Six project receive funding through Innovation P.E.I.

P.E.I. researchers looking at possible markets for invasive species, iPhone data capture systems and more

Published on August 11, 2012
Richard Cawthorn, research scientist with the Atlantic Veterinary Colleges Lobster Science Centre, and Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea talk with Rachal Summerfield, lead lab technologist with the Atlantic Veterinary College, during an announcement at the college Tuesday. The college will be part of an international study on Bitter Crab Disease. Guardian photo by Heather Taweel

Six projects have been awarded funding offered by Innovation P.E.I. to support the early stage academic and industry research that will lead to the commercialization of new products or services in the sectors of bioscience, information technology, renewable energy or aerospace.

“In times of fiscal restraint, businesses and researchers have limited opportunities to obtain grants for projects at this stage,” said Minister Al Roach, Innovation and Advanced Learning. “The goal of this program is to fill this funding gap and allow our Island innovators to obtain the resources they need to begin beta stage or pilot production of their products.”

A peer review committee was established to evaluate and adjudicate the submitted projects. Based on the evaluation, and recommendations of the multi-disciplinary peer review committee, Innovation P.E.I. offered support to six projects under the fifth round of the pilot and discovery fund.

The recipients of this round are:     Drs. Russ Kerr and Rick Cawthorn at the Atlantic Veterinary College; Drs. Sophie St-Hilaire, Jeff Davidson, Mary McNiven and Pedro Quijon of the Atlantic Veterinary College; Gentec Ltd.;  SpryPoint Solutions Inc; Thinking Big Information Technology Inc.; and Dr. Dave LeBlanc at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Kerr and Cawthorn's project aims to identify the toxin responsible for bitter crab disease, which kills snow crabs and other economically important crustaceans.

St-Hilaire,  Davidson,  McNiven and Quijon are exploring the European green crab as a feed ingredient for the aquaculture industry so a fishery can be proposed for this nuisance species.

Gentec Ltd. will build and test a wireless intra-vaginal device to assist in estrus detection for the breeding of dairy cattle.

SpryPoint Solutions Inc. is in the pilote stages of developing a backflow prevention monitoring service for the water utility industry.

Thinking Big Information Technology Inc. will develop a platform that will enable businesses to create campaign-specific QR codes attached to custom landing pages.

LeBlanc will develop a data capture system for the iPhone that can be used to test software for coding and design defects. The system will also record the screen images in real time allowing for the replay of screen data as well as a history of the external inputs that generated the on-screen behaviour.

To date, Innovation P.E.I. has supported 50 projects, with a total investment of over $1.2 million, through this program.