Innovation starts with asking the right questions.
For Transport Genie Ltd., a deceptively simple question vexing Canadian biosecurity experts sparked a collaboration that accelerated development of the company’s smart sensor technology and brought it to the cusp of commercial success.
Based in Aurora, Ont., the company is working with two Mitacs interns supervised by University of Saskatchewan’s Dr. Terry Fonstad to advance sensors that monitor animal welfare during transport.
A global pandemic didn’t stop Toronto entrepreneur Raghavender Sahdev from innovating. On the contrary, he spent the time propelling his start-up, NuPort Robotics, Canada’s first autonomous trucking company, which will help advance Canada’s trucking industry far into the future by using eco-friendly, self-driving electric trucks for short-haul shuttle runs between distribution centres, warehouses, and ports.
Near downtown Montréal, the Little Burgundy neighbourhood reveals many contrasts. In the south, it touches the Lachine Canal, a beautiful 14-kilometre cycling and pedestrian pathway that sees millions of visitors every year. In the north, it is bordered by the busy and grey Ville-Marie Expressway. One of the most multicultural communities in the city, Little Burgundy is home to upscale restaurants and boutiques, but also to a vulnerable population that struggles with food insecurity.
Winnipeg-based Cypher Environmental is determined to put an end to the choking dust clouds on unpaved roads seen every day across rural and Northern Manitoba.
Though the problem may seem a minor visual blight, the impact is great: heavy trucks barreling down unpaved roads are at greater risk of rollover from the unstable ground; and nearby lakes and streams can suffer nutrient depletion, killing the natural wildlife.
In response, local researchers and companies have partnered to develop a new generation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). They hope to develop UAVs — commonly known as drones — that are robust enough to transport large cargo across vast distances without needing a pilot or GPS.
Alberta-based BMI Technologies manufactures onboard sensor systems which track the usage of forklifts. But the company wanted to improve the technology to allow for automatic data analysis across a large fleet of vehicles, with uplink to a central computer system.
BMI was without an in-house research or engineering department, but learned of the Mitacs Accelerate program from CEO Arvind Gupta during a chance meeting at a social event in Vancouver.
Virtual Marine Technology (VMT) is an SME that develops simulators for survival craft, fast response craft and high speed electronic navigation training. Its goal is to improve the safety of personnel at sea by allowing trainees to practice in high risk emergency situations using a safe and effective simulation. As a spin-off company from Memorial University of Newfoundland, VMT is grounded in research and constantly seeking ways to innovate. VMT currently employs 24 full time staff and is part of a growing simulation community in Newfoundland and Labrador.
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