Halifax Port Pursuing Industry Collaboration
The advancement of PIER, a recently established sector-focused living lab for maritime transportation and logistics, at the Port of Halifax, NS, is gaining momentum, says Andrew Black, the Halifax Port Authority’s (HPA) Director, Strategic Technology and Executive Director of PIER (Port Innovation, Engagement, and Research).
PIER will provide opportunities to interact directly with end-users, receive actionable insights, and for solutions to be visible to industry-specific investors plus provide a working area for companies with expertise in maritime transportation and logistics who see opportunity to develop solutions alongside global industry leaders.
Black said PIER announced its founding partners in March and along with the Port of Halifax includes CN, PSA Halifax (south-end container terminal operator) and OMC International, an Australian maritime engineering company that has developed award-winning e-Navigation technology. Since that announcement, Saab Technologies has also joined the partners.
“We are very excited that we are going to have these global entities investing in our ecosystem and helping to advance major projects through our port,” Black said.
PIER has also garnered interest from various corporations and entities from places such as Marseille, Rotterdam, Perth, Victoria, and Montreal plus there has been dialogue with global ports including Rotterdam, Singapore, and others. “They are all showing a high degree of innovation activity that we are advancing through the PIER,” he said.
Black said initial discussions with the founding partners “have focused on things like working together to define metrics for success,” which will provide a vision to better deal with issues and challenges.
In addition to a virtual aspect of PIER, there will also be a physical aspect at the port. Renovations began in March with plans to have the area complete in September.
PIER was recently included in new projects announced by Canada’s Ocean Supercluster.
A PIER Data Project will support economic growth both as an ocean transport hub and as a software hub. Through more effective and efficient ocean operations, the project will also create more resilience to the Canadian supply chain. The project is expected to create 10 jobs through the course of the project and 50 indirect jobs in total. For additional information PIER visit: www.thepierhfx.com.