Inversa Systems Ltd.

Inversa Systems Ltd.

April 07, 2011 07:30 ET

Inversa Systems Ltd. Inks Unique Deal with Government of Canada

Less than a month after recognition from the Atlantic Innovation Fund, Fredericton-based Inversa Systems Ltd. to use selection to Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program to further develop civil infrastructure inspection business

FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - April 7, 2011) - A Fredericton company's exclusive technology and its use in civil infrastructure management has caught the eye of the Canadian government. 

The significant potential of Inversa Systems Limited's Backscatter Computed Tomography (BCT) technology to help aging Canadian infrastructure has resulted in Inversa Systems Ltd. becoming one of only 19 companies from across Canada selected for the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP). The CICP initiative honours innovative companies by matching them with government departments that can use their technology. This helps the firms move into full commercialization. The honour comes less than one month after Inversa Systems Ltd. received a $2.1 million investment from the Atlantic Innovation Fund.

"We are convinced that this technology will directly save money and improve roadway safety in Canada," says John Bowles, President of Inversa Systems Ltd. "Receiving the CICP funding is a crucial step in Inversa's commercialization pathway. It will allow Inversa to prove the precise utility of the technology to a Tier A third party client. For the culvert examination market, Provinces and States are the largest market. Therefore, having proven federal support and acknowledgment will be an excellent gateway into our largest market."

Inversa Systems Ltd.'s BCT technology optimizes the management of infrastructure by providing clients with valuable information on the internal state of structures. Similar to medical CT or CAT, but used on an industrial scale, the portable BCT technology allows engineers to diagnose infrastructure, much like medical CT allows physicians to diagnose patients. The technology recently helped the New Brunswick Department of Transportation save $250,000 after inspecting just one roadway culvert.

"Much of North America's roadway infrastructure was put in service in the 1950s-1970s," says Bowles. "This infrastructure is now rapidly approaching the end of its design life. Therefore, governments are faced with escalating maintenance budgets with no end in sight. Planning optimized maintenance of these structures is now more crucial then ever, both safety wise and financially. Inversa's technology is one example of a new generation technology which can help reduce the number of unknowns in maintenance and safety planning which ultimately leads to saved lives and dollars."

Originally developed at the University of New Brunswick, Inversa Systems Ltd.'s BCT technology has attracted the attention of governments, oil and gas companies as well as chemical and aerospace firms. The Canadian government is one of a number of organizations looking to take advantage of what Inversa Systems Ltd. can offer.

"The federal government is the asset owner of raodways across the country such as at national parks, military bases and some highways," says Bowles. "These raodways have culverts passing under them to allow the passage of water. Many of the culverts are nearing or are beyond their design life and require inspection and maintenance. Currently some culverts are being replaced unnecessarily and some are not being replaced when they should be. This is due to lack of complete information about the culverts health and safety." 

Bowles says Inversa Systems Ltd. solves that problem by utilizing its BCT technology and inspection program to provide the client with a diagnostic image (visual picture) of the supporting soil condition behind the culvert wall, otherwise hidden from view. From this view, Inversa can locate and quantify voids forming behind the culvert wall. These voids if detected early can be easily and cost effectively filled. However, if left undetected these voids will cause the structure to become unstable and eventually washout or collapse. Forgetting the obvious safety hazard of a culvert failure, the economic incentive to do an inexpensive repair versus a full replacement is in the order of a 75% savings. 

"This can mean a savings of $750,000 or more for a large, deeply buried culvert," says Bowles. "Combining this with the inconvenience of roadway detours and delays for replacement, there are large tangible and intangible benefits to utilizing Inversa's non-destructive diagnostic imaging tool."

Inversa Systems Ltd. has a busy schedule ahead as it continues the commercialization of its technology.

"In the coming 12 months, Inversa will be focusing its effort on pushing further into the culvert inspection market and will be undertaking continued development projects in the offshore oil and gas sectors," says Bowles. "Pre-commercial testing will also be continuing with aerospace partners and chemical process facilities."

For more information on BCT, please visit the Inversa Systems Ltd. website at www.inversasystems.com.

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