Friday, January 19, 2018

UG launches Accelerator centre

The University of Guelph has launched Accelerator Guelph to commercialize innovations.

The announcement was made during an “innovation showcase” that featrured agri-food projects and was attended by university, industry and government officials, including Member of Parliament Lloyd Longfield and Liz Sandals who recently departed the provincial cabinet.

Accelerator Guelph will help bolster U of G’s already-strong reputation for ingenuity and inventiveness in agri-food, said Malcolm Campbell, vice-president for research.

“The University of Guelph’s expertise and strength in agri-food innovation is unmatched,” Campbell said.

“Our researchers have bold, ambitious ideas, and their work addresses gaps and helps solve problems while shaping the future of food and agriculture in Canada and beyond.

They also promote industry collaboration and accelerating growth in the thriving agri-food sector.”

One of the innovations on display was a farm-machinery seat cushion designed by a team led by engineering professor Michele Oliver. It reduces vibration.

Computer science professor Rozita Dara and a team are looking at soybean traceability using blockchain, developing processes to collect, analyze and store data on soybeans while also understanding the legislative and stakeholder context.

Professor Manjusri Misra is developing products for the greenhouse industry that will reduce manual labour in growing tomatoes and other crops.

Professor Amar Mohanty is investigating the use of low-value agricultural residues to develop lightweight biocomposite products for the automotive industry.

This is far from the first effort to commercialize research at the University of Guelph.

Unlike the University of Guelph, where professors are allowed to hold patents on their discoveries and have launched dozens of businesses, including Blackberry, the University of Guelph has held its patents hoping to earn income from royalties and licences.

Waterloo's entrepreneurs have given hundreds of millions of dollars to the university.