Cottony Ash Psyllid - The City of Moose Jaw is aware of the infestation

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Rural crime is something people in the province deal with regularly, and with initiatives like the Protection and Response team and Highway Patrol Officers now being armed with the tools to face it, improvements are being made on the regular.

Innovation Saskatchewan, along with the RCMP and the Provincial Government, joined in on the fight and held a contest called the "Innovation Saskatchewan Rural Crime Innovation Challenge," looking for individuals, entrepreneurs, and independent companies to bring their best solutions forward to try and tackle the issue of rural crime.

"It is an issue that we hear about in government and in the media and I think it's a reality, it's a problem that a lot of Saskatchewan people face," explained Wes Jickling, CEO of Innovation Saskatchewan. "You know technology isn't just about helping you at your computer or at your laptop; it can actually be applied to solve real-world problems that regular folks are experiencing."

After around 9 months since the presentations to the panel, Innovation Saskatchewan unveiled the winner of the challenge as Jeff Shirley, with River City Technology, who created a tracking device all called BeeSecure that farmers can use to track things like quads, tool boxes, or anything else on their farm, only using their phone.

As part of being chosen as the winner, Shirley received a $10,000 grant and a 16-month residency with the Ministry of Justice.

"Saskatchewan is full of innovators; we've got a history of innovation and technological development," Jickling shared. "I think that technology in Saskatchewan, talent in Saskatchewan people, we can solve problems with technology and new ideas and the rural crime challenge was an example of that in reality."

If the team is successful, they will be able to test their proposed prototype through a pilot project.

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