Number 4 / Volume 31 / April 18, 2017


It’s been a busy few weeks for Canadian research and innovation. Not only did the federal Budget serve up a slew of new initiatives but the Quebec government has tabled a varied yet cohesive series of measures to stimulate both research and business innovation.

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Opinion Leader:
Kamiel Gabriel

Opinion Leader: Big on Twitter, Little on Facts- Will this be the fate of science advice under Trump’s administration?

Scientists in the US fear the United States under Donald Trump could become like the Soviet Union, in which the prevailing political ideology was so powerful that science was unable to contradict it with hard evidence. Speaking at the beginning of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in Boston in February, its president, Barbara Schaal, and chief executive, Dr Rush Holt, both expressed concern about the use of the phrase “alternative facts” by Trump administration officials.

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Quebec Budget opens provincial coffers with $834M to stimulate research and innovation

The Quebec government has committed $834 million over five years to research and innovation, including unprecedented increases for post-secondary research after recording its second consecutive Budget surplus. The new funding arrives ahead of the province’s latest research and innovation strategy, due next month, as well as a new life sciences strategy expected before the end of April.

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Is Canada’s Innovation Budget ambitious enough?

Opinion is decidedly split on the federal government’s delivery of its promised innovation Budget. The March 22 budgetary planning document contains a wide range of measures related to skills, company financing, program consolidation and clean technology.

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Budgetary constraints slowing implementation of federal innovation and skills strategy

With Budget 2017, the Liberal government is kicking major components of its much-vaunted Innovation Agenda down the road as ambitious plans run up against an increasingly constrained fiscal environment. Under the Innovation Agenda – retitled the Innovation and Skills Plan – the launch of many new initiatives are deferred for a year or more while unfettered new support for fundamental science is absent – a development anticipated due to the delay in releasing a government-commissioned report delivered three months ago.

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Opinion Leader:
David Crane

Canada lacks the institutional structure to invest in the future

Budget 2017 promises $125 million to launch what it calls a Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy by promoting collaboration between centres of excellence in Montreal, Toronto-Waterloo and Edmonton. This, it says, will “position Canada as a world-leading destination for companies seeking to invest in artificial intelligence and innovation.” What’s missing as Canada seeks to position itself for the future, and this is critically important, is any institutional capacity to prepare Canadians more broadly for the future.

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R$ Conference - First Impressions

It was a sold out crowd at the 16th annual RE$EARCH MONEY conference in Ottawa this week. Over 170 people from government, industry, finance, academia and the not-for profit sector gathered to examine federal Budget 2017 and the Innovation Agenda – renamed the Innovation & Skills Plan in the budget.

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News Bites

News Briefs

TRIUMF Innovations launches UBC-based facility’s commercialization arm

Ford hires Blackberry engineers and opens Ottawa R&D centre

US companies performed 18% of their R&D in foreign countries

Univ of Guelph receives $20 million donation from Arrell Family Foundation

UrtheCast taps SADI to develop 16- radar and optical satellite constellation

SDTC investing $43 million in a range of pre-commercial clean technology projects

CDRD, MNI and Merck join forces to develop new therapeutics

UNB entrepreneurs win big in Breakthru Competition

OCE launching three-phase competition to reduce industry GHG emissions

UQAM launches incubator for tourism, culture and other retail service industries


CIHR appoints Dr Roderick McInnes as acting head of CIHR

CFI selects Carleton Univ president Roseann O’Reilly Runte as its new president and CEO

Number 3 / Volume 31 / March 15, 2017


It’s only one week until we have an opportunity to assess the federal government’s embrace of innovation with the tabling of the Liberal administration’s second Budget. After a decade of optimistic talk combined with benign neglect, Canadian innovators will once again be presented with policies and programs ostensibly aimed at making Canada – and Canadian business – more innovative.

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Opinion Leader:
Mark Walker

The Knowledge Economy Needs to (and Can) Benefit the Whole Country

Canada’s economy is transitioning from a resource economy to a knowledge economy. I have some bad news and some good news. 

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International review panel critical of CIHR management and flatlined funding levels

The Canadian Institute of Health Research’s recent efforts to reform its underfunded grants competition process was a failure. That’s the sobering conclusion from an international review panel tasked with studying and addressing the issue. The International Peer Review Expert Panel Report found that chronic underfunding and CIHR’s attempt to deal with the issue, combined with other problems, created a ‘perfect storm” that led to a crisis in confidence throughout the research community.

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MEOPAR to increase focus on partner needs as part of $28.5 million renewal

The MEOPAR Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE) has been renewed for another five years, including additional funding to implement a research plan that directly responds to the needs of partners and end-users. The Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) received $28.5 million from the ‘classic’ NCE program that will leverage an equal amount in cash and in-kind from an array of academic, non-profit, industry and government partners who also have a stake in better understanding and mitigate marine risks and hazards.

