Seeding frenzy

A few years later, that opportunity has allowed Joel to build a career for himself, and make developments that have benefitted the company and Canada’s agricultural sector.

“It was hardcore research,” says Joel, looking back on his internship. “Not just gathering data, but also looking at the results, drawing conclusions, and making recommendations directly to the general manager. It was more like a project as a professional than as an intern, and it definitely gave me a foot in the door.” Joel’s internship also led to the company filing a patent on some of his work.

SFU lab and Chilliwack company are buzzing with tech advances

To help tackle this environmental issue, Mitacs intern Oldooz Pooyanfar, a graduate student from Simon Fraser University’s School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering, is working on a ‘smart’ system that monitors the health of honey bees and their hives. Once installed inside a beehive, her integrated monitoring system allows beekeepers to observe and track the health of their colonies. The device uses microscopic sensors and microphones to pick up sounds and vibrations emitted by bees and can also be used to observe the temperature and humidity of each hive.

Mathematician fights water waste with robotic sprinklers

Enter InteliRain. The Alberta start-up has its sights set on solving inefficient outdoor sprinklers that waste water due to poor design. The company’s intelligent sprinkler systems only water the lawn or fields, while avoiding sidewalks.

However, when InteliRain CEO Cam Cote realised that wind was thwarting the efficiency of his sprinklers, he turned to University of Alberta mathematician Yile Zhang to develop an innovative solution through a Mitacs internship.

Beehive data creates buzz with farm-to-table technology

Determined to meet new standards for food traceability, head apiarist Allan Campbell sought a technology-based solution to improve record keeping and management of his entire beekeeping operation.

Allan turned to Bruce Hardy, CEO of Winnipeg software company Function Four, for his expertise in software-based records management.

Sowing the seeds of success

Adam is the brains behind the Eden Project, a unique social enterprise with a mission to offer local, organic produce at competitive prices.

“Global food systems are changing due to a variety of stressors, and food prices are climbing. We believe that urban agriculture and locally-grown food will play an important role in future food supplies as our societies adapt to these changes,” he explains.

A seed was planted

Award Winner Interview: Adam Metherel

Can you tell us a bit about the research you did through Mitacs Elevate that led to you winning the Mitacs & NRC-IRAP Award for Commercialization?