Defence awards Patriot One Technologies $780,000 contract to secure its naval bases

Mark Mann
February 5, 2020

Patriot One Technologies in British Columbia has been awarded a $780,000 contract by Innovation Solutions Canada (ISC) to deploy its PATSCAN Multi-Sensor Covert Threat Detection Platform at Canadian naval bases around the world. The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is testing the technology at one of its major naval bases in Canada before rolling it out at other sites.

Launched in 2016 with McMaster University as its research partner, Patriot One Technologies Inc initially focused on radar technology research led by Dr. Natalia Nikolova, Canada Research Chair in High-Frequency Electromagnetics, which they hoped to commercialize into a specialized threat-detection sensor. Once they'd developed a proof-of-concept for real-world testing and refinement, however, the company discovered there was an opportunity to fill a larger gap for a comprehensive threat-detection solution. Having raised money in capital markets, the company pursued a strategy of mergers and acquisitions in order to acquire the other elements they needed to create what ultimately became the PATSCAN platform.

Although Patriot One does continue to design and build hardware solutions, its main IP is in AI algorithms that enable it to detect threats without relying on image data. Instead, the company uses other types of data, such as radar, to identify disturbances or "perturbations" in the field: an anomalous object like a gun or a knife, or anomalous movements signifying physical violence. In this way, Patriot One circumvents some of the concerns about AI and facial recognition, according to CEO and president Martin Cronin: "We don't generate images or capture personal information. We simply look for inanimate objects that are threats. From that perspective, we're a benign technology when it comes to the debate about the role of surveillance in society." To date, Patriot One's technologies are primarily used by public institutions like schools, hospitals, hotels, public transit and sports venues.

"Our technology could apply anywhere the public gather... because unlike conventional means of detection, like fixed, visible security screening checkpoints, our distributed, networked low-cost smart sensors open up many parts of the economy to having threat detection," Cronin said in an interview with RE$EARCH MONEY. "You can be much more efficient with your human resources. We don't replace people but instead augment human decision-making and make it more effective."

Patriot One has been supported by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the National Research Council (NRC), the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) and provincial funding programs in Ontario. They also secured $3.2 million in non-dilutive funding from the defence contractor Raytheon Systems through the Canadian Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB), for which Raytheon received an offset credit from the Government of Canada.


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