Home-grown innovation will lead to improved health in Northern Ontario communities

Published: November 29, 2017


Northern Ontario families will benefit from improved detection of disease-causing bacteria in local lakes and waterways as a result of a Government of Canada investment of $1 million. The FedNor funding will enable the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) and its industry partner, Discover Air Fire Services, to develop innovative camera technology to quickly and accurately identify toxic blue-green algae (also known as cyanobacteria), one of Northern Ontario’s major environmental issues impacting human health.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates confidence in our organization and the work we do,” said Dr. Roger Strasser, Dean and CEO, Northern Ontario School of Medicine of the Nov. 24 announcement.

“Our strong partnership with Discovery Air Fire Services will ensure that the remote sensing technology is adequately tested, refined and subsequently commercialized. We welcome and appreciate FedNor’s continued support—support that allows us to collaborate with our partners as we work together towards the Northern Ontario School of Medicine’s vision of Innovative education and research for a healthier North.”

The three-year “Remote Sensing: Waterway Algae Identification” project will help test the use of specially developed sensors merged with existing camera technology mounted on aircraft to produce real-time results on algae contamination in water-bodies via waterway flyovers.

Founded in 2005, NOSM committed to the education of high quality physicians and health professionals, and to international recognition as a leader in distributed, learning-centered, community-engaged education and research. The research initiatives developed in partnership with NOSM are internationally recognized and supported by competitive, peer-reviewed funding awarded on the basis of scientific excellence.

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