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Number 4

Volume 33 April 24 2019

Editorial:
Mark Mann

As the discourse around scaleups intensifies, the way we use the term is growing more ambiguous. What do we really mean when we talk about scaleups?

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Opinion Leader:
Peter Stokes

Renewed funding for nanoelectronics research in Europe sends a message. Is Canada listening?

For researchers and organizations in Canada’s micro-nano R&D space, recent renewed funding to the nanoelectronics research community in Europe sends an important signal about working together to advance research and innovation in this vital sector.

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Opinion Leader:
Tina Gruosso, Farah Qaiser, Molly Sung and Marie Franquin

Budget 2019 promises support for the next generation of scientists, but Ottawa must go farther still

Support for trainees outlined in the 2019 budget signal’s ongoing commitment from the federal government to train today’s youth for the jobs of tomorrow. However, this is simply one step forward on a long and winding road to better support science and the next generation of scientists in Canada.

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News Bites

News Briefs

The Short Report – April 24, 2019: ArcticNet, e-DNA, autonomous greenhouse

ArcticNet‘s funding was renewed for $32.5 million over five years, enabling it to evolve beyond the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program and become a permanent pan-Canadian research centre. During this funding period, ArcticNet’s research will focus on the sustainable development of the “Blue Economy” (shipping, fisheries, tourism, and mining), and growing postsecondary research and training capacity through its North-by-North initiative. – NationTalk

The University of Alberta’s Canadian Mountain Network (CMN) also scooped up some final NCE funding, as that program is gradually transferred to the New Frontiers in Research Fund. $18.3 million over the next five years will go to supporting the development of a comprehensive mountains observations program at CMN, as well as a new training program for mountain researchers and a knowledge mobilization program to support evidence-based decision making based on multiple ways of knowing. – Folio

Three research networks led by the University of British Columbia — NanoMedicines Innovation Network (NMIN), RESEAU Centre for Mobilizing Innovation, and Composites Research Network Knowledge Mobilization Centre (CRN-KM) — will receive a combined $21.7 million in federal funding through the NCE: $18.5 million for NMIN, and $1.6 million for each of the others. – UBC

The Centre d’entrepreneuriat et d’essaimage de l’Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (CEE-UQAC) is receiving $4 million from Développement économique Canada pour les régions du Québec (DEC) to create a bio-product processing centre called the Centre de transformation et de valorisation de bioproduits (CTVB). – Université du Québec

Malaysia’s national oil company PETRONAS has joined CMC Research Institute’s carbon storage research group, part of the institute’s Field Research Station (FRS) program, ahead of deploying carbon capture and storage at its offshore operations. – CMC Research Institutes

The University of Manitoba Centre for Oil and Gas Research and Development (COGRAD) will receive $1.1 million from ISED to establish an environmental DNA (e-DNA) laboratory for non-invasive biodiversity monitoring. – Newswire

PROFILE: Journalist John Lorinc offers a close study of Jim Balsillie‘s battle against Sidewalk Labs and the “anti-global-tech-giant narrative” he’s spinning. – Maclean’s

The Toronto Trade Accelerator Program (TAP Toronto) has won a $6.7 million federal investment to help 1,000 Ontario SMEs improve their export game. – BetaKit

McMaster University received $37.5 million through the federal Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund for the now-completed redevelopment of its Arthur Bourns Building, replete with improved science and engineering research facilities and a 45,000 square-foot addition. – McMaster Daily News

Capilano University in British Columbia will receive nearly $2 million from ISED for its new Indigenous Digital Accelerator Centre, a dedicated space for Indigenous entrepreneurs, where they will receive mentoring and advice from members of Indigenext, an Indigenous business accelerator. – Newswire

ISED will invest $3 million in Ecoation Innovative Solutions Inc. for an autonomous AI platform for pest management and yield prediction, designed to increase the crop yield of greenhouse growers. – Newswire

The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) has named Angela Mondou its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Mondou has held senior leadership roles at Nortel Networks and Blackberry, served as president of the charity Canada Company, and created the public-private sector leadership forums “Strategic Knowledge Exchange.” – ITAC