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A RE$EARCH MONEY Q&A with Adam Holbrook

Innovation has risen up the government’s priority ranking and will be a major thrust of the federal Budget when it is tabled March 22. Over the past year, several expert panels and councils have been preparing policy papers on fundamental science, innovation and economic competitiveness. On the other hand, the government is running annual deficits and plan to continue for several years to come. We asked Adam Holbrook, adjunct professor and associate director of the Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology, Simon Fraser University, for his perspective on what needs to be done to make Canada more innovative and its use of research more effective.

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Opinion Leader:
Conor Meade

Measure for measure: The unique challenge of assessing innovation programs’ impact

If sound measurement of innovation support programs is so important, and everyone agrees that it’s important, why are we having this conversation? Why hasn’t it already been done?

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Canada’s regenerative medicine sector poised to soar with better funding and collaboration: report

Canadian expertise and achievements in regenerative medicine (RM) could be at a turning point if strategic steps are taken to increase stable funding and achieve greater coordination among the many federal and provincial players. Those are the key observations of a report issued by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA), which was based on a two-day workshop held last October to provide policy makers with pointers for growing the sector and realizing greater economic and health benefits.

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Study to review national model for offering start-ups free IP advice

A Waterloo policy think tank founded by former Blackberry executive Jim Balsillie is funding a new study that will examine how start-ups can get access to free intellectual property legal services across Canada. The one-year project is examining the success of the Innovation Clinic at York Univ’s Osgoode Hall Law School, with a view to replicating the model nationally.

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News Bites

News Briefs

Ontario and Israel partner on new $20-million bilateral R&D program

Sensibill raises $17.3 million for fintech data analysis app

Ontario seeks input into mandate of new CSO

Former adviser to White House Office of S&T Policy to speak at Univ Ottawa

April 5 in Ottawa: Bromley Memorial Lecture featuring Kei Koizumi, former Assistant Director for Federal R&D and senior advisor to the director of the National Science and Technology Council, US White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Koizumi is currently a visiting scholar in science policy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The lecture— hosted by the Univ of Ottawa’s Institute for Science, Society and Policy (ISSP) and moderated by ISSP fellow Paul Dufour — will provide examples and lessons learned at the White House OSTP, and offer thoughts on what a solid science-advice organization should look like. Also discussed will be the importance of a central organization at the highest level of government to formulate, implement, and coordinate STI policy.  Click here to register.

Alternative federal Budget released

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has released its annual Alternative Federal Budget. Entitled High Stakes, Clear Choices. It arrives 10 days before Finance minister Bill Morneau tables the government’s own fiscal blueprint for the coming year.

New Global Skills Strategy includes fast-tracking stream for high-growth firms

Feds and Alberta fund carbon conversion test facility

Trump signs Canada-inspired bills to promote women entrepreneurship

CFI Leaders Fund awards $52 million to 223 projects at 39 universities

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) has announced $52 million in funding from its John R Evans Leaders Fund for 223 projects at 39 universities across Canada. The funding announcement provides a breakdown by province and project. The CFI Leaders Fund provides researchers with foundational research infrastructure support, helping them to become leaders in their field and assisting institutions with creating competitive research support packages for research in their strategic priority areas.

Fusion raises US $25 million for cancer targeting technology

Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc, a spin out of the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC), has secured US$25 million in series ‘A’ financing to support and accelerate development of new next-generation therapeutics that precisely target cancer cells. The funding round is led by Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC Inc, and includes investments from HealthCap, TPG Biotechnology Ventures, Genesys Capital and founding seed investor, the Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust (FACIT). Fusion’s lead program — FPX-01 0151 — leverages alpha particle-emitting technology combined with monoclonal antibodies to target cancer cells with reduced damage to normal tissue and fewer side effects. The company’s platform is based on radiolabelling technologies developed by CPDC, a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research. The financing will also help Toronto-based Fusion build a pipeline through development of its recently acquired centryin-based targeting technology program which is now in preclinical development.

UHN receives $20-million gift from Daniels Foundation

The John and Myrna Daniels Foundation has made a $20-million donation to the University Health Network (UHN). The gift will support three UHN programs — the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, the Krembil Neuroscience Centre and the Multi-Organ Transplant Program. The UHN gift is the latest philanthropic donation made by John Daniels, a real estate tycoon whose developments include the Eaton Centre, TD Centre and the Mississauga community of Erin Mills.

OCE funds 20 IT-based automotive projects

The Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) has announced $1.4 million under its Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program (ASCIP) for 20 projects that contribute to the adoption of information technology (IT) by industry. The funding has been matched or exceeded by industry partners for a total of more than $4 million. The projects, up to two years in duration, aim to increase supplier capability to deliver shorter design cycle times, support the adoption of specific software and IT solutions that enhance efficiency and cost effectiveness, and target smaller supplier firms to increase their sourcing capabilities and expand export markets. ASCIP is a collaboration between OCE, the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association and the provincial Ministry of Economic Development and Growth.

