Ocean of Data Challenge

What is the Ocean of Data Challenge?

Next Ocean of Data Challenge Coming Soon!

Past Ocean of Data Challenges

The Bedford Ferry

November 2 – 9, 2021 

Post-secondary students from institutions across Atlantic Canada are invited to use ocean data to explore the opportunities with the proposed Bedford Ferry and help transform the daily commute of thousands living in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Challenge Data Sources

  • 79 students registered 
  • 23 teams registered 
  • 10 teams participated in the final presentations, check out their ideas here 
  • Students participated from the following universities: Dalhousie University, University of New Brunswick, Saint Mary’s University, Mount Saint Vincent University, Acadia University, Nova Scotia Community College 
  • Students were in the following programs: Computer Science, Masters of Digital Information, Bachelor of Commerce Co-op, Master of Planning, PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering, BSc Biology, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering Technology     
  • First Place: Sea-nic route (Shannon, Matt and Liam from Dalhousie University) 
  • Second Place: The Efficient Charger (Kumar from Dalhousie University) 
  • Best Design: ODS (Yuqing, Arjun, Chu, and Fan from Dalhousie University) 
  • Best Technical: Ocean Mapping Group (Vishwa, Madumitha, and Madeline from University of New Brunswick) 

Coastal Communities and Climate Change

February 8 – 15, 2022

The Ocean Frontier Institute joins COVE and DeepSense to help host the second Ocean of Data Challenge. Teams explored interdisciplinary ideas and concepts that would help coastal communities adapt to impacts cause by climate change.

 Challenge Data Sources

  • 21 students registered 
  • 13 teams registered 
  • 5 teams participated in the final presentations
  • Students participated from the following universities: Dalhousie University, University of New Brunswick, Saint Mary’s University, University of Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton University, and Memorial University
  • Students were in the following programs: Computer Science, Masters of Digital Information, Geomatics Engineering, Master of Applied Ocean Technology, BSc Biology, Corporate Residency MBA    
  • First Place: Crowdsourced BioPulse (Shannon and Matt from Dalhousie University) 
  • Second Place: ATLANTIC FORCE (Vishwa and Madumitha from University of New Brunswick and Fadal from Dalhousie University) 
  • Third Place: Virtual Whale (Hardik, Huryash, Arjun and Mihir from Dalhousie University)
  • Judges Choice: No Noise (Artash, a highschool student from Ontario)

One Port City

May 2 – 20, 2022

Join the Halifax Port Authority, PSA Halifax, COVE and DeepSense for the next Ocean of Data Challenge! 

PSA Halifax now owns the Fairview  and the Atlantic Hub container terminals in Halifax, making our port unified like few others. The Port of Halifax now has one terminal operator, one railroad operator, and one port authority. This change helps Halifax become a One Port City and will create new opportunities for our community.

  • Sheila Patterson, COO of COVE
  • Rahul Mehra, Director of Sr. Practice Lead at Intelligent SystemsIBI
  • Patrick Bohan, Director, Government Relations & Stakeholder Engagement at the Port of Halifax
  • 70 students registered
  • 7 teams competed
  • 19 academic programs represented
  • 7 Atlantic Canada institutions participated 
  • First Place: 
    • Pradeep Raj and Kirk from the Marine Terminal Truck Logistics (MTTL) Team 
  • Second Place:
    • Tanmoy from the Truck Delay Visualizer Team
  • Third Place:
    • Theresa from Team McPhee
  • Best Creative Design:
    • Vanessa, Cary, Jin, and Van Cuong from H2O (Halifax to Ocean)

Creating a Digital Harbour from Sea to Space

November 7 – 21, 2022 

Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE), DeepSense, and ShiftKey Labs hosted the fourth Ocean Data Challenge supporting creative collaboration and idea generation. Students were invited to use ocean data to examine what should our future digital harbour look like. 

Challenge Data Sources

  • Kennedy Sittler, Marine Technical Specialist of COVE
  • Mae Seto, Associate Professor, Irving Chair in Marine Engineering and Autonomous Systems at Dalhousie University
  • Anthony Isenor, Acting Section Head for our Maritime Systems Experimentation and Analytics (M-SEA) section, DRDC
  • Jane Matthews, Senior Project and Program Manager at CarteNav
  • Daniel Arantes, Senior Software Engineer at GSTS
  • Bruce MacDougall, Senior Project Manager at COVE
  • First Place: 
    • Emeka and Chukwuka from the Team Oceanya 
  • Best Creative:
    • Marike and Kayla from the The Techie Turtles
  • Best Presentation:
    • Carson from Station Environment Alerting System (SEAS)

Exploring Ocean and Climate Text Data

February 13 – 27, 2023

Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE), DeepSense, and ShiftKey Labs hosted the fifth Ocean Data Challenge supporting creative collaboration and idea generation. We are surrounded by text data. From social media, books, magazines, journal publications, and handwritten documents, there is no shortage of text about the ocean or climate change. Participants used this challenge to explore text data and share something insightful, shocking or simply informative.

