“Consumers and companies alike are looking for safe and natural ways to keep their products fresher for longer,” says Natasha, CEO of Chinova Bioworks. “But labels full of unpronounceable, artificial ingredients can turn consumers off. It was important to me to create an alternative to the chemical preservatives normally found in food and beverage products.”
While conceptualizing the product, Natasha was searching for someone to take it to the next level — and she knew that Mitacs was available to help fledgling companies like hers.
Boost Environmental Systems is working to safeguard water quality around the world through the commercialization of a novel approach to treating dairy farm manure and sewage sludge. Called IMPACT, the breakthrough technology is solving urgent problems facing the worldwide agricultural and wastewater treatment industries and is positioning Canada as a frontrunner is clean tech solutions for sustainable waste management.
With the help of his Dalhousie Accelerate supervisors, Professor David Roach from the Rowe School of Business, and Professor Jan Haelssig from the Faculty of Engineering, Hamed has started a company to develop technology that will make continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy more comfortable for patients.
As a former varsity athlete and PhD scholar in biochemistry and molecular biology, Jeremy has always balanced a passion for sport with his profession as a genetics researcher. The idea of combining the two into a company began to take shape during a Mitacs Accelerate internship.
“These people were my heroes,” he said. “I knew that I wanted to follow in their footsteps one day.”
And he did. At the age of 20, he invented an electronic system to control lighting in luxury houses with the use of a remote. Shortly after, he created an electro-mechanical device that could be installed on the wheels of bikes and vehicles which emitted pulsating lights to increase safety and visibility at night and sold 3,000 units.
“I just knew that there was a better way,” he said. “There had to be a way to engage students using technology.”
Rowan created simulation and visualization tools and shared them with faculty at the university. Suitably impressed, several professors incorporated the new technology into the geology curriculum. Not one to be satisfied with the status quo, Rowan revamped the tools after graduation and put them online. His tools are now used at universities worldwide to help educate and engage budding geologists.
His supervisor, Dr. Bradley Buckham, recommended that Clayton apply for a Mitacs Accelerate internship and suggested coastal engineering consultancy Triton Consultants, as the industry partner.
“When I approached Triton, they were hesitant at first as they were a small company; but when I mentioned the co-funding provided by Mitacs, my internship with them became feasible,” Clayton explained.
“The system that BMI was using required a lot of manual intervention,” explained Stephen Dwyer, an engineering graduate student from the University of Alberta.
Dwyer and two fellow UAlberta graduate students, Jamie Yuen and Nicolas Olmedo, took up the research challenge through the Mitacs Accelerate program under the supervision of their supervisor, Dr. Mike Lipsett. By the end of the internship, the team had a working alpha prototype.
However, his experience led to a change in perspective. “In a big company, there isn’t as much opportunity to make decisions that lead to improvements in a technology.”
Rohit had come to Canada in 2012 to pursue an MBA focused on entrepreneurship at the University of Victoria. During his program, he undertook a Mitacs Accelerate internship with Limespot, a small e-commerce start-up with five employees, a far cry from his experience at Blackberry.
Enter Hamid Alemohammad. Originally from Iran, Hamid came to Canada in 2006 to pursue a PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Waterloo.
Following the completion of his degree, he was awarded an eight-month Mitacs Accelerate internship in 2012 with a developer of customized test solutions for automotive components such as power steering equipment, fuel injectors, and throttle bodies.