#TeamSB Success Story Roundup

Fri, February 25, 2022

Each quarter our members share with Springboard’s Central Office their successes and wins from their office. These success stories can be anything; building upon industry partnerships, securing funding for new projects, or moving innovative ideas forward within the institution. The Springboard network bridges the gap between academia and industry in many creative ways.  Here’s a roundup of some of our members recent successes:

University of New Brunswick & Kognitive Spark’s HoloLens

The University of New Brunswick’s Research & Innovation Partnerships (R&IP) is offering remote tours of its many research facilities thanks to its partnership with Kognitive Spark, a New Brunswick company that provides augmented reality solutions for industry. Utilizing the Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 and Kognitiv Spark’s RemoteSpark technologies, the University can to give remote tours to support new and existing R&D partnerships.

“With the disruptions caused by COVID-19, and increasing recognition of the environmental, time and financial impact of travel, we wanted to find a remote solution that would offer our partners a simple and immersive opportunity to tour our campus and explore our research facilities,” said Hart Devitt, Director of UNB’s R&IP group and Springboard IEP.

“With an existing long-term research partnership with Kognitiv Spark, their RemoteSpark platform and the Hololens 2 hardware was a natural choice.”

Building and maintaining existing or new business relationships is a crucial aspect for the growth of any innovation ecosystem, especially for a smaller region like Atlantic Canada. By building on its existing relationship with Kognative Spark, our members at UNB have been able to implement leading-edge technology and a secure platform to overcome this distance divide.

“We’re always pleased to support our partners at UNB in their new and interesting applications of the RemoteSpark platform to combat remote challenges. By allowing a HoloLens wearer to connect with a remotely located individual through RemoteSpark, the applications of this technology are truly endless. We look forward to continue working together and to see what UNB achieves with remote collaboration via augmented reality,” said Kognitiv Spark’s CEO, Yan Simard.

You can read more about this collaboration and watch a video of how this tech is utilized here.

Cape Breton University- Maskwiomin

Maskwiomin, a Cape Breton University born venture, derives its name from two Mi’kmaq words: maskwi ( birch bark) and omin ( oil). Founded by Tuma Young and Matthias Bierenstiel, Maskwiomin is making progress towards the ethical commercialization of Mi’kmaq skin remedy, a re-discovered traditional Mi’kmaq formula of a birch bark extract that has excellent properties for sensitive skin and many skin conditions.

The bark extract is compounded as cream or infused into soap, and is now made in a commercial site in Sydney for customers all over Canada.

Maskwiomin’s story begins more than 25 years ago, when Young heard the 1920s story of maskwiomin from two Elders in Membertou First Nation. Since in 2013, Young and Bierenstiel, a professor of chemistry at CBU, have been working together, alongside the Membertou First Nation, to re-discover maskwiomin through stories and recreation and science.

To date, the pair have received over $1 million in health research funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to study the health benefits of the birch bark extract. And more recently, the company was the recipient of the Innovation award at the 2021 Discovery awards.

According to Maskwiomin’s website: “The project is built upon the principles of Etuaptmumk, or 2-Eyed Seeing, that balances Mi’kmaq knowledge and science. One pillar is called Awakening of the Knowledge in order to preserve and teach Mi’kmaq knowledge to the next generation.”

Nova scotia College of Art and Design - eOceans

eOceans is a Halifax based software and analytics company whose app and platform aims to massively expand, simplify, and accelerate ocean research, monitoring, and decision making – providing real-time data, quality checks, analysis, mapping, and analytical reports to ocean businesses, scientists, decision makers, and explorers. The company was looking to improve the users experience with the application by making it more user friendly and improving the data quality and connected with NSCAD’s Industry Liaison Office (ILO) and Springboards Industry Engagement Professional Danielle Goodfellow with their challenge. 

From those meetings, the ILO brought company challenges and matched them with Michael LeBlanc, an Associate Professor at the University’s Design Division, and assisted with securing funding from Nova Scotia Business Inc.

Michael and his research team were able to make the eOceans software application more intuitive and user friendly, and to improve data quality through an in-app field guide and designed reports. As a result of this collaboration, the eOceans app is more accessible to Teams and explorers to gather data and track what matters to them, in real-time. 

College of the North Atlantic - Hyperspectral Scanning Unit

Through the power of hyperspectral imaging, those in the Newfoundland and Labrador mining sector, and beyond, can see what lies below the earth’s surface. In 2020 the College of the North Atlantic received approval from Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Department of Industry, Energy and Technology (IET) for the establishment of a Hyperspectral Scanning Unit (HSU) at the College. 

The project involved the development of a technology package that could digitize and interpret diamond core samples from the mining sector that have lain idle for many years in core sheds throughout the province.  The mining industry was immediately interested in this project, and saw the potential advantages that such innovations could have on exploration and life extensions of mines throughout the province and Canada.

In early 2021, a customized system built in Montreal by Photon Etc. was delivered to the College. The system included a high resolution RGB camera and a full array of hyperspectral sensors (VNIR, SWIR, MWIR and LWIR).  A box of drill core can be imaged every 1-2 minutes. The unit is housed in a modified 20-foot shipping container so it can be moved to the drill core. Over the summer of 2021 it was in Labrador and Northern Ontario scanning core for our industry partners before returning to Pasadena, Newfoundland & Labrador to scan core owned by the provincial government.  To complement the mobile drill core scanning system, the College also has a VNIR-SWIR system permanently based in its St John’s Topsail Campus and will be adding a VNIR-SWIR mounted on a UAV in early 2022.

It is expected that HSU could have applications for other sectors such as: agriculture, forestry and aquaculture, as the HSU cameras could be mounted on various means of transportation to access remote areas, by ground or air.

“The hyperspectral project is ensuring that local industry has access to the best technology available and our students are having the chance to work with industry on real world problems using these tools thereby providing the next generation of highly qualified personnel.” Dr. Gary Thompson, Director of Industry Innovation - CNA.

  • Supported By:
  • Canada
  • ACOA
  • Springboard Members