Nova Institute: Success Story

By February 22, 2021March 16th, 2021Haltech Client Spotlight, News

Haltech Client, Nova Institute, is a private research centre focused on R&D in Cleantech and AI. Founded in 2018 by CEO Maja Maher, Nova Institute is competing in the Cleantech, Manufacturing, and AI space; all traditionally underrepresented by women. In response to COVID 19, Nova Institute began importing, then manufacturing their own disposable face masks in their new manufacturing facility in Oakville. One of Nova Institute’s other current projects is developing a kinetic energy harvesting device for Marine Vessels in collaboration with the Canadian Coast Guard, achieved through winning the challenge set out by Innovative Solutions Canada. 


Ahmed Maher and Maja Maher, the respective CEOs of DiamondV and Nova Institute, holding one of their fever detection devices.

“Our company’s pivots have allowed us to support Canada’s call to action for medical supplies and to employ a larger and more diverse workforce. It’s so rewarding to see the difference our new business activities are making in people’s lives.



In response to the pandemic, the company undertook several major pivots. First, their health tech department responded to Canada’s call to action for medical supplies and shifted to the manufacturing of medical-grade face masks. To keep employees safe as we continue to restart our economy, Nova Institute has supplied Canada with over 5 million masks, with more on the way!

Recognizing the environmental impact of disposable face masks, Nova Institute has recently developed Health Canada-approved biodegradable face masks. The company is ready to scale-up production of these new masks for distribution.

In addition, the research centre’s AI group adapted Nova’s existing technology to develop an automatic fever recognition device, which uses a combination of thermal sensors and cameras. The goal is to help businesses automate their fever screening processes with a fast and effortless system that keeps employees and customers safe. This pivot was made in collaboration with DiamondV, a biometric access control company, and with the support of the Ontario Centre of Excellence.

Pivot advice

In their efforts to contribute and change during the pandemic, companies should look at their existing resources and consider:

  • how they may already be well-positioned to pivot outside of their regular business activities
  • if there are opportunities to leverage different parts of the supply chain and provide support services, such as testing, transportation, consulting, machine servicing, etc.

Nova Institute continues to innovate in other areas and has recently developed a system for kinetic energy harvesting for the Canadian Coast Guard through the federal Innovative Solutions Canada program to reduce the carbon footprint of marine vessels.

Copy and image retrieved from the Government of Canada. See the original release here.

Shane Ropp

Author Shane Ropp

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