University of Calgary

University of Calgary
Innovate Calgary

Innovate Calgary

November 22, 2011 11:55 ET

University of Calgary: A bear's eye view: innovative technology to help assess impact of natural resource planning on wildlife

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Nov. 22, 2011) - Innovate Calgary, a company that offers services to commercialize University of Calgary technologies, today announced a license agreement with Lotek Wireless Inc., a world leader in the design and manufacturing of fish and wildlife monitoring systems, to commercially develop an innovative animal tracking collar that can help assess the impact of natural resource planning on wildlife.

Current methods in animal tracking rely partly on the interpretation of researchers and can neglect to identify all an animal's travel patterns and behaviors, potentially resulting in a misinterpretation of the animal's activities and land usage. An innovative technology developed by Andrew Hunter and Naser El-Sheimy, researchers with the University of Calgary's Schulich School of Engineering, in collaboration with Gordon Stenhouse from the Foothills Research Institute and innovator Bruce Wright addresses these shortcomings and provides not only the ability to track an animal's travel patterns but also has the capability to analyze behavior based on an animal's body movements. The technology captures the animal's body mechanics allowing the researcher to assess the animal's behavior, such as feeding, diet via imagery, response to human activities, and habitat selection.

"This technology is the next revolution in animal tracking," says David Reese, Vice-President Licensing for Innovate Calgary. "We are proud to be a part of connecting leading Canadian innovations with world-class Canadian companies to bring new and innovative technologies to market."

"Our key interest in this technology is its ability to provide more sophisticated data on animal behaviour" says Leszek Meczarski, Director of Product Development and Management for Lotek. "The ability to understand real animal reaction regarding human development and land use can assist policy makers in making better decisions in areas such as agriculture, forestry, and park development. This can help ensure a mutually beneficial outcome for both human land use needs and wildlife sustainability."

With funding support from TECTERRA, Lotek is further developing this technology and anticipates releasing the product into the market in the spring of 2012.

"This is a breakthrough technology and TECTERRA is pleased to be the catalyst in its commercialization," says Dr. Mohamed Abousalem, Chief Executive Officer at TECTERRA. "This novel application of geomatics will provide for more effective preservation of the environmental habitat of our wildlife, which is an invaluable natural resource for Canada."

About Innovate Calgary:

Innovate Calgary is a full service organization offering technology transfer and business incubator services to researchers, entrepreneurs and businesses within the advanced technology sector. We support commercialization by providing a variety of services and programs including: business and technical advice, workshops, screening of technologies for commercial potential, access to sector resources and networking events, licensing and intellectual property protection strategy, company creation/incubation programs and office and lab space - tenancy and business resources and facilities for technology companies.

About Lotek Wireless Inc.:

Lotek Wireless Inc. is a world leader in the design and manufacture of fish and wildlife monitoring systems. The company makes radio, acoustic, archival and satellite solutions that allow researchers to track animals, birds and fish of almost any size, in almost any environment. Whether it moves through a terrestrial, aquatic, marine or avian habitat, Lotek has a system to track it. Lotek biotelemetry systems are used in fish and wildlife research being conducted in more than 100 countries, and can be found on every continent and in every ocean on the planet.

About TECTERRA Inc.:

TECTERRA Inc. is a national organization supporting the Canadian development and commercialization of geomatics technologies for integrated resource management. With current funding from the Province of Alberta and Government of Canada, TECTERRA invests in technology solutions for energy, forestry, agriculture, environment, and land management and development applications. The first centre of its kind, TECTERRA works with industry, entrepreneurs, researchers, and government partners to enable the use of geomatics technologies in addressing local, national and global challenges in resource management. TECTERRA, a non-profit organization, is governed by an independent Board of Directors representing key industry sectors associated with TECTERRA's focus markets. For more information, visit

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