  • Michael Goudreault, Instructor – Communications and Project Management at Dalhousie University
  • Emma Ross, Communications Coordinator at The PIER
  • Keshava Pallavi Gone, Interdisciplinary PhD candidate & part-time faculty in computer science and Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University
  • First Place: 
    • Eruige (Brigitta) Zhao from the Team BZ 
  • Best Creative:
    • Emeka and Chukwuka from Team CC 
  • Best Presentation:
    • Stephan, Jenna, Mitchell, Patrick, and Matthew from Team Bay of Data Fundy-mentals
  • Best Creative Solution
    • Tan Ha, Cary, So Man, Mary and Jin from Dynamic Team

Future Green Ports

May 24 – June 5, 2023 

The sixth OOD Challenge was hosted by DeepSense, The PIER, COVE, and ShiftKey Labs.

Participants were asked to imagine new ways to bring together the City of Halifax and the Port of Halifax in a greener, more efficient and sustainable way, to answer the ultimate question: How can we create a greener port?  

With 100 students registered, 5 different Atlantic Canada universities represented, and a total of 12 different academic programs, we would all this a huge success!

  • Derrick Whalen,Port of Halifax Director, Information & Technology Services
  • Scott Whitehurst,Virginia Port Authority Director, Environmental Policy & Compliance
  • Dawne Skinner, Acuicy CIO & Co-Founder
  • Cameron Duval, Datifex Business Development Analysy
  • First Place: 
    • Tolga Gokturk Cohce (Mount Allison University) from the Team Lone Turk 
  • Second Place:
    • Joseph Barss (Mount Saint Vincent University) from Team Joseph Barss
  • Best Practical Application
    • Jack Ryan (Saint Mary’s University) from Team Jack Attack
  • Best Data Driven Innovation
    • Mootez Saad, Saurabhsingh Rajput, and Indranil Palit (Dalhousie University) from Team MISix

Coast to Coast to Coast

November 1 – 20, 2023 

The seventh OOD Challenge was hosted by DeepSense, COVEShiftKey Labs, Ocean Startup Project, CIOOS, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Participants were asked to imagine how can ocean data help us understand Canada’s ocean health, ocean economy, and ocean people?    

With 240 students registered, 10 different post-secondary schools across Canada represented, and a total of 14 different academic programs, we would call this a huge success!

  • Michael Gair, Senior Director at Grantek
  • Flora Salvo, Industrial Researcher and Project Manager at Merinov 
  • Derek Puzzuoli, CEO/Co-founder of Seahawk Robotics
  • First Place:
  • Nicholas Cheng, William Cheng, Manuel Ron Lleras, Gabriel Ron Lleras, and Ridhee Gupta (University of Waterloo and University of Guelph) from Team Freshwater Gate 
  • Second Place:
    • Xiaoning Zheng and Alistair Wright (Nova Scotia Community College) from Team Ocean Guardians Legacy
  • Third Place
    • Abdul Baseer Mohammed Khan (Dalhousie University) from Team India
  • Best Innovative Design
    • Yong Wook Lee, Alexander Bradley (University of Alberta) from Team Spatio-Temporal Forecaster

D'un océan à l'autre

1 – 20 novembre 2023 

Le septième défi Océan de données a été organisé par DeepSense, COVE, ShiftKey Labs, le Projet Startup Océan, le SIOOC et Pêches et Océans Canada.

Les participant(e)s ont été invité(e)s à imaginer comment les données océaniques peuvent nous aider à comprendre la santé des océans, l’économie des océans et les populations océaniques du Canada.    

Avec 240 étudiants inscrits, 10 écoles postsecondaires différentes à travers le Canada représentées, et un total de 14 programmes académiques différents, nous pourrions qualifier cet événement d’énorme succès !

  • Michael GairDirecteur principal à Grantek
  • Flora Salvo, Chercheuse industrielle et chef de projet à Merinov 
  • Derek Puzzuoli, PDG et cofondateur de Seahawk Robotics
  • Première place:
  • Nicholas Cheng, William Cheng, Manuel Ron Lleras, Gabriel Ron Lleras, and Ridhee Gupta (Université de Waterloo et Université de Guelph) de l’équipe Freshwater Gate 
  • Deuxième place:
    • Xiaoning Zheng et Alistair Wright (Collège communautaire de Nouvelle-Écosse) de l’équipe Ocean Guardians Legacy
  • Troisièmement Place
    • Abdul Baseer Mohammed Khan (Université Dalhousie) de l’équipe India
  • Meilleure conception innovante
    • Yong Wook Lee et Alexander Bradley (Université d’Alberta) de l’équipe Spatio-Temporal Forecaster

Seafood and You

5 – 20 February 2024 

Postsecondary students were invited to consider the role of the seafood industry in Canada. Answer the ultimate question: How does the seafood industry impact Canadians? Participants used fisheries, aquaculture, and trade data to examine how we can illuminate the significant role of the seafood industry in our day to day lives. 


  • First Place:
    • Joy Liu, Ethan O’Connell, Joseph Barss, Marin Marsala, and Claire Haar  (Dalhousie University) from Team Crabby Statties 
  • Second Place:
    • Neeyati Mehta, Sameer Patel, Princeton Dcunha, and Zaid Shaikh (Saint Mary’s University) from Team AquaTech 
  • Most Unique Solution: 
    • Shihui Gao, and Noof Al Shehhi (Dalhousie University) from Team Future Wave
  • Top Technical Solution: 
    • Vrushank Changawala (Dalhousie University) from Team Crab Cake 

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