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NBIF Innovation Vouchers Hit $1.3M

Through the fund, NBIF provides as much as $80,000 to SMEs to help them work with universities, colleges or research institutes in conducting applied research.

“In today’s economy, finding new and better ways to do business is how the most successful companies keep their competitive edge,” NBIF President and CEO Calvin Milbury said in a statement.  “Our innovation vouchers have opened up a whole new world of opportunities for SMEs in New Brunswick, and in the three years since we started the fund, 41 companies from every corner of the province have collaborated with applied researchers to turn their ideas into enterprise.”

The startups that tapped the program last year included Moncton-based Smartpods, which makes desks that adjust automatically for standing and sitting positions, and Fredericton-based BioPolynet, which has used nanotechnology to develop a fastening agent. They worked respectively with University of New Brunswick and the Fredericton research organization RPC.

To be eligible for the voucher, applicants must cover at least 20 percent of the project’s cost. Intellectual property developed during the project remains with the company.

Since the fund’s inception in 2014, NBIF has paid out $2.8 million in the program and companies have spent more than $700,000.