Virtual Marine Announces Development of Digital Twin Technologies at New Facility in Newfoundland & Labrador

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Virtual Marine is excited to announce the development of Digital Twin technologies focusing on applications for the marine and arctic work sectors at the Digital Twin Development Centre (DTDC), a new research facility in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. This facility, built in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada’s (NRC) Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering Research Centre (OCRE), will develop technology to help boat operators do their jobs faster, more safely, and in an environmentally-friendly way, as well as bring these Canadian-built technologies to the rest of the world.

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Virtual Marine has expertise in ice management, lifeboat and fast response boat
simulation-based training programs, complimenting OCRE’s expertise in numerical models, ice mechanics, machine learning, decision support systems, and testing in harsh maritime environments. Virtual Marine’s high-fidelity digital technologies and training expertise and OCRE’s deep expertise, when combined, strengthen the research capabilities of both teams for innovation.

Virtual Marine’s role is to provide access to a simulation environment for the development and testing of digital twin models, artificial intelligence algorithms, and numerical models of vessels operating in harsh environments. The NRC’s expertise will improve the fidelity of marine and machine learning models, with specialized knowledge in ice, vessel modeling, and decision support systems. Through the integration of a simulation environment as a tool, research capabilities will be extended for the development of digital twins, prototyping of sensing and control technologies, and testing of marine vessels and environmental models, including ice.

Virtual Marine’s CEO, Dr. Randy Billard said, “We are pleased to come full circle from our deep roots in research with the NRC to this new opportunity working together to support new researchers and businesses. We look forward to working with the NRC as a collaborative partner to further research and development in digital twin technologies for the marine and arctic sectors. This collaboration will demonstrate the capabilities of the strong research and industrial partners in Canada to a worldwide audience.”

“This new research installation is a great example of what can happen when the NRC collaborates with innovative Canadian companies,” said Dr. David Murrin, Director General of the NRC’s Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering Research Centre. “The research that will be done at the DTDC with partners like Virtual Marine and Memorial University will not only help develop technologies that will increase the efficiency and safety of marine operations, it will also contribute to the growth of Canadian industry here at home and increase the visibility of Canadian innovation abroad.”

This work on Digital Twin technologies will also support research objectives of the Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, including graduate student research. The DTDC will house simulation hardware and software, including an ice management simulator, that will be used for human factors research and testing, AI model testing, as well as internal NRC research and technology validation.

The beneficial knowledge transfer, commercialization, and increasing access to market opportunities that will be created from this endeavor support the missions of the NRC, Memorial University, and Virtual Marine. The resulting made-in-Canada solution will be a strong support for national and international markets that include Defence, Coast Guard, Energy, and Shipping.


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