Halifax Port Authority – The PIER living lab

The PIER (Port Innovation, Engagement, & Research) is Canada’s first living lab for the transportation sector. Led by Halifax Port Authority (HPA), the PIER includes tech companies, local and global supply chain partners, researchers, SMEs, and startups, problem-solving and exploring new technologies in a live environment.

It focuses on three key areas: supply chain and logistics; supporting an interconnected Port City; and maritime policy development with sustainability as a core function and outcome in each. We can envision how future port operations will have lower emissions. Through workforce development initiatives, we are establishing career pathways and building a capable, diverse, engaged workforce including racialized groups. The PIER is a tool for HPA to advance UN SDGs 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 16.

A selection of current PIER projects/achievements include:

  1. MoU with homePORT creates a tangible path between HPA and Hamburg Port Authority as we work to decarbonize the shipping corridor between Halifax and Hamburg.
  2. Data Enhancement Framework 2 project members include Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, Bluenode Inc, Sentient Hubs, Port Saint John, HPA, and PSA Halifax. The project will focus on implementing an artificial intelligence platform for near real-time monitoring of emissions for effective CO2e mitigation strategies.
  3. RanMarine WasteShark: Partnership with RanMarine to demonstrate this technology with HPA. WasteShark is an autonomous surface vessel designed to remove floating pollution from waterways and harbours.
  4. Bell Wireless Private Network (HPA, Bell): Modernizing cruise operations with Bell 5G Private Wireless access; improved network efficiency will enable improved security surveillance, safety monitoring, passenger checkpoint automation, and mobile workplace digital collaboration.
  5. Joint Operations Centre: Digitizing information and enabling real-time collaboration on port operations between HPA, PSA Halifax and CN leading to new efficiencies for cargo operations and improved operational planning results.