• Origen Air

Innovative Technology to Monitor Clean Air Delivery Rate Receives Two-Year Mitacs Research Grant

Origen Air, a Victoria-based cleantech startup, is proud to announce a collaborative two-year research project with the University of Victoria, through funding from Mitacs. The funding will support building, testing, and validating Origen Air’s SENTINEL and HVAC-Integrated ORIGEN CANOPY products while also testing our probiotic efficacy and optimum humidity levels.



Mitacs Project Impact


To ensure quality delivery of this project, Origen Air will be working with Dr. Phalguni Mukhopadhyaya and UVic’s engineering department. In addition, Origen Air has two third-year Mechanical Engineer Co-op Students,a Masters Student Civil Engineer, and a Mechanical Engineer Ph.D. Candidate with HVAC and airflow expertise to supervise our team. We will also be working with a third-party engineering company to build, test, and validate results.

When asked about the project and its impact on the company, Origen Air’s Co-Founder and CEO, Susan Blanchet, said, “We are thrilled to have received this funding from Mitacs. It will help jumpstart our demonstration and testing and bring our air purification systems to life at an accelerated pace. We’ve hired the perfect team to get this done. At the end of the day, I’m confident we will have finished products soon that will fundamentally change the air quality within indoor spaces we live and work in for the better.”



SENTINEL Prototype Goals


For Origen Air’s SENTINEL prototype, contaminated indoor air will first flow through sensors that will assess the incoming Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and will allow users to monitor IAQ on Origen’s proprietary smartphone app. Next, the air will flow through a filter system that will remove large airborne particulate matter (PM10), which if introduced into the system could inhibit the growth and biological functions of the plants. Then, our genetically modified pothos ivy plants will metabolize volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). The air will then be temporarily captured in a Far-UVC Sanitation chamber, inactivating 99.9% of viral pathogens. This chamber drives the flow of air throughout the entire system. Once released, a probiotic fog similar to the technology used in Origen Clean’s fogging solutions will be sprayed and adhere to the air to prevent pathogens from inhibiting the air for 3-5 days. As a final step, one more set of sensors will reassess and monitor the change in IAQ and adjust the air flow. The result is vastly cleaner indoor air. See the picture below for a concept image of how the process will be designed to work or click here to read more about Origen Air’s SENTINEL air purifier.



More About Mitacs


Mitacs is a Canadian-based company focussed on assisting businesses bring innovative ideas to market. They help businesses maximize investment and achieve the best possible return on investment (ROI). With 14,000 collaborations and nearly 80 innovation project experts, Mitacs is a leader in Canada’s innovation ecosystem. No matter your business or sector, Mitacs prides themselves on embracing companies innovation challenges.


Mitacs boasts a nearly 80-member Business Development team. This team is embedded at Canadian post-secondary institutions and identifies the right expertise to address your business challenges. They provide undergraduate and graduate talent to help with innovative business solutions.





Next Steps To Get Involved


If you or your business is interested in implementing cleaner indoor air to your space, you can contact us for more information on our air purification systems. By working with Origen Air, you are committing to a more sustainable lifestyle and business environment while minimizing your impact on the earth. 


You can also subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, including information on the Mitacs program progress. Finally, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram to stay up to date weekly with news about sustainability and the products and services we can offer to you or your business.