ACOA’s $8.5 Million Investment In Springboard

August 31, 2011 – Moncton, New Brunswick Atlantic Canadian post-secondary institutions will receive invaluable support in moving their cutting-edge research and development (R&D) from the lab to the marketplace, thanks to an $8.5 million federal investment in Springboard, a regional commercialization and industry network. The announcement was made today at the Université de Moncton by the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and La Francophonie. “Our Government’s investments in the commercialization of university and college-based research and development are helping to build a stronger, more competitive and sustainable economy in our region,” said Minister Valcourt. “This investment will help to support the creation of new and improved products, streamline processes and develop a skilled workforce that can compete successfully in the global marketplace. Ultimately, it will generate economic growth and jobs creation here, for Atlantic Canadian workers and families, which is our priority.” “At Springboard, our fundamental belief is that research is what binds and strengthens the elements of economic development, giving ideas energy and new ventures confidence,” said Springboard Executive Director, Chris Mathis. “Bringing new ideas to the marketplace and competing successfully in a global economy takes skill, talent, and commitment, and this investment will enable Springboard and its member institutions to ensure that expertise is utilized and shared across Atlantic Canada’s university and college network, while further promoting commercialization and industry engagements across the region.” The funding will be used to increase industry engagement in the commercialization of research through workshops and networking events; increase member cooperation, including inter-institutional technology transfers; enhance institutional and central office accountability and transparency, and; increase promotion of Springboard’s role in the region. The funding will also enable the creation of an Innovation Mobilization Program that will provide funding to support technology development, the implementation of marketing initiatives, the engagement of community partners on projects, and the support of start-up enterprises. This federal investment is made under ACOA’s Atlantic Innovation Fund. ACOA has committed close to $709 million in AIF funding to 279 highly innovative R&D projects in Atlantic Canada over the past 10 years, valued at over $1.5 billion. The fund has been an important catalyst for many Atlantic Canadian businesses, universities and research institutions, creating close to 760 partnerships to help commercialize innovative ideas, products and services. Since Springboard’s research-intensive businesses have been established in Atlantic Canada, highly skilled personnel have been attracted to and retained in our region. FOR BROADCAST USE: ACOA Minister Bernard Valcourt today announced a new $8.5 million investment under the Atlantic Innovation Fund to advance the commercialization of research and development in Atlantic Canada. This investment will help to support the creation of new and improved products, streamline processes and develop a skilled workforce that can compete successfully in the global marketplace. It will allow Springboard Atlantic Inc. to continue its work to increase research commercialization collaboration among Atlantic Canada’s 19 post-secondary institutions – helping them to accelerate the transfer of technology to the private sector. Minister Valcourt said that the Government of Canada’s strategic investments in research and development, along with favourable federal policies that support business R&D, have helped to make Canada a world leader in research excellence. Over the past 10 years, ACOA has committed close to $709 million in AIF funding to 279 highly innovative R&D projects in Atlantic Canada, valued at over $1.5 billion. -30- INFORMATION: Andrea Richer Press Secretary Office of Minister Valcourt 613-790-3637 Dr. Chris Loomis President Springboard Atlantic Inc. Halifax, Nova Scotia 902-494-6513 Greg Rogers Communications Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Moncton, New Brunswick 506-851-7814 MEDIA BACKGROUNDER Springboard Atlantic Inc. Established seven years ago, Springboard Atlantic Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that supports the commercialization of research in Atlantic Canada. It provides resources to 19 post-secondary institutions in Atlantic Canada to encourage the transfer of knowledge to the private sector. Springboard Atlantic builds upon the existing commercialization efforts under way at post- secondary institutions across Atlantic Canada by providing overall coordination and by filling gaps in the current array of activities. The goal of the organization is to meet the needs of researchers at smaller and larger post-secondary institutions in Atlantic Canada that want to protect, transfer and commercialize technology, but do not have the necessary support services. It also provides specialized staff services and funding programs that are often available at large Canadian post-secondary institutions. In addition to the 14 universities in Atlantic Canada, Springboard Atlantic Inc. also includes the five provincial networks of community colleges. The post-secondary institutions involved in Springboard are: Nova Scotia Acadia University Cape Breton University Dalhousie University Mount Saint Vincent University Nova Scotia Agricultural College Nova Scotia Community College NSCAD University St. Francis Xavier University Saint Mary’s University New Brunswick Mount Allison University New Brunswick Community College St. Thomas University Université de Moncton University of New Brunswick Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick Prince Edward Island Holland College University of Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador College of the North Atlantic Memorial University of Newfoundland Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) • The Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) was launched 10 years ago to raise the levels of R&D and innovation in Atlantic Canada. In Budget 2010, the Government of Canada provided permanent and ongoing funding to the AIF.   • Since 2001, the AIF has committed close to $709 million in assistance to 279 highly innovative R&D projects across Atlantic Canada, valued at over $1.5 billion. • Every AIF dollar invested has leveraged $1.15 in funding from other public and private-sector sources, for a total of more than $813 million.   • Between 2002 and 2011, the AIF supported the creation of close to 760 partnerships and collaborations between businesses, universities and other research organizations for technology development and commercialization. • Between 2002 and 2011, more than 250 technologies, products, processes and services developed through the AIF were successfully commercialized, resulting in just under $250 million in incremental sales.