Springboard Atlantic


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Springboard receives $9.6M from ACOA

Last week was an exciting one for the Springboard network. We had our AGM, Board meeting, and made a very important announcement.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is continuing its support for Springboard Atlantic by investing $9.6 million, giving our organization another three-year runway.

ACOA’s investment is made in addition to contributions from the member institutions, which totals $5.1 million.

The announcement took place at The Labs at Innovacorp and was well-attended by some of our members, our board and some of our neighbours within the building.

The crowd got to hear Springboard stories from two successful Nova Scotian companies, Coloursmith Labs and Adaptiiv.

Adaptiiv is a med-tech company that uses 3D printing to improve patient experience in radiation therapy.

Dr. James Robar, the main researcher behind Adaptiiv’s technology shared his story along with his co-founder, Peter Hickey.

“A lot of inventions seem obvious in hindsight, and when we thought of the [3D Bolus] that’s how we felt.” Robar said.

“So we had this sense of urgency, but also had to file all the patents. Enter Springboard. We were able to do all of this, beginning with Springboard funding for proof of concept (PoC) and patent and legal (P&L) costs.”

By working closely with #TeamSB member, Doris Grant at Dalhousie ILI, Dr. Robar was able to navigate seamlessly through the PoC and P&L world and was connected with Peter Hickey, one of the company’s co-founders.

“Springboard allowed us to get a head start,” Hickey explained.

“By talking with James and through ongoing conversations with Doris, I quickly saw what an opportunity it was not only from a commercial point of view but the importance of keeping this technology in Nova Scotia.”

Today, Adaptiiv has clients in 11 countries.

The crowd got to hear more about the benefits of Springboard’s multi-institutional network with Gabrielle Masone’s address. She talked about how the multiple members from our network helped her fast-track the development of her product, the world’s first colour-correcting contact lens.

“I knew in an instant that Springboard’s network of universities would be a key factor in driving the R&D growth of Coloursmith,” Masone said during the announcement.

Her company leveraged the research expertise at three Springboard institutions and was assisted by, Margaret Palmeter from Dalhousie, Kevin Buchan and Danielle Goodfellow with SMU and Andrew Kendall at St.FX.

“Because of [their] ability to action our ideas we proved our scientific concept, filed a foundational patent, graduated to have our own facility in  [The Labs at Innovacorp], closed a 600K financing round, and are now working with some of the world’s largest contact lens company to bring our contact lenses to market. All within one year.”

The only unfortunate thing about our announcement was that we couldn’t name every single success story our members have had a hand in. Adaptiiv and Coloursmith are two of hundreds of collaborations our network helped facilitate.

We can’t wait to continue the great work of our network and further the development of the Atlantic Canadian innovation economy.