Up to $165 million is going to 15 large-scale projects in applied research in precision health. Another $93 million is going to support 10 technology platforms to support focus areas in genomics research.
In-house R&D spending by Canadian-based companies decline in tandem with troubles in oil and gas sector
In Statistics Canada’s annual report on industrial R&D characteristics, the collapse of oil and gas prices and resulting downturn in the sector is cited a major contributor to the decline in in-house industrial R&D spending, which dropped 5.8% between 2014 and 2015 from $18.2 billion to $17.2 billion.
BC digital tech supercluster looks to bring outcomes of research projects beyond regional, country borders
A British Columbia-based consortium is seeking funding through the Innovation Supercluster Initiative (ISI) to research and to develop digital technology products and services for the domestic and foreign markets.
Strategic direction and a re-balancing of research types essential for improving Canada’s innovation performance - McDougall
Canada must re-balance public investments that currently overemphasize fundamental research and provide high-level direction to increase the uptake and application of innovation, including offering experiential learning and professional development for key players in the innovation ecosystem, says a former president of the National Research Council (NRC).
Canada is Missing an Important Trend: Design Research and the Role of Experimental Development
To increase its capacity to innovate, Canada needs to move away from simple resource extraction in favour of valued-added design and the production of new products and services for global markets. Against a background of climate change, this pivot is essential: lowering carbon emissions is commensurate with moving to a green or even low- or no-growth economy.
According to Narwhal List 2018 of Canadian private companies in technology, 2017 was so successful in attracting VC money that 2018 might see a few “narwhals” possibly maturing to become “unicorns.”
Toronto is the only Canadian city on the short list of 20 metropolitan areas that Amazon.com Inc is considering for its second headquarters in North America, dubbed HQ2.
Environmental and clean technologies are contributing to the Canadian economy, accounting for 3% of the gross domestic product and employing more than a quarter of a million, according to the first ever set of data released by Statistics Canada last month.
Canada to catalyze innovation in chemical sector
Canada in top 10 among innovation champions in CTA scorecard
Feds beef up clean tech support with $700 million in BDC assistance
Brain Canada & CQDM fund AbCellera’s cell screening platform technology
AbCellera Biologics Inc and the Univ of British Columbia (UBC) received non-dilutive funding of $1 million from pharma-based consortium CQDM and charitable organization Brain Canada Foundation to advance a discovery platform for next-generation antibody therapeutics. With the additional contribution of $450,000 from AbCellera, the program will leverage AbCellera’s high throughput, single-cell screening platform to allow rapid identification of functional antibodies against complex membrane proteins. The collective financial contributions were made by five CQDM industrial members — GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, and Sanofi. The funding will help AbCellera, which spun off from UBC in 2012, enhance its capabilities for antibody discovery against high-value complex membrane proteins. These proteins have proven intractable by conventional approaches, including hybridoma, phage and yeast display. The project also calls for the application of the technology to the generation of function-modifying antibodies against an undisclosed G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) target.
TD acquires Toronto AI firm
TD Bank has acquired Layer 6 Inc, a Toronto-based artificial intelligence firm, for an undisclosed amount. The bank said its latest investment is part of a transformation strategy to deliver personalized customer experience. Layer 6 offers an AI platform to financial institutions and e-commerce for prediction and personalization. Layer 6 is co-founded by co-CEOs Tomi Poutanen and Jordan Jacobs who are also co-founders of Vector Institute. Poutanen and Jacobs are credited for securing $190 million as initial funds for the Vector Institute, which TD also supports along with over 30 other companies and the federal and provincial governments. On their LinkedIn profiles, Poutanen and Jacobs posted that they are TD’s Chief AI Officers effective January 2018. Another co-founder is Maks Volkovs, the company’s lead data scientist with a PhD from the Univ of Toronto. TD’s latest acquisition builds on its other investments and partnerships in AI, including working with conversational AI provider Kasisto, and Amazon.com on Alexa, and investing in data and analytical talent development at Western Univ and Univ of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
UNB gets $2.9M for surveillance applications in defence
Apple acquires BC’s Buddybuild
New appointees to CIHR Governing Council
The Governing Council of Canadian Institutes of Health Research has announced six new members appointed by Health minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor. The council members, with a term of three years each, will provide advice to the minister and help the council develop CIHR’s strategic directions, goals and policies. The new appointees are Dr Alice B. Aiken, VP Research at Dalhousie Univ; Dr Brenda J. Andrews, professor of molecular genetics and Charles H. Best Chair of Medical Research, Univ of Toronto; Dr Mark S. Dockstator, president of the First Nations Univ of Canada; Dr Nada Jabado, professor of pediatrics and human genetics at McGill Univ; Dr Jean Anne Shoveller, professor at the Univ of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health; and Dr Marcello A. Tonelli, associate VP Research at the Univ of Calgary. The CIHR Governing Council also appoints scientific directors and Institute Advisory Board members.
Ontario announces major new research funding
Ontario has announced $137 million in funding for 53 research projects in the latest round of awards from the Ontario Research Fund – Research Infrastructure. The funding includes large-scale and collaborative projects undertaken by 17 large provincial institutions. Ontario says the funds will cover the cost of building, renovating or equipping facilities. Some projects cited include the Univ Health Network‘s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Precision Medicine Program on genetic and non-genetic aspects of cancer; Univ of Waterloo’s RoboDrive research facility and test track for autonomous vehicles; and Carleton Univ‘s Centre for Advanced Building Envelope Research on new insulation technologies for Canadian homes and buildings. The projects, which span across different disciplines – from healthcare to advanced manufacturing and clean tech to computer technology – are also aimed at supporting high-quality jobs.
Polytechnics CEO to step down
The board of directors of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has a new chair, financial industry executive Mike Pedersen. Pedersen will succeed former chair Samuel Duboc and will hold a term of four years starting March 5, 2018. Robert Pitfield, a member of the board since May 2014, will be the interim chair until March. Before this appointment, Pedersen served as president and CEO of TD Bank in the US, and occupied senior leadership positions, including group head for TD Bank Group’s wealth and insurance businesses. He also worked as managing director for Barclays Bank in London, UK, and senior executive vice-president of retail and small business banking for CIBC. Pedersen once assumed the chair of the Canadian Bankers Association and has served on boards in the private and not-for-profit sectors.