Canadian Entrepreneurs Get a Lift into the Cloud

CANARIE’s DAIR program provides free high-performance cloud services that help Canadian businesses rev-up product development and sharpen their competitive edge

CANARIE, a vital component of Canada’s digital infrastructure supporting research, education and innovation, today announced the range of Canadian small businesses currently using its cloud-based product development testbed, the Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research (DAIR).


DAIR provides free cloud-based computing and storage resources for Canadian entrepreneurs to develop, test, prototype and demonstrate next-generation products. DAIR’s made-in-Canada cloud provides entrepreneurs with the time horizon and cost certainty that other cloud offerings do not. DAIR’s Application Interface (API) also makes it easy for DAIR users to switch to commercial cloud offerings when they are ready to move to a production environment and generate revenue.

Cloud services like DAIR can “level the playing field” for small businesses by providing computing resources that can quickly scale up or down to meet changing business needs. The free resources provided by DAIR provide a level of cost certainty that can be critical for start-up companies that are typically cost-sensitive.

Over 50 innovation-driven businesses are currently using DAIR, including:

  • is developing online software that helps businesses and agencies turn news into insights that guide decision-making.
  • lgnitePiay is developing and testing an online social game that makes it fun and easy for users to get healthy and lose weight.
  • Project Whitecard has developed an online 3D virtual environment designed to deliver Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics learning in the context of mission-based exploration of the solar system. The product, Starlite, uses the latest video-game technology and plans to connect 1 million users through data management tools that provide connectivity to a global planetary database.
  • Situate Business Solutions is developing an Internet-based warehouse management system to aid companies in bridging the gap between existing accounting systems and web based fulfillment.
  • Shared Solutions is developing a text mining system that utilizes natural language processing to analyze documents to predict relevant paragraphs and automatically summarize documents.
  • Shinydocs is developing a Social Document Editing solution that uses the cloud computing model to allow users to securely share, edit and collaborate on their documents.


“Exposing small businesses to cloud computing is just the latest chapter in CANARIE’s history of supporting private sector innovation,” says Jim Roche, President and CEO of CANARIE. “The range of companies using DAIR, and the diversity of their products, underscores how cloud technologies can help drive a competitive advantage for Canadian businesses in today’s global digital economy.”

“We had an excellent experience with DAIR. As we move to the next phase of our business and prepare to enter the US market, we used DAIR to rapidly expand our resources to deal with the massive amount of information we are processing,” says Shahzad Khan, COO at gnowit. “The scalability of the platform is crucial to testing our product for larger markets and data sets.”


CANARIE has partnered with two other players in Canada’s digital infrastructure ecosystem to offer DAIR. Cybera, Alberta’s public agency responsible for ensuring the development of advanced and efficient cyberinfrastructure, and Compute Canada, Canada’s national high performance computing platform for research, add the power of their infrastructures and skilled personnel to ensure Canadian entrepreneurs gain a competitive edge using state-of-the-art cloud resources.


DAIR fact sheet

DAIR video

For more information, please contact:
Kathryn Anthonisen
Vice President External Relations
(613) 943-5374


CANARIE designs and delivers digital infrastructure and drives its adoption for Canada’s research, education and innovation communities. CANARIE keeps Canada at the forefront of digital research and innovation, fundamental to a vibrant digital economy.

CANARIE’s roots are in advanced networking, and CANARIE continues to evolve the national ultra-high-speed backbone network that enables data-intensive, leading-edge research and big science across Canada and around the world. One million researchers, scientists and students at over 1,100 Canadian institutions, including

universities, colleges, research institutes, hospitals, and government laboratories have access to the CANARIE Network.

CANARIE also leads the development of research software tools that enable researchers to more quickly and easily access research data, tools, and peers. In support of Canada’s high-tech entrepreneurs, CANARIE offers cloud-computing services to help them accelerate product development and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Twelve provincial and territorial network partners, together with CANARIE, form Canada’s advanced network alliance. This powerful digital infrastructure connects Canada’s researchers and innovators provincially, nationally, and globally to the data, tools, colleagues, and classrooms that are at the heart of prosperity in the digital economy.

Established in 1993, CANARIE is a non-profit corporation, with the major investment in its programs and activities provided by the Government of Canada.