The Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics (WISA) proudly announced the recipients of its prestigious Sustainable Future Competition funding during its Annual General Meeting. The competition, which attracted project proposals from small- to medium-sized enterprises in southern Ontario, aims to drive social, environmental and economic sustainability in the aviation or aerospace sectors.

Made possible with funding from the Government of Canada’s Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI), through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the competition sparked several innovative proposals. A panel of judges, comprising experts from the investment, startup, aviation and academic fields evaluated proposals based on innovation, market potential and sustainability impacts.

"WISA’s work will help Canada’s aerospace sector soar,” says the Honorable Filomena Tassi, the minister responsible for FedDev Ontario. “The Government of Canada congratulates the winning companies. With the support of WISA, these innovative technologies and approaches will make a significant impact on the aerospace industry. Our government is behind you as you find the next generation of solutions to everyday problems and reach your full potential.”

“Cross-sector collaboration is key to achieving aviation sustainability. The Sustainable Future Competition, supported by government, industry and academia, showcases the power of working together to advance innovation and sustainable practices,” states Dr. Suzanne Kearns, founding director of WISA.

Of the strong proposals received, two companies emerged as the recipients of $50,000 each in funding.

Palitronica, an emerging company in the cybersecurity and quality assurance domain, impressed the judges with its solution to combat cyber threats within the aerospace and defense supply chain. By detecting counterfeit techniques and addressing risks associated with recycled, counterfeit, tampered or backdoored parts prevalent in the global advanced electronics market, Palitronica is revolutionizing asset protection in the industry.

Palitronica with Dr. Kearns and Elizabeth Witmer

L to R: Karen Redman, Regional Chair, Waterloo Region, Sebastian Fischmeister, Co-Founder & CEO, Palitronica Inc., Carlos Moreno, Co-Founder & CTO, Palitronica Inc. and Suzanne Kearns, Founding Director, WISA

Another deserving recipient, Sky Sight, was founded in 2021 by a group of University of Waterloo graduates. Sky Sight’s project impressed the judges with its innovative processes utilizing remotely piloted aircraft systems and 3D technologies, specifically tailored for small and medium-scale architectural, engineering and construction projects.

Sky Sight with Dr. Kearns and Elizabeth Witmer

L to R: Karen Redman, Regional Chair, Waterloo Region, Nat DeLorenzis, Partner, Sky Sight Inc., Dan Chaudhry, Partner, Sky Sight Inc. and Suzanne Kearns, Founding Director, WISA

EXO Insights, a company specializing in leveraging advanced technologies to enhance learning and performance in high-risk environments, was granted $30,000 in funding. Its proposal uses a machine learning algorithm to measure and analyze biometric data collection streams in the context of aviation pilot training. Using live biosensors and augmented and virtual reality, the company’s innovative solution will create an early warning assistant for instructors to identify patterns and relevant events, facilitating faster, more precise and unbiased evaluations, leading to more effective training and reducing the carbon footprint in aviation training.

EXO with Dr. Kearns and Elizabeth Witmer

L to R: Karen Redman, Regional Chair, Waterloo Region, Fernando Muniz Simas, CEO, EXO Insights Corp., Jesse Tebbs, Research & Development Director, EXO Insights Corp. and Suzanne Kearns, Founding Director, WISA

The Sustainable Future Competition advances WISA’s mission to foster an ecosystem in southern Ontario that supports innovative and sustainable practices within the aviation and aerospace industries. By recognizing and funding these game-changing projects, WISA is propelling air transportation towards a more sustainable future.

Read more about WISA and the Sustainable Future Competition.