University of Saskatchewan

September 19, 2014   

SED atmospheric research payload
recovery, September 1969
Photo: U of S Archives
SED atmospheric research payload recovery, September 1969 Photo: U of S Archives

A Century of Innovation



Patenting Technology
The University of Saskatchewan holds more than 270 patents, dozens of which are licensed to companies around the world to help them manufacture products and deliver services. More than a dozen startup companies have been launched on the strength of U of S technologies.

Larry Fowke Larry Fowke

Growing Super Trees
CellFor, a U of S spinoff company based on the work of Stephen Attree under the supervision of biologist Larry Fowke, is ramping up to produce enough seed to grow 200 million trees of its high-performing conifer varieties by 2010.

Plant Gene Discovery
Lawrence Gusta, Albert Robertson, and Guohai Wu discovered Rob-5, a stress-tolerance gene that increases plant vigor and seed yield and shortens time to maturity. Rob-5 has been licensed to BASF, one of the world’s leading agricultural products companies.

Opening of the linear accelerator
laboratory, November 1964

Reducing Seed Costs
Biologist Vipen Sawhney has developed the first photoperiod-sensitive male sterile tomato, which can significantly reduce the cost of hybrid seed production. The technology has been licensed to an Italian seed company.

Better Biodiesel
Martin Reaney and Dushmanthi Jayasinghe have developed a better way to make biodiesel that produces fuel together with the valuable byproducts glycerol and lithium grease. The patentpending technology has attracted interest from biodiesel producers.

Robert Kerrich Robert Kerrich

Proving Earth’s Mysteries
Geologist Robert Kerrich provided the first clear evidence that the Earth’s ancient oceanic and continental crust avalanched 3,000 kilometres to the Earth’s core and returned to the surface as volcanoes. He also developed what is now widely regarded as the standard model of how gold deposits are formed. His research advances mining industry efforts to explore more effectively for precious mineral resources such as gold.

Maintaining Healthy Rivers
Unique-in-Canada, the new U of S Aquatic Toxicology Research Facility will provide the tools to detect and evaluate toxic pollution in our lakes and rivers, providing crucial information for policy regulation and environmental remediation.

Biosensors Diagnose Disease
U of S spinoff Adnavance Technologies is developing biosensors for diagnosing disease, DNA-based vaccines, and a method for producing hydrogen for fuel cells. The technologies are based on metalcontaining M-DNA discovered by Jeremy Lee and Palok Aich.

Harry Toop Harry Toop

A World Computing First
On Dec.15th, 1955, former student Harry Toop and U of S computer scientists working with U of T colleagues achieved a little-known scientific milestone: the first long-distance use of a high-speed computer. Using telegraph circuits to cover a distance of 2,760 kilometres, Toop’s team connected with one of the world’s first modern computers at the U of T which analyzed mathematical problems sent via a teletype machine and returned the results back to Saskatoon.

Helping Stroke Victims
Medical researchers Jim Thornhill and Vivian Ramsden are developing a “cooling arch” that paramedics can use to help minimize brain damage in stroke victims in the critical minutes before patients arrive at the hospital.

Ron Cuming Ron Cuming

Improving our Laws
Law professor Ron Cuming is the leading architect of modern secured financing law in Canada. The legislation he drafted took a disparate mess of laws and registry systems that existed in Saskatchewan and created a single, more efficient statute that provided better protection for borrowers. It has been adopted in all provinces except Ontario and Quebec.

Taking the Pulse of our Community
In 2001, two U of S social research units broke new ground in how social research is communicated. They teamed up with The StarPhoenix to produce a 28-page supplement called “Taking the Pulse” which featured poll results and related stories on the quality of life in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan as a whole. Parts of the project became part of Saskatchewan’s Grade 11 social psychology curriculum.

Plant sciences research technician Donna Hays
developed Lilium ‘University of Saskatchewan,’
chosen to commemorate the U of S Centennial Plant sciences research technician Donna Hays developed Lilium ‘University of Saskatchewan,’ chosen to commemorate the U of S Centennial
Al Slinkard, founder of the Canadian
pulse industry Al Slinkard, founder of the Canadian pulse industry