Le réseau de liaison industrielle et de commercialisation pour le Canada atlantique
Bridging the Gap - For Social Innovation
Wikipedia defines Social Innovation as new strategies, concepts, ideas and organizations that aim to meet social needs with the goal to extend and strengthen civil society and includes open source methods and techniques and innovations with a social purpose. While social innovation has a long history, the term has recently gained popularity encompassing an array of social programs, initiatives and knowledge creation. New collaborations between governments, charities, not-for-profit, academia and the private sector are formed every day and the Canadian Government has established a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy in 2016/2017 to address persistent and complex social problems.
However, for traditional technology transfer and most funding mechanisms it still poses a challenge to determine TRL levels for social innovation. Springboard’s Innovation Mobilization Funding is geared for Bridging the Gap between TRL 1-3 (4) and TRL 5-7, addressing the crucial stage between moving from the initial prototype to commercial prototype to market. In Spring 2017, Springboard awarded the first Proof of Concept funds for social innovation knowhow (technology) to Dr. Clive Baldwin at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick.
Dr. Baldwin’s research works towards establishing how transmedia (interactive storytelling) can be used for educational and social awareness purposes. A transmedia story emerges and evolves through a reader’s engagement with materials on multiple media platforms, so the whole story does not appear on any single media but is developed and experienced through several platforms. For example, the reader might be introduced to the experience/story via a Facebook page, but would need to read a related blog to receive more background information. Then the reader would explore a computer game that introduces some of the issues, watch research videos on the topic to understand more of the experience and information provided, look at a related Facebook page to gain some appreciation of reactions and so on. Further, the reader is also able to interact with the story/information provided and can receive a response back. Therefore, each readers experience will be different, depending on how they react and interact to the provided information.
Transmedia story-telling is an emerging area of interest in the commercial world and all work is currently focused on marketing, branding and computer gaming. Yet the possibilities for transmedia story-telling are much broader. While there are a few 'how-to' manuals and training programs available, there is currently nothing that focuses on educational and social applications. The integration of pedagogical, social, and narrative theory will make transmedia story-telling more accessible and more relevant to educators, social workers, healthcare providers and tourism groups.
To develop the how-to-manual, Dr. Baldwin and Brandi Estey-Burtt (project co-ordinator) are using the example of transableism, which is a phenomenon that invokes a strong response (often a negative one) and requires an imaginative leap on the part of the reader to understand. With the use of the transmedia storytelling platform Conductrr, the how-to manual will provide step-by-step instructions on the creation of a transmedia story for educational/social/cultural purposes. The manual will link the educational aspect with the storytelling process, using the experience gathered from the prototype project as the template.
While traditional TRL definitions and assessment do not include social innovation we think that an open mind will allow for its inclusion and we are looking forward to seeing where this project will go.
Members in the News: Spring 2018 Recap
St. Francis Xavier announces new spin-out company Arolytics Inc. The company's goal is to help companies more effectively monitor, track, and manage their emissions.
Feds, IBM Donate $6M to UNB - The University of New Brunswick has received almost $6 million in funding from federal and provincial governments and IBM. The money will go to UNB’s Centre for Advanced Studies to develop new runtime software that will enhance a computer's workflow and function.
Scott Brison and Andy Fillmore were on the SMU campus to announce $1.8 million from the Coastal Restoration Fund (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) for Dr. Danika van Proosdij's research. She will use the funding to create new salt marsh habitat around the Bay of Fundy and beyond, addressing the impact of climate change on our region and tackling a global problem. The goal is that the new marine life and new marshes will be able to absorb the rising sea levels.
Since joining Springboard in January it has been my pleasure to get to know our membership, our partners, and our clients. We are very lucky in Atlantic Canada to have an organization like Springboard representing the collective research and development capacity of 19 institutions across the region. Springboard’s vision is one of an Atlantic Canada where universities and colleges realize their full potential to solve the most significant economic and social challenges society faces through meaningful collaboration and the commercialization of research. More than 30 Industry Liaison and Technology Transfer (ILO/TTO) professionals work on behalf of Springboard Atlantic within their institutions to fulfill its mandate. First, by working with researchers to bring world-class ideas to the marketplace and second, by working with industry to address key issues and to capitalize on new opportunities through the application of research. The Springboard network stands as a leading model in Canada to drive innovation and competitiveness through the partnership of industry and institutions. It is my pleasure to lead this organization and to share our success over the last year with you now.
By the numbers:
Like the researchers we work with we believe in measurable outcomes. And, we’ve got lots of numbers to share. Let’s take a deeper look at the numbers behind our infographic and what they mean for Atlantic Canada.
In the last year alone, the Industry Liaison Officers of the network met with 1703 companies. That’s 32 companies a week for 52 weeks. That’s a lot of industry engagement. These meetings are the pipeline that feeds the 2000 industry research deals that were executed by our membership this year and the 511 transfers of intellectual property out of the institutions and into products and services in the marketplace.
What does the work behind these numbers actually look like? The ILO/TTOs work spans every aspect of the research & development lifecycle. Their roles are varied and can range from negotiating new licensing deals with large corporations to advising start-up companies on intellectual property strategy. They understand how to navigate the funding landscape to help finance the development of new ideas, and they can negotiate the deal(s) that ensure the idea becomes a product or service that benefits a company.
In addition to the human power of the network that is driving innovative ideas forward, , we also spent $820,319 #springboarding new opportunities. This funding comes from our Innovation Mobilization program, a $1.5-million fund that enables network members to undertake specific commercialization projects within their institutions. These projects include proof of concept testing, patent & legal support, market analysis & prototyping, and industry engagement.
Stories of Success:
There is a story behind every one of these big numbers we are sharing with you. Let’s take for example the new relationship between UPEI and Nautlilus Biosciences that helped facilitate the sale of Nautilus to Croda International. Croda plans to not only keep the PEI facility but expand their footprint and create the Croda Centre of Innovation for Marine Biotechnology in Charlottetown. Or CCNB, who recently completed an NRC research grant to help the brewing industry identify critical points in their process. This initiative helped various breweries from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec by providing a full analysis of one of their beers accompanied by a detailed report highlighting the most noticeable characteristics of their brew. The initiative also helped to optimize their processes and the next phase of the project will build more capacity for quality control on site. In an industry where quality and consistency are king, this type of data is invaluable to their production.
As we build on the success of last year we will continue driving meaningful economic growth and innovation with an even greater focus on our three main pillars. Our support of the startup ecosystem will remain a key component of our work. With some exciting new partnerships on the horizon for the fall, we are looking forward to continuing to drive the quantity and quality of new business ideas in the region. We’ll also target new industry-specific solutions in those sectors that mean the most to our Atlantic economy and will increase competitiveness through the adoption of innovative practices and technologies. Trying a new model of collaboration in a directed way will drive exciting new opportunities for our company partners. And finally, we know our institutions provide the entire region with a unique comparative advantage when working with national and international partners. The collective research and development capacity in Atlantic Canada is over 10000 people strong. Utilizing that capacity to attract new business and research investment is the basis of our final pillar. Aligning these pillars with the priorities of our member institutions and continuing to support our existing commercialization mandate is key to our success going forward.
We see pilot projects as the perfect place to start and look forward to providing more details in the coming months as we launch projects that support a renewed strategic focus. If this past year’s Investment Opportunities Pilot Program is any indication (p.s. exciting outcomes from that project coming soon to a news outlet near you) we know we’re on the right track. We’re looking forward to taking on these new challenges and can’t wait to share more with you.
If you would like to join us and be a part of bringing business, universities and colleges together to make exciting things happen in Atlantic Canada, please reach out. We are always looking for new partners and new challenges to solve.
In 1992 the Canadian Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans declared a moratorium on the Northern Cod fishery, promptly putting 12% of the Newfoundland economy out of business and disproportionately affecting small coastal fishing villages. While many communities have survived through a combination of a much-reduced fishery, government funding, and offshore or out of province employment, none of these are sustainable long-term solutions. Sea-based aquaculture (“fish farming” in pens) has provided stable employment in some areas, but the geography of the area is not conducive to this type of aquaculture and villages are far from ideal sites.
So, what does this area have in abundance? The answer is energy, available in ocean waves. Harnessing this energy to pump water on shore at a low cost will solve the challenges of geography that are impeding the growth of a sea-based aquaculture industry. Enabling the development of a profitable shore-based aquaculture will mean new jobs and long-term economic growth for these communities.
With this solution in mind, the College of the North Atlantic set out to tackle this major challenge. Over the last 6 years, the college has built the Wave Environment Research Centre (WERC) in Lord’s Cove on the south coast of the island of Newfoundland into a major economic driver. Helmed by Dr Mike Graham, it now supports 5 fulltime staff. It has also generated 375 weeks of student employment, trained 200+ students and supported 12 work terms.
There are 3 key technological components of this project: the sea pump (TRL7), the aquaculture farm (TRL9), and the ocean exposure/ device testing facility (TRL9). Springboard Atlantic has facilitated the development of all three components thanks to the Innovation Mobilization program. This funding has supported industry engagement activities and funded the wave pump market study which was invaluable to identifying possible commercialization pathways. All three are very close to full-scale market readiness.
As the WERC works towards its end goal of full scale commercial on-shore aquaculture it has already made a significant impact on the local economy. Guided by the Office of Applied Research & Innovation WERC has brought over 4 million dollars to the region; half of which has turned into spending in HR and goods & services on the Burin Peninsula. Further, the centre has worked with multiple companies to help solve their technical challenges.
As with so many of these projects the indirect impacts are harder to capture but sometimes even more compelling. Halfway through the project, Dr Graham was approached by a group of local lobster fisherman to use WERC’s vacant tanks to hold their catch. One of the tanks has subsequently been used as a seasonal lobster pound. Lobster traps often capture other species as well, and the fishermen began bringing “interesting creatures” for display in one of the other unused tanks. The result is a marine “touch tank” that has been operational for the last three years. It has proven to be popular with local schools and tourists. WERC logged 200 visitors in the first season of touch tank operation, and it has increased in popularity since, logging over 1600 visitors in the third year. This has been accomplished without any marketing or additional expenditure. Fishermen continue to collect specimens for the tank, and local businesses have benefited from the resulting increased tourist traffic in the town.
While the major challenge of economic instability generated by the cod moratorium is far from resolved the resilience of these rural communities and the leadership demonstrated by WERC and the College of the North Atlantic show us that innovation can arise anywhere and generates impacts we never expected.
The idea of the pilot program, funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and in partnership with Halifax-based Jameson Group, was to develop an investor attraction pilot program for early stage high growth companies in Atlantic Canada. The program matches investors living outside of Atlantic Canada and investment ready start-ups looking for their first seed or angel investment. The magic of the program is in the work done by the Jameson group and Springboard to identify investors who are particularly interested in Atlantic Canadian companies and the training companies received to be ready to work with these investors.
“We were looking for Atlantic Canadian companies that showed the capacity to scale,” says Jameson Group Partner Bob Williamson. “In doing so we wanted them to have the ability to be funded so we needed to see they were fundable and that they had a certain level of validation/customer discovery already done and that they were market ready.”
Working with experts from each of the Atlantic provinces, Springboard chose 16 companies from a number of applicants to go through a boot camp weekend to determine who would participate in the Toronto pitching mission. The boot camp covered key topics including session readiness and how to pitch. In the end, 12 companies were chosen to participate in the mission.
“When we met with them for the first time most of them were fairly comfortable with what they knew and their approach to investors,” says Williamson. “Fifty-four hours later they were all in awe saying “we didn’t know what we didn’t know.””
James Stewart with EhEye Inc, one of the 12 companies who participated in the mission, says the learnings from the pilot program changed the way they now pitch the company.
“It definitely changed my pitch and my story”, says Stewart. “Even our one liner changed, going from being a company that automates video surveillance to a company that protects people.” “What I also liked about it is that it connected a number of entrepreneurs across multiple sectors and regions,” says Stewart. “Now this group is being supportive of each other, helping to break down barriers between provinces and sectors that may have unintentionally grown over the past few years – we need more of this.”
Sizwe Dhlamini with PHV Energy agrees. “We went and listened and learned a whole lot,” says Dhlamini. PHV, who develops efficient and smart transformer bushings, had just wrapped up testing and was in the first stages of its investor journey.
“We knew that we would get some nos before we got yeses,” says Dhlamini. “This program prepared us for what to expect and the feedback and direction from people in the industry. Some were interested and some just gave us feedback, but it has been very helpful. We’ve also been able to learn so much from the other companies including the questions they asked.”
Williamson says that the event couldn’t have gone better. A number of the companies, including EhEye and PHV are now in ongoing discussions with potential investors and there are expectations that potential investment for a number of the companies is imminent.
Springboard CEO Daryl Genge says the program reinforces the need for continued mentoring and investment in our Atlantic companies. “The early reaction and positive feedback on this pilot shows that we have amazing ideas in Atlantic Canada that can compete for funds and opportunity on a national stage,” says Genge.
For Williamson, he’s convinced that continuing the program will foster even more opportunity for Atlantic-based companies that will expand and grow which, in turn, will help our region and our economy grow.
“Ideally what will happen is to bring investors from outside Atlantic Canada into the region to grow the total pool of investors but to do it in syndication with Atlantic Canadian angels,” says Williamson. “Wouldn’t it be great to see two angel groups come together so that when one invests the other one will also invest. It will help to grow the pool, spread the wealth and allow us to help more start-ups in Atlantic Canada.”
Canadian CubeSat Project selects UNB, UdeM and NBCC to participate
New Brunswick's CubeSat NB project will be the collaboration between the University of New Brunswick (UNB), the Université de Moncton (UdeM) and the New Brunswick Community College, which is aiming to launch the cube satellite or cubesat, from the International Space Station in 2021.
The CubeSat NB project is one of the 15participating teams and their work will provide new insights into the behaviour of Earth’s ionosphere, part of the upper atmosphere. The construction and the operation of CubeSat NB will see the involvement of numerous students from the field of engineering, science and technology and the students will play a lead role in the development of the physical design and in the fabrication and programming of the sophisticated computers that will be needed to successfully launch and operate the satellite.
Part of the development will be the custom robust mission software and hardware, which will enable the cube satellite to transmit mission data, manage power consumption and solar battery charging, temperature sensing and thermal management, antenna and solar panel deployment, timekeeping, security, file management and fault protection.
CubeSat NB will also carry spectral cameras to examine the varying composition of the atmosphere and another camera will take images of the Earth’s surface for earth science and meteorology applications.
To read the full story on NBCC's website, click here.
To read the full story on UNB's website, click here.
Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash
Canadian Innovation News: Fredericton NB’s ecosystem is driving the city forward
As the entrepreneurial spirit flourishes across Atlantic Canada, the city of Fredericton continues to work hard at cultivating a start-up ecosystem that builds on the city’s early successes in key areas like biosciences, ICT and data security.
Most communities that want to grow their start-up ecosystems rely on regional and provincial services to help. By contrast, the city of Fredericton’s economic development agency Ignite Fredericton has invested significantly in its Planet Hatch accelerator to provide a high level of infrastructure to its business start-up community.
Thanks to the dedicated and invaluable support from Dalhousie's Industry Liaison & Innovation (ILI) Office, a Springboard member and the tireless work of Doris Grant, Director, one of the offices Industry Liaison Officers (ILO's), we are thrilled to see 3D Bolus, now Adaptiiv continue to be #springboarding forward and to grow.
After launching three different products, achieving sales in six different countries and raising almost $3 million in equity funding, Adaptiiv has now announced its partnership with CIVCO Radiotherapy.
CIVCO will be the distributor of Adaptiiv software applications, providing a turn-key solution, enabling the 3D printing of patient-specific simple or modulated thickness bolus and high dose rate (HDR) surface brachytherapy applicators. The software application integrates directly with existing treatment planning systems, requires less time and replaces the need for hard-to-fit simple bolus and expensive applicators, providing a more comfortable fit for the patient.
We are thrilled to see Adaptiiv's success and are looking forward to what is to come, as stated by Peter Hickey, CEO Adaptiiv.
“We have a pipeline with some really great innovation,” said Hickey. “That’s what we are. We’re a Nova Scotian-based innovation company that’s producing solutions to problems that people haven’t solved yet.”
To read the full story in Entrevestor, click here.
