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U of S-led AIMday™ Imaging event brings together academia and industry to address global challenges

SASKATOON— How do you help solve the world’s biggest challenges? By bringing together the right people who have the know-how and access to resources to tackle global issues.

That’s what happened on Oct. 18 when Saskatchewan academic researchers and industry representatives from various sectors met at a University of Saskatchewan-led event to discuss global challenges in agriculture, health care, and mining, and how imaging research techniques could help solve them.

U of S Innovation Enterprise, Innovation Saskatchewan, and the Canadian Light Source jointly hosted the AIMday™ Imaging event at Innovation Place—the first step in a process that is expected to lead to some joint research projects to address specific industry needs.  

Researchers from the U of S, University of Regina and Saskatchewan Polytechnic met with representatives of 10 companies in various sectors (including Siemens Healthcare Limited, SED Systems, Philips Canada, POS BioSciences, and The Mosaic Company) to discuss innovative solutions to industry issues.

Questions posed by industry range from use of drone imaging to monitor the condition of pipelines covered by water or vegetation, to imaging technology to assess crop residue degradation, to machine learning for MRI cancer detection.

Of the 69 proposals submitted by researchers in response to specific industry questions, 24 were selected by the companies to receive initial funding of $1,000. Upon successful collaboration, additional funding will be available to the researchers in the first quarter of 2018 to further advance their projects with industry.

“The integration and use of different imaging techniques in many industries and sectors is expected to widen and grow vastly in the coming years, given the rapid development of various highly sophisticated and innovative technologies,” said U of S IE Managing Director Johannes Dyring.

“We can see very novel applications to acquire new data critical to create innovative solutions. AIMday™ Imaging 2017 essentially accelerates this process by allowing industry to meet and discuss specific R&D needs and pathways to solutions with academics in the appropriate fields. We are excited to see the interest in the AIMday concept and are confident the newly formed collaborations will add value to our economy, society and environment.” 

Saskatchewan Minister Responsible for Innovation Steven Bonk said the Government of Saskatchewan is pleased to support AIMday™ Imaging and its “unique method of bringing industry and academic experts together to create new academic-industry connections and generate innovative ideas and approaches to solve industry problems.”

“Saskatchewan is a leader in imaging technology, research and development, and we are proud of the work being done in our universities, the Canadian Light Source, the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation, and other facilities in our province,” Minister Bonk said.

The event received financial support from the U of S Fedoruk Centre and the federal Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s (NSERC) Connect Grant program, which provides targeted financial support to encourage post-secondary researchers to connect with industry and form new partnerships. Innovation Saskatchewan and the Canadian Light Source are providing the grant funding to support the development of promising partnerships arising from AIMday™ Imaging 2017.

“The CLS is one of the most powerful imaging tools in the country,” said Rob Lamb, CEO of the Canadian Light Source at the U of S. “This event is a great way to showcase our experts and capabilities, and to help industry solve problems in sectors as wide ranging as health, agriculture, environment and materials.” 

The following proposals were selected by the companies to receive initial funding:

 

Researcher(s)

Department(s)

Institution(s)

Farid Rashidi and Shawn Kisch

Medical Imaging

University of Saskatchewan

Lawrence Worobetz Farid Rashid

Shawn Kisch

Department of Medicine Department of Medical Imaging

University of Saskatchewan

Chunjiang An

 

David Halstead

Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Communities

Natural Resource Technology

University of Regina

 

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Scott Rosendahl

Science Division

Canadian Light Source Inc.

Matthew Paige

Chemistry

University of Saskatchewan

Chithra Karunakaran

Science Division

Canadian Light Source Inc.

