Vision to Venture 2015

Vision to Venture 2015 is an event that brings Winnipeg’s top entrepreneurs in contact with the top scientists and product developers who will be showcasing patent-pending technologies awaiting financial investment to get them to market.

Vision to Venture workshop audience participants will work together in groups to develop commercialization plans to successfully “spin-out” selected University of Manitoba technologies into successful new businesses. Audience participants will benefit from the opportunity to be mentored by some of Winnipeg’s leading entrepreneurs.  They will develop an actionable plan to launch a new company in emerging and competitive markets.  Each working group will present their plans to Winnipeg’s Technology  community and benefit from the audiences feedback. The event is an intensive opportunity for emerging innovators to mingle with Winnipeg’s industry leaders from CEOs to government industry liaison professionals.

March 12, 2015 - 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Evening Networking Reception

March 13, 2015 - 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Technology Showcase Event - Presentations 3:00 PM

James W. Burns Executive Education Centre
2nd Floor, 177 Lombard Avenue

To assist in planning seating RSVP to:
Or call 204-474-6689

Technologies on offer

Biological Control of Insects: Sterile insect technique (SIT) is a novel method of producing sterilized male mosquitoes for use in sterile insect technique (SIT) programs, to eradicate pest mosquitoes and thereby reduce disease transmission. Here, mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) are fed double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) in feeding formulations, and the ingested dsRNA induces gene-specific RNA interference (RNAi), reducing the expression of testis-specific genes, rendering the males sterile. In addition, the insects are simultaneously fed dsRNA that target's a female-specific gene, thereby inhibiting female development. The combination of dsRNAs results in the production of male-only mosquitoes, and when tested in mating competitions with fertile males, the sterilized males were highly effective in reducing the population of mosquitoes. This invention can be used as a method of mosquito control; however, data suggests other insects may also be controlled using this technique.

Method to Rapidly Detect Insects in Granular Materials: The current methods to detect insect infestation inside grain held in bins (silos), trucks, railcars, containers, ships, or vessels, grains are usually sampled using mechanical and manual devices and these can be largely inaccurate and expensive. A device has been developed which can detect insects in sampled grain (of about 1 kg). Here, the technology uses heat from a standard microwave will be able to provide insect detection in grain in less than half an hour and preliminary experiments suggest that >99% of adults insects are detecting using this method. This technology provides specific advantages of the Berlese Funnel which include: time, efficiency and portability.

Ocean Wave Harvesting by Piezoelectric Coupled Buoy: Ocean Observation Systems is a Billion dollar market and is composed largely of networks of ocean buoys with arrays of sensors capable of sending data around the globe.  Reliably powering those sensors can be a complex problem involving expensive solar collectors and batteries.   Reducing the reliance on solar could equate to large savings to equipment manufacturers, and the buoys are literally floating on a potential solution.  Addressing the challenge, researchers at the University of Manitoba have developed an expedient, piezoelectric coupled buoy energy harvester for harvesting energy from ocean waves. The harvester features several piezoelectric coupled cantilevers attached to a floating buoy structure, which can be easily suspended in the intermediate and deep ocean for energy harvesting capable of supplementing or replacing the charging role of solar collectors.

Ring Piezoelectric Harvester: Piezoelectric materials generate an electrical charge in response to mechanical stress.  While much work has been done to utilize the advantages of Piezoelectric material for the harvesting of energy from the natural movement of wind and water, inefficiencies in current designs have limited broad applicability and adoption.  To overcome the problems of existing harvesters, a ring piezoelectric harvester excited by magnetic forces with high excitation frequencies has been recently developed researchers at the University of Manitoba.  The harvester is made of a concentric outer ring stator and an inner ring rotator. The stator ring is made of a series of discrete piezoelectric patches with a rectangular shape surface mounted by magnetic ring slabs with the same size. All the piezoelectric patches and the magnetic slabs are placed on an aluminum ring. The rotator ring is made of a serious of magnetic rectangular slabs mounted on an aluminum ring with the exact size of the corresponding piezoelectric patches on the stator. Because of periodic magnetic forces between the stator ring and the rotator ring, a compression is induced to the piezoelectric patches leading to an electric charge for energy harvesting.  This new light weight design is optimal for wind powered generators.

A Passive Wireless Sensor for the Measurement Electric Field Spatial Profile Surrounding High Voltage Apparatus: In modern power systems the measurement of electric fields in the vicinity of high voltage equipment can be crucial in order to avoid power outages and disturbances caused by equipment failures and outages.  Knowing the electric field provides reliability information about the insulation condition which enhances the protection of life and equipment in live-line maintenance.  The limitations and costs associated with the existing techniques have driven several groups to look for better and safer solutions.  One such solution has come from researchers at the University of Manitoba who have recently designed and tested a new passive wireless electric field sensors. As a passive sensor it does not require direct attachment to a source of power making the installation and maintenance of a sensor network significantly more affordable and safer. The sensor itself is composed of a voltage-controlled impedance coupled to a resonator. Once mounted in the vicinity of high voltage equipment, the unit can be remotely interrogated by a device transmitting and receiving the pulses in resonance frequency range of the sensor.  The pulses are then interpreted and converted to measure the electric field at the location of the sensor.  In addition to the electric field at the sensors location, based on the electric field profile, future development will also allow the voltage of the equipment to be obtained.

Textile fibers and textiles from Brassica plants: The fibres of plants, including hemp, flax, jute, nettle, ramie and the like, are known to have been utilized for a wide variety of different textiles. One plant which has not been utilized for the production of textiles is the rape plant, plants in the genus Brassica. It has been found that extracted raw plant fibres from canola stalks can be treated to produce textile fibres. The textiles comprising the plant fibres produced from Brassica plants exhibit properties that are favorable for apparel and domestic applications, as well as industrial applications. Commercial application of this canola by-product would, therefore, be valuable to agricultural producers as canola could be cultivated as a dual purpose crop and would revitalize the Canadian textile economy.

In-Situ Metastable Polymerization of Conducting Poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene): The inherently conducting polymers are polymers are a class of coating materials which behave like familiar plastic or paint coatings but with the unique ability to conduct electricity.  This class of materials was discovered in the 1990s and they are becoming widely used for specialized applications.   A novel series of compounds and methods of application, providing highly-conductive,  durable and easy-to-apply coatings which protect metals from oxidative corrosion has been developed.  These can be applied as a non-toxic water soluble paint or as a spin-coating.