Dalhousie’s Annual Engineering Capstone Conference a great success
On April 10, industry partners, engineers, students, faculty, and others came to the Westin Nova Scotian hotel in downtown Halifax to see the team presentations and a poster expo of hundreds of final-year Engineering students as part of the annual Dalhousie Engineering Capstone Conference.
To help support this great event, showing off the talent at Dalhousie University and to connect researchers with industry, Springboard Atlantic provided Innovation Mobilization Industry Engagement Funding.
The conference marks the culmination of the Capstone design project, which challenges students to integrate their engineering know-how into potential real-world solutions for industrial partners and hopes that some of the teams make the right connections moving forward.
Springboard had the chance to be present at the event and we were impressed by the number of projects being showcased, the level of commitment and enthusiasm of the teams and the high quality of work. Well done and congratulations!
Supported by Springboard Atlantic's Innovation Mobilization Industry Engagement Fund, representatives from the College of the North Atlantic (CNA), Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), Anaconda Mining, Rambler Metals and Mining, and Guy J. Bailey gathered at the two-day Baie Verte Mining Innovation Symposium.
The industry partners had the chance to meet, together and separately, with MUN researchers from both the St. John's and Grenfell campuses and CNA's academia, and also had the chance to meet with the Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Research Data Canada (RDC).
Allan Cramm, vice president of innovation and development with Anaconda, is a promoter of the Baie Verte Peninsula as a whole. He believes the common goal of the mining sector to improve the industry in the region is beneficial for all and he hoped that the symposium led to an increased interest in mining innovation within the research community.
The "bring science to the site" mentality led to the makeshift mining site set up at the symposium location at the College of the North Atlantic in Baie Verte. Speakers delivered their messages next to a grader or excavator, and nearby there was some scaffolding set up.
Ken Carter, director of engagement at Grenfell Campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland, appreciated the opportunity to tour the mining sites to get a greater appreciation for the work and the opportunities for research and he felt the symposium was highly effective in its attempt to create interest in the sector with the around 60 attendees.
"You had all the right players in the room - you had industry, you had government, you the university as well as the College of the North Atlantic," Carter said. "Bringing all those partners together, and having funding agencies and community partners there, had an incredible synergy amongst all of us.
To read the full article in the Labradorian, click here.
Photo by Mariusz Prusaczyk on Unsplash
3rd Year UNB Student wins RBC Student Pitch Competition
The third-year University of New Brunswick (UNB) business administration student, Holly Ayles has been recognized for her smartphone app that allows people with food allergies to find safe places to eat.
Drawing on a frightening experience two years ago in a restaurant, she found out that she has an allergy to tree nuts and going forward it became very hard for her to find places where she can safely eat.
So she set out to change that and she came up with an app, Have Food, where the user selects their dietary restrictions and the app will provide safe restaurants in major cities and tourist destinations across Canada.
Continuing from her first-place placement, Ayles doesn’t have a concrete timeline for full development of the app but will be taking courses through UNB’s Technology Management & Entrepreneurship program to further her knowledge of entrepreneurship and further refine her idea.
To read the full story in Entrevestor, click here.
Atlantic Canada hotbed of biotech innovation
The New Issue of Canadian Innovation News is here! This issue outlines some of the ways that Canadian innovation is changing the world, and provides information on how you can connect and collaborate with the top researchers, innovators and organizations in Canada.
Over the coming weeks, we'll be sharing the Atlantic Canadian stories highlighted in this issue. We are starting with the articles focused on celebrating Life Sciences and Biotech innovation in Atlantic Canada. If you can't wait to learn more you can read the whole publication, including a spotlight on inspirational women in STEM at www.canadianinnovationnews.ca.
What makes Atlantic Canada a hotbed for bio and life sciences?
The past decade has seen Canada become a global leader in life sciences and biotechnology research, innovation and commercialization. While biotechnology research is done throughout the country, Atlantic Canada is leading the charge in key areas.
Atlantic Canada is currently home to over 150 bioscience companies and 25 research organizations, with over $1 billion dollars in exits and follow-on investment in life sciences and biotechnology over the past few years.
Find out how Atlantic Canada is leveraging its unique culture and its inherent entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit to compete – and win – on the global stage:
Springboard Atlantic is proud to be a Content Partner for Canadian Innovation News and excited to share the spring issue with you, it's time to celebrate Atlantic Canada's cutting-edge research. So please, share the good news!
BreatheSuite, VitalMIST and WARPAR Corp, run by three Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) engineering students were the top three winners among the eight finalists. The Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship hosted the business idea competition last Wednesday, which awarded $40,000 in seed funding and other supports to student entrepreneurs.
Each winner took home $10,000 as well as up to $1,500 in marketing and legal expenses and they will have access to MCE’s co-working space as well as enrolment in the Genesis Centre’s Evolution Program, and a free seminar from the Gardiner Centre.
BreatheSuite, aims to build an add-on device for inhalers, allowing people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to receive optimal dosages of medication.
VitalMIST, offers a nasal optimizer that allows physicians to administer liquid medication effectively.
WARPAR, builts a product called Enzo, a light dimmer that can monitor power, and is compatible with most lightbulbs on the market.
Delta Innovations and BlueBrick Design & Development received honourable mention and prizes of $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.
To read the full article in Entrevestor, click here.
College of the North Atlantic’s Wave Environment Research Centre Opens up new Opportunities
Aquaculture is an important economic opportunity for Newfoundland and the College of the North Atlantic’s Wave Environment Research Centre (CNA WERC) in Lord’s Cove offers a number of opportunities with their work and research for the region.
Dr. Michael Graham, director of WERC and his team, with the support from Springboard's Innovation Mobilization Fund for Marketing Support have significantly advanced the work in the use of ocean wave energy to supply sea water to land-based aquaculture via a pump that they developed. He also said that the project successfully developed a test facility to house the equipment needed to carry out the project’s other objectives that developed over time.
However, what no one could foresee were the other opportunities that opened up unintentionally - the centre has become a major tourist attraction for Lord's Cove. WERC is now working with the town to develop the centres tourist potential and will provide further employment so the researchers can focus on their work.
A number of other projects are underway and in one of them, the centre collects information valuable to business, including six years of weather data, and has the infrastructure in place such as mooring sites with anchors, and access to labs and workshops at the CNA campus in Burin.
Besides further projects in various stages of planning, WERC also offers possibilities for entrepreneurs and talks are underway with Memorial University’s Centre for Social Enterprise to explore options.
To read the full article in The Northern Pen, click here.
Photo by Bailey Mahon on Unsplash
UPEI Researchers Receive Funding for Mapping the Islands Energy Future
Mitacs has teamed up with Drs. Matthew Hall and Andrew Swingler and will be providing funding for three graduate students and to begin work on building a map towards making the Island’s energy system 100 per cent carbon free. Both researchers are part of UPEI's School of Sustainable Design Engineering. In total, the researchers will receive $150,000 from Mitacs Accelerate Program.
With $150,000 from Mitacs Accelerate and the P.E.I. Energy Corporation, Dr. Matthew Hall and Dr. Andrew Swingler will hire
“Prince Edward Island has a significant amount of renewable energy generation in the form of wind energy,” said Hall, an assistant professor. “But we are also heavily dependent on less clean electricity coming across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick.”
Moving toward a carbon-free system isn’t just about adding more wind and solar capacity, explained Hall. Further growth in renewable energy is constrained by intermittency of the power generation and storage costs.
The researchers will work with he PEI Energy Corp., which will provide essential data, knowledge of the market and networks of industry expertise.
“Prince Edward Island is a leader in wind energy and well-positioned for leadership in emerging renewable energies,” comments Heather MacLeod, energy assets manager at the PEI Energy Corp. “We are pleased to partner with the University of Prince Edward Island’s School of Sustainable Design Engineering on this important research.”
Mitacs is a national, nonprofit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for 18 years. Working with 60 universities, thousands of companies, and both federal and provincial governments, Mitacs builds partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada.
To read the full article in Journal Pioneer, click here.
To read the full article in Solar Energy, click here.
Photo by Shaun Dakin on Unsplash
Team of UNB Students is Converting Gas Vehicles to Electric Power
Potential Motors, the new startup of four last-year engineering students at the University of New Brunswick (UNB), will be showcasing their technology at the fourth annual UNB Engineering Design Symposium.
This one-day event allows final-year UNB engineering students to showcase hundreds of designs and prototypes to the community.
The student team, who developed the technology for their senior engineering design class, say they can convert a vehicle in a fraction of the time and cost (within a day) of other conversion kits to produce electrical power.
Potential Motors is looking at the commercial vehicle market first and are receiving startup mentoring through UNB’s Technology Management & Entrepreneurship program. The four final-year engineering students – Barnhill, Nick Dowling, Isaac Barkhouse and Samuel Poirier – are planning to commercialize their work through their new startup, Potential Motors. They see potential and a big market for their work, especially in Europe.
To read the full article in Entrevestor, click here.
Photo by Garett Mizunaka on Unsplash
Bridging the Gap – Flipping the Oyster Industry
Farmed oysters mean big business in Prince Edward Island and the island is Atlantic Canada’s largest oyster producer, exceeded only by British Columbia. According to Statistics Canada, the production and value of the farmed oyster has shot up from about $6.3-million in 2000 to $12.8-million in 2015, representing 3,422 tonnes of farmed oysters.
Farmed oysters are grown over five years in cages, which can weigh up to 200 pounds each and during the maturation process, the cages need to be turned once or twice a week to discourage mussel, barnacle and algae build-up and to improve the appearance and size of the matured oysters. Currently, this process is undertaken by manual labour, taking up to 10 hours a day, depending on the size of the farm and requiring strong employees.
To address this problem, oyster producers turned to the engineering program at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), where students, as part of their studies, are given industry challenges to solve. Second-year students Jordan Sampson, Brett McDermott and Dylan MacIsaac were tasked to come up with an automated solution to flip the oyster cages and the team successfully designed specialized equipment that gently guides oyster cages in a rollercoaster-like flip.
With the desire to bring their technology to market, the student team turned to UPEI’s Synapse (a Springboard member turning ideas into solutions) for support and guidance to commercialize their innovation.
Meanwhile, the student team has formed the startup Island AquaTech and has further received non-equity funding from Innovation P.E.I.’s Ignition Fund ($25,000), has enrolled in the winter cohort of the Creative Destruction Lab in Halifax and is receiving continued support from Synapse’s Technology Transfer Officers.
We are excited to see this project #springboarding forward and will track the progress of this entrepreneurial team and Island AquaTech in the years to come.
NS Governement Provides Funding for SMU’s Entrepreneurship, Discovery and Innovation Hub
St. Mary's University (SMU) is planning to build a new Entrepreneurship, Discovery and Innovation Hub on the campus in the South End of Halifax and the Province of Nova Scotia will contribute about $11 million to the facility. The facility will advance the ‘Discovery and Innovation’ and ‘Intercultural Learning’ components of the Saint Mary’s University 2017-2022 Strategic Plan.
The other innovation-related funding initiatives that the government announced last week include:
Research Nova Scotia Trust: $20 million to fund post-secondary research in oceans and ocean technologies, life sciences, information technology and other areas.
Offshore Growth Strategy: $ 11.8 million to extend offshore activities in the earth and oil sciences for another four years.
DeepSense: $5 million to support the creation of a platform for ocean data analysis to contribute to the growth of the regional marine economy.
Innovation Team: $1.5 million to support a new suite of projects that will help post-secondary institutions contribute to the growth of the provincial economy, attract students and provide more research and development opportunities.
Sandbox: $850,000 to create a ninth sandbox in the Southwestern Nova Scotia region to bring together students from Nova Scotia Community College and Université Sainte-Anne.
To read the full story on Entrevestor, click here.
Team of Canadian Researchers are leading Antibiotic Bacterial Resistance Research
It is well known that antimicrobial resistance is a threat to global health and occurs when bacteria, viruses or parasites, adapt to drugs used to treat conditions and are therefore no longer effective.
To fight the threat of antimicrobial resistance three Canadian research teams will help lead the global response ighting drug-resistant infections, one team is at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and the University of Saskatchewan, one at the Université de Sherbrooke and one at the University of Ottawa will share $300,000 in funding from the Government of Canada.
At UNB, Dr. Suzanne Hindmarch (political science), is studying international relations and global health, and together with Dr. Malcolm King, scientific director of the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research at the University of Saskatchewan, will co-lead a team of mostly Indigenous researchers. The Indiginous researchers will consult with Indigenous organizations in Canada on their perspectives on antimicrobial resistance, the unique issues it poses in their communities and how they would like to be involved in the national and global response.
When Dr. Hindmarch began researching the topic she was suprised to see that Indiginous perspectives were not present in antimicrobial resistance.
“Because the antimicrobial resistance response is still in its infancy, there’s a tremendous opportunity to work in partnership to build Indigenous leadership into this response from the outset – and to ensure that the response is culturally safe, respectful of Indigenous peoples and well-situated in the larger context of Indigenous health, wellness and sovereignty,” Hindmarch said.Anti
To read the full article in Global New, click here.
Do You Know What Sea Lettuce is and What it is Good For?
Sea lettuce is an algae, which thrives in an excess of nutrients, for examples where farm runoffs (fertilizer nitrates) or golf course maintenance flow into the ocean. When sea lettuce dies off and decomposes, it uses up all the oxygen, killing plants and fish in the process and in its vacinity.
To find a solution for this problem, Mike Cassidy, owner of Transcon International Ltd., contacted Bishnu Acharya, an assistant professor at the UPEI School of Sustainable Design Engineering, and international graduate student Ankita Shrestha to use their expertise and to perform the research.
Cassidy has been working on the problem of sea lettuce since 2011, has purchased a stainless steel harvester, which resembled a grain combine, to remove the invasive plant from tributaries. With the abundant amount of raw material he knew that he had to look for a value-added product to deal with the sea lettuce.
One thought was to recover the energy from the plant, which needs to be dried and Dr. Acharya and Ms. Shrestha came up with a more efficient and cost-effective process, called hydrothermal processing, which uses reduced heat and mild pressure. Any carbon in the sea lettuce is turned into char, which can be used for energy and soil application, a much needed product in PEI's low organic-matter soil. Along with the hydrochar, the process divides the sea lettuce into a biogas, which can be used in energy application, and a nutrient-rich liquid that can be used for agricultural application.
Springboard's member Synapse Inc., turning UPEI ideas into solutions, helped to prepare a successful proposal for a Mitacs Accelerate research internship, valued at $30,000.
To read the full article in The Guardian, click here.
Photo by Bjørn Tore Økland on Unsplash
Food Hack to Address the Issue of Food Safety and Security in Nova Scotia
In a province rich with natural resources and famous for its apples, blueberries and lobster, it would be hard to fathom that so many people living in Nova Scotia face food insecurity. Yet many Nova Scotians struggle to afford food and feed their families while living in a province with an abundance of food resources.
"It's a problem that's difficult to define and not everyone agrees on what the problem actually is and also what the solution needs to be," says Jennifer Brady, assistant professor in the department of applied human nutrition at Mount Saint Vincent University. "And often times one solution ends up exacerbating different aspects of the problem."
On February 19 and 20, students from five universities and colleges in Halifax are going to try at Food Hack Nova Scotia, an innovation challenge will take place at Saint Mary's University.
In a multi-institutional partnership between the Nova Scotia Community College, Mount Saint Vincent University and Saint Mary's University, NSCAD University and the Atlantic School of Theology this event will be held for the first time and is a brand new forum for this kind of discussion in Nova Scotia. "With two days of intense and immersive work, combined with hands on training, mentoring, and peer learning, it is the perfect environment to turn ideas into reality," says Jordan Landry, manager of entrepreneurship with NSCC. "We expect ideas to collide and lead to the kind of creativity that allows for truly great projects and businesses to start."
Landry says the Hack is essentially a challenge for students to explore these issues from as many angles a possible. "We expect to see all sorts of solutions and business ideas from our students, some of which will be techbased, while others may involve flipping existing business models, taking products to new markets and even developing campaigns."
To read the full article in The Coast, click here.