Seok-Bum Ko, Hao Zhang

Gordon Sarty

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Psychology/Biomedical Engineering

University of Saskatchewan

Ray Spiteri

Computer Science

University of Saskatchewan

Jaswant Singh

Ray Spiteri

Yugang Luo

Veterinary Biomedical Sciences

Computer Science

Transplant and Hepatobiliary Pancreatic Surgery

University of Saskatchewan

Terry  Peckham

Computer Systems Technology

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Yugang Luo

 

Monique Mayer

Transplant and Hepatobiliary Pancreatic Surgery

Small Animal Clinical Sciences

University of Saskatchewan

James Johnston

Mechanical Engineering

University of Saskatchewan

James Johnston

Mechanical Engineering

University of Saskatchewan

 Xulin Guo

Geography and Planning

University of Saskatchewan

 Xulin Guo

Geography and Planning

University of Saskatchewan

Steve Shirtliffe

Karen Tanino

Plant Sciences

University of Saskatchewan

Ian Stavness

Steve Shirtliffe

Abdul Raouf

Computer Science

Plant Sciences

Geomatics and Surveying Engineering Technology

University of Saskatchewan

 

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Steve Shirtliffe

David Halstead

Plant Sciences

Natural Resource Technology

University of Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Cyril Coupal

DIReG, School of Information and Communication Technology

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Gang Zhao

Petroleum Systems Engineering

University of Regina

Sergey Gasilov

BMIT

Canadian Light Source Inc.

Ray Spiteri

Computer Science

University of Saskatchewan

Paul Laforge

Electronic Systems Engineering

University of Regina

Terry Peckham

Computer Systems Technology

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

 

About AIMday™:

AIMday was originally initiated and successfully developed by Uppsala University in Sweden. The U of S, through IE, has initiated and signed a collaboration agreement with Uppsala University to implement the internationally acclaimed and highly successful concept.

The meeting day is structured around research and development questions submitted by companies. These questions form the basis for company-led discussions with academics from various disciplines. A structured one-hour discussion around each question allows for industry representatives and academics to assess whether they can work together to find a solution to the challenge presented by the company.

AIMday™ Minerals, North America’s first AIMday, took place on March 22, 2017 at Innovation Place. Collaborations formed on the day have shown great promise. Three of six collaborations shortlisted by industry in August are working with IE to secure intellectual property resulting from AIMday. IE plans to host AIMdays periodically, targeting different sectors. For more information on AIMday visit: aimday.se

About Innovation Enterprise: The U of S Innovation Enterprise (IE) manages a wide variety of intellectual properties arising from the university’s comprehensive research enterprise. In striving for excellence and engaging in growing the local and global entrepreneurial ecosystem, IE maximizes the impact of knowledge-intensive innovations. For more information, visit: research.usask.ca/ie

About the Canadian Light Source: The Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan is a national research facility, one of the largest science projects in our country’s history, and the brightest light in Canada—millions of times brighter than even the sun—used by over 1,000 scientists from around the world every year in ground-breaking health, environmental, materials, and agricultural research. The CLS enables unique-in-Canada imaging techniques over a large range of specimens, from millimetre scale to large animals at micron to sub-millimetre esolutions, and within a wide range of applications, including materials, biomedical devices, living plants and animals, heavy oil systems, cancer and stroke. For more information, visit our website: lightsource.ca

About Innovation Saskatchewan:

Innovation Saskatchewan (IS) is the Government of Saskatchewan’s special operating agency responsible for implementing the province’s innovation priorities. Its primary responsibilities are to:

  • Manage and administer the government’s research funding contracts with the province’s post-secondary institutions and research organizations;
  • Support the growing advanced technology sector in Saskatchewan;
  • Provide recommendations and advise the provincial government regarding its policies and direction in the areas of research and development, science and technology; and
  • Engage with industry, researchers, universities, entrepreneurs and other government ministries to co-ordinate and promote economic growth through innovation and commercialization of new technologies.

 

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For more information, contact:

Johannes Dyring
Managing Director
Innovation Enterprise
University of Saskatchewan
Johannes.Dyring@usask.ca
306-966-7829

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