VANCOUVER, March 14, 2017 /CNW/ - UrtheCast Corp. (TSX:UR) ("UrtheCast" or the "Company") today announces that it will receive approximately $17.6 million in funding from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's Industrial Technologies Office as part of its Strategic Aerospace & Defense Initiative (SADI) program. This funding will provide significant financial support for the ongoing development of UrtheCast's planned constellation of Earth Observation satellites, known as the OptiSARTM Constellation.
UrtheCast believes its OptiSARTM Constellation program is leading a wave of disruptive geospatial and geoanalytics products and services that will ensure Canada remains a world leader in radar technologies, supported by thriving aerospace, space, defense and security (A&D) industries. The planned 16-satellite OptiSAR™ Constellation is expected to consist of eight X- and L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites and eight high-resolution optical satellites. The SADI funding will support the OptiSARTM program during critical pre-commercial design and development work over the next four years.
"We are deeply honored to have been selected as a SADI funding recipient and that the potential of the OptiSARTM Constellation has been recognized by the Government of Canada," stated Wade Larson, UrtheCast's President and CEO. "This is a clear vote of confidence in UrtheCast and we believe it further validates the strategic and commercial opportunities of our SAR and optical satellite technologies. Today marks an important step forward for the OptiSAR Constellation, and we believe the technologies we are developing through this program will be beneficial, not only for UrtheCast, but for the rest of the A&D sector and high-tech ecosystem in Canada in general."
UrtheCast's participation in SADI also aims to foster collaboration between research institutes, universities, colleges and the private sector. UrtheCast will be working with several academic institutions, such as the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria, as well as several private sector partners, in the OptiSARTM development program.
The SADI funding is structured as a repayable contribution that will be disbursed in quarterly installments through March 31, 2021 or when the funding limit is reached, whenever is sooner, on a cost-reimbursement basis, and must be repaid by UrtheCast in annual installments over 15 years, beginning in 2023. UrtheCast expects to claim a reimbursement of approximately C$3.2 million for costs incurred between April 2016 and February 2017, as permitted by the funding agreement. Disbursement of funds is subject to customary conditions in agreements of this nature, including covenants to perform certain work and maintain ownership of intellectual property in Canada during the term of the agreement, which expires in 2037. The total amount to be repaid, including interest, is approximately C$29 million.
About UrtheCast Corp.
UrtheCast Corp. is a Vancouver-based technology company that serves the rapidly evolving geospatial and geoanalytics markets with a wide range of information-rich products and services. The Company operates Earth Observation (EO) sensors in space, including two satellites, Deimos-1 and Deimos-2, to produce imagery data that is displayed on UrtheCast's cloud-based web platform and sold to partners and customers. Through its subsidiary Deimos Imaging, UrtheCast processes and distributes imagery data and value-added products on behalf of the PanGeo Alliance, a network of eight satellite operators with a combined 15 medium- and high-resolution EO sensors. UrtheCast is also developing and expects to launch two EO satellite constellations: the world's first fully-integrated constellation of sixteen multispectral optical and SAR satellites, called OptiSAR™, and an eight-satellite constellation designed to capture high-quality, medium-resolution optical imagery of the Earth's entire landmass (excluding Antarctica) every day, called UrtheDaily™. Together, the Company believes these constellations will revolutionize monitoring of our planet with medium- and high-resolution, high-coverage and high-revisit imagery in all weather conditions. Common shares of UrtheCast trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange as ticker 'UR'.
For more information, visit UrtheCast's website at www.urthecast.com.
About the Government of Canada's Industrial Technologies Office (ITO)
The Industrial Technologies Office (ITO), a Special Operating Agency of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, advances leading edge research and development (R&D) by Canadian industries. The agency manages two programs: the Technology Demonstration Program (TDP) and the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI). SADI, launched in 2007, provides repayable contributions to successful applicants in order to support R&D projects in the aerospace, space, defense and security (A&D) sectors resulting in new or improved products, services or processes and to foster collaboration between universities, colleges, research institutes, and the private sector.
Forward Looking Information
This release contains certain information which, as presented, constitutes "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking information involves statements that relate to future events and often addresses expected future business and financial performance, containing words such as "anticipate", "believe", "plan", and "expect", statements that an action or event "may", "might", "could" or "will" be taken or occur, or other similar expressions and includes, but is not limited to; its receipt of the funding contribution from SADI; its ability to comply with the covenants and other obligations under the funding contribution agreement with SADI (the "SADI Agreement"); its future growth and operations plans, and . Such statements reflect UrtheCast's current views with respect to future events and are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by UrtheCast, are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies. Many factors could cause UrtheCast's actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, among others: failing to comply with any obligation of UrtheCast pursuant to the SADI Agreement; failing to maintain certain financial solvency and similar requirements and access to revolving credit facilities required pursuant to the SADI Agreement; any changes in the funding of the SADI program by the Government of Canada or a change in applicable laws that affects UrtheCast's ability to obtain its funding under the SADI Agreement; any delays or failures in the design, development, construction, launch and operational commissioning of the proposed OptiSAR™ or UrtheDaily constellations; the Company being unable to convert the Memoranda of Understanding in respect of funding of the OptiSAR™ constellation into binding, definitive agreements; interruptions to or failures of UrtheCast's infrastructure; legal and regulatory changes, as well as those factors and assumptions discussed in UrtheCast's annual information form dated March 29, 2016, (the "AIF"), which is available under UrtheCast's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking information is developed based on assumptions about such risks, uncertainties and other factors set out herein, in the AIF, and as disclosed from time to time on UrtheCast's SEDAR profile. UrtheCast undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements except as required by Canadian securities laws. Readers are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements.
SOURCE UrtheCast Corp.
For further information: Jeff Rath, EVP, Corporate Finance and Strategy, +1 (604) 669-1788