York taps SIF for $113 million in facility upgrades

Hifi completes successful testing of O&G leak detection technology

Team Alberta lobbies Ottawa for fair share of research funding


Claude Ricks

Ed Holder

Anne Dawson

Number 2 / Volume 31 / February 15, 2017


The federal government has been afforded a timely opportunity to move the markers on innovation with the latest recommendations from the Advisory Council on Economic Growth

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Barton panel pitches large growth funds, procurement to improve innovation ecosystem

The creation of two large funds aimed at scaling high-growth tech firms is among the recommendations contained in the second wave of reports from the Advisory Council on Economic Growth. The funds would target what the panel describes as bottlenecks in the innovation ecosystem – early- and expansion-stage companies as well as established small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with high impact potential.

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Aerospace sector tempers expectations, despite big asks in federal Budget

Canada’s investment in aerospace innovation likely won’t stop with this week’s announcement by the federal government that it will provide a $372.5 million “repayable contribution” to Bombardier Inc. The interest-free loan, to be provided over four years, will fund R&D for the new Global 7000 business jet, and ongoing activities related to the development of the Montreal-based company’s C Series aircraft.

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Opinion Leader

Budget should reflect that humanities, social sciences are key to resilient economy

Canada needs all of the arts, social sciences and humanities to build an inclusive, innovative, democratic and prosperous society and economy … We urge the Government to ensure that any investments in talent — both international and Canadian — include the humanities and social sciences that are so vital to Canada’s future success.

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Government and business need to identify key growth sectors: Barton council

The Advisory Council on Economic Growth says Canada must choose a small number of promising sectors for growth as the US, UK, New Zealand and Australia have done with varying degrees of success. And while the council does not provide a specific list, it does single out agriculture and food, energy and renewables, mining and metals, healthcare and life sciences, advanced manufacturing, financial services, tourism and education as the best bets.

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NSERC announces 2017 winners for top research prizes

Dr Jeff Dahn has been awarded the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering for his pioneering research to improve lithium ion battery technology – one of a clutch of high-profile awards announced last night by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council…

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News Bites

News Briefs

CICan offers intensive leadership institute this summer

ACOA jumpstarts Atlantic Aerospace and Defence Association

ACOA renews Springboard Atlantic funding

Pond, SNC-Lavalin partner on CO2 conversion and recycling

Strategic timing key to commercialization success: study

CQDM, Brain Canada partner on novel research projects

Emera funds UNB smart grid research centre and chair

Microsoft acquires Waterloo-based AI start-up

Governments fund Toronto agency for attracting FDI

Energy storage firm receives $11M from pension fund

Versant boosts Canadian presence with key appointments

Math research institute receives $12.8M in new funding


Dr Max Fehlmann

Dr Andrew Parkin

Michael Tremblay

Dr Santa Ono

Tara Cosgrove

Laura Kilcrease

Number 1 / Volume 31 / January 18, 2017


How Canadian science, technology and innovation evolve in this economic and political environment as we grapple with the challenges before us will be a test of our skills and resolve as a nation.

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Ottawa lays groundwork to establish autonomous vehicles cluster in western suburb

Ottawa’s high-tech cluster hopes to regain some of its former luster by leveraging the region’s deep technological expertise and surging interest from global players to carve out a niche in the rapidly evolving field of autonomous vehicles (AV). The emerging AV cluster in the Ottawa west suburb of Kanata received a major boost last month with an announcement by Blackberry Ltd – at an event attended by prime minister Justin Trudeau – that it was investing $100 million to refocus its Kanata-based QNX division towards AV and establish a Blackberry QNX Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre with an emphasis on industry and academic partnerships.

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Opinion Leader

Inclusive innovation policy struggles to connect the dots

By Kelsey Spitz and Tim Draimin

Over the past 20 years, the Canadian public’s understanding of a successful innovation ecosystem has evolved enormously to include social, technology, science, engineering, mathematics, arts and business innovation. From peacekeeping and palliative care to lacrosse and basketball, settler and Indigenous Canadians innovate from our unique cultures and contexts to solve problems or seize opportunities across sectors.

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Publisher's Welcome

A message from RE$EARCH MONEY Publisher and CEO Jeffrey Crelinsten. Welcome to the brand new R$ online experience!

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News Bites

News Briefs

Feds and province fund UNB cybersecurity institute

Honda receives $83.6M for Alliston facility upgrade

Klipfolio raises $12M in series ‘B’ financing

IRIC opens new labs, begins Phase II clinical trials

APEC mental health hub pitched for Canada

Quebec and Massachusetts form research council

CCA to examine medical assistance in dying

Kwantlen Univ joins Polytechnics Canada

Tweed approved for marijuana research

Microbion Corp received US$25 million in venture funding

First Nations learning centre received $7.2 million in ISED funding

CCRM and the Univ of Queensland partner to commercialize neutropenia treatment


Dr Carrie Bourassa

BF Francis Ouellette

Seeking New Director

Kiya Hushyar