MONTREAL (NorthStar Earth and Space PR) — Human beings have left a legacy to Earth which threatens the sustainability of our planet and the livelihoods of future generations. The cause: a lack of tools to manage and monitor our impact on the environment. NorthStar Earth & Space Inc. (NorthStar E&S) is pleased to announce C$52 million [US$39.5 million] in additional financing from strategic partners for the development of NorthStar, a global environment information platform which will transform humanity’s ability to manage our impact on Earth and its natural resources.
The Governments of Canada and Quebec are each contributing C$13 million [US$9.9 million). Private partners include Telesystem Space Inc. of Montreal, the majority shareholder, and the Space Alliance of Europe. Formed by Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space, the Space Alliance is a strategic partnership between Leonardo and Thales, the major industrial groups in the aerospace industry of Italy and France. This C$52 million [$US39.5 million] sum adds to the C$31 million [US$23.5 million] already contributed by NorthStar E&S’s Canadian and US founding partners.
The NorthStar platform is based on a 40-satellite constellation with sophisticated sensors and information delivery capability. NorthStar will enable new advances in continuous environmental management including pollution detection, charting the health of the world’s oceans and rivers, enhancing the productivity of agriculture, wildfire alerts, and pipeline oil and gas monitoring to prevent spills and contamination. Around and above the planet, NorthStar’s sensors will track orbital debris to reduce the probability of collisions and protect high-value assets in space.
“Our goal is to empower humanity to preserve our planet,” said NorthStar E&S CEO Stewart Bain. “Information provided by NorthStar will enable citizens, industry and governments to measure and manage our impact on the natural resources of Earth, creating a more sustainable world for now and for future generations. As a Canadian enterprise along with Telesystem Space, we welcome the participation of the governments of Canada and Quebec, and the Space Alliance, all critical to the success of our mission.”
According to The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, “NorthStar’s project demonstrates how Canada’s space sector is driving game-changing innovations and developing solutions for real-world problems. Our government’s investment will help ensure that Quebec remains at the forefront of advanced information technology, creating good jobs for the middle-class and positioning Canada’s economy to be globally competitive. ”
“The growth of the aerospace industry in Quebec is directly linked to corporate innovation efforts,” according to Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Lanaudière region. “Our government reiterates its support for the growth of this industry, which is essential to Québec’s economy, by enabling innovative companies to achieve their goals. That is why the Québec government is proud to support the NorthStar project, which will generate new expertise and quality jobs in the aerospace, the information and the communications technology sector.”
In a joint statement from The Space Alliance, Luigi Pasquali, CEO of Telespazio and Jean Loïc Galle, CEO of Thales Alenia Space said, “This investment in NorthStar is strategically in line with Space Alliance’s global offer and we are convinced this solution will bring benefit to our customers and their priority needs.”
Commercial Earth Observation and Space Object Tracking services are rapid-growth areas and represent the future of the global space economy in Canada and abroad. When fully operational, NorthStar E&S expects to create an estimated 400 highly-skilled direct jobs and 1200 indirect jobs related to Big Data and Information Analytics, and support the expansion of aerospace, satellite design and sensor technology industries in Canada and abroad.
Data services will be made available through NorthStar’s AGILE (Applications for Global Innovation and Leadership) Centre Platform, in cooperation with a worldwide community of Applications Developers. AGILE Centres around the world will foster clusters of activity in Big Data and Predictive Analytics, the first generation of smart environmental protection apps. According to NorthStar CEO Bain, the first AGILE Centre will be based in Montreal, Canada. “With its talent base in the IT, AI and aerospace sectors and general quality of life which attracts the best and the brightest from around the world, Montreal is the ideal home for the NorthStar platform, ” said Bain.
Government of Canada funding includes C$9.5 million from the Strategic Innovation Fund and C$3.5 million from Economic Development Quebec Region. The Government of Quebec, via Le Fonds du développement économique (FDE), also invested C$13 million. With today’s announcement, NorthStar Earth & Space Inc. has gathered a total of C$83 million for its NorthStar platform.
The space infrastructure will rely on a constellation of 40 satellites equipped with Hyperspectral, Infrared and Optical sensors. NorthStar will continuously detect and analyze the fine chemistry of objects on the complete surface of the Earth. Via proprietary data analysis and predictive analytics, NorthStar will deliver Earth Observation information with a dimension, precision, richness and timeliness never before available.
NorthStar’s Space Situational Awareness service will have the ability to identify, track and predict the trajectories of more than 300,000 objects in Earth’s orbit, now classified as space debris, which is significantly more than currently possible. This information is critical for an expanding satellite industry owned and operated by both the private and public sectors.
The founding shareholders of NorthStar E&S include Telesystem Ltd, based in Montreal, and US-based KinetX Inc. Telesystem Ltd, a media and technology holding company managed by the Sirois family, has built a successful track record as a leading global telecommunications player and with high growth technology start-ups. KinetX Inc is a US-based company which specializes in orbital dynamics and is the originator of the NorthStar concept.
Telesystem Space Inc, the majority shareholder of NorthStar Earth and Space Inc, is a Canadian company jointly owned by Telesystem Ltd and an affiliate of Rogers Telecommunications Limited (RTL), created to help define and support the launch of the NorthStar global environment information platform. RTL is a private holding company of the Rogers family and together with affiliated companies controls Rogers Communications Inc, one of the largest telecommunications and media companies in Canada.