Rural Resilience Researcher Stacking Up Awards!

For the second time in a week, a Rural Resilience researcher and Grenfell PhD candidate, Abdul-Latif Alhassan has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to making the world around him a better place.

During BDC Small Business Week, Mr. Alhassan received the Navigate “Student Entrepreneur of the Year.” This recognition results from Abdul’s efforts in developing two new environmental policy innovation start-up firms: AbbaTek Group Inc. and JCI Consultancy.

AbbaTek Group – Community Data Science Initiatives and AI Solutions is a social enterprise that supports Newfoundland and Labrador companies that focus on aquatic ecosystems and microplastic remediation. AbbaTek provides the environmental tools, data analytics and processes that these companies need to help make meaningful impacts within our province. And

JCI Consultancy offers quality environmental consulting services to private and public sector stakeholders that share Mr. Alhassan’s vision for developing sustainable, agile and viable communities.

“We utilize machine learning and artificial intelligence to help fight microplastics pollution by reducing uncertainty in microplastics research – freeing researcher times and helping them protect human health and the environment through informed policy-making/influencing,” said Mr. Alhassan.

The second award further recognizes Mr. Alhassan’s dedication to keeping our oceans healthy. His start-up was one of only 30 winners from across Canada in the “Ocean Startup Challenge.” The competition provides financial support from a combined $640,000 funding pot for development capital, mentorship and training opportunities for budding Canadian Bluetooth businesses. Mr. Alhassan and company, AbbaTek Group, were once again singled out leaders in developing an Artificial Intelligence (AI) web-based platform that aims to standardize, streamline and de-skill the reporting and analysis processes surrounding microplastics.

“These early stage ideas have the potential to make a massive impact on ocean health and sustainability and scale quickly,” said Don Grant, executive director of the Ocean Startup Project.

Mr. Alhassan agrees.

“Current water quality testing protocols do not include microplastics and there is a huge opportunity to make a case for policy and regulation changes,” he said, adding he is incredibly grateful for the acknowledgement of the work he and his co-founders do. “My work is driven by my desire to to make positive, meaningful and lasting impacts, not just for the planet, but also for everyone who lives here now and in the future.”

This endorsement is not only exciting for Grenfell Alumni like Abdul who head innovative environmental startups such as AbbaTek, but for everyone. We all look forward to seeing the benefits from the hard work of entrepreneurs like Abdul in the years to come!

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