Photo by Joseph Gonzalez on Unsplash
Fungal Research to benefit Nova Scotia Onion Growers
Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cepae (FOC), Fusarium basal rot has a big impact on onion growers in Nova Scotia. The disease, potentially affecting an onion crop at any stage of development, can lead to rotting onions from the inside out and is not immediately visible to the growers. In fact, growers often only see the evidence of the problem, once the stored onions are prepared for shipment, at which point they must be discarded.
Each year about 20 percent of the onion crop is lost to Fusarium basal rot, representing a loss of $600,000 of the farm gate value (Nova Scotia’s annual onion production represents a farm gate value of ~ $3 million, production volume of 9,747 tonnes). Naturally, for Nova Scotia's four major commercial onion growers, this problem needs to be solved and Horticulture Nova Scotia has identified the disease as a serious threat to the province’s onion industry. The growers have reported that FOC is overwintering in the soil and spreading between fields and even a seven- to 10-year rotation doesn't fully kill the spores of FOC.
Bringing into play the work that Springboard Atlantic and its members do, Acadia Universities Industry Liaison Officers had already built a relationship with Horticulture Nova Scotia and at a Springboard sponsored Industry Engagement event in late 2014, the connection between Dr. Allison Walker, assistant professor in the Department of Biology, and the onion growers were made.
From this initial connection, and with continued support from Acadia's Industry Liaison Officers, a plan was hatched and funding was arranged, enabling Dr.Walker and master’s student Adèle Bunbury-Blanchette to work on investigating what could combat FOC and protect Annapolis Valley onions.
Dr. Walker and Ms. Bunbury-Blanchette, have narrowed down the pool of biocontrol options, and the one with the most promise for real-world use will emerge. The Acadia team is planning for at least one more year of work on the project. The team is also working on finding a molecular diagnostic tool to pick up evidence of the pathogen in soil samples based on its unique DNA sequence. This will allow growers to predict which fields are best for onions and which should be avoided.
The opportunity to work with local producers on an industry problem for researchers like Dr. Walker and students like Ms. Bunbury-Blanchette, as well as the six other students who have also been working on the project, is a unique one.
“They’ve been great to work with because they work really collaboratively,” said Walker, adding that the experience also lends an interesting and accessible narrative to the Acadia team’s academic work. “Applied research makes it easy to tell the story of why what you’re doing is important.”
We are delighted to see this project #springboarding forward and want to extend our warm congratulations to everyone involved.
To read the full article in Farm Focus, click here.
Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash
SMU’s Research Expo a Great Success
Listening to the 3-minute pitches, given by Saint Mary's (SMU) researchers, it became clear very quickly to the large audience that a wealth of knowledge and expertise exist at the university.
The pitches were as exciting to listen to as they were informative. This impression was further enhanced, when we took a walk through the exhibition booths and talked to the researchers, students and technicians. Every discipline from natural sciences, business, social sciences and community sciences/engagement were on display, showcasing their research and great new connections between industry and the researchers were made.
Besides working the room and ensuring that the introduction of the right people is being made, the ILO's are on hand once the conversation between the researcher and the potential industry partner progress to the stage of developing a research project, helping facilitate the potential funding applications and the research agreements.
From our experience, we see a number of new projects being formed each year at the Research Expo and we are thrilled to see our member, SMU, help and support their industry partner to solve their problem and to help them grow.
Highlighted this year by The Chronicle Herald are two SMU researchers.
Dr. Clarissa Sit, a professor in the chemistry department, who is working on new ways to create solutions to fight infections and as her stage, she is using the petri dish and the natural instinct of all living things to fight for survival.
Dr. Meg Ternes, an assistant professor in the department of psychology, is supporting the area of forensic psychology to arm lawyers with tools to tell when someone is lying and not telling the truth.
To read the full stories in the Chronicle Herald, click here and here.
UNB student team wins at the Venture Capital Investment Competition at St. Mary’s University
The Venture Capital Investment Competition held on March 2, 2018 at Saint Mary's University was the first of this competition to be held in Canada and six teams from Canadian universities, University of New Brunswick (UNB), Dalhousie University, Western University, Université Laval, Wilfrid Laurier, and the University of Toronto, took part.
This competition turns the tables on the students, where they have an imaginary $100 million of capital to invest in one of the startups that volunteered to pitch, therefore learning what it takes to be a Venture Capitalist. The team of four MBA students from UNB won first place.
“It was great seeing MBA students gaining an understanding of the venture capital by working through the investment decision-making with two real companies,” said Chris Moyer, Director at Pelorus Venture a seed-stage venture capital fund.
The winning UNB be, consisted of Senalda Rodrigues, Natasha Youssef, Seth Barkhouse and Grayson Beairsto, who took home the $1000 first-place prize. The team was coached by Raymond Fitzpatrick, a venture capital investment manager with New Brunswick Innovation Foundation.
Due to the rule that the host university cannot participate in the event, Saint Mary's team was invited to Boston in February to compete against Yale, Dartmouth and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for example and took home the second place.
To read the full article on Entrevestor, click here.
Highlighting Research at Cape Breton University during March
Ensuring that Cape Breton University (CBU) does justice to all the great research going on in its schools and due to its popularity, CBU is holding its 3rd annual research month.
During March, Research Month will offer:
• Featured events each day of the month
• Events will include presentations, panels, roundtable discussions, guest lectures, workshops
• Keynote address will take place March 22 by Imogen Coe, founding dean of the faculty of science at Ryerson University
Richard MacKinnon, interim vice-president academic and provost, said research is one of the fundamental reasons universities exist and it explores “culture, society, science, technology, the intersection with the community, the intersection with industry.” He noted this week’s federal budget set aside an additional $925 million for researchers across Canada, with additional support for research offices.
Tanya Brann-Barrett, dean of research, teaching and graduate studies said: “Our whole intention is to ensure that everybody on Cape Breton Island knows that they are part of CBU’s community and are more than welcome at any time to come and hear about the research that’s happening, and it’s also for our own faculty, staff, students to have an opportunity to step back from their incredibly hectic days and hear what each other are doing.
Research work taking place at CBU isn’t just being done by faculty but also by students, recent graduates, post-doctoral fellows and others, Brann-Barrett said. A key element of our mandate as a university is to engage in both fundamental and applied research that has an impact on citizens and communities locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Fundamental research leads to the creation of new knowledge and theories that help us better understand ourselves and our world, and all that encompasses. Applied research seeks to address issues, problems, challenges and opportunities that impact lives and quite frequently builds on —sometime many, many years later—the discoveries unearthed by fundamental researchers.
Research Month is an important opportunity for CBU to share and discuss with one another, and all of Cape Breton Island, the nature of the research taking place at CBU, the impact and significance it has and the new questions that emerge from our work.
To read the full articles in the Cape Breton Post, click here and here.
Stash Energy Enters the Canadian Technology Accelerator in Denver, Colorado
Stash Eneregy, a New Brunswick clean energy startup, which was spun out from the University of New Brunswick (UNB) is developing a cost-effective system that works with conventional heat pump technology to store energy.
The company is set to launch a few products in PEI in the fall and in New Brunswick, hopefully in the spring of 2019. Having been accepted in to the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) for clean-energy based in Denver, Colorado has helped Stash to overcome a lot of challenges with their growth. The purpose of CTA is to help selected high-growth, high-potential startups raise capital, do research and development, and also explore markets opportunities in the U.S.
Much of the work for the accelerator is done remotely, but CEO Jordan Kennie will be returning to Denver in May when the accelerator wraps up for an National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) Industry Growth Forum, which is one of the biggest renewable energy conferences in the world and where he will get to meet big companies and investors in clean-tech.
How Stash Energy became connected to the CTA was through his participation in UNB’s Energia Accelerator. Stephen Davis, trade commissioner for CTA clean-energy said though Kennie and Stash itself are impressive, it was the support of programs like Energia and the Summer Institute that helped make him a good candidate for CTA.
ABK receiving $3 Million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund
Seeing ABK Biomedical's continued growth, gives us great pleasure and we at Springboard are extending our congratulations.
Starting out with Dr. Boyd's innovation in the Department of Applied Oral Sciences and the School of Biomedical Engineering at Dalhousie University and with the ongoing support from the beginning by Dalhousie's Industry Liaison and Innovation Office (ILI) ABK received Springboard's Innovation Mobilization Proof of Concept Funding in 2010. To further support the company #springboarding forward, they received mentorship from Springboard's Board Director Brian Lowe.
ABK is working to improve a process used to kill some forms of tumour: tiny beads cling to tumours, depriving them of blood flow and thereby shrinking or killing them, and are now awaiting regulatory approval in the U.S. In August 2017 the company raised more than $9 million in an over-subscribed round of equity funding. The larger equity base has allowed the company to borrow $3 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
Once ABK has received regulatory approval they plan to use the funds to manufacture its products in Nova Scotia.
To read the full story in Entrevestor, click here.
Photo by Ken Treloar on Unsplash
Stronger Culture of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Newfoundland
A new incubator and makerspace will be developed at the Navigate Entrepreneurship Centre in Corner Brook, NL, made possible with the funding from the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and the provincial departments of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, and Advanced Education, Skills and Labour.
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is providing $874,162 in non-repayable funding, and the provincial departments of Tourism Culture, Industry and Innovation and Advanced Education, Skills and Labour will contribute $203,962 and $87,375 respectively, over two years, for a total of $1,425,320 over the two-year period.
Navigate is the ideal place to bring this initialtive to live, thanks to the partnership of Memorial's Grenfell Campus and the College of the North Atlantic-Corner Brook campus. This joint partnership in Navigate has enabled both institutions to gain expertise in assisting the Corner Brook region by providing entrepreneurship education, one-on-one business startup support, networking opportunities and business-related resources.
The makerspace will be housed at Grenfell Campus, while CNA’s Corner Brook campus will host the incubator. In the maker space the workspace is stocked with tools and materials for people in a collaborative, community-based environment to experiment and create new things. The incubator in turn will then nurture, support and expand business startups. Two full time employees will run the makerspace and the incubator and they will rely on students to assist in the operation of the two entities — a perfect experiential learning opportunity for students.
Congratulations to our members and Springboard looks forward to seeing what comes out of Navigate.
To read the full article in The Gazette, click here.
PHOTO: LORI LEE PIKE
Bridging the Gap – Pest Fighting Pheromones
Agriculture and forestry are key sectors in Atlantic Canada and combatting insect pest threats is essential to grow these economies in a sustainable and responsible way. To combat this threat Dr. Kirk Hillier, Department of Biology at Acadia University joined forces with the Canadian Forest Service, the University of New Brunswick, Dalhousie University, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Forest Protection Limited, Agrifor Biotechnical Services and Sylvar Technologies in two Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) projects. The projects focus on the development of environmentally-responsible pheromone-based detection and mitigations technologies for insect pests.
During the first 5-year AIF project 2 patents were granted, 2 additional patents are pending and Acadia’s Office of Industry & Community Engagement executed licensing of 9 technologies for commercialization. With such a strong portfolio of technologies it was a challenge for the team to identify which markets to tackle first. Springboard’s Innovation Mobilization Marketing Support program funded the market research necessary to give these technologies the best traction in the marketplace. The optimal paths forward were determined for the commercialization of the products, to allow the TRL7 technologies to be brought to market by Sylvar Technologies.
The 2nd AIF project “Development and Commercialization of Naturally-derived Semiochemicals for Insect Pest Management” started right on the heels of the first in early 2017, continuing the development of the most promising new insect pest technology arising from the first project. Already at the end of 2017, Springboard was able to come behind newly developed technology with our Innovation Mobilization Patent & Legal Fund, to support the crucial step of intellectual property protection to ensure that this TRL7 technology has a smooth path to market.
Springboard’s support of this important research and collaboration plays an integral role in providing clean technology solutions that ensure the sustainability of our food production, natural resources and the health of Canadians. We are looking forward to seeing where Acadia and its partners will be #springboarding next.
StFX Receives Provincial Funding for Clean Technology Innovation
Dr. Geniece Hallett-Tapley, an early-stage researcher in the department of chemistry at Saint rancis Xavier University (StFX) aims her research to curb reliance on fossil fuels in the production of drugs and plastics, as well as reducing toxic waste products such as chromium.
Dr. Hallett-Tapley noted that this kind of funding, espcially early on in her career, is essential for buying cutting-edge laboratory equipment and for supporting student research roles. “Since we are undergraduate-centric here, especially in the chemistry department, we really aim to allow our students to be exposed to a whole host of different aspects of the chemistry background; allowing them to be well prepared to go into industry or further their education, whichever the case may be. It’s really important for them to have the exposure to state-of-the-art equipment so they can be on par with everyone else, especially in the province, and receive a more hands-on experience.”
“It’s the modern age of chemistry, with everything switching from the way it used to be with harsh or carcinogenic processes moving towards the greener side of things,” said Bry Crabbe, Dr. Hallett-Tapley first Masters student, who joined Hallett-Tapley’s team as an undergraduate student three years ago and plans to begin his doctoral work at Dalhousie next year.
To read the full article in The Casket, click here.
To read the full article in the Chronicle Herald, click here.
Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash
Dalhousie Cleantech Project receives Funding Support for Wearable, Flexible Solar Cells
Dr. Ghada Koleilat at Dalhousie's faculty of engineering is at the cutting edge of her field, researching and innovating smart fabric technology. Her vision imagines an environment where the electronic world is integrated for example in your coat, giving you an update on the forecasted weather, or in your curtains in the living room, closing them, when you ask them to do so.
Her research is incorporating carbon nanotube technology into fabrics and was one of three clean-tech projects highlighted in a $5-million funding announcement in February 2018 at the Dalhousie engineering school in Halifax.
“We can integrate them into fabric in your house, curtains, sofas, everything would be seamlessly integrated into whatever you want it to be,” Koleilat said after the announcement. “You can spray-coat them on any surface, you can print them, you can spin-coat them, you can deposit them in a million different ways to conform to any shape that you want.”
The provincial government’s Research Nova Scotia Trust contributed $2 million with the remaining $3 million leveraged from the federal government and private donors.The other funded Dalhousie project included 3D-printing research and St. Francis Xavier University was the third recipient.
Dr. Koleilat said that combined, the three projects are expected to create about 69 jobs for research graduates, interns, lab technicians and project managers.
Dal's 3D printing project, is led by Paul Bishop of Dalhousie’s mechanical engineering department, and will serve as a resource for Nova Scotia companies that want to develop this technology, which is also known as additive manufacturing. It transforms computer designs into physical products such as aerospace structures and custom biomedical implants.
To read the full article in The Chronicle Herald, click here.
Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash
Atlantic Canada Wins Ocean Supercluster Bid
Congratulations to all the partners of the Ocean Supercluster who have been selected as one of the 5 winning bids for the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. We are very excited to see this announcement as it represents the next level of investment in Atlantic Canada’s ocean sector. Together 25 partners from across the region are contributing over 200 million over the next 5 years. The industry funds will be matched by up to 250 million from the program. The funding will be used to tackle challenges in the ocean economy in areas ranging from deep-sea fish farming and resource development to big data.
“Merchants of Flavour” G.E. Barbour partner with CCNB for Atlantic Growth
G.E. Barbour has seen phenomenal growth in the last six years. As with most companies, the challenges to growth that they faced were complex and across multiple facets of the business. With strong leadership and strategic thinking, they were able to target the roadblocks to growth inside and outside of their business. Our member - the College Communautaire de Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) was able to play a role in solving one of their identified challenges.
G.E. Barbour’s processes are unique. They have equipment that is specifically designed for their needs. The team at CCNB were engaged to look at their production processes and evaluate good practices in their product line and areas for increased efficiencies. CCNB’s work led to an increase of 25% in production efficiency. This project was just the start of an ongoing relationship and CCNB continues to help this company with their processing, enabling their growth to continue.
Read on to learn more about the other challenges faced by G.E. Barbour and how they are tackling them. Click here.
We are proud to work with companies and partners like these. It’s a prime example of how well our ecosystem can work together and the impact we can have in unexpected places to further Atlantic Growth.
Image credit: ACOA Canada
CBU: Renewable Energy could be the Next Big Industry in Cape Breton
Cape Breton is surrounded by natural beauty and resources, the ocean, the Bras d'Or Lakes and it has wind in abundance. The Verschuren Centre, an independent research arm of Cape Breton University is working on unlocking these natural resources sustainably and responsibly to see if renewable energy could be the next big industry in Cape Breton.
