Terramera has potential to make Karn Manhas far more famous than he ever was as a backbench MLA

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      A former B.C. Liberal legislator has demonstrated that life doesn’t have to end for politicians once they make the transition to private life.

      When Karn Manhas was elected to represent Port Coquitlam–Burke Mountain back in 2001, he was only 24 years old—the youngest MLA in B.C. history.

      Manhas didn't seek reelection in 2005 when the seat was recaptured by the NDP's Mike Farnworth. Since then, Manhas hasn't looked back.

      A decade ago, he founded Terramera, which initially relied on plant-based products to fight insects, including bedbugs.

      Video: In Karn Manhas's 2016 TEDx Vancouver talk, he went into gory detail about his experience with bedbugs.

      It has since evolved into an agtech company with research labs, a greenhouse, and a farm, with operations in Canada, the U.S., and India.

      And in 2019, it was one of six B.C. companies that made the Global Cleantech 100 list.

      In April, Fast Company recognized Terramera’s Actigate technology as a finalist in the food category of its World Changing Ideas Awards.

      It’s also one of three finalists in the 2020 Technology Impact Awards for Excellence in Technology Innovation.  The other two finalists in this category are Damon Motorcycles and Fatigue Science. This event is put on by the B.C. Tech Association.

      “By fusing science, nature and artificial intelligence, Terramera is working to transform how food is grown and the economics of agriculture in the next decade with more than 200 patents in its IP portfolio,” the association states on its website. “Its revolutionary agtech platform, Actigate, aims to reduce the global synthetic pesticide load by 80 percent by 2030.”

      This is the third time that Terramera, a privately held company, has been nominated for these awards. 

      Earlier this year, Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains visited Terramera's Vancouver headquarters to announce that the company would lead a project for the Canadian Digital Technology Supercluster.

      “We are working to help make farming healthier, more sustainable and more productive so we can ensure a world that thrives and provides for everyone, while also helping to turn back the clock on climate change,” Manhas says on the B.C. Tech website.