Turning waste into energy by tapping into skilled post-secondary talent
Merivale Group — consisting of Merivale Software & Robotics, Merivale Waste Management, and Merivale Clean Energy — is on a mission to reduce carbon emissions by converting waste to energy.
Group President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Adeleye has no shortage of ideas on how to do just that. All he needed was talent with expertise in research and development to turn them into reality. So, when contacts at Cape Breton University and the Cape Breton Partnership pointed him in the direction of Mitacs, he was immediately interested.
“We were able to move in the right direction and get R&D started by bringing on students. We’re where we are today because the funding was available to support the students’ work – and because we were able to recognize talent from the university,” says Adeleye. “The simplicity of Mitacs is absolutely awesome. The whole process is easy to tap into.”
The simplicity of Mitacs is absolutely awesome. The whole process is easy to tap into
The Merivale Group was able to get two of its key research projects off the ground thanks to Mitacs, which, through funding partnerships with organizations like Nova Scotia Business Inc., covered at least 50 per cent of the innovation internship.
“Our first project is converting waste into energy, recycling waste heat to heat homes – especially in rural areas where communities may be off grid. We want to capture the heat to reduce emissions, and then use the energy to heat homes and hot water,” says Adeleye.
“The second project is developing smart sensors for garbage bins, which combine about 15 different sensors in one, detecting fires, emission levels or methane gas.” Adeleye notes the sensors provide real-time data which could be used to track and reduce emissions, as well as providing logistical support for waste collection.
For both projects, Adeleye says the students Merivale engaged with the support of Mitacs funding truly brought the research and development, and the prototypes, to life.
“We started together from scratch – so I have to give them the kudos. We came up with the proposal of what we want to achieve, and those students did a fantastic job, a really great job.”
Adeleye says that the Mitacs Accelerate Program has played a key role in Merivale’s success.
"Without Mitacs and NSBI, we wouldn't be where we are today. Without this kind of support, we would not have achieved what we've done. Companies in Europe and Australia would not be reaching out to us because they know about what we're doing. And I think that's an amazing story to tell.”
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