Lab Canada

Saskatchewan technologies get research dollars

Saskatoon, SK December 3, 2003 Two technology projects in Saskatchewan are receiving $594,000 as part of a federalprovincial partnership to grow Canada’s intelligent systems industry.

The federal and provincial funding will help two companies develop projects to control hazardous materials spills and to identify and prevent rock falls in underground mines.

Acutec Systems of Lampman is receiving a combined total of $194,000 in matched federal/provincial funds to develop and commercialize a liquid-level sensing system to help control hazardous materials spills. Acutec is contributing an additional $65,000 toward the project, that will reduce the potential for human error.

“The intelligent liquid-level sensing system addresses a growing demand in the oil and gas industry for a more efficient and accurate way to measure hazardous fluids in large storage tanks,” says John Grimes, the company’s president.

HDRK of Saskatoon is receiving a combined total of $400,000 in matched federal-provincial funds to improve the safety of underground mines by developing and commercializing a better system for identifying hazardous loose rocks that must be removed or secured to prevent rock falls. The company is contributing an additional $183,000 toward this project.

“By removing the human factor in the current rock hazard identification process, mine safety will be significantly improved, and the risk of rock falls and the cost of unnecessary bolting or scaling are minimized,” says Tim Lindenbach, the company’s vice president.

Funding for these projects comes from the Saskatchewan Intelligent Systems Technologies Precarn Alliance (SIST-PA) Program. This four-year, $4-million program is a partnership between Precarn and Saskatchewan Industry and Resources through the Saskatchewan Research Council. Precarn is a not-for-profit, industry-led consortium that performs industry relevant, market-oriented collaborative research and development in intelligent systems through support from Industry Canada.

With support from Industry Canada, other federal departments and provincial government agencies, Precarn funds, co-ordinates and promotes collaborative robotics and Intelligent Systems research projects among students, researchers and business in order to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Canadian business. In addition to fostering greater development of the intelligent system sector, the network also aims to help develop and retain top-notch experts in the field.