Serco Inc., a provider of professional, technology, and management services, announced today that the Company is investing $850,000 in Ottawa-based artificial intelligence (AI) software firm contextere.
Specifically, contextere’s AI technology, which will extract previously inaccessible data, curate the information, and deliver knowledge that improves performance, increases skills, and eliminates the need for rework. Contextere will develop this “small data” capability to support prediction, prevention and prioritization of in-service support (ISS) activities in four phases over a 13-month period.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with contextere to develop the capabilities required to execute on the opportunity presented by the fourth industrial revolution,” said Bruce Samuelsen, Senior Vice-President of International Maritime Programs at Serco Inc. “This investment will enable Serco to provide even more value to the Government of Canada and navies around the world on naval in-service support activities and future projects.”
Serco’s Canada Marine business is making this investment as part of its Industrial Technological Benefits (ITB) obligations to Seaspan related to the design and engineering of the Joint Support Ships (JSS), which the company is actively engaged on with the Royal Canadian Navy.
Contextere, an emerging Artificial Intelligence software company, will develop a machine learning-based data extraction engine that creates accurate, semantically associated data sets from PDF documents, hand-written notes, and other non-standard data sources. By unlocking the massive amounts of small data currently excluded from predictive analytics and other enterprise software tools, contextere will provide Serco Canada Marine with data mining capabilities, which will reduce fleet maintenance costs and maximize shore time for the Joint Support Ships and their naval and marine customers around the world.
“If you want to provide technology that supports workers on the last tactical mile you need to include the critical sources of data found on the last tactical mile.” said Gabe Batstone, Chief Executive Officer of contextere. “The best data analytics in the world can’t impact the bottom line if the recommendations generated are not based on all the relevant data and the people doing the work are not empowered to execute with those insights.”
This strategic investment exemplifies how a multinational defence company can collaborate with an innovative Canadian technology firm to solve complex challenges, while delivering industrial benefits to the economy.
“This investment is an excellent example of how our government is using defence procurement to support innovative small businesses,” said The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “The Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy fosters investments in small Canadian firms, creating good jobs and new technologies to help grow the Canadian economy.”