Mating-Disrupting Pheromone Technology Reduces Chemical Pesticide Use in Canadian Orchards
Vancouver's semiosBIO Technologies gets $2.8 million investment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire - Feb. 15, 2013) - Well, the fruit-eating moths who want to mate won't be happy about it, but fruit eaters and Canada's orchard growers will be, as Vancouver's semiosBIO Technologies received a $2.8 million investment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) that can reduce the use of chemical pesticides on fruit crops. The company will use the funds to do a broad demonstration of its pest management system which prevents oriental fruit moths and codling moths from mating, reducing the larvae population which eat through fruit and cost Canadian orchards money and lost produce.
SemiosBIO has developed a pest management system comprised of mating-disrupting pheromones and automated sensory and dispersion equipment to apply pheromones and measure their efficacy. The automated pest management system allows users to perform real-time monitoring, quantify pests, control pheromone dispersion and collect other data.
"Our Government is doing its part to encourage innovation and the next wave of clean technologies to help protect our environment and create high-quality jobs," said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources. "Investment in projects such as these demonstrates our leadership in driving a vibrant clean technology industry in Canada."
"SemiosBIO is very pleased that through its investment of $2.8 million, the Government of Canada has recognized that our pest management system reduces pesticide use on fruit and will result in cleaner soil and cleaner water - SDTC's commitment today will help the success of this clean technology tomorrow," said Dr. Michael Gilbert, President and CEO of semiosBIO.
"SDTC is proud to add this project to its portfolio, now valued at more than $2 billion. When purchased and used by Canadian industry, the clean technologies developed by portfolio companies will enable a variety of sectors to increase their share of global markets," said Dr. Vicky Sharpe, President and CEO of SDTC. "As Canada works to diversify its export markets, working with new trading partners in emerging countries, these innovative technologies will help make Canadian natural resources and products more globally attractive and competitive."
The pest management technology developed by semiosBIO is more cost-effective and less-labour intensive for fruit growers than the solid matrix pheromone technology that currently exists, and prevents soil and water contamination which occur when toxic chemicals such as Phosmet, Carbaryl and Diazinon are used in spray applications. By 2020, uptake of this technology in Canadian apple orchards has the potential to displace and prevent soil contamination from these pesticides by respectively 27, 14 and 13 tonnes /yr. Similarly, it could reduce water contamination by these same three chemicals by 402, 214 and 201 kg/yr.
For this pest management system project, semiosBIO Technologies Inc. is part of a consortium that includes Okanagan Kootenay Sterile Insect Release Program (SIR), the University of British Columbia (UBC), the University of Guelph and Mr. Len Metcalfe.
Today's funding announcement is part of $61.8 million to help 23 new clean technology projects from across the country reach commercialization.
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Founded in 2010, Vancouver-based semiosBIO is a Canadian company offering real-time information and precision pest management tools for high value crops. Powerful, secure online software integrates weather and pest monitoring with remotely-controlled mating disruption. The semiosBIO platform combines hardware and software to enable farms to make decisions that preserve and increase crop value.
On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sustainable Development Technology Canada helps commercialize Canadian clean technologies, readying them for growth and export markets. With a portfolio of companies under management valued at more than $2 billion, SDTC is positioning cleantech as a driver of jobs, productivity and economic prosperity.
SDTC operates two funds aimed at the development and demonstration of innovative technological solutions. The $590 million SD Tech Fund™ supports projects that address climate change, air quality, clean water, and clean soil. The $500 million NextGen Biofuels Fund™ supports the establishment of first-of-kind large demonstration-scale facilities for the production of next-generation renewable fuels.
SDTC works with the private sector, the financial sector and all levels of government to meet the Government of Canada's commitment to create a healthy environment and a high quality of life for all Canadians. SDTC operates as a not-for-profit corporation.