Analytical Advantage: A Collaboration Between Acadia's Institute for Data Analytics and Greenlight Analytical


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Greenlight Analytical (GLA) is a start-up in Halifax that’s developing a cannabis analyzer for Licensed Producers (LP’s) to use right in their growing facilities.  The instrument measures potency, flavour, quality, and safety of dried cannabis and other cannabis products.

According to their website, GLA’s bench top device can easily produce accurate measurement and readings so LP’s can, “correct quality or regulatory problems in real time, without the risk of losing a crop, as well as optimize their harvest cycles and potency to increase revenue.”

In 2019, GLA and a team of researchers from the Acadia Institute for Data Analytics (AIDA) at Acadia University successfully secured NSBI funding for a project that is helping the company integrate machine learning and data processing into its device.  This will allow users to easily interpret the complex outputs of the device.

"Greenlight Analytical has been working with Dr. Danny Silver, Dr. Andrew McIntyre, and their team at the Acadia Institute for Data Analytics on an exciting new project to apply machine learning and artificial intelligence to mass spectrometry,” said James Wylde, CEO and Founder of Greenlight Analytical.

The first phase of the project was a tremendous success providing valuable data, and we look forward to working with the team for our second phase and beyond.”

And according to Wylde, Acadia’s Office of Industry and Community Engagement (ICE) was instrumental in working with GLA and the AIDA Analytics to collaborate this project.

“ICE’s assistance in cultivating relationship with subject matter experts, leveraging resources from related groups at Acadia that can help accelerate the project (e.g., Dept. of Chemistry), proposal preparation, IP and contract negotiations, and navigating through the many funding opportunities has been instrumental in ensuring that the collaboration between Acadia and Greenlight Analytical is a success.”

AIDA was formed in 2014 with the mission to advance industry knowledge in data analytics and create solutions for challenges within rural communities, industry, government. To accomplish this, AIDA launched the Data Runway initiative, which collaborates with a number of start-ups, such as GLA, and other companies that could benefit from data analytics and machine learning.

Leigh Huestis, one of our Industry Engagement Professional’s (IEP) at Acadian ICE Office, has been on the steering committee for AIDA since its beginning, helping to provide feedback on submitted projects, giving insight on IP and weighing all other considerations to ensure the highest success for the company.

“When looking for a team to work on a machine learning project, the team at Acadia was highly recommended both inside and outside of Acadia,” said Wylde.

“[AIDA’s] team has been very engaged and what has impressed us was their enthusiasm for learning and understanding the application for the work as well as the data analysis itself.”


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