Beth Mason, interim CEO thinks that it is a big possibility, “We’ve got that asset base . . . we could produce so much more than we require and that’s the principal of export. It’s being shown globally that renewables do enhance economic development. They do create jobs. It’s got to be one of the foundations we build on what we do here.”
The Verschuren Centre, which was opened in 2011 works together with Cape Breton University and shares resources at times and some CBU students use the labs in the building. Its team comprises of 22 scientists from around the world and renewable/clean energy is one of the four focus areas of the Centre. Originally conceived to continue the research on remediation, the focus has now shifted to find a greater value-add piece for the community of Cape Breton, for Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada as a whole and Dr. Mason believes that Cape Breton has the potential to fuel the Island and the rest of Nova Scotia with renewable energy.
The Verschuren Centre already shows the benefits renewables can have on a building. The hot water comes from solar collectors, a greywater system collects roof runoff for toilets and irrigation, geothermal heats and cools the rooms and a living wall improves air quality inside the building.
To read the full article in The Chronicle Herald, click here.
Photo by Cassie Boca on Unsplash
How Approaches to Care Shape the Pathways of Older Adult Home Care Clients
To better understand the journey through the home care system and how policy, practice and decision-making shape that journey, Dr. Janice Keefe, Mount Saint Vincent University, her team and her partners received more than $860,000 from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to conduct a new four-year research project “How approaches to care shape the pathways of older adult home care clients”.
The project has multiple partners and spans across Canada, it includes the Nova Scotia Health Authority, University of Manitoba, Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and other policy and practice stakeholders such as: Northwood, Nova Scotia Department of Health & Wellness, Manitoba Caregiver Coalition, Caregivers Nova Scotia, Canadian Home Care Association and Health Canada. The project is set to start in April 2018.
Over the last few year, more and more emphasis is being placed on supporting older adults to live at home for as long as possible. However, depending on where a senior lives the level of support and care that is received can vary greatly. The research will explore how the individual experience of clients and their caregivers is shaped by different models of care. Presently, there is a need for cross-jurisdictional knowledge on home care models for older adult clients and this study will help to fill that gap.
The outcomes will be used to project home care utilization, inform strategic planning and decision making, and support changes in care practice. Nova Scotia and Manitoba have distinct geographic and cultural compositions but are similar in terms of population and rural-urban issues. Both provinces are experiencing population ageing and increased demand for home care services.
The project includes an established interdisciplinary team with several of Canada’s leading experts in home care and caregiving research. Service providers and senior-level administrators of Health Authorities and Provincial Ministries are also actively engaged in the research. Voices of home care users and caregivers are included through the representation of caregiver groups.
To read the full article in the Mount Saint Vincent News, click here.
Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash
Saint Mary’s University Student-led Team Places 2nd at Venture Capital Investment Competition in Boston
The Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) is a tri-continental event in which student teams are given an imaginary $100 million to invest in one of three pitching startups at the event and was held in Boston.
On March 2nd Saint Mary's University (SMU) will host its own VCIC event, becoming the first Canadian University to host the competition. For ethical reasons, the Venture Grade team from the Sobey' School of Business at SMU is not allowed to compete in its own competition and was invited to go to Boston.
Beating out teams from Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Dartmouth, the SMU student team tied for first place with Rochester University and SMU took home the 2nd place after the tie-breaking round.
The competition featured twelve venture capital investors, who served as the panel of judges to assess which teams did the best job and three entrepreneurs pitched the teams to start the competition. The teams had one on one meetings with each entrepreneur and had to choose their investee and explain why they made that choice. In the finals between Rochester and SMU they tied with a 6 to 6 vote and the head of the organization was called to be the tiebreaker.
SMU's Venture Grade’s team was made up of six students from SMU: Findlay Hilchie; Stephanie Fitzner; David Hatcher; Avinast Chandrapati; Anu Gupta; and Stu Clow as a stand in. The team prepared for the competition with support from Build Ventures, Innovacorp and a representative of Progress Partners of Boston.
To read the full story in Entrevestor, click here.
Mount Saint Vincent Researcher Receives Funding to Prevent Infant Death in Cambodia
Beriberi, a nutritional disorder caused by a lack of thiamine, and more commonly known as vitamin B1, is a deadly childhood disorder in Southeast Asia. According to the World Health Organization, the disorder affects the heart and the nerves.
Dr. Kyly Whitfield, an assistant professor at Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) has been studying this problem in Cambodia over the last years, working on a solution to eradicate this disorder. The number one reason, why people in Cambodia suffer from beriberi is that white rice, the nations staple food, does not contain B vitamins.
To support her work, Dr. Whitfield has received over $1 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help determine if a table salt mixture containing thiamine will eradicate beriberi. The research will focus on exactly how much thiamine needs to be added to the table salt to achieve the right dosage amount of thiamine contained in the breast milk, preventing beriberi.
Dr. Whitfield's previous work on fortifying fish sauce did not prove to be easily adaptable in Cambodia, so using table salt emerged as the natural alternative to investigate. Worldwide salt producers already add iodine to table salt, so it will be easy to add thiamine.
Non-toxic, Super-slippery Surface Material Offers a Wealth of Possible Marine Applications
Biofouling is a real problem for marine structures (including ships) that are immersed in ocean waters. Dr. Truis Smith-Palmer, a chemist at Saint Francis Xavier University (StFX) is a biofouling expert and has been working with a research team from Sydney, Australia to come up with a non-toxic, super-slippery surface material with a wealth of possible marine applications.
Taking their inspiration from nature, the pitcher plant, a carnivorous plant that traps and devours insects, served as the model. The lip of the plant’s deep pitcher has tiny structures on its surface that are 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. When a thin layer of water is present on the lip, the insects have nothing to hold on to and they slip into the pitcher and are digested inside.
To recreate this kind of slippery, wrinkly surface the research team uses polystyrene, Teflon and silicone oil. The material can be shaped and can also be transparent, and they could be used for example on underwater cameras or other applications where the surface needs light to pass through.
The team, led by University of Sydney’s Chiara Neto, field tested the invention and saw a significant reduction in biofouling on their test surfaces. Currently, due to the cost of the material and the smaller size, it can be produced in, the nanowrinkle surfaces technology are a better fit for industries like aquaculture and underwater sensors. However, solving fouling on ships would reduce drag and fuel costs and be highly desirable.
To read the full story in the Chronicle Herald, click here.
Restoring your old Windows could be better than replacing them
It might no longer be necessary to replace your old windows for increased energy efficiency, but rather refurbish them.
Sydney MacDonald, a recent Holland College (HC) graduate has created the steam box to reduce the time it normally takes to take off the old paint, putty and calking in approximately half the time. The Window is placed into the steam box for 18 minutes and all the layers of material on the window gets softened, making it easy to take them off.
"We're hoping we can educate a lot of people that aren't really aware that they could be saving their wooden windows instead of just going with the vinyl windows," she said.
During the research project, MacDonald refurbished all of the windows of a Charlottetown house and a green energy company measured the difference the changes made in the home's energy efficiency. The results showed quite a reduction in air leakage, which would result in a significant decrease in energy consumption.
Prince Edward Island has a lot of heritage and older homes that owners trying to make more energy efficient. The steam box could prove to be a game changer and just what is needed and the P.E.I. government is part of a pilot project using the new steam box, through the Home Energy Low-income Program (HELP).
Holland College’s Applied Research department, a member of Springboard Atlantic played a role in connecting HC's Heritage Retrofit program to Efficiency PEI, and securing the funding through CICan’s Clean Tech Internship fund to cover the costs of the student. The office also secured internal grant funding to cover material costs.
There is a vast body of knowledge, expertise, and innovation available in our Atlantic Canadian post-secondary institutions. For years these resources were left untapped. From time to time, some of these products saw the light of public recognition beyond a scientific publication by being commercialized. More often though, the world-class innovations created by our researchers remained untapped and on the shelf.
To change that, Springboard Atlantic was established in 2004 and incorporated as a non-for-profit organization in 2005. Our main objective is to drive the efficiency and effectiveness of technology and knowledge transfer in Atlantic Canada. We connect skilled professionals in academia with like-minded contacts in industry to build new collaborations and to support research commercialization, accelerating the competitiveness of Atlantic Canadian companies.
The Springboard network is comprised of 19 members – 14 universities and 5 colleges from Atlantic Canada and with support from the Government of Canada (through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), we are the only regional commercialization network in Canada that has public post-secondary universities and colleges working together under a common commercialization mandate.
Springboard’s Innovation Mobilization (IM) Funding, available to our members, plays a very important role in bridging the gap between a new idea and getting that idea to market. Technology Readiness Levels (TRL), are the 9 stages of technology/knowhow development that categorize how close the innovation is to being commercialized. The work done in our post-secondary institutions usually centers around TRL 1-3 and in recent years more often also around TRL 4. However, funding for TRL 5-7, the crucial stage between moving from the initial prototype to commercial prototype to market goes beyond what most granting agencies fund and, remain too early in development for most startup companies to fund directly.
To ensure that this gap is bridged Springboard provides Proof of Concept, Patent & Legal and Marketing Support Funds to our members so that more research and innovations developed in our member institutions reach the market.
Over the course of this series we will celebrate Springboard’s success bridging the gap and #springboarding innovations forward; and explore the ways this work personally impacts you, your neighbours, and your communities. Make sure to follow us, connect with us and do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Nautilus Biosciences Canada Inc is being aquired by Croda International
Nautilus Biosciences Canada Inc. (Nautilus) was founded in 2007 by Professor Russell Kerr via a spin-out from his research at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). Nautilus focuses on using marine microbial biodiversity to discover novel activities and materials. In a press release on January 11, 2018, Corda International announced the acquisition of Nautilus. Through this acquisition and the associated patents, Croda will utilise this innovative science for applications across all its market sectors.
Having worked together for the last six years, Nautilus and Croda have a proven history of successful collaboration, focusing on the development of specific applications for skin, hair and crop care. It is Croda's intend to establish Nautilus as a Croda Centre of Innovation for Marine Biotechnology at Nautilus’ existing base at UPEI. The location is ideal for biotechnology research and has attracted and facilitated partnerships with many other biotechnology-based companies.
Springboard's member Synapse was pleased to support the acquisition process by shepherding discussions and helping coordinate the agreements between UPEI and Croda/Nautilus. Synapse, an independently-incorporated company was created to help transfer the expertise and knowledge housed in UPEI into products, processes, services, and insights that can provide practical social and economic benefit beyond the university environment.
We want to add our well-deserved congratulations to the well-wishes from UPEI and Synapse.
To read the full article in UPEI Marketing and Communications, click here.
UNB receives funding for the development of Arctic surveillance capabilities
A physics professor at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) is working on two projects that are developing the next generation of sensors and systems to enhance the surveillance and detection capabilities for continental defence. UNB uns the Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Network (CHAIN), which is one of the world’s largest networks for ionospheric monitoring and investigation and the two projects are part of the Department of National Defence (DND) All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) program, providing valuable information about the Canadian Arctic Upper Atmosphere.
CHAIN (the network) started its work in 2006 and has 25 global navigation satellite receiver systems and five high-frequency radars called ionosondes. The information/ data gathered satellite systems is transferred to UNB in near real-time for processing.
The total funding of $2.9M will go towards adding three more high-frequency radars to the network and to develop more accurate and Arctic-specific ionospheric models.
These two projects will help to develop a next-generation surveillance system for the Arctic and will have broad impacts on communication and navigation technologies and the Canadian economy, says Dr. P. Thayyil Jayachandran, chair of the physics department at the University of New Brunswick and lead for CHAIN.
To read the full story on the UNB News, click here.
Photo by Jennifer Latuperisa-Andresen on Unsplash
BMM Testlabs selects Moncton to Create the Automation Center of Excellence
On January 8, 2018, BMM Testlabs announced that it has selected Moncton as the place for its worldwide Test Automation Center of Excellence. Transforming the gaming industry BMM's automation services include automation strategy consulting, automation frameworks and tools, automation execution, reports, and metrics.
To meet the demand BMM has been working with the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) and has been investing, and will continue to do so, in educational programs to ensure training of qualified personnel for jobs in technology.
BMM has employed many graduates, keeping up with the industry's growth. The commitment to Moncton started in 2015 when BNN Testlabs announced that it will create 1,000 jobs over the next 5 years.
New Generation of Social Entrepreneurs coming from MUN
Student teams at Memorial University (MUN) from business and other faculties have been extremely successful in the annual Enactus competitions for the last nine to ten years, taking second place in 2017 and first place in 2016 internationally. Enactus is an international non-profit organization, promoting student entrepreneurship for the social good.
The work in social entrepreneurship has been steadily growing at MUN, in 2013 the university established a partnership with Fogo Island-based Shorefast Foundation, enabling MUN faculty to engage in research and various university-community collaborations. In 2016 the Centre for Social Enterprise was established by three faculties, including business. The purpose of the centre is to promote social innovation across Newfoundland and serves as an on-campus complement to the Centre for Entrepreneurship, assisting students, staff or faculty interested in taking a startup idea to the next level.
To further MUN's influence in this field, the faculty of business administration has announced its plans to offer a master-level program in social enterprise and entrepreneurship in the fall of 2018, thereby joining a growing list of business schools that have created new options to study social entrepreneurship.
"The idea is that you are creating your own job, a startup or getting involved in social enterprise," says Isabelle Dostaler, dean of the faculty of business administration. "It is interesting there are so many initiatives in social enterprise everywhere across the province."
To read the full article in The Globe and Mail, click here.
SmartICE - combining technology with traditional knowledge to save lives
With the changing climate, the conditions of the sea ice are changing in northern Canada. The land-fast ice is thinning, impacting the personal and food security of the Inuit people, during the hunt.
Adapting to these changing conditions, the communities are using SmartICE, an innovative tool, blending modern technology with traditional knowledge. Dr. Trevor Bell, a professor at Memorial University (MUN) researched and developed the technology and founded SmartICE and is its director.
SmartICE provides real-time information to the Inuit people who are traveling on the ice, by sensors that are frozen into the ice at the beginning of the season. The sensors relay information of the thickness of the ice and the depth of snow on it. Hired by SmartICE, Inuit people are also affixing sensors to the underside of their sleds gathering further information as they travel.
The maps that are created also include local and traditional knowledge to enhance them. Indigenous communities can assess the condition of the ice by its texture and its sounds and have asked that microphones are installed with the stationary sensors to be able to listen to the ice from their communities, leading to a successful melding of knowledge.
MUN's Technology Transfer and Commercialization office supports Dr. Bell and SmartICE during the process of transferring the research into the company.
SMU-Industry partnership allows students to look deeper into the Ground
Meet the Noggin 500, a ground-penetrating radar (GPR). The instrument added to the Department of Anthropology at Saint Mary's University will help students and faculty to see beneath the soil to explore some of Nova Scotia’s most important historic sites.
The remarkable fact about this acquisition is, that the purchase was made jointly by Boreas Heritage Consulting and Northeast Archaeological Research, two Halifax-based archaeological consulting companies. Sara Beanlands, an archaeologist with Boreas, a graduate of Saint Mary’s History program, and an adjunct professor in the Anthropology Department, says that it is critical for students to have access to this kind of technology. This kind of technology is standard in the archeological world, and now the students at SMU will have access to this technology as well.
The Noggin can see up to two meters into the soil and can map the subterranean environment in three dimensions. The Noggin GPR is especially good at spotting “discontinuities” in soil texture and type, such as those caused by unmarked graves.The Noggin compliments the Geonics EM38B, a device which measures soil magnetism and can put together a limited picture of what lies underneath. Now with this expanded toolkit, the research will more accurately tell the researchers what lies where, especially valuable when making the most of time in the field.
To read the full story in the Saint Mary's News, click here.
#Springboarding Forward - Island AquaTech Preps Prototype
In October we reported on the success of three engineering students from the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) who created a startup business, Island AquaTech, out of a class project. With the help from UPEI's Synapse (a Springboard member turning ideas into solutions) and Springboard's Innovation Mobilization Proof of Concept and Patent funding, Dylan MacIssac, Brett McDermott, and Jordan Sampson were able to file for patent protection in 2017 for their innovation that will greatly support the oyster farming industry.
