November 25, 2021, Halifax Nova Scotia – Canada’s first living lab for transportation, supply chain and logistics is now open for business. “The PIER” at the Seaport officially opened its doors today, welcoming Founding Partners, Resident and Ecosystem Members, dignitaries, and other stakeholders. The PIER, short for Port Innovation, Engagement, and Research, is located at 1209 Marginal Road in the historic Halifax Seaport District. This is a monumental event for Halifax and for Canada’s transportation sector as The PIER brings together different stakeholders to develop innovative solutions for supply chain and logistics challenges that no one company can tackle on its own.

The list of Founding Partners and members for this living lab continues to grow with the recent addition of Bell Canada as its newest Founding Partner and Accenture as an Innovation Partner. Bell will deploy its 5G-ready managed wireless private network (WPN) throughout The PIER so that companies working in the collaborative workspace can benefit from robust connectivity and coverage in a secure environment. Through Accenture, The PIER can tap into a global network of thought leaders in freight, transportation, ports, and sustainability.

Other Founding Partners include CN, OMC International, PSA Halifax (a member of PSA International), and Saab Technologies Ltd. Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) will be joining The PIER as an Industry Partner.

Resident Members that have been welcomed to The PIER include SEASI, a data and analytics company, Datifex, an Ontario-based company providing real-time interactive 3D web applications, and B-Line, a contact tracing and facilities management start-up based in Halifax.

Additional Ecosystem Members include Halifax Regional Municipality, Ignite Labs, AKUA, Ashurst LLP, Canscan, DLT Labs, eeSea, Enginuity, Glas Ocean, IBI Group, MacKillop Pictou Law Group, Nicom IT, Nuvoola AI, and ROCarbon. These members will benefit from working alongside global partners and other resident members of The PIER to help build a community of innovators within the logistics, transportation, and supply chain industry.

Dalhousie University recently joined The PIER as a Research Partner, bringing in its leading global research in big data, maritime policy, sustainability, and ocean science. Dalhousie’s DeepSense will reside in The PIER. Earlier in 2021, BlueNode announced a partnership with Saab to enhance shipping data for the Port of Halifax. BlueNode is now a Resident Member of The PIER.

The PIER currently has six (6) Founding Partners, one (1) Industry Partner, five (5) Resident Members and 16 Ecosystem Members, with additional partners and members expected to join as this innovative workspace develops.

About The PIER:

 The PIER is global showcase for sector innovation in transportation, supply chain and logistics. Through bringing together a complementary mix of operating partners, innovators, tech companies and researchers, The PIER creates a context where partners collaborate and innovate tackle persistent industry problems that no one party can solve.

“A key strength of The PIER is the diversity of its membership. Having different transportation and supply chain partners all working under the same roof will create the conditions for the free flow of ideas. From that will come innovative solutions with benefits that reach far beyond those traditional sectors,” said Captain Allan Gray, President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority.

 About Bell:

 Bell is Canada’s largest communications company, providing advanced broadband wireless, TV, Internet media and business communication services throughout the country. Founded in Montréal in 1880, Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca or BCE.ca.

 “Bell is proud to be a Founding Partner of The PIER and to collaborate with industry leaders to help shape the future of the transportation, supply chain and logistics industries, putting Canada at the forefront of innovation,” said Glen LeBlanc, Bell’s Chief Financial Officer and Vice Chair Atlantic.

About CN:

CN is a world-class transportation leader and trade-enabler. Essential to the economy, to the customers, and to the communities it serves, CN safely transports more than 300 million tons of natural resources, manufactured products, and finished goods throughout North America every year. As the only railroad connecting Canada’s Eastern and Western coasts with the U.S. South through a 19,500-mile rail network, CN and its affiliates have been contributing to community prosperity and sustainable trade since 1919. CN is committed to programs supporting social responsibility and environmental stewardship. https://www.cn.ca

“The PIER will continue the growth, expansion, and innovation that is the product of the long-standing relationship between the Port of Halifax and CN,” said JJ Ruest, President and CEO, CN.

  About Accenture:

 Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, Accenture offers Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services — all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

 Saab Technologies:

 Saab is an international software and services company specializing in enterprise software solutions for maritime ports, terminals, and pilotages. This company has been developing and installing comprehensive maritime software systems since 1985.

 “The contract for the Port of Halifax further strengthens our position in the port management market, not only in North America, but worldwide,” said Pavel Skournik, Managing Director at Saab. “The Port has a grand technology innovation plan, and we are proud to have been chosen as their visionary partner. Our cooperation with the Port will significantly boost our product innovation. We are supplying a Port Management Information System (PMIS) to streamline port operations, allowing all members of the port community to further improve collaboration and port call optimization.”

 About PSA:

 PSA Halifax is a container terminal in Halifax, Nova Scotia and is owned and operated by PSA International, a leading port group and trusted partner to cargo stakeholders. With natural deepwater, year-round ice-free access and the capability to handle the largest vessels visiting North America’s east coast, PSA Halifax’s commitment to service reflects a management team with diverse international experience. Building networked coastal and inland rail solutions, PSA Halifax offers global Carriers and Logistics providers a reliable route to market and capability as the Atlantic hub. Visit us at www.psahalifax.com, or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram (@psahalifax).

“The PIER is an excellent fit for our organization and our vision for the future,” said Jan Van Mossevelde, Chief Executive Officer, PSA Halifax. “We are committed to continuously upgrading our services and innovating every aspect of our business. The PIER creates a collaborative space that will allow us to work with like-minded companies.”

About OMC International:

OMC International is an Australian maritime engineering company delivering multi award-winning digital port solutions and e-Navigation technologies. With a track record exceeding 170,000 transits globally and 28 years of experience, OMC International is the industry-leaders in providing under keel clearance solutions.

OMC also specialises in ship motion analysis, optimised dredging for cost effective channel design, and mooring system analysis and design, including real-time moored vessel warning systems. https://omcinternational.com

“OMC and DUKC® were born out of the complex challenges being faced by ports three decades ago. The innovations that have followed since have been undertaken alongside our clients, those forward-thinking ports that are searching for opportunities to do things better,” said Peter O’Brien, CEO, OMC International. “At OMC, we’re excited to be partnering with the Port of Halifax and members of The PIER to deliver solutions to meet both existing and emerging challenges being faced by the port and maritime industry.”

About BlueNode:

BlueNode is a data and technology company located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. BlueNode provides shipping and logistics companies with data integration, sanitation, analytics, and reporting services to reduce operational costs and increase business development opportunities.

BlueNode’s BNSuite automates the most important aspects of the maritime shipping data cleansing process.

“Our AI technology will lead to increased efficiency in the management of cargo. Residing in The PIER will help foster collaboration with all of the different partners and stakeholders locally and internationally,” said Louis Beaubien, Co-Founder and CEO, BlueNode.

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Lane Farguson
Manager, Media Relations and Communications
Halifax Port Authority
Ph. (902) 209-4504
lfarguson@portofhalifax.ca