Vancouver (pcJ News Briefs) – UrtheCast Corp. (TSX: UR) will receive approximately $17.6 million in funding from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)’s Industrial Technologies Office as part of its Strategic Aerospace & Defense Initiative (SADI) program.
The SADI funding is structured as a repayable contribution that will be disbursed in quarterly installments through March 31, 2021 or when the funding limit is reached, whenever is sooner, on a cost-reimbursement basis, and must be repaid by UrtheCast in annual installments over 15 years, beginning in 2023. UrtheCast expects to claim a reimbursement of approximately C$3.2 million for costs incurred between April 2016 and February 2017, as permitted by the funding agreement. Disbursement of funds is subject to customary conditions in agreements of this nature, including covenants to perform certain work and maintain ownership of intellectual property in Canada during the term of the agreement, which expires in 2037. The total amount to be repaid, including interest, is approximately C$29 million.
This funding will provide significant financial support for the ongoing development of UrtheCast’s planned constellation of Earth Observation satellites, known as the OptiSAR Constellation.
UrtheCast believes its OptiSAR Constellation program is leading a wave of disruptive geospatial and geoanalytics products and services that will ensure Canada remains a world leader in radar technologies, supported by thriving aerospace, space, defense and security (A&D) industries. The planned 16-satellite OptiSAR Constellation is expected to consist of eight X- and L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites and eight high-resolution optical satellites. The SADI funding will support the OptiSAR program during critical pre-commercial design and development work over the next four years.
“We are deeply honored to have been selected as a SADI funding recipient and that the potential of the OptiSARTM Constellation has been recognized by the Government of Canada,” stated Wade Larson, UrtheCast’s President and CEO. “This is a clear vote of confidence in UrtheCast and we believe it further validates the strategic and commercial opportunities of our SAR and optical satellite technologies. Today marks an important step forward for the OptiSAR Constellation, and we believe the technologies we are developing through this program will be beneficial, not only for UrtheCast, but for the rest of the A&D sector and high-tech ecosystem in Canada in general.”
UrtheCast’s participation in SADI also aims to foster collaboration between research institutes, universities, colleges and the private sector. UrtheCast will be working with several academic institutions, such as the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria, as well as several private sector partners, in the OptiSAR development program.
photo credit: UrtheCast