BeeSecure, a GPS device developed with government support to track stolen property, was recently used by the RCMP and the Saskatoon Police Service to retrieve stolen goods.
Rivercity Innovations Ltd. received $20,000 through Innovation Saskatchewan's Rural Crime Innovation Challenge in 2017, followed by an 18-month trial funded by the Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety. The company also received advisory services and funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to help support research and development of its asset tracking technology.
"Curbing crime in rural and remote areas of our province is paramount," Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell said. "We were happy to support the development of BeeSecure and were thrilled when we found out that it was being used to solve actual crimes here in our province."
Following a 16-week residency program with the ministry, BeeSecure was piloted in the rural municipality of Mayfield with promising results. The municipality continued to support the technology and worked to get approval from law enforcement for the use of BeeSecure following the pilot.
In February of 2022, an item with the BeeSecure tracking technology enabled was stolen from Maymont. The stolen item began sending text messages to town administrators, exactly as intended.
The data retrieved from the technology led to the recovery of the stolen property and multiple arrests by the RCMP and the Saskatoon Police Service.
"We continue to look for ways to bring innovative technology solutions to our clients, whether protecting assets with GPS monitoring, property monitoring, or other valuable IoT solutions," CEO and founder of Rivercity Innovations Jeff Shirley said. "Our work would not be possible without the support of our many partners and enabling organizations in conjunction with the Saskatchewan tech eco-system continuing to be a positive driver in our growth."
"We are pleased with the success of BeeSecure and this innovative approach to improving the safety and security of our rural communities," Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Jeremy Harrison said. "This is an excellent example of how Innovation Challenges, like the one that led to the development of BeeSecure, can provide opportunities to Saskatchewan developers to pilot their ideas while simultaneously improving the delivery of government programs and services."
The Innovation Challenge is a provincial government initiative led by Innovation Saskatchewan to help the technology sector identify and develop creative solutions to everyday challenges in Saskatchewan. Each challenge seeks to address a particular issue through technology, and invites applications with proposed solutions from entrepreneurs, startups, students and academics. A winner is selected by a technical review panel. Winners have four months to develop a prototype, which go through a pilot-testing phase supported by government.
To learn more about the Innovation Challenge and how to participate, visit www.innovationsask.ca.
For more information, contact:
Corrections, Policing and Public Safety
Photo: Jeff Shirley demonstrates his BeeSecure app at one of his hive locations near Cudworth, Sask. on Aug. 18, 2019.