Pest Control Using Light Instead of Chemicals
Lighting Science Group Corporation and Intellectual Ventures’ Global Good today announced a research agreement to collaborate on the development of next-generation light technologies for pest control. Based on Global Good’s photonic fence invention and Lighting Science’s light-control technology, the joint development effort will focus on field-ready prototypes that offer an environmentally-responsible alternative to chemical pesticides. Lighting Science plans to leverage this development effort to create a new company to bring highly efficient and effective pest control products for health, commercial and residential use around the world.
Combining low-cost sensors and laser technology with software to identify, track, and eliminate insects, the photonic fence device was first invented by Intellectual Ventures to address the spread of malaria in developing countries. In addition to its potential use for global health organizations fighting vector-borne diseases, the photonic fence technology also presents significant applications for one of the largest industries worldwide, agriculture.
“What began by putting the world’s deadliest animal, the mosquito, in our sights with a laser, has opened up new advances in the way we can use light to protect communities and crops from a range of disease-bearing insects,” said Maurizio Vecchione, senior vice president for Global Good and Research at Intellectual Ventures. “For example, the export potential of high-value crops could increase dramatically if a light-based perimeter was available to both monitor and eliminate pests, instead of possibly unsafe or ineffective insecticides.”
Under the research agreement, Global Good will license its photonic fence technology to Lighting Science to manage product development in both vector control for malaria and derivative inventions in agricultural systems, with a goal to commercialize for developing and developed world markets. Lighting Science CEO Ed Bednarcik predicts that, “This collaborative product development could drive significant new advances in the intersection of biology and light.” Lighting Science founder and Chief Technology Officer Fred Maxik added, “The transformation of light into a digital technology that can be precisely controlled offers great promise in a number of fields – especially human health and agriculture. Our experience working with NASA and other agencies has shown us that we can improve agricultural output without the use of harmful chemicals.”
“At Lighting Science, we are focused on solving the world’s problems using light,” said Craig Cogut, Chairman of Lighting Science and founder and Managing Partner of Pegasus Capital Advisors. “We believe that new applications of LED technology can democratize light, revolutionize incumbent industries, and improve the lives of billions. Collaborating with Global Good will help us to overcome global challenges and ensure that the environmental, health, and agricultural benefits of this transformation are shared globally.”
About Global Good
Global Good is a collaboration between Intellectual Ventures and Bill Gates to invent technology that improves life in developing countries. With support from a coalition of NGO, government and business partners, they conceive, develop and deploy inventions for the poorest parts of the world. Learn more at www.globalgood.com .