Three University of Toronto researchers were named among the 50 new fellows of the Royal Society, the United Kingdom’s national academy of sciences: earth scientist Barbara Sherwood Lollar, molecular geneticist Benjamin Blencowe and biomedical engineer Molly Shoichet. – University of Toronto

The Short Report - March 27, 2019: ThunderFish, Friesen Prize, godfathers of AI

Dr. Ian Potter will take over as CEO at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, a not-for-profit in the Niagara Region dedicated to horticultural science. Potter previously held executive positions at the National Research Council, Alberta Innovates, and the Alberta Research Council. – Canada.com

McGill University professor Dr. Bartha Knoppers has been awarded the 2019 Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research for her work on the ethics of biomedical research in human genetics and genomics. – McGill

David Dexter will be the new director of Sheridan College’s Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT), which supports technology innovation within Ontario’s screen industries. – Twitter

Kraken Robotic Systems Inc. will receive $1 million from the federal government through the Build in Canada Innovation Program for its ThunderFish 300 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), to be delivered to Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC) for testing later this year. – The Telegram

The Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) has opened its new Carrefour d’entrepreneuriat et d’innovation Desjardins (CEI-Desjardins), which will include a laboratory for research on entrepreneurship and SMEs. – Université du Québec

Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton, and Yann LeCun — the “Godfathers of AI” — are sharing the $1-million 2018 A.M. Turing Award. Hinton is associated with University of Toronto and serves as chief science advisor at the Vector Institute; Bengio is associated with Université de Montréal and is the founder and scientific director of Mila (Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms); Lecun did his postdoctoral research with Hinton at the University of Toronto and now holds the position of Chief Artificial Intelligence Scientist at Facebook AI Research. – The Verge

The Short Report - April 10, 2019: Seafood tech, forest research, clean transport

CIFAR added 17 new members to its AI Chairs program, bringing the number from 29 to 46. A third announcement later this year will bring the total to around 60. CIFAR also announced four new additions to its portfolio of interdisciplinary research programs. – BetaKit

The Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia are jointly investing more than $1.2 million in 11 regional organizations through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund, for the implementation of new technologies and equipment in the fish and seafood sector. – Newswire

Natural Resources Canada announced $22.7 million for FPInnovations, the forest sector research institute headquartered in Pointe-Claire, Quebec. The funding will support new forest-based products to go to market ($20.4 million), as well as protecting market access and improving environmental performance ($2.3 million). – Newsire

Transport Canada announced a second call for proposals under the Clean Transportation System – Research and Development program, offering $1.5 million over three years for the development of clean technologies to improve the environmental performance of Canada’s transportation system. – Newswire

ISED released a report on its consultations with the co-operative business sector, concluding that co-operatives represent great potential for the Canadian economy because they are innovative and growth-oriented – What We Heard: Motion-100 Consultations

A new federal investment of $6 million under Canadian Agricultural Partnership will support the pork industry in three areas: $3.8 million through AgriAssurance for food safety, traceability and animal care; $1.2 million through AgriMarketing for expanding markets; and $1.1 million through AgriScience for increased production. – Newswire

The Public Policy Forum released a new report on Canada’s competitiveness by Sean Speer and Robert Asselin, in which they raise concerns about the loss of intellectual property to foreign companies and argue for more protection and support for Canadian-based technologies. – BNN Bloomberg

A new report by the law firm McCarthy Tétrault argues that legal service providers in Canada should do more to adapt to the opportunities and risks of digitization. – Canadian Lawyer

The world’s largest pipeline for liquified CO2 is being built in Alberta. The 240-kilometre, $470-million pipeline will collect captured carbon from a fertilizer plant and the new Sturgeon Refinery near Edmonton, sequestering up to 1.8 megatonnes of C02 annually. – JWN

Environment and Climate Change Canada announced that the Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration has won a bid to create an independent, policy-oriented, not-for-profit national institute focused on clean growth and climate change, which will be eligible to receive up to $20 million over five years. – Newswire

Red Deer College and Alberta-based electricity distribution provider FortisAlberta formalized a partnership agreement at the college’s new Alternative Energy Lab to collaborate on various sustainability initiatives. – Red Deer College

