Traditionally, Inuit in Nunatsiavut, and across the North, have relied on sea ice travel to access food and other resources. With climate change, sea ice is becoming less reliable for transportation ̶ the season is shorter, and the ice is thinner putting sea ice travel at risk. SmartICE (Sea-ice Monitoring And Real-Time Information for Coastal Environments), a Northern social enterprise, was awarded $400,000 to develop innovative technology for a near real-time monitoring and reporting system. SmartICE’s multi-disciplinary partnership of community, academic, government and industry will work to integrating Inuit traditional knowledge to inform decisions about coastal sea-ice travel and shipping. SmartICE is committed to training and employing Inuit staff to build and operate the devices and has a long-term plan to expand service across the Arctic.
(Note that this project was a Finalist prior to 2017, when the current 3-tiered prize model was put in place. Their nomination therefore does not correspond to a particular category.)