The team invented a machine enabling oyster farmers to flip their cages easily, reducing the manual labour and time needed, greatly improving the performance of this critical task. In oyster farming, the shellfish are grown in floating cages needing to be flipped often during growth to kill off parasites like barnacles, algae and mussels. When the cages are flipped, these parasites are exposed to the sun, which kills them.
The oyster industry is very important for PEI, producing roughly 30 per cent of the farmed oysters in Canada.
Besides Springboard's funding, Island AquaTech also received non-equity funding from Innovation P.E.I.’s Ignition Fund. The team has by now built their prototype and will finalize its boat attachment design. Just before the winter, they tested their latest prototype with good success and now have to work out the last kinks, but the concept is proven.
To learn the business side of their startup, the team enrolled in the Creative Destruction Lab in Halifax and completed the first session in November and will return this month to CDL for the next session. The team is very excited about the possibilities that 2018 holds for them and we are excited to see their dedication and success and seeing them #springboarding forward.
To read the full article in Entrevestor, click here.
Memorial names 1st Research Chair in Entrepreneurship
Memorial University's (MUN) new chair in entrepreneurship will build research capacity in the field of entrepreneurship, lead research aimed at better understanding and contributing to the health of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and provide academic leadership of entrepreneurship-related activities in the province. This position is filled by Dr. Alex Stewart, who is coming from Marquette University in Wisconsin, where he was the Coleman Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship.
The chair’s focus on research and on contributing to the entrepreneurial ecosystem was one of its appeals, says Dr. Stewart, as was the prospect of living in Newfoundland and Labrador. At the moment he is investigating possible research projects but expects to focus his attention on entrepreneurship, creative industries and the natural environment in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The chair was funded by contributions from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, the faculties of Business and Engineering and Applied Science and private donations as part of the creation of the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship.
To read the full article in The Gazette, click here.
UNB awarded ACOA Atlantic Innovation Fund to develop Smart Grid Solutions
Thanks to funding from the Federal Government through Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF), the University of New Brunswick (UNB) will advance their existing smart grid expertise infrastructure as well as refine the technology. This will allow UNB to deliver solutions for renewable energy to meet Canada's and the world's future energy needs.
The work from this AIF will advance Canada's efforts for a cleaner economy and help realize Canada's climate change goals.
Project partner Emera Inc. is providing $1.4 million to the project, ACOA invests $2.8 million in the project and NSERC provides $82,100 towards the project for a total of ~$4.28 million.
The project goal is to distribute energy resource solutions for commercialization by industry and its implementation by utilities. This will be achieved through the designing, building, testing and demonstrating of a suite of distributed energy resource solutions. Emera will deploy and test the project results within its system network at Barbados Light and Power. After testing in a real-world environment, the results will be refined and validated by industry players, users, suppliers, regulators, and others.
“We’re excited to support innovation-focused research towards creating a 100 percent clean electricity supply. We believe the kind of technology being developed at UNB will play a critical role in making it possible for 100 percent renewable energy to be affordable and reliable to serve our customers in the future.”
– Chris Huskilson, president & CEO, Emera Inc.
To read the full article in UNB's Newsroom, click here.
STFX signs Agreement with Cultivator Catalyst Coorporation
The three-year multi-disciplinary agreement between Cultivator Catalyst Corporation (CCC), THC Dispensiaries Inc (THC Inc) and St. Francis Xavier University (StFX) will focus on the development of proprietary solutions for the commercial cannabis industry, specifically on:
* The creation of unique cannabis genetics that may be used in clinical trials that CCC intends to undertake
* The development of new delivery methods and mechanisms for cannabis into the human body
* Research into new approaches for growing and cultivating cannabis at an industrial scale
* Assistance in sourcing human capital for CCC with a particular focus on StFX students and graduates
* Work with regional and provincial authorities to support these activities
Springboard's member, StFX Office of Industry Liaison and Technology Transfer, represented through its manager Andrew Kendall, will support CCC, THC Inc and StFx's researchers to ensure the research and innovations are #springboarding forward and are successfully commercialized.
To read the full article on the StFX website, click here.
New Pilot Program for UNB Graduates
The goal of this partnership and pilot program is to move young companies out of the idea stage. Accelerate Entrepreneur will work with all sectors, for example, manufacturing, technical innovation, business processes, IT, social sciences, and design.
Mitacs is a nation-wide not-for-profit organization that bridges the gap between academia and industry and helps companies employ Masters, PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. Planet Hatch is New Brunswick's flagship business accelerator and entrepreneurial hub located in Fredericton.
“This pilot program will support university-based entrepreneurs who are solving research problems, which in turn, will have positive impacts on our economy and our society,” said Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director of Mitacs.
To find out if you are eligible for the program or are interested in attending, contact Mitacs local representative Valerie Bonnardel-Vacque at email@example.com.
To read the full story on Entrevestor, click here.
Photo by Climate KIC on Unsplash
Staying Connected via Nature
Being able to get connected when exploring the great and wide outdoors is important for a number of reasons and Seaformatics Systems Inc is delivering the technology to do just that.
WaterLily, a hand-held microturbine was designed to harness wind and water power is the easiest to use tool out in the market. Recharge your phone, camera, GPS or portable battery bank by the power of nature.
The St. John's based start-up was spun out of Memorial University (MUN) and the technology that has lead to the launch of WaterLily was developed at MUN over the last decade with funding support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Atlantic Innovation Fund and Springboard Atlantic’s Innovation Mobilization Program. Springboard's funds provided support during the proof of concept, the patenting and the marketing stage and we are thrilled to see how our funds have been instrumental in #springboarding Seaformatics forward and seeing this technology commercialized.
The company now holds one patent and another one is in progress and WaterLily is catching the attention of customers, curiosity seekers and mainstream media. Seaformatics is currently a client of the Genesis Centre, Memorial’s award-winning business incubator for technology startups.
To read the full article in The Gazette, click here.
Startups receive $10K from Acadia Award
In total, 16 teams participated in Acadia's Start It Up program via Launchbox. The winner a team of three environmental science students from Acadia University won first prize and $6,000 for their idea of a mobile food truck that serves healthy produce sourced from local farms, called Highway 101.
the 16 teams were given real industry problems and had 28 hours to come up with a viable solution. The participants learn to apply the Lean Canvas Model and at the end of the workshop, the teams present their ideas to a panel of judges. The second-place team won $3500 for its solution to connect students to retired seniors who want to stay in their homes and need help maintaining their property and third place ($500) was won by a team from Cultiv8, who designed an app to harmonize a work/life balance.
The workshop was coordinated by the Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre, which manages LaunchBox.
To read the full article on Entrevestor, click here.
Sparking new ideas and fostering entrepreneurship
Meet Western Newfoundland's entrepreneurship centre, Navigate at Memorial University's (MUN) Grenfell Campus. Since its opening in 2004 (formerly known as Gateway West) it has supported more than 80 businesses in Western Newfoundland and beyond and served almost 250 clients.
Navigate builds relationships with clients, partners and organizations, paving the way for tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, giving assistance in business and financial planning, market research as well as networking and mentoring opportunities.
Navigate also connects MUN's Grenfell campus and the College of the North Atlantic's (CNA) Corner Brook campus, its manager Sean St. George works out of both locations and both places offer office space for entrepreneurs for meetings, use office equipment and have access to mentors.
Going forward, thanks to the new partnership with the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship, Navigates student-clients now have the opportunity to access services through the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship and new entrepreneurs may be eligible for funding and subsidies. Navigate has also recently begun working with Futurpreneur Canada, a non-profit organization that provides ﬁnancing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39.
The funding for Navigate comes from different partners, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Newfoundland's and Labrador's Departments of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation and Advanced Education, Skills and Labour and Grenfell Campus and the College of the North Atlantic-Corner Brook Campus.
To read the full article in The Gazette, click here.
UNB’s Energia and TME program propel startups forward
Three grads from the University of New Brunswick (UNB) are embracing the provinces Smart Grid Initiative and are working on a way to help utilities find outages on their grids more quickly, and eventually help to reduce power interruption via their Fredericton startup Trispectra.
It’s a little-known fact that utilities don’t have the ability to detect a power outage as soon as it occurs and about a year and a half ago the company came up with sensors that are placed on the powerlines, that tell the utility company when a power outage occurs and where.
“Our solution was to provide a sensor-based monitor system that would provide a map of the power lines and detect faults,” said CEO Emmanuel Albert in an interview. “We can alert the utility if there’s a fault – not just location but also the type of problem.”
With the help from the Energia accelerator at UNB, Trispectra has received $20,000 in non-dilutive funding and have been introduced to mentors such as Pierre Mullin of Siemens Canada.
The founders’ main focus now is to perfect certain components that will go into the sensor mechanism, and they are talking with potential manufacturers about ironing our sundry kinks in the design.
Mbissa, a Fredericton startup develops micro homes that use 100 per cent renewable solar and wind energy in order to run basic electrical services. The original goal was to bring renewable energy solutions to communities off the grid in Cameroon, but now Mbissa wants New Brunswickers to know they can transform the lives of people here at home too.
The off-grid micro home will be showcased in Douglas and Caleb Grove, founder of Mbissa Energy is excited to show off the technology and business model, that they developed with the support of the Energia Accelerator and the Technology Management & Entrepreneurship (TME) program at UNB.
Mbissa has completed 40 renewable energy installations in homes, clinics, and businesses on and around the island Mbissa and Grove wants to return to Cameroon in January to train another team of technicians who he hopes can complete installations across the entire island of Mbissa within eight months.
To read the full article on Entrevestor click here.
CarbonCure Technologies, a Dartmouth-based company that sequesters carobon dioxide in concrete is growing at a fast pace, adding its 80th client to their customer list. St. Louis-based Breckenridge Material Company and Eastern Missouri Concrete are 2 American companies that will now be able to recycle waste carbon dioxide and therefore increase their environmental performance and profile.
A neat side-effect of the sequestered coarbon dioxide in the concrete is the added compressive strength of the concrete.
CarbonCure is also one of 23 semi-finalists in the $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE challenge, which has been called the Nobel Prize for climate technologies.
To read the full articvle in Entrevestor, click here.
Investment Opportunities Program Announces First Cohort
On behalf of the Investment Opportunities Program (IOP) partners we are pleased to confirm the 12 companies selected to join our 1st cohort. A total of 16 preselected companies competed in a pitching session after an invite only weekend of workshops that focused on investment readiness, pitching and investor relations. The event was held Nov 17-19th at St Mary’s University. Workshops were facilitated by representatives from the First Angel Network, Springboard Atlantic and Invest Atlantic.
The 1st cohort welcomes the following company representatives:
The cohort including up to 4 mentors will be in Toronto from December 13-15th, 2017 to pitch their ideas to angel investors with the goal of raising capital. Angel Investors Ontario will be hosting the first pitch session for its members on Dec 14th and the National Angel Capital Organization is hosting a 2nd pitch session which is open to all investors on Dec 15th.
The Wild Blueberry Research Program at Dalhousie University conducted trials near Parrsborough, Nova Scotia to test Bee Vectoring's new and proprietary honey bee dispenser system. The trials were conducted by Dr. David Percival's team and the results showed a yield of wild blueberries that is 77% higher compared to the nontreated control, the number of marketable berries per stem is 50% higher than with chemical standard, and a reduction of Monilinia blight (mummy berry) by 21% occured.
Blueberries are a high-value crop in Canada and the United States with a total farm gate value of US $1.1 billion. Blueberry production in North America represents 54% of the worldwide crops with key growing regions including the Atlantic provinces and British Columbia in Canada, Washington, Oregon, Georgia, Michigan, California, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Florida in the US.
To read the full article on MarketWired, click here.
Photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash
Research is supporting Aqualitas for unique Business Advantage
Through the use of research from its subsidiary Finleaf Technologies, Aqualitas, a Liverpool cannabis producer, is setting itself apart from its other 73 competitors in Canada and the company is now close to raising $6.5-million with private investors next month.
If Health Canada approves its growing facility for medical cannabis, Aqualitas will be getting to market next year.
With support and initial research from Acadia University, Finleaf Technologies has developed proprietary aquaponics technology, that ensures that plants get enough nutrients and the fish are protected from toxic chemicals while preserving water and avoiding harmful runoffs. Aquaponics is especially important to areas in the world where fresh water is scarce. Finleafs' research lab is housed and fully staffed at Acadia University and the company has been accepted into Innovacorp’s Cleantech Accelerator Program and was a $25,000 winner of the Spark West competition.
While Cannabis is a hot sector, the company is looking forward to diversifying the company’s crop and using its technology to address food security and they want to develop more facilities in the provinces so that more food can be grown indoors with minimal environmental impact.
To read the full article on Entrevestor, click here.
NBCC creates New Brunswick’s first Cybersecurity Post-Grad Program
To be offered in September 2018, the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) is going to launch a new one-year post-graduate cybersecurity diploma program at its Saint John campus.
This one-year program was developed together with CyberNB and industry to address the anticipated growing demand for cybersecurity expertise in New Brunswick. The admission requirement for this program is a diploma or degree in network administration, computer science or equivalent experience in network administration. While the curriculum is still in development, NBCC says that the program will equip graduated with “the skills and knowledge that industry is seeking, and help expand the cybersecurity infrastructure in New Brunswick.”
According to a recent report from Cisco, in 2016, there are about one million jobs available worldwide in cybersecurity and many of them were not filled. By 2019, that’s expected to grow to six million.
To read the full article on Entrevestor, click here.
Enjoying your Christmas Tree longer
Celebrating the SMART Christmas Tree success, Dalhousie's Truro Agricultural Campus welcomed the Honourable Navdeep Bains (below), Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Bill Casey, Member of Parliament for Cumberland-Colchester, James DeLong, President of the SMART Christmas Tree Research Cooperative Limited and Richard Florizone, president of Dalhousie University.
The National Christmas Tree Research Centre (CRC), funded in large part through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Atlantic Innovation Fund, has licensed three commercial products and technologies, the SMART Balsam Fir TEchnologies, to help sustain Atlantic Canada’s Christmas tree and greenery industry.
Developed in a true industry partnership by Raj Lada (Faculty of Agriculture professor and the CRC's director) and his team, the SMART-er trees boast a full, sturdy architecture; unique fragrance; blue-green needles; and the ability to retain its needles longer (up to three months when handled properly).
The research is being conducted at Dalhousie Agricultural campus in partnership with the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia, SMART Christmas Tree Research Cooperative, Christmas tree producers; NS Departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources, NB Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture; NL Department of Forestry and Agriculture; and University of New Brunswick, under the leadership and direction of Dr. Lada.
“This opportunity has already begun to enhance the economic growth of the balsam fir industry with market growth. I believe the true potential of the Cooperatives' success and all that has been achieved, will only be truly realized by generations to come.” said James DeLong, President of the SMART Christmas Tree Research Cooperative Limited.
The CRC has provided a great wealth of new and improved knowledge and technologies for the industry, including 13 disclosures to the university; three commercial products and technologies; over 20 published, peer-reviewed original scientific articles; over 40 conference abstracts, posters and presentations; and the training of trained undergraduate students, graduate students, PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants and research associates — a total of more than 50 totaling person-years of building human capacity for the region.
Congratulations to Dalhousie University and all of its partners.
On November 23, 2017 Halifax’s Discovery Centre held their 15th annual Discovery Awards. This great annual event recognizes talented individuals and outstanding companies for their innovative contributions to science and technology. This year's awards were sponsored by Dalhousie University.
Professional of Distinction Award: Jason Clyburne, Saint Mary's University, Department of Chemistry
Dr. Clyburne is recognized as a leader in the study of green chemistry and his research is widely recognized for its potential to mitigate a wide range of environmental challenges, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. His focus lies on the application of simple chemical principles to identify designer chemicals for the removal of environmentally hazardous substances from industrial processes.
Find out more about Dr. Clyburne's work, click here.
Science Hall of Fame recipients: Peter Allen, Dalhousie University, Faculty of Engineering and William Howard Feindel
Dr. Allen is recognized for his contributions to the solar energy research and development community. He is CEO and founder of Thermo Dynamics Ltd, a Dartmouth company that carries out research, development and manufacture of solar thermal equipment for domestic and export markets.
Dr. Feindel (1918-2014), was a graduate of Dal's Faculty of Science. He was recognized posthumously for his outstanding contributions to neurosurgical research and development of medical diagnostic equipment.
