Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre and FPInnovations have announced three winners in the initial stage of the FPInnovations-ARCTIC Forest Inventory Challenge — Arbonaut Oy, Lim Geomatics Inc., and Object Raku Technology — a program designed to accelerate innovative technologies to support sustainable forest managements and job creation.
Selected from a pool of global innovators, the three winners will use the funding to continue developing their remote-sensing solutions for conducting forest inventories over the next six months with the support of Foresight’s mentor network. One company will then be selected for additional funding and will be invited to field test their technology in western Canada. The winner will be announced in mid-2017.
“Studies indicate that improving quality and frequency of data collection using next-generation remote sensing solutions can save approximately $100 million per year for the British Columbia forest sector. These solutions are expected to provide accurate information on the species, size and quality of the trees in the forests at a lower cost than currently possible. They will also positively contribute to environmental and wildfire management planning,” according to a statement from the parties.
“The technologies developed by these companies have the potential to deliver both environmental and economic benefits,” said Neil Huff, managing director of Foresight. “Not only will they help Canadian forestry companies reduce their environmental impact, but they will potentially create local manufacturing jobs, build capacity, and drive the need for locally sourced equipment and services.”
“The forest sector is currently facing many exciting challenges that have the potential to be resolved using the right mix of technology, research and innovation,” added Pierre Lapointe, president and CEO of FPInnovations. “The FPInnovations-ARCTIC Forest Inventory Challenge demonstrates the incredible opportunities available to high-tech companies interested in working hand-in-hand with the forest sector to explore new approaches to complex issues.”