AI/Machine Learning

Brisbane’s Canaria Technologies shoots for the moon with NASA-approved AI for astronauts

- February 6, 2024 3 MIN READ
canaria technologies founders at nasa
Canaria Technologies co-founders Dr Rob Finean and Alex Sorina Moss (far left and far right), managing director Theodora Le Souquet (middle) with a rep from Boeing International Space Station. Image: Supplied
Having broken new ground in health tech for high-risk situations, Canaria Technologies is taking its next giant leap – to infinity and beyond.

The Brisbane-based startup is gearing up to take its pioneering tech in predictive biometrics to the next frontier: outer space.

Canaria’s wearables, which combine data about how the human body functions with artificial intelligence (AI) to predict and prevent future health issues, could be the key to keeping astronauts alive on the 2026 Artemis III moon mission.

“Artemis III is a big deal for us,” Canaria managing director Theodora Le Souquet tells Startup Daily.

“We really want to be on that mission. For us, it’s about taking this to the next level.”

The Artemis III landing will be NASA’s first human mission to the Lunar South Pole and one of the most complex deep space explorations ever. Over 30 days, the astronauts will travel to lunar orbit, where two crew members will walk on the moon and spend a week conducting scientific tests before joining their colleagues on the journey back to earth.

Going where the danger is

Canaria’s non-invasive devices, worn behind the ear, analyse metrics such as the heart rate and its variability, respiration, blood oxygen levels, temperature and movement.

The company, launched in 2016, has become a market leader in the emerging field of predictive biometrics, servicing high-risk industries such as mining. It can predict and prevent cognitive fatigue and heat stress in workers before accidents can happen.

Canaria’s client list includes global resources companies RioTinto, Territory Generation and Newcrest Mining.

“Our technology is baselining with people’s metrics to ensure that they’re safe in all situations,” Le Souquet says.

“We’ve done this in extreme environments to begin with to ensure that those who are in the most dangerous situations have the opportunity to make decisions before something happens.”

Founded by London-to-Brisbane expats Alex Sorina Moss and Dr Rob Finean, Canaria did the groundwork on Planet Earth, but space was always on the cards. The founders conceived the original concept for use by NASA’s International Space Station, winning Moss and Finean the NASA Global Award for Best Use of Hardware 2016.

A boost for Queensland innovation

Canaria is rapidly accelerating its international expansion with a growing of team of 15. The Queensland Government has thrown its support behind the companies focused on global customers, awarding them one of 35 Trade & Investment Queensland’s (TIQ) Go Global Export Program grants.

TIQ’s program gives Queensland exporting businesses $25,000 in matched funding and the support of its international networks to help local exporters overcome common challenges of breaking into new markets. In the sixth round of the Go Global Export Program just announced, nearly $796,000 in total funding was granted to Queensland businesses.

“It made sense [ to apply] because we were already on our way to speak to NASA,” says Le Souquet.

“We decided that the best way to actually get there was to involve the Queensland Government with us, because we’ve been doing this for so long in Australia.”

Le Souquet said the TIQ funds and support will help facilitate their movement into the space market in the Americas.

“It’s been fantastic in that it’s allowed us to continue to move forward with our initiatives for space,” she says.

“TIQ have a crack team – they really understand what’s needed to make sure that businesses can work well globally. We were even able to go to Latin America and do some work over there because of the help we got from them.”

See the full list of TIQ’s Go Global Export Program Round Six funding recipients:

  • Myriad Technologies
  • Canaria Technologies
  • Lucas Papaw Remedies
  • RID Australia
  • HavenXR Holdings
  • etrainu
  • Hospital In Your Home
  • Granddad Jack’s Craft Distillery
  • Bus 4X4 Global
  • Baywood Products
  • Technofast Industries
  • MFC Safe
  • Skyborne Technologies
  • Aim Lab Automation Technologies
  • Benson & Harley
  • EarthCheck
  • Cinema on the Fly
  • Ceres Tag
  • Ozone 1
  • Mareeba Orchards
  • Silver Sea Foods
  • Audeara
  • Turmeric Life
  • RCG Consultants
  • Vaulta Operations
  • Sprout Organic
  • Evolved Health
  • Country Pursuits
  • Chewy Chews
  • Green Skin Avocados
  • Valor Esports
  • Evos Energy
  • Voltin Operations
  • Australian Skin Lab
  • WellBrewd Equipment

TIQ is the Queensland Government’s dedicated global business agency working across 16 countries, 21 locations and 12 Trade and Investment Commissioners across seven regions. They help Queensland companies access international markets and facilitate foreign investments in the state. Find out more at tiq.qld.gov.au.


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