Measuring the health of our oceans

Because of this, scientists are always looking for new technologies to help them monitor ocean water quality and changes in pollution levels.  One way to determine water quality is by analyzing the distribution of light through the water, also known as ocean radiance.  It is this light that provides the basic energy for photosynthesis which supports aquatic life.

However, an accurate measurement of ocean radiance is difficult to achieve.

Improving wheelchair safety

Airbags have been widely used to prevent injuries in automobile accidents for many years and Vancouver-based Mobisafe Systems Inc. has been examining ways to make wheelchairs safer using similar technology.

They approached the School of Engineering Science at Simon Fraser University, seeking academic research expertise on how to develop an “airbag” safety system for wheelchairs using a foam cushion.

Mitacs-Accelerate interns help navigate the way to revolutionary positioning software

But GPS has one major drawback which limits its use – it doesn’t work accurately indoors.  Because it relies on signals from satellites, accuracy is also compromised when trying to navigate between tall buildings in urban areas, or under dense foliage.

Calgary-based Trusted Positioning Inc. set out to change this by developing software that would allow for accurate and continuous positioning of a device in any location, be it inside, underground, or in the heart of a dense urban city.

Tapping into technical talent

GABAE Industries, a subsidiary of GABAE Development, is a startup technology development company that must be on the cutting edge of research in order to supply their clients with novel technologies for their products.  GABAE’s current focus is on a method of making novel nanoporous filtration media, which will perform better than any other purification product available in the filtration industry today.  In order to pursue this complex scientific initiative, GABAE engaged with Mitacs-Accelerate intern Shanshan Bian at UWaterloo who has experience synthesizing and characterizing nanomateria

Mitacs-Accelerate on display for British Columbia’s technology industry

Ten BC  graduate student interns and their partner companies came together to exhibit the results of their Mitacs-Accelerate internships to the CEOs and venture capitalists of British Columbia’s technology community who were attending the BC Innovation Council’s A Dialogue…Building and Sustaining BC’s Technology Ecosystem.

Growing a brighter future with Mitacs-Accelerate

But one of the biggest costs greenhouse operators face is for the energy required to run their lighting systems.  Many greenhouses use inefficient electric lights to compliment light from the sun, particularly in winter.

GE Lighting Solutions, based in Lachine, Québec, sought to develop a new range of LED lighting applications for the greenhouse industry which not only cut down on energy use but also increase plant growth and yields.

Revolutionizing breast cancer treatment

However, it is difficult for doctors to determine which patients are not responding to the drugs early in the process, so alternative treatment options can be tried.  As a result, patients can be over-treated, and unnecessarily suffer the side-effects of chemotherapy before realizing it is having little effect.

Masters student Xiaohui Wang at the Department of Computational Mathematics at the University of Waterloo set out to change this through a Mitacs-Accelerate internship with Ontario-based Rna Diagnostics.

Cultivating children’s creativity

Kibooco (short for “Kids Book Company”) Interactive is a technology startup whose aim is to encourage children’s creativity by developing an online e-book tool where children can create their own virtual and physical storybooks.  Being a small company with limited research resources, Kibooco reached out to the Mitacs-Accelerate program for support and expertise – and found Allen.

Canadian pharmaceutical company given start-up strength

However, the cost of research and development of natural health products is often impossibly steep as the products must be rigorously tested and proven before they can be placed on store shelves.

With this challenge ahead of them, the Alberta “phyto-pharmaceutical” biotech company, SinoVeda, turned to Mitacs-Accelerate to assist in the advanced testing of its latest natural calcium supplement which is currently undergoing clinical trials.

Collaborating on a vaccine for cancer

The company is developing a novel cancer vaccine based on a specific antigen and needed the research expertise to help them understand, at a molecular level, how that antigen is expressed in different types of cancer. They turned to Dalhousie postdoctoral fellow Olga Hrytsenko for insight. Olga’s 17 years of molecular biology experience is the “perfect fit” for the project says Marianne Stanford, Director of Research, at Immunovaccine.

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