December 1, 2018 – Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) Department of Engineering faculty member, Dr. Nisrine El Turky, along with one of her students, Christina Chaccour, won second prize at the Lebanese Industrial Research Association’s (LIRA) 14th forum for their project “the internet of trees,” IO Trees.
The LIRA program is a national initiative which evaluates projects based on their innovation, efficiency, and their projected success in the market. The jury was comprised of a panel of experts in different fields in order to achieve a holistic and global outlook. Graduate and doctoral projects from different universities across Lebanon were shortlisted for the competition based on criteria which can be found on the LIRA website (http://liraprogram.com/). IO Trees was one of 71 newly developed academic-industrial projects from 15 universities.
IO Trees is a startup founded by Dr. El Turky, which aims to limit pesticide use by using a wireless smart trap based on artificial intelligence. The trap is capable of detecting harmful pests and warn the farmer via a mobile app about when, where and which pesticides to use. As such, IO Trees helps farmers get rid of all pests without excessive use of pesticides, contributing to a healthier overall ecosystem. The startup has already won other awards, like the Startup Weekend Mount Lebanon Ag award, which is partnered with Google, and claimed first place at the Agrytech Hackathon 2018.