People

The Short Report - April 17, 2019: Indigenous innovation, Ontario budget, scaling network

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) announced more than $1 million over four years for a new Social Purpose Institute (SPI), launched by United Way of the Lower Mainland. The initiative aims to promote economic growth and social purpose in British Columbia.  – Newswire

The governments of Canada and Quebec are investing $8.4 million in Uniboard Canada Inc. to enable the fibreboard manufacturer to develop a system that will recover heat and redirect it to the fibre drying system. – Newswire

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) will invest $4.4 million in Saltworks Technologies Inc. to support development of a wastewater disposal technology for the oil and gas industry, called Airbreather. – Newswire

Three innovation hubs in Ontario are joining forces to implement a business scaling network along the Waterloo–Toronto–Ottawa corridor, called the Scale-Up Platform. Communitech, MaRS Discovery District and Invest Ottawa will share a $52.4 million investment from FedDev Ontario to support 30 companies in southern Ontario to achieve revenue objectives of $100 million or more by 2024. – Newswire

The National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) announced some of the first projects to be funded through its $700 million allocation from Budget 2018: Applanix Corporation ($2 million), for navigation of autonomous vehicles; Opus One Solutions ($1.6 million), for distributed energy integration; and Hibar Systems Limited ($2 million), for lithium-ion battery manufacturing. – Newswire

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) has awarded $4 million through its Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program to the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi’s Centre d’entrepreneuriat et d’essaimage (CEE-UQAC) to develop a new bioproducts processing and conversion centre (CTVB) in Saguenay. – Newswire

Minister of Small Business Mary Ng announced up to $2.5 million for SheEO — an organization that invests in women-led ventures — through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund. – Newswire

Two projects in Western Canada will receive a combined $2.7 million investment from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) to increase trade in the technology sector: $2.6 million to the Information and Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba (ICTAM) for its Tech West Canada initiative, and $100,000 to virtual reality animation company Flipside XR through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund. – Newswire

Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, launched the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative to improve housing conditions in Indigenous communities by funding Indigenous-led projects to build effective and culturally-inspired living spaces. – Net NewsLedger

Canadian Heritage announced 20 projects that will share $7.8 million in funding through the new Creative Export Canada program. – Newswire

In its 2019-2020 budget, Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government allocated $782 million to the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, representing a 20 percent budget cut. The budget includes the creation of a dedicated talent stream to attract high-skilled workers to Ontario’s tech sector, as well as plans to continue consultations on its first-ever data strategy. – BetaKit

Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan announced $80 million to establish eight new Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC), along with new requirements for the tri-agency initiative to address a lack of equity, diversity and inclusion. – Newswire

The Short Report - April 3, 2019: Future skills, Lightspeed POS, cannabis research

Concordia University has launched the Future Skill Innovation Network, or FUSION, linking five other universities — Simon Fraser, Calgary, Saskatchewan, Carleton and Memorial — to promote student skills development for the globalized economy. The project is funded with a $2.5-million investment from the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre, which also announced five other pilot projects to test solutions to skills development challenges. – Concordia

CIBC Innovation Banking announced the closing of US$55-million debt facility with Lightspeed POS Inc, the Montreal point-of-sale software company that grossed CAN$276 million and achieved a unicorn-level, $1.4-billion valuation when shares surged after its IPO on March 8. – Cision

Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) named John Brogly its acting chief executive, following the departure of founding chief executive Dan Wicklum in February. Brogly has worked in leadership at COSIA since the organization launched in 2012. – JWN

The University of Alberta received a $1-million grant for Alzheimer’s research from the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories and the University Hospital Foundation. – CBC

The University of Toronto and its affiliated hospitals will launch the Toronto Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Consortium (TC3), a partnership focused on the health effects of cannabis, at the Cannabis Innovation Summit on April 4. – U of T

McGill University will replace its Centre for Medical Education with the new Institute of Health Sciences Education, which will provide graduate programs in health sciences education. – McGill

Agorize, an international platform for hackathons and open innovation challenges, raised $20 million in series B funding to accelerate its development in Canada. – Cision

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