Emerging Professional: Ghada Koleilat, Dalhousie University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dr. Koleilat developed the world’s first functional colloidal quantum dot tandem solar cell employing a single quantum tuned material during her graduate studies at the University of Toronto. She also conceived a material processing that enabled prolonged stability and improved electrical properties in photovoltaic junctions based on colloidal quantum dots. Before joining Dalhousie University in 2016, Dr. Koleilat investigated the properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes and their potential in photovoltaics. Her work has frequently been highlighted in major media outlets for technology reporting. Notably, her first research publication in the American Chemical Society’s journal “ACS Nano” was one of the ten highest cited articles in the journal for four consecutive years.
Science Champion: Matthew Lukeman, Acadia University, Department of Chemistry
Dr. Luekmans' passion for teaching chemistry has been recognized through winning the Student Union Teaching Recognition Award twice, along with the Faculty of Pure and Applied Science Teaching Award. He was instrumental in the development of a course for non-science majors entitled “Chemistry in Our World” which has become Acadia’s most highly registered class. The demonstrations Dr. Lukeman developed for his courses became the basis for a science education “show” featuring attention-grabbing and hands-on activities which has been presented now dozens of times to school and community groups – including regular interactions with the Acadia Sensory Motor Instructional Leadership Experience ( or “S.M.I.L.E.”) Program. Dr. Lukeman has also developed a series of public lectures on Pseudoscience and The Sky is Falling: Separating Fact from Fiction in Our Chemical World aimed at demystifying the media’s many conflicting messages about chemicals.
Innovation Award recipients: Densitas Inc.
An early stage medical software company, Densitas Inc., focuses on machine-learning solutions in the breast imaging enterprise and sees digital mammograms as “imaging fingerprints” that enable tailored patient care. Densitas was founded in 2011 by Mohamed (Mo) Abdolell, a biostatistician with 25 years’ experience in modeling data for clinical decision-making, and currently also an Associate Professor in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at Dalhousie University and an Affiliated Scientist at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. Densitas’ flagship technology is DM-Density, an automated breast density assessment tool which serves as the foundational product for a suite of technologies that complete a comprehensive imaging analytics platform targeting mammography quality and delivery of personalized care.
Youth Award Recipients: Janani Venkat and Anisha Rajaselvam
Congratulations to all recipients.
UNB’s TME 5.0? What is next?
The Technology, Management and Entrepreneurship (TME) at UNB has been in operation since 29 years to great success and its overseers are currently working on what will be next for the program, given its recent growth. Buzz words like “TME Next” or “TME 5.0” are floating around the Faculty of Engineering at UNB. Since 2014, TME has produced 65 startups, including Resson an agtech company.
In an interview, Dhirendra Shukla said the options include a PhD program in entrepreneurship, a ramping up of its Energia accelerator, a program to help mature companies grow, or all of the above.
The current TME program has four pillars
and UNB is working out how to build on this success. A PhD in entrepreneurship would be the first of its kind in the region, and the university is one of several groups in Atlantic Canada wondering what it can do to help mature companies grow.
To read the full article on Entrevestor, click here.
AFRED Database is enabling regional collaborations
To businesses relying on scientific discovery, it is important to have the hardware to realize their ideas and innovation. However, the expense of the instrumentation and the technical expertise often far exceeds what companies can afford, especially in the early stages.
Thanks to AFRED (Atlantic Facilities and Research Equipment Database), housing this infrastructure within their company is no longer essential. AFRED is an open access, online, searchable database created by Science Atlantic. Launched earlier this year, AFRED now lists close to 500 pieces of equipment available in various colleges, universities, government, medical, and not-for-profit facilities throughout Atlantic Canada.
A number of Springboard's members are part of AFRED, helping companies in the region address their research needs, #springboarding forward.
"AFRED has tremendous potential to showcase specialized research infrastructure in Atlantic Canada and provide researchers with opportunities for partnerships with colleagues in academia and industry," said Dr. Christian Lacroix, Chair-Elect, Science Atlantic and Biology Professor, University of Prince Edward Island.
"We regard AFRED as an invaluable tool to link applied research expertise that exists within our region to our industry partners who are seeking assistance in developing critical products and processes within their organizations," said Mike Long, Vice President of Applied Research and Innovation, College of the North Atlantic, St. John's, Newfoundland.
To read the full article in Atlantic Business, click here.
Springboard welcomes new President and CEO
Springboard Atlantic’s board of directors announced today, November 16, the appointment of Daryl Genge as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer.
Mr. Genge has been a leader in building innovative partnerships among academia, industry and government for the last 28 years. He comes to the organization most recently from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s former Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development where, in his role as Assistant Deputy Minister and Deputy Minister (acting), he championed public-private investment strategies to support commercialization, drive technology industry growth, and expand key trade networks. He will begin his new role December 1.
"After an extensive search which generated interest from across Canada, we are thrilled to have Daryl join us," said Brian Lowe, Springboard’s board chair. "Daryl is a strong leader, and his understanding of academia, industry and the public sector will be a significant asset to Springboard going forward.”
" I am very excited to take on the role of President and CEO of Springboard at such a pivotal time," said Mr. Genge. “I’m looking forward to working alongside our members and partners to make a real impact on our region’s future. Atlantic Canada is rapidly developing a reputation as one of country’s leading innovation hubs. With such a powerful network of universities and colleges, and strong relationships with government, industry and our entrepreneurial community, we have unparalleled talent and resources to turn great ideas into commercial success.”
The Newfoundland native is a graduate of Memorial University and a Certified Management Consultant. Prior to joining the provincial government, he was the founding director of Memorial University’s Atlantic Canada Venture Gateway which prepared high-potential entrepreneurs to raise capital and brought promising technologies to international markets. Mr. Genge has held numerous board and committee positions including participating on the advisory boards of two venture capital funds.
Mr. Lowe extended the board's appreciation to Chris Mathis, who served as Springboard’s president and CEO since 2011.
“We’re grateful for Chris’ strong leadership over the last six years,” said Mr. Lowe. “He delivered on all of our strategic goals, and evolved the organization into a vehicle that drives academic and industry collaboration for the economic benefit of our region."
Springboard is Atlantic Canada’s commercialization network. It works to connect skilled professionals in academia with like-minded contacts in industry to drive new collaborations and support research commercialization in Atlantic Canada. With core support from its members, and from the Government of Canada (through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, or ACOA), Springboard is building economic advantages and #springboarding the Atlantic Region every day.
Saint Mary’s University will host the international Venture Capital Investment Competition
Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) is a tri-continental organization, hosting competitions at universities around the world. Holding competitions for a decade, so far no Canadian university has stepped up to host the event. Venture Grade, a student-run venture capital fund at St. Mary’s University (SMU) is changing that.
“It’s a pretty spectacular opportunity,” said Ellen Farrell, professor of venture capital and entrepreneurship at SMU. “The nation will now realize that the Atlantic region has a real specialization in the area of venture capital.”
SMU, as the host, cannot enter competing teams into the event held on March 2, 2018, but it has been invited to an American competition n Februar 2018 in Boston. Applications for the SMU event have been already submitted by Dalhousie, University of New Brunswick and Memorial University of Newfoundland.
At the event the student teams will be given an imaginary $100 million to invest, and they must pick one of the pitching startups to back. Real venture capital investors serve as the judges to assess which teams do the best job.
Venture Grade is the only program of its kind in North America because the students are responsible for making connections and raising funds themselves and it has been meeting all of its targets for 2017, raising almost $200,000 since its inception in 2016 and is set to meet its $250,000 target in 2018.
To read the full artilce on Entrevestor, click here.
Acadia and NSCC receive Offshore Energy Research Association funding
A total of $1.25 million in funding support was announced by the Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA). $1 million comes from Natural Resources Canada and $125,000 each come from the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and OERA.
OERA issued a research call in support of the Canadian In-stream Tidal Energy Sector to address the “fundamental knowledge gaps impacting the Canadian tidal energy sector” in environmental effects, monitoring, marine operations and cost reduction technologies.
Acadia University received funding for 2 projects:
1) Using acoustic fish tracking technology to study fish distributions and movements in the Minas Passage, and
2) Using mobile measurement devices and modeling techniques to complete a comprehensive characterization of turbulence in the passage.
The Nova Scotia Community College received funding for: Conducting field trials to augment ROV operational capacity and efficiency to enhance marine operations in high-flow tidal environments.
“Our investment in innovative research and development creates new opportunities for Nova Scotia’s growing ocean technology sector,” said Stephen Dempsey, OERA executive director. “These collaborative research projects will contribute significantly to the development of a commercial tidal industry here in Nova Scotia – one that will see export opportunities around the globe.”
To read the full article on HydroWorld.com, click here.
Photo by Dan Grinwis on Unsplash
StFX Collaboration to drive material discovery in Canada
In order to speed up the process of new materials discovery, urgently needed for better solar and battery materials, lighter but stronger alloys and more efficient catalysts, St. Francis Xavier University’s (StFX) physicists and chemists are collaborating with Lumiant Corporation, a Canadian materials science company.
The tried and tested method of discovering new materials takes to long and is too costly and risky and Lumiant’s Xaedra™ platform offers a solution by combining AI and quantum physics into a system that predicts material properties from atomic structure information. To test this new artificial intelligence (AI) computing platform that is expected to revolutionize how materials are discovered, the Luminant Corporation is collaborating with StFX, so that the university’s researchers can test Xaedra before its release by using the platform in their research. Other academic researchers across Canada are also participating in this beta testing program.
“Through our collaboration with Lumiant, StFX researchers and students have a great opportunity to be at the forefront of new material research with a technology that promises to fundamentally alter how materials are discovered,” says Dr. Kevin B. Wamsley, StFX Academic Vice-President and Provost. “This work will enable our science students to gain valuable insights into the rapidly evolving world of material science.”
StFX physics professor Dr. Brandon van Zyl, a lead investigator bringing this state-of-the-art collaboration, along with StFX Industry Liaison Manager Andrew Kendall and Lumiant Business Development Manager Charles Robison, agrees. “My physics students are excited about using this quantum mechanics-based computing platform to solve real-world problems – to possibly discover new materials."
To read the full article on the StFX website, click here.
Photo taken by Saint Francis Xavier University. L-r, Dr. Gurpreet Matharoo, research consultant at ACENET; StFX Industry Liaison Manager Andrew Kendall; StFX physics professor Dr. Brandon van Zyl, a lead investigator bringing this state-of-the-art collaboration; Greg Lukeman, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer, ACENET; and StFX chemistry professor Dr. Shah Gulam Razul.
Developing biopesticides and biofertilizers for agricultural and horticultural needs
As the medical marijuana industry grows into the mainstream for recreational use, so is the need for technology that ensures a viable crop. Like all cultivated plants, cannabis needs fertilizers to grow and pesticides to protect itself from diseases and death, and if Dr. Martin Filion has anything to do with it, they will not be the chemical kind.
A microbiologist and a precision agriculturalist at the university’s Moncton campus, Dr. Filion studies the beneficial organisms that live in soil on and near the roots of plants. Since it is the place they call home, many of those beneficial microbes have evolved mechanisms that help protect their host plant from diseases and/or promote plant growth and yield. Dr. Filion’s laboratory studies these mechanisms at the genetics and molecular level to ensure choosing the right microorganism for the right job!
“Right now there are more and more issues with pesticides. The more we look at chemical ones, the more we want to remove them from the shelf,” says Dr. Filion. “Organic is the big thing today, and developing biopesticides from natural beneficial microorganisms is economically viable as many of the organisms we work with are easy to grow, and cost of production is low. We also study microorganisms to be used as biofertilizers to boost plant productivity and yield, again compatible with organic production,” he went on to say.
For marijuana grown inside, many diseases may affect the plant, as well as stresses that may alter plant growth and therefore reduce yield. This can be disastrous for producers, and finding ways of treating these, ideally environmentally friendly ones, is important.
“By keeping the soil or soil substrate enriched with targeted beneficial microbes, it is now possible to protect the plant from disease development and promote health and productivity. Dr. Filion’s laboratory works on developing biopesticides and biofertilizers to be commercialized for agricultural and horticultural needs. A patent pending number has recently been obtained for one of the microbial strains isolated and characterized by Dr. Filion’s group to be used as a biofertilizer.
Dr. Filion’s research on plant‑protecting and growth promoting microbes is much farther reaching than marijuana. The methods he is developing can be used to discover similarly functioning microorganisms for all types of crop, indoors and out, that are already naturally there. Dr. Filion’s team also works in close collaboration with two other researchers at the Université de Moncton interested in cannabis research: Dr. David Joly who works on the genetics of the plant, and Dr. Étienne Hébert-Châtelain who works on cannabinoids and their beneficial impact on human diseases.
Article was written by Chet Wesley (writer for the Atlantic Business Magazine)
Dalhousie is #springboarding 3D-Bolus to improve cancer patients lives
Undergoing radiation therapy is incredibly stressful for many cancer patients and also time-consuming and Dr. James Robar, director of Dalhousie University's Medical Physics programs and professor of the departments of Radiation Oncology and Physics & Atmospheric Science, and his team set out to change that, working on a tool for health practitioners that improves the accuracy and efficiency of this treatment, while making it a more comfortable experience for the patient.
With access to high tech equipment, state-of-the-art software and linear accelerators radiation oncologists and medical physicists are able to deliver treatment in a highly automated way, but there are key steps of the process that remain very manual. These include using a device called a bolus, a layer of tissue-equivalent material placed on the patient's skin during treatment that assists in providing the optimal dose of radiation.
Producing a bolus that works perfectly and needs to be custom made for each patient, leads to inaccuracy and is very time-consuming. However, with the increased availability of 3D-printers, Dr. Robar saw an opportunity and in 2012 he started working on finding a better way to produce the bolus.
With the support of Springboard Atlantic's Innovation Mobilization Proof-Of-Concept (POC) grant, Dr. Robar and his team purchased their first 3-D printer, and began creating four different devices:
Electron Beam Therapy
Photon Beam Therapy
Springboard was thrilled to learn that all of these applications have been shown to greatly enhance the accuracy and efficiency of the radiation treatment process and the next step was to put it in the hands of clinicians.
With the support of Dalhousie's Industry Liaison and Innovation the 3-D printing technology was licensed over 18 months ago, and from there a start-up company called 3-D Bolus was formed to begin developing the product. The product includes the software that will enable practitioners to create photon and electron boluses, low-density immobilization and brachytherapy surface applicators. The application is bundled with a 3-D printer.
Currently, version one of the product has been developed and has secured CE Mark clearance. The technology has been deployed in clinics in Dublin, Ireland and Tel-Aviv, with research versions in Chicago, San Francisco and Halifax.
Going forward, the company's approach will be to bring in 10 founding clients who will be the first in the world to use the technology in the clinic and to assist with testing and further development. Once they receive Food and Drug Association (FDA) clearance, slated for early 2018, they will begin sales in the US.
To read the full article on Medical Express, click here.
Memorial receives three new Canada Research Chairs
The appointments are for tier 2 chairs, which are five-year positions worth $100,000 each year with the possibility of one five-year renewal, which represents a total investments (including the CFI fuding ) of more than $1.6 million in federal funding.
The recipients are:
Dr. Rachel Sipler, Surf and Turf: How Changes on Land Impact the Ocean, Department of Ocean Sciences, Faculty of Science, is the Canada Research Chair in Ocean Biogeochemistry.
Dr. Julia Christensen, Finding Home in an Urbanizing Arctic, Canada Research Chair in Northern Governance and Public Policy, joins the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in December.
Dr. Baiyu (Helen) Zhang, Controlling Oil Pollution, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, is the Canada Research Chair in Coastal Environmental Engineering.
Created in 2000, the Canada Research Chairs program has helped attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds to post-secondary institutions in the country.
Since its creation in 1997, CFI has ensured Canadian researchers have the tools — the cutting-edge labs, facilities and equipment — they need to push the frontiers of knowledge in all disciplines.
CFI and the Canada Research Chairs program partner through JELF to provide top-notch infrastructure for research institutions across Canada.
To read the full article in The Gazette, click here.
Memorial receives a $1.1M donation from the Woodward Family
The donated $1.1 million will flow into the now newly created Mel Woodward Cup which will be awarded to student entrepreneurs through an annual business competition. The competition, which is a program of the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship, will award more than $40,000 in cash prizes and offer mentorship and support opportunities for student innovators and entrepreneurs.
