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Bridging the Gap – Pest Fighting Pheromones


Agriculture and forestry are key sectors in Atlantic Canada and combatting insect pest threats is essential to grow these economies in a sustainable and responsible way.  To combat this threat Dr. Kirk Hillier, Department of Biology at Acadia University joined forces with the Canadian Forest Service, the University of New Brunswick, Dalhousie University, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Forest Protection Limited, Agrifor Biotechnical Services and Sylvar Technologies in two Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) projects. The projects focus on the development of environmentally-responsible pheromone-based detection and mitigations technologies for insect pests.

During the first 5-year AIF project 2 patents were granted, 2 additional patents are pending and Acadia’s Office of Industry & Community Engagement executed licensing of 9 technologies for commercialization. With such a strong portfolio of technologies it was a challenge for the team to identify which markets to tackle first. Springboard’s Innovation Mobilization Marketing Support program funded the market research necessary to give these technologies the best traction in the marketplace. The  optimal paths forward were determined for the commercialization of the products, to allow the TRL7 technologies to be brought to market by Sylvar Technologies.

The 2nd AIF projectDevelopment and Commercialization of Naturally-derived Semiochemicals for Insect Pest Management” started right on the heels of the first in early 2017, continuing the development of the most promising new insect pest technology arising from the first project. Already at the end of 2017, Springboard was able to come behind newly developed technology with our Innovation Mobilization Patent & Legal Fund, to support the crucial step of intellectual property protection to ensure that this TRL7 technology has a smooth path to market.

Springboard’s support of this important research and collaboration plays an integral role in providing clean technology solutions that ensure the sustainability of our food production, natural resources and the health of Canadians. We are looking forward to seeing where Acadia and its partners will be #springboarding next.