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NBIF R3 Gala To Honour Innovators In Research

The gala is held every two years to bring the research and business communities together to learn about how the province’s research community can help businesses become more profitable through innovation.

This year’s honourees are: Dr. Liuchen Chang for his pioneering work in renewable energy conversion and systems; Dr. Amber Garber of the Huntsman Marine Science Centre for her selective breeding program for salmon; and CCNB’s Alain Doucet for his work with multiple SME’s across the province. Each honouree is profiled with a short video documentary screened at the gala.

“The goal for NBIF is to get the business community and the research community interacting in the same room, possibly coming up with new ways of collaborating,” said NBIF president and CEO Calvin Milbury. “The whole intent is to celebrate innovation, recognize that this amazing work is happening and create an opportunity for the two groups to come together.”

Milbury said David Butler was chosen as the keynote speaker because of his work in innovation and the message he can bring to the startup community in New Brunswick.

“Over the last couple years we’ve really seen the startup community rally,” Milbury said. “There’s a movement afoot and more startups being created than ever before. NBIF has been involved in that and helping to fuel it and while we’re happy with where we’re at as an ecosystem, we aren’t content because we want our startups to scale up and to grow.”

Cox & Palmer partner Arthur Doyle has been involved with NBIF through their partnership with the organization since its inception. Cox & Palmer and NBIF work together to accomplish their collective mission of supporting entrepreneurship and innovation as a means of growing the New Brunswick economy.

“The recipients of the R3 innovation award for excellence in applied research have all done work with one or more businesses in the province,” Doyle said. “These are researchers that have already worked with industries successfully and I think one of the takeaway messages is going to be for the business community to see firsthand the research and innovation that’s available within our province that they should be taking advantage of.”

Doyle says that the challenge for startups in New Brunswick now is to not only continue to succeed but be able to scale up. He hopes the gala will provide inspiration for this.

“We’ve got a number of startups that have done well and their challenge now is to scale their businesses up,” Doyle said. “On the flip side, we’ve got established businesses that are more mature and profitable, but to compete in a global market, which we’re all doing now, they need to innovate. There’s a real benefit of seeing our startups working with big corporations and the R3 Gala is about introducing a third player in there: the researchers.”

NBIF expects upwards of 500 attendees at this year’s R3 Gala. Tickets for the event are available to the public on the NBIF website.