Woodward’s children, Peter, Melvin, and Tana, made the donation in memory of their father, who died in 2015.
“This generous donation from the Woodward family shows incredible support for, and belief in, our students and their capacity as potential entrepreneurs," said Isabelle Dostaler, the dean of Memorial’s business faculty. “Through this donation and the Mel Woodward Cup, we will be able to provide a tangible investment in our students and support them on their journeys towards becoming the next generation of business leaders.”
To read the full article on Entrevestor, click here.
Fostering Innovation - Government investment into building AI research at Memorial
The Government of Canada and the Newfoudland and Labrador government are investing in groundbreaking research in fields such as artificial intelligence (AI) to create a more robust, innovative Atlantic economy. Memorial University, the recipient is collaborating with businesses to help address technology challenges using AI.
Nick Whalen, member of Parliament, St. John’s East, on behalf of Navdeep Bains, federal minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), announced on Nov. 3 an investment of $67,000 from ACOA’s Business Development Program for this initiative. Christopher Mitchelmore, provincial minister, Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, announced a contribution of $60,000 through InnovateNL.
These investments will enable Memorial to conduct a three-year research initiative in the areas of real-time search and planning used in systems like Google Maps and robot navigation; reinforcement learning - teaching AI systems how to make decisions based on past experience and; deep neural networks focused on learning about large data sets by creating AI based on the human brain.
Researchers at Memorial’s Faculty of Science will use computer games and simulations for developing and testing new AI techniques. Their work will have business applications across a variety of sectors.
To read the full article in The Gazette, click here.
Envenio Inc. sells to the government via the Built in Canada Innovation Program
The Build in Canada Innovation Program is designed to buy new products and services from Canadian startup companies to test and validate the technology and to act as their important first sale. This is especially important for Atlantic Canada where there are fewer big businesses to serve as B2B clients.
Envenio Inc. was formed in 2015 as a spinoff company from The University oif New Brunswick and has now signed a $492,000 contract with the government.
Envenio produces air- and fluid-flow simulation software, EXN/Aero, which allows engineers to simulate air or fluid movement around objects. The company’s algorithms allow basic computers to simulate the flow of these substances. Like a virtual wind tunnel, it can chart the interactions of liquids and gases in specific conditions and with certain solid shapes.
The Build in Canada contract will allow Defence Research and Development Canada, National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces to test Envenio’s simulation software.
To read the full article on Entrevestor, click here.
Mount Allison University researches the impact of Microplastics in freshwater
Microplastics are very small pieces of plastics, less than five millimetres in size that are invisible to the eye but show up under the microscope. These microplastics are showing up in New Brunswick's' freshwater system and it is currently unclear what effect the material will have on aquaculture and humans. Research to study just that is underway at Mount Allison University (MtA).
The small particles can come from synthetic clothing, beauty products and essentially anything made of plastic. "They can be long stringy fibre bits, they can be small angular plastics, or they can be small micro beads," said Joshua Kurek, assistant professor of geography and environment at Mount Allison University.
To Dr Kurek's knowledge, this is the first time this study is being conducted on freshwater in New Brunswick. In keeping with similar work done in other provinces — for example, around the Great Lakes — Kurek said samples are taken near sewage treatment areas because they are thought to be a main source of microplastics.
The study is expected to be finished in April 2018.
UPEI receives funding to better prepare students for the workforce
The University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) has developed a new model, work integrated learning (WIL), that aims to prepare students for careers after they graduate. This model builds on knowledge gained through traditional academic education combined with experiential learning, co-op and clinical placements, internships, research and teaching practice to name a few. This approach will help graduates transfer that knowledge into practice in workplace settings.
The fuding to support this UPEI programming was announced by the governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island. ACOA is providing a non-repayable contribution of $114,660 through its business development program and the provincial government is providing a grant of $17,640.
“The University of Prince Edward Island has long played a central role in building our community, attracting talented staff and students from P.E.I. and around the world, and developing expertise that focuses on the strengths of our region,” said Charlottetown MP Sean Casey in making the announcement.
To read the full article in The Guardian, click here.
College of the North Atlantic technology is #springboarding forward
Picture this - a 10 foot-wide buoy is anchored 1,600 feet off the coast of Newfoundland by a small fishing vessel in high ice-free waves. The buoy holds an integrated cylinder, which is attached to a piston rod, which moves with the rise and fall of the waves, collecting and pumping water back to shore. All done without an external energy source.
Combining technology developed by College of the Atlantic (CNA)' Wave Environment Research Centre (WERC) with Atmocean technology, the collaboration started testing the prototype in September of the coast of Newfoundland. While harnessing wave energy isn't a new idea, most efforts so far have focused on generating electricity from the swells of the ocean. The application of this clean technology does not end there, Atmocean also wants to use the pressurized seawater arriving on shore, for use at a desalination facility without the need for grid-tied electricity or costly fossil fuels to run generators, in the hope that this system could drive down the high costs of desalination, some of which arise simply from pumping water to the plant in the first place.
Michael Graham of WERC also sees its uses in places without reliable power or water. Agriculture, potable water sources, and hygiene all stand to benefit from efficient desalination if it can be brought to remote communities, and the technology can be used as a safeguard against drought all over the world.
CNA's technology was supported by Springboard Atlantic's Innovation Mobilization Fund and Springboard is looking forward to seeing its development and progression into the marketplace. Currently, in its fifth round of sea trials, Atmocean is hopeful the system will be up and running by the end of next year, bringing with it the potential to transform an industry that, so far, has failed to come to shore.
To read the full article in Popular Mechanics, click here.
Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash
Zecken Laboratories Working on Easy and Accurate Diagnosis Method for Lyme Disease
Kami Harris is currently working on transforming her PhD work at Mount A in Sackville, NB into a company to provide the public, government and eventually medical practitioners with reliable diagnostic tools for Lyme Disease. Ms Harris is the Founder and CEO of Zecken Laboratories and is known as the "tick girl".
With the growing awareness of the spread of Lyme Disease in Atlantic Canada and the need for more accurate and affordable diagnostic tools, Ms Harris has received about 1,000 ticks annually to develop Zeckens products and she hopes that she will continue to receive them. She says that there are actually 21 types of Lyme disease but current diagnostic tests only identify one type, meaning that about 90 per cent of the instances of Lyme disease go undetected. Zecken's products can identify markers in the other types of Lyme disease to improve diagnosis and therefore generate more treatment.
At BioPort 2017, Zecken Laboratories was one of the three finalists in the BioInnovation Challenge and earlier in the year, Zecken Laboratories was a semifinalist in Breakthru. Soon it will be ready to start bringing in revenue. Up until now, the company’s research has been financed through Harris’ research funding, but Zecken recognizes that a structured finance model is needed and they will probably aim for a $250,000 funding round in their first year.
To read the full article in Entrevestor, click here.
Mount Allison University to join the SHAD program
In July 2018 Mount Allison University (MtA) will host its first Shad cohort, therefore be joining the University of New Brunswick offering Shad programs in New Brunswick.
Shad is known as the number one incubator for innovation and entrepreneurship with high school students who have a passion for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) and Entrepreneurship. Students from grades 10, 11 and 12 can apply to the program. Applications for summer 2018 are due November 20.
MtA is one of the smallest campuses and communities participating in the Shad program. The program will allow students to connect with academic and business leaders and support the growing culture of innovation there. The students will see how big change can originate from a small place.
Shad recently also announced that it would bring its program to the University of Prince Edward Island.
To read the full article in Entrevestor, click here.
Canadian Foundation for Innovation awards Infrastructure Funding to Acadia, Dalhousie and Memorial
The Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Infrastructure Funding will support work on reusing composite materials to build and repair equipment in the aerospace industry, detecting and studying dark matter, working toward the next breakthrough in non-invasive brain surgery to treat diseases such as Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis, environmental monitoring, modelling and forecasting infrastructure for instream tidal energy in the Bay of Fundy, the development of autonomous marine observation systems (DAMOS), and the Harsh Environment Research Facility (HERF), one of the most advanced icing wind tunnel and wave tank integrated laboratories in the world.
The funding for the Atlantic Canadian universities is part of the more than $554 million announced by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan yesterday. The CFI funding will support 117 new infrastructure projects at 61 universities, colleges and research hospitals across Canada.
"Our government understands that scientists need to have the best labs and tools if they're going to make discoveries that will pave the way to a brighter future for all people. That's why this funding announcement is so important; it gives scientists and their students the opportunity to further their research in areas where Canada has a competitive advantage. The discoveries, innovations and skills developed in these new, state-of-the-art labs will go a long way in improving our lives, our economy and our future prosperity."
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science
To read the full article in Market Insider, click here.
To read the full article in the Hants Journal, click here.
To read the two articles in the Gazette, click here and here.
Atlantic Facilities and Research Equipment Database (AFRED) received ACOA funding
Science Atlantic will receive $280,000 from ACOA to support the development and implementation of the Atlantic Facilities and Research Equipment Database (AFRED). AFRED was launched in March 2017 and helps businesses access publicly funded research and development tools. The database provides quick and affordable access to 400 sophisticated technical instruments from more than 80 research facilities from across Atlantic Canada that can be contracted by companies in need of specialized testing.
If a search in the AFRED database for a research and development tool comes up empty, an email request for this equipment is sent to Springboard Atlantic. Springboard will then reach out to our members and network to see if anyone in our ecosystem is able to help. This mechanism serves two purposes, it extends AFRED's reach and it also helps researchers becoming aware of AFRED and to consider if they have research and development tools that they are willing to enter into the AFRED database.
“AFRED has tremendous potential to showcase specialized research infrastructure in Atlantic Canada and provide researchers with opportunities for partnerships with colleagues in academia and industry,” said Christian Lacroix, Chair-Elect of Science Atlantic and Biology Professor, University of Prince Edward Island.
First Angel Network will receive a grant of $948,000 over three years and Venn Innovation will receive ~$177,000 from ACOA. The goal for the First Angel Network is to develop the angel investor community in Atlantic Canada and to improve access to private capital for early-stage companies in the region. Venn Innovation will provide 60 Atlantic Canadian startups with access to MaRS market intelligence services over the next year, including access to industry-leading research reports and expert analysts.
Looking into the hearts of galaxies - Halifax researchers are working on deep space telescope
A $13-million project involving eight Canadian universities and the National Research Council will allow researchers to look into the heart of galaxies billions of light-years away. The Halifax researchers involved, Marcin Sawicki, Canada research chair in astronomy at Saint Mary’s University and Scott Chapman, a professor in Dalhousie’s faculty of science (co-leader of GIRMOS with faculty at the University of Toronto) will help build the instrument, the GIRMOS spectrograph. It will combine existing technologies into a powerful and efficient galactic probe.
Saint Mary’s scientists will create data-processing and simulation software that will be crucial to the operation of the Gemini InfraRed Multi-Object Spectrograph. GIRMOS will be a souped-up infrared spectrograph with “adaptive optics” technology, which compensates for distortions in the Earth’s atmosphere to create a sharper image. This component of the spectrograph, will be developed by scientists at Dalhousie.
The software to be developed at Saint Mary’s will be able to answer questions about what astronomers will see before they actually use the spectrograph, which will be attached to the eight-metre Gemini telescope in Chile. The data streaming through the spectrograph and telescopic optical system ends up on a detector similar to the one in cellphone cameras. Collected in the form of binary data — zeros and ones — it must be translated into a visible image and Saint Mary’s researchers will create data-processing software to perform that crucial task.
Currently, in the planning stages, the work on the project will begin in early 2018 and over the next five years, the various sites will work on their part of the project, collaborating through video conferences and annual face-to-face meetings. Saint Mary’s will dedicate one full-time researcher to the work, who will be supported by graduate and undergraduate students. The university will receive $300,000, shared by the federal government and the Nova Scotia government.
To read the full article in the Chronicle Herald, click here.
Pilot Program works to address Investment Challenges in Atlantic Canada
Over the last few years, we have seen significant changes in the funding landscape. Early stage start-ups and small SMEs who make up the bulk of the industry in the region, are subjected to changes in programs and investment behaviors which impact their ability to grow a business. The issue of increasing investment attraction in Atlantic Canada has been on our radar for a while.
Meanwhile, our companies have a global economy to compete with and need to let policy work its process – which means using the programs as they exist, and increasing access to private capital.
The challenge is that regional private capital rarely engages early enough compared to some of the above example programs. So our private sector capital gap just gets bigger. Enter The Investment Opportunities Program (IOP) stage left. The goal of this program is to help offset this gap.
This pilot, which is funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) aims to select an initial group of 16 of our most promising early-stage companies, provide training and mentorship and groom with up to 12 companies being selected to attend an to attend an investment attraction mission to Toronto, where they will have the opportunity to meet with angels and early-stage investors looking for new opportunities.
This pilot program aims to show that putting processes in place that facilitate matches between investors and investable companies can yield great results and help bridge the private sector capital gap.
To learn more about the details of the program you can check out our FAQs. The deadline to apply is October 26th, get your application in NOW, to be part of this great opportunity.
Atlantic Canadian Universities involved in two short-listed Superclusters
The Canadian government received 50 proposals, involving more than 1,000 companies and 350 participants and has now announced the shortlist for a piece of the $950-million supercluster program to nine projects invited to submit a full application. The government anticipates that it will announce the five projects that will be chosen at the end of the fiscal year in March 20018.
The government defines superclusters as collaborations between companies and universities, colleges or not-for-profit organizations "to turn ideas into solutions that can be brought to market."
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, was at Dal’s Steele Ocean Sciences Building to make the announcement, his first stop in a cross-country tour announcing the nine finalists.
Supercluster short list:
From the Atlantic region: an oceans supercluster to invest in digital ocean technologies for industries such as aquaculture, the fishery, offshore oil and gas, and clean energy. Proponents include Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador, Emera Inc., Clearwater and several regional universities including Dalhousie, MUN, UNB, UPEI to name a few – Canada’s Ocean Supercluster.
From Quebec: an artificial intelligence supercluster to bolster Canadian leadership in AI and data science. Proponents are led by Optel Group and include more than other 80 firms, including AgroPur, Aldo and Polytechnique de Montreal - The AI-powered Supply Chains Supercluster.
MOST21 - A mobility supercluster focused on innovation and commercialization in the aerospace, ground transportation, and advanced manufacturing. Proponents include CAE Inc., Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. and Polytechnique Montreal and institutions and companies from the Atlantic region.
Ontario supercluster looking at transforming Canada's mining sector and focusing on clean resources, clean technology and responsible sourcing of metals. Proponents include Canada Mining Innovation Council, Barrick Gold Corp. and the University of British Columbia – CLEER Supercluster.
Ontario supercluster promises to speed up Canada's manufacturing competitiveness. Proponents include Communitech Corp. and MaRS Discovery District, Maple Leaf Foods and the University of Waterloo.
From the Prairies: A protein supercluster to capture the export market opportunity for safe, nutritious plant-based food. Proponents include Ag-West Bio Inc., AGT Food and Ingredients and the University of Saskatchewan – Protein Innovations Canada supercluster.
A supercluster to invest in technologies related to Canada's crop, livestock and agri-food processing sectors. Proponents: Agrium, Telus, and Olds College - Smart Agri-Food Super Cluster.
An infrastructure supercluster promising to change how Canada's infrastructure is designed, built and operated using advanced digital communications, cutting-edge tools and interconnected applications and services. Proponents include Stantec Consulting Ltd., PCL Construction Management Inc., Athabasca University and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
From British Columbia: a digital technology supercluster dedicated to making Canada better at inventing, developing and applying health and manufacturing. Proponents include Telus, Microsoft Canada Development Centre and six post-secondary institutions.
Saint Mary’s University students are working on a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy
Matt Triff, Sunil Udhayakumar, and Raj Sonani, Saint Mary’s Master of Science in Computing and Data Analytics (CDA) students together with their Graduate Program Manager Keith Bain, participated in a National Poverty Conference in Ottawa.
The team was invited as guest speakers at the “Working Towards a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy” event by Employment and Social Development Canada. The students had the opportunity to share their experiences developing, organizing, and participating in Hackathon events. Using real-life examples, the team discussed how data from multiple sources could be used to find innovative solutions to social challenges, and they shared their experiences using advanced computing and data analytics techniques and tools to lead to creative solutions for the government and private sector.
