N.B.’s SomaDetect Receives $3.9 Million To Pilot Technology

The SomaDetect team. Image: Submitted

FREDERICTON- A New Brunswick startup is getting help from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), a foundation created by the federal government to advance clean technology, to pilot its technology across North America.

On Wednesday, SomaDetect announced that it’s receiving $3.9 million from SDTC to pilot its automated, in-line sensor that provides dairy farmers with information from individual cows to help improve management decisions, milk quality, and health.

“We are thrilled to have SDTC join us and support the wild adventure that is SomaDetect. We are grateful to live at a time when everyone – our farmers, our government, our communities, our SDTC consortium partners, and technologists like us – care about creating the best possible food given the resources we have today,” said Bethany Deshpande, CEO of SomaDetect in a news release.

Founded in New Brunswick in 2016, SomaDetect has produced a sensor with the capacity to provide farmers with daily information from each cow so they can diagnose diseases, eliminate contamination, manage reproduction, and increase milk quality. In turn, cows can have longer, healthier, and more productive lives.

The company anticipates that better management decisions also means less GHG emissions on dairy farms. Since milk production per cow increases, less cows will be needed. It is estimated that this project will result in a five to eight per cent reduction in associated GHG emissions on dairy farms or the equivalent to the energy produced by 55.3 Wind Turbines running for one year.

SomaDetect’s proprietary technology uses deep learning algorithms to process the information collected by their sensors and a user interface to communicate actionable data to farmers. This data helps to manage their operations, including several aspects of milk quality and herd health.

The new pilot allows the company to scale its works with dairy farmers and industry partners across North America. The company will be installing their sensors and collecting data to build algorithms on dairy farmers, first in North America, and then globally.

“Canadian cleantech entrepreneurs are tackling problems across Canada and in every sector. I have never been more positive about the future. SomaDetect has created a sensor that will measure dairy quality, ultimately resulting in a 5-8% reduction in associated GHG emissions in dairy farms. This is equivalent to burning over 280 million pounds of coal,” said Leah Lawrence, president and CEO of SDTC, in a release.