The “Data Runway” at the Acadia Institute for Data Analytics (AIDA) is ramping up to deliver technical advice and tools to a target of 10 businesses a year, to help them deploy data analytics.
A grant of almost $500,000 from the Invest Nova Scotia Fund, announced in October, will allow AIDA to double its existing services by increasing its staff, said institute director Dr. Danny Silver. Dr. Andy McIntyre is the new Data Scientist at AIDA and an Admin/Tech Assistant will also be hired.
AIDA is housed within the Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre, at Acadia University in Wolfville, allowing business clients to combine entrepreneurship support with technical advice on data analytics. These services provide the “Data Runway” for entrepreneurs looking to integrate data analytics into their business model or build new data-driven businesses.
Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards in Wolfville is one Valley enterprise that is adopting technical advice and a new tool developed at AIDA. Using photos taken on a mobile phone, the tool estimates the grape yield (weight) while the fruit is still on the vine, through a process that incorporates digital imaging, image processing and machine learning. The result will help the business improve planning and operations.
Applied in this instance to grapes, the same tool could be used in different agricultural, acquaculture and other industry settings, said Silver.
Working closely with the university’s Rural Innovation Centre, AIDA focuses its effort on start-ups and existing businesses engaged in agriculture and aquaculture, green energy and clean tech, and solutions for sustainable development. “These tend to be the important sectors in the Acadia University community and for the Valley and Canada,” Silver said.
With a growing reputation across Atlantic Canada, AIDA is part of an informal network of campus-based and government services that provide a suite of R&D and business development services to local industries and enterprises in the Annapolis Valley. Read about the Valley’s innovation advantages here.