.

“This new initiative will help deliver and improve marine safety, establish critical and crucial environmental monitoring, and improve public safety. It’s a wide range of deliverables,” said ONC president Kate Moran during the announcement Monday (April 14). “Through IBM’s contribution, we’re able to draw insights and conduct analysis of a massive amount of new data that will be critical in the implementation of a world-class marine safety system.”

ONC, UVic’s largest research project, already operates the world’s most advanced cabled ocean observatory, off B.C.’s coast.

IBM will invest $12 million in cloud computing infrastructure, analytics software, services and skills training to support this next phase of the system, which will position Canada as a global leader in ocean technology. Western Economic Diversification is also contributing funds to bring online a number of additional underwater observatories and high-frequency coastal radars.

IBM and ONC will also establish a virtual computer lab for remote First Nations communities.

The system will let First Nations people use any connected device to access a range of ONC and university curriculum online, allowing them to attend university without having to physically relocate.

reporter@saanichnews.com

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