A Concrete Idea
As the application deadline for the Atlantic Innovation Fund approaches,
ACOA celebrates the power of thinking outside the box
MONCTON, NB, June 14, 2012 /CNW/ – At first glance, the connection
between making rope for the fishing industry and leading innovation in
concrete reinforcement may not seem that apparent. But it’s a natural
creative leap for Polysteel Atlantic which promises to revolutionize construction projects everywhere.
In 1993, East Coast Rope Ltd. of Sydney, NS began establishing their
identity in the market with Polysteel(TM) a rope product superior in durability and strength to traditional
manila or polypropylene ropes, and made through a unique process that
turned resin pellets into fibre.
Four years later, the company created a sister company to their
traditional rope business, Polysteel Atlantic, Ltd., acquiring a larger
facility and state-of-the-art equipment that enabled them to triple
their production capacity.
They continued to focus on research and development, pioneering a number
of trademarked commercial fishing and aquaculture products, including a
specialized rope designed to reduce whale entanglements.
“If you’re not innovative, you get left behind in the competition,” says
Sean Burke, Vice President and General Manager.
“As a North American manufacturer, we’re not always cost competitive
with some overseas markets. So to remain at the front, we need to bring
higher value products to market.”
And that’s just what they did back in 1999.
“We were looking for a way to use the by-product from rope production in
a commercial application, rather than disposing of it in the landfill,”
With some ‘outside the box’ thinking, and help from researchers at
Dalhousie University and ACOA, they developed a synthetic fibre that could serve as an alternative to the traditional steel fibres,
wire mesh and lighter rebar used to reinforce concrete. This product
has been used in applications such as highway barrier walls, heavy
industrial flooring, septic tanks and mining tunnels.
They’ve been successfully manufacturing and exporting the fibre ever
Meanwhile, with support from ACOA’s Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) they’ve also been working on the development of the next
generation of their fibre product, which looks to replace the heavier
steel reinforcement needed in infrastructure such as highway and bridge
components as well as multi level building construction.
It’s an innovation that could offer considerable advantages over steel
by being easier to use and having a lower carbon footprint.
“We are entering a time when many existing structures, such as bridge
and overpasses, need replacement,” says Sean. “This will be a huge
potential cost to society, so this is a great time to be making
structures that will last longer.”
Now that’s a concrete idea surely designed to go places.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ |Apply now for the AIF Competitive Round 2012 | | | |The Atlantic Innovation Fund encourages partnerships among private sector firms, universities, colleges and research institutions to develop new products, processes and | |services. | | | |If you are an Atlantic Canadian business, university, college, or a research institution interested in applying to the Atlantic Innovation Fund, you must first submit | |a mandatory letter of intent| |by Thursday, June 28 (2:00 p.m. AST) and then a detailed project proposal byWednesday September 26 (2:00 p.m. AST). For more information, | |see how to apply. | |___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________|
Did you know?
-- Since 2006, the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) has committed close to $464 million in assistance to 199 highly innovative research and development projects across the region. -- Since 2006, the AIF has helped leverage close to $518 million in additional R&D funding from other private and public sources. -- According to Statistics Canada, R&D is growing in Atlantic Canada with experts pointing to the AIF as a key driver.
SOURCE Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
Image with caption: “Atlantic Innovation Fund Competitive Round 2012 – Interested in applying? Letters of intent are due June 28 and proposals September 26 (CNW Group/Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA))”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120614_C8332_PHOTO_EN_15118.jpg
Image with caption: “Polysteel’s innovative rope product is superior in durability and strength to traditional ropes (CNW Group/Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA))”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120614_C8332_PHOTO_EN_15120.jpg
Video with caption: “Video: Launching lifeboats safely can mean the difference between life and death, but there’s never been a consistent way to safely train workers at sea. Until now…”. Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6UdWNZYyuo&feature=youtu.be
Video with caption: “Video: Lending a hand to someone in need takes spirit. But making a hand takes innovation, and that’s just what Dr. Kevin Englehart and his team of engineers are realizing in the creation of a new prosthetic hand…”. Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNy2NQvXBUo&feature=youtu.be