Burnaby-based OSI Maritime Systems may not be a household name in B.C. but as the global leader in naval navigation and tactical solutions, OSI has already got the market covered.
For more than 20 years, OSI has sold its cutting edge integrated navigation and tactical bridge systems to militaries throughout the world whose warships and submarines rely on the accuracy of the technology – 500 in total.
OSI’s phenomenal success was recognized recently when it won the Minister’s Award for Export Job Creation at the B.C. Export Awards, held in Vancouver on Nov. 20, 2015. Headquartered in Burnaby and employing 105 people worldwide with 90 in B.C., OSI is a great example of the importance of exporters to B.C.’s economy and why the BC Jobs Plans is focused on expanding export activity.
Ken Kirkpatrick, president and CEO of OSI, credits their relationship with the B.C. government’s international business development team in Vancouver and its international offices for supporting OSI's business development and helping to leverage opportunities as they have materialized overseas in the last four years. And like the B.C. government, OSI is looking to expand further into Asian markets, and is already seeing success there.
Founded in 1979 with a vision to put electronic navigational technology on every commercial ship in the world, OSI’s beginning wasn’t as smooth as the hulls of the crafts they design for. Well before electronic navigation was close to being a reality, OSI was at least 15 years ahead of its time (and the market), developing technology and electronic navigational charts that were considered science fiction at that time.
Then in 2001, OSI reassessed its business strategy and made the decision to focus on the niche naval warship market. And when Kirkpatrick came into the picture, OSI picked up steam, winning every competition it applied for and growing to serve 20 navies across the world. Now customers of OSI are found in every corner of the world, including priority markets that B.C. shares, like India and Malaysia.
OSI is an outstanding example of a B.C. company with big dreams and perseverance. When asked what advice Kirkpatrick had for B.C. businesses wanting to grow into new markets, he stressed that it’s best to wait until you succeed in your own country before extending across borders. OSI’s contract with the Royal Canadian Navy was instrumental to their success in Canada, and eventual reach abroad. If the company is smaller, he urges entrepreneurs to create relationships with larger companies. They can help strengthen credibility in the market, and provide contacts for future deals.
Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism –
“B.C. exporters like OSI Maritime Systems play a vital role in our provincial economy — the more we export and expand our trade relationships, the faster we can grow our economy and provide the jobs British Columbians depend on. I want to congratulate OSI Maritime Systems on their BC Export Award for Job Creation, and express my appreciation for their innovation and excellence in the marketplace.”
Ken Kirkpatrick, president and CEO of OSI Maritime Systems –
“As a B.C.-born business, OSI Maritime Systems is honoured to receive the Minister’s Award for Export Job Creation. Since 2011, OSI has grown from a workforce of less than 40 five years ago to 105 today, with further plans to hire 20 more in 2016. Business is booming, partly because of the relationships OSI has made with partners like the B.C. government and international trade and investment representatives, and we are well on our way to further growth in international markets.”
- A pioneer of Warship Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (WECDIS), OSI Maritime Systems has grown to be a leading provider of integrated bridge systems for warships, integrated dived navigation systems for submarines, and C2 systems for small craft.
- OSI serves 20 navies worldwide, including: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Republic of Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- Exports provide a vital source of economic growth and job creation – right now, one in five jobs and 60% of B.C.’s GDP are generated through exports.
To learn more about OSI Maritime Systems, see: http://osimaritime.com/
To read about the 2015 B.C. Export Awards, go to: http://www.bcexportawards.com/
To learn more about B.C. trade and investment, and how government helps businesses looking to expand their reach, see: http://www.britishcolumbia.ca/
To read about how the BC Jobs Plan is keeping B.C.’s economy strong, go to: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/