Federal ministers attending included:
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development;
Louise Levonian, Deputy Minister, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC);
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture;
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; and
Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
To read the full article in Saint Mary's News, click here.
UPEI engineering students are #springboarding the oyster industry
Jordan Sampson, Brett McDermott and Dylan MacIsaac, UPEI engineering students are working to flip over the oyster industry in Atlantic Canada, while opening up a new business opportunity for themselves. The three students designed specialized equipment that gently guides oyster cages in a rollercoaster-like flip.
The business opportunity is huge. Farmed oysters grow over 5 years in cages which can weigh up to 200 pounds each. During the maturation process, the cages need to be turned once or twice a week to discourage mussel, barnacle and algae build-up. Turning the cages improves the appearance and the size of the matured oysters. Currently, this process involves manual labour of up to 10 hours a day (depending on the size of the farm) and requires employees to be strong enough to do that work.
During their second year of their studies, the students were given the task to work with an industrial client to come up with an automated solution to the oyster cage flipping. Fast forward a year later and the student team applied under their own company name Island AquaTech for the provincial government award for students and received a $25,000 Ignition Fund grant for their entrepreneurial spirit.
This entrepreneurial team also sought help from UPEI's Synapse (a Springboard member turning ideas into solutions) to work on their technology and to file for a patent and in the summer Springboard Atlantic came behind their technology by providing Proof of Concept and patent funding from our Innovation Mobilization program.
We are excited to not only see this project #springboarding forward but also to keep track of this entrepreneurial team and Island AquaTech in the years to come.
The students anticipate that a full-sized prototype will be used in November and with the money the students received from the Ignition Fund they will build a production model that the industry can use.
To read the full article in The Gazette, click here.
UPEI receives funding for high-tech science equipment
Providing support to the biosciences, the ACOA funding will be used to purchase equipment to look into the chemical makeup of materials for natural health products and the other equipment piece will be used by the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC).
AVC will be able to provide detailed toxicology testing on fish and mammals to detect pesticides, toxins and antibiotics that could be harmful for human consumption.
The total price tag of the equipment is estimated at $820,000 and UPEI and AVC will be covering the remaining $200,000.
Having passion is a key ingredient of business innovation and success, but it can also be a quality needing to be mitigated to successfully launch new products, says Michelle Jones, executive vice-president of Stage-Gate International, a management consulting firm based in Burlington, Ont.
On December 7, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Michelle Jones will be sharing the Stage-Gate process, being used by successful companies like High Liner Food and Starbucks to name a few. This one day workshop is organized and co-hosted by Acadia University, NSCC and Université Sainte-Anne and will be held in Wolfville at the K.C. Irving Centre, Acadia University.
Stage-Gate provides a roadmap and it is not a program participants have to buy with money, it is an internal business process and risk model companies are encouraged to adopt in order to accelerate innovation and success.
“What will be truly innovative about this session, is that Michelle has agreed to develop a customized workshop format that integrates both researcher expertise and local company (new product development) experiences into the day,” said Leigh Huestis, Director of Acadia’s Office of Industry and Community Engagement, or ICE. Researchers from all three institutions (who are members of Springboard) with specialized skill-sets will also present at the workshop and the presentations will highlight how to leverage available resources to support product development and getting it to market.
Collaboration and the approach taken are key to success and ICE’s has doubled Acadia’s research collaborations over the past few years over a broad range of areas from value-added food and beverage products to software, fulfilling its mandate to connect researchers with companies, government, and community groups.
To read the full article in The Chronicle Herald, click here.
Cybersecurity Centre created in Fredericton
To address the growing concern of the cybersecurity of industrial control systems, especially in the nuclear industry, establishing a cybersecurity research facility by the Canadian Nuclear Laboratory (CNL) in Fredericton, NB is essential. The research facility can leverage the cybersecurity expertise available in Fredericton and is going to partner with UNB's Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity (CIC) and UNB's faculties of Engineering and Computer Sciences.
Tha lab will be located at Knowledge Park and the facilities will be ready in 2018.
With this facility and their research, CNL will be well positioned to fill the void that exists in the cybersecurity of industrial control systems and is looking to expand its capabilities into more conventional industries.
Moving Nova Scotian and Atlantic Canadian Agriculture Forward
Food security and food sovereignty is an important field of research and conversation in Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada. The use of Controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) as a technology based approach in agriculture could be the means to achieve just that with more year-round local food production.
To further this goal the Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture is partnering with the Government of the Netherlands and a group of Dutch agri-food companies, Greenhouse industries and organizations, are teaming up to explore the possibilities of supporting more local food production and related R&D using innovative CEA in Atlantic Canada.
On September 28, 2017 AIM to Grow — an initiative of the Dutch Government and partner organizations — was launched in collaboration with the Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture. The potential for improvements to the Canadian Agri-food sector by expanding production through modern local greenhouses is attractive by lengthening the growing season and providing new opportunities to produce more locally grown, year-round, pesticide-free food.
Further advantages of this approach are the benefits to the economy with the creation of local jobs and decreased pollution with shorter transport distances. Currently nearly 86 per cent of all fresh fruits and 39 per cent of vegetables consumed in Canada are imported and in 2015, prices for imported fresh produce increased approximately 12 per cent due to the drop in the value of the Canadian dollar. Further, due to the high costs of imported produce, Atlantic Canada’s ‘end of the line’ transportation and distribution challenges and costs pose an extra burden for ensuring fresh produce in the region.
A world leader in greenhouse produced food, the Dutch Agri-food greenhouse sector and its representatives are eager to collaborate with the Faculty of Agriculture, seeing it as an ideal partner for the AIM to Grow initiative for research and development, education and training and outreach.
To read the full article in the Dal News, click here.
Celebration September: Agile Technologies - Soaring to New Heights
Click on the link below to read the full article.
Highlights from this story include:
Agile Sensor Technologies is a start-up out of Memorial University (MUN) focused on the commercialization of robotics technologies.
The company and the underlying tech came out of a multi-year Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) project with Dr. Nick Krouglicof who is now Agile's Chief Technology Officer.
Its first technology - a motor control system for drones was released onto the market in 2015.
A partnership with Solace Power (another NL startup), and a strategic partnership with Gaitech International Ltd. of Shanghai, China is enabling new growth. The partnership with Gaitech includes a strategic investment in Agile and an agreement to co-develop new products for distribution in the global robotics market. Their first joint project is to produce a plug-and-play development platform for robot makers.
The two cannabis research chairs created at St. Thomas University (STU) and the University of New Brunswick (UNB) are the first two such chairs in Canada. The creation of these two chairs is supported by the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (NBHRF), who is providing $500,000 over five years for each chair. Private industry, via Shoppers Drug Mart at St. Thomas and the pharmaceutical company Tetra Bio-Pharma at UNB. are also each providing $500,000 each over five years.
STU's strength lies in the social sciences and the humanities and the STU research chair's work will help inform government policy on a complex moral and legal issue.
The UNB the research chair will focus on the biochemistry, medicinal use, and pharmacology of cannabis.
This is a great opportunity for both Springboard members to collaborate on this important project and to potentially combine their expertise with other players in the industry.
To read the full article on University Affairs, click here.
To read our previous coverage of this topic, click here.
Celebration September: Pest Fighting Pheromones
Click on the link below to read the full article.
Highlights from this story include:
Pest management using pheromones is key to helping the agriculture and forestry sectors continue to grow in ecologically responsible ways.
Dr. Beth Mason named a winner of Canada’s 2018 Clean50 Awards.
Dr. Beth Mason, an Industrial Research Fellow Bio-products at the Verschuren Centre, has built a team of bio-products researchers at the Verschuren Centre. She has helped over 20 companies in Atlantic Canada to recover valuable co-products from unused agri-food and marine byproducts, thereby reducing the amount and potential pollution that would otherwise go into the landfill or the ocean.
High efficient "green" enzymatic fermentation extraction is the core technology of her work. The process leaves out the use of noxious chemicals and does not produce further waste. The concept has been proven at pilot scale, transforming byproducts into high value feed, plant and food bioactive compounds for health applications.
“I am very honoured to be selected to receive this prestigious award and share the recognition with my Verschuren Centre team,” said Mason. “I look forward to meeting with other honourees later this month to further the centre’s sustainability mandate and continue our work toward developing industry solutions and opportunities to grow a sustainable economy.”
Later this month Dr. Mason will travel to Toronto to attend the Clean50 Summit 7 where she will be meeting with approximately 120 past and incoming Clean50 Honourees.
To read the full article in the Cape Breton Post, click here.
Nova Scotia Community College receives $6.5 million from Sobeys Family
The Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) is now able to provide access to education for all Nova Scotians thanks to a generous gift from the Sobey's family.
The $4 million gift from the Donald R. Sobey Foundation is intended to directly recruit and assist individuals who are facing barriers to attaining a post-secondary education. Together with the Donald R. Sobey Foundation Fund at NSCC, NSCC will work with community agencies and law enforcement organizations from across Nova Scotia to enable individuals who have never considered a college education to attend NSCC.
With the $2 million gift from the Sobey Foundation, six NSCC campuses, that hold Sobeys Culinary Centres will be refurbished to evolve food services education at NSCC and will also provide a dedicated fund to finance bursaries for students who choose to study Culinary Arts at NSCC.
The $500,000 gift from Frank, Heather, Karl and Ann Sobey will establish a legacy of access to education in memory of their parents, Doe and Bill Sobey. Students at the NSCC Marconi and Pictou Campuses who are in financial need can apply for the Doe and Bill Sobey Inspiration Awards to help cover tuition and related college expenses.
"The generosity of the Sobey Family will make an extraordinary impact on those who wish to embrace and benefit from post-secondary education," says NSCC President Don Bureaux. "Their support will serve as a catalyst, making a new beginning possible for deserving students in need. As NSCC starts a new school year, the timing of this commitment is inspiring."
To read the full article on NSCC News, click here.
Addressing mental health in the classroom
We are very happy to see that Springboards Innovation Mobilization (IM) Proof of Concept funding has provided the initial push to get Teacher Help into the classroom, promising to provide help to Canadians on a daily basis.
Developed from over 10 years of research led by Dr. Penny Corkum (professor in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, and in Psychiatry), her team worked with one Nova Scotia school board on a solution to provide the information the classroom teachers need, in the moment they need it and not at the next professional development day, when the situation has long passed.
With the support from Dalhousie's Industry Liaison office and Springboard's IM funding, Dr. Corkum was able to explore this novel and innovative approach, which in March 2016 has led to a successful application to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) eHealth Innovation Partnership Program (eHIPP) for $300,000 which was industry matched by Velsoft Training Materials, a private e-Learning company based in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia for a total project value of $600,000. This Nova Scotia-based eHealth professional development program was ranked first in Canada and was the only successful application from Nova Scotia in the CIHR eHIPP competition.
This fall, a Canada-wide randomized controlled trial (RCT) is set to launch, which will test the effectiveness of the Teacher Help program in Canadian school systems. It is hoped that the final tested program will on the market by the 2019/2020 school year with the help of Velsoft Training Materials Inc.
To read the full article in the Dal News, click here.
Creative Destruction Labs Atlantic has named 24 mentors for the program
Creative Destruction Lab-Atlantic (CDL-Atlantic) will begin with its first cohort in December with the first group of early-stage startups from various sectors, focusing on nurtuting comapnies in ocean tech, cleantech and agritech.
Generally, CDL starts each cohort with a few dozen teams. the Teams attend a one- or two-day mentoring session to receive a set of milestones from mentors, which they have to achieve over the next 2 month. When the cohort convenes again, teams who missed their milestones are asked to leave. CDL repeats the process several times, so each cohort ends up with a core of graduates.
CDL-Atlantic has now named its rooster of 24 mentors, which include national business leaders John Rislet and Ken Rowe.
“This is a tremendous effort to help increase the regional prosperity of Atlantic Canada,” IMP Group founder and executive chairman Ken Rowe said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to mentoring and sharing my experiences with early-stage, high-potential companies.”
The list of mentors is a mixture of those who have been active and visible in backing Atlantic Canadian tech startups and those who are known more for their work in traditional businesses. The CDL could be luring a new host of investors into the startup space.
To read the full story on Entrevestor, click here.
Celebration September: Better Beer - A “Case” Study
Click on the link below to read the full article.
Highlights from this story include:
CCNB is working with over 50 industry partners annually from Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, and Maine to name a few.
Being awarded 2.16 million in January 2017 to grow their applied research services.
Keeping 14 young Highly Qualified Personnel working and living in rural New Brunswick and working with companies to help the area thrive.
We are very proud of the ways that CCNB is #springboarding Atlantic growth. This type of support is available to you and your business too. Contact us to start #springboarding.
ICYMI: Pushing the boundaries of innovation and knowledge with NSERC funding
On September 8, 2017, the Minister of Science, Kirsty Duncan, announced $515 million in support for fundamental research through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council's (NSERC) 2017 funding competition, representing NSERC’s largest annual investment. The funding assists researchers with financial support through scholarships, fellowships, research supplements, and equipment grants.
Springboard congratulates its members, Acadia University, Dalhousie University, Memorial University, Mount Allison University, Mount Saint Vincent University, Saint Francis Xavier University, Saint Mary's University, Université de Moncton, Université de Sainte Anne, University of New Brunswick and the University of Prince Edward Island for receiving a combined total of ~$24 million to advance Atlantic Canadian innovation and skills development.
Funding was received for NSERC's Discovery Grant, Research Tools and Instruments Grant, Student Scholarships and Fellowships grants and for Discovery Development Grants. The science investigated by Atlantic Canadian researchers extends across all fields of the natural sciences, from algae to robotics and everything in between.
We also would like to extend our congratulations to Drs. Rodolphe Devillers (Memorial University), Aitazaz Ahsan Farooque (University of Prince Edward Island), Arunika Gunawardena (Dalhousie University), Kirk Hillier (Acadia University), Weimin Huang (Memorial University), Jan Reiney (Dalhousie University) and Peter Selinger (Dalhousie University) who were among the Canadian researchers that received the 2017 NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement for their outstanding research program.
To read Dalhousie University's article, click here.
To read Memorial University's article, click here.
Celebration September: Springboard Impact
We are kicking the month off with a 'by the numbers' look at the impact of Springboard on the Atlantic Canadian economy in the last 3 years.
You can see that our impact is significant. Let's dig into the numbers a bit further:
- From 2014-2017 35 people did 6237 contracts with companies. So think again when you think about universities and colleges as ivory towers. Our network is out there working hard to ensure companies get a ton of value out of the research capacity in their backyards. This number is also 24% OVER the goal we set for ourselves in 2014.
- Not impressed yet? Well, we also contributed over a BILLION in research dollars to the regional economy. Anytime you can put that B in front of -illion you can feel pretty good about going home at the end of the day.
- In addition to contracts and dollars, the network was also responsible for 1300 intellectual property transfers in the last 3 years. We know intellectual property remains a controversial subject. But the fact remains that protecting ideas is a major part of building businesses. We've enabled the protection and transfer of over 1300 ideas into the hands of capable business owners large and small to help their businesses grow.
- This intellectual property is the seed that many of our startups grow from. We are excited to see the startup growth in our ecosystem and we're proud to see how many of these ideas are being fostered at our member institutions. 149 new companies grown in the last 3 years is something to be very proud of. We continue to try and do more to facilitate start-up growth, including the launch of our Investment Opportunities Program. This pilot program will help startups partner with potential investors at that crucial stage when early seed investment can take a business to the next level.
- One of the major tools we have to help facilitate the development of ideas is our Innovation Mobilization Program. This program is one of our core tools. It allows us to prove, protect, and develop new ideas at the final bench stage through to market prototyping. We've spent 1.5 million doing just that. You will see as we share more of our successes, many of our stories have theirs roots in this program.
These numbers speak for themselves and we are very proud to celebrate the success and impact of this network. None of this would be possible without the continued support of the Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency (ACOA). We appreciate not only their financial contribution to Springboard but also our shared vision for the region. Which you can see articulated in the Atlantic Growth Strategy.
We hope we've peaked your interest in joining us in #springboarding Atlantic growth. Click here to chat with us about how we can help you grow.