Innovation Hacks: Not Just for Start-ups!

Article Excerpt

Since COSIA’s inception, a key component of our strategy has been to identify clean technologies available from innovators, including start-up companies. One way we’ve engaged is by pointing them to a technology accelerator where they could benefit from outside expertise and mentorship to drive their clean tech innovation forward. In the past few years, however, we’ve noticed a trend of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accessing accelerator programs too…

One example is Calgary based Optiseis Solutions Ltd., which helps exploration and production companies gather information about the surface of the Earth and what lies beneath it. This geophysical data, acquired through a variety of survey techniques, provides details about metals, hydrocarbons or other valuable natural resources buried deep below ground.

The company had developed a new software solution and despite 10 years of consulting experience, they knew they could benefit from outside expertise to accelerate the development of their new product-line. Their EcoSeis software solution addresses a key challenge of seismic data acquisition, which historically has required cutting a network of narrow corridors through the boreal forest to transport and deploy geophysical survey equipment. These seismic lines are a major feature of the ecological footprint of oil and gas exploration.

Optiseis Solutions’ new software solution reduces this environmental impact significantly. It reduces land clearing by 30 to 50 per cent, while providing similar or improved data quality at an equal or lower cost. This method uses a combination of smaller seismic sources, narrower cut lines, and irregular pathways to create a unique geometry focused on maintaining sensitive habitat and minimizing surface disturbances, while also providing high quality seismic data and safe access for field personnel.

To further develop their software platform, Andrea Crook, Optiseis president and co-founder, enrolled in a cleantech accelerator program offered by Foresight, an organization that helps to drive the growth, commercialization, and adoption of clean technologies in Western Canada. The 12-week program covered all aspects of business development, from identifying customer needs, team development, product planning and contracting to project implementation.