The Short Report, July 17, 2019: Frailty, electric vehicles, cloud computing

Mark Mann
July 17, 2019

A new report by the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s World Trade Centre Toronto (WTC-T) argues that the Toronto region needs a better scaleup ecosystem to grow its small and medium enterprises. Titled ”Defying Gravity: Building a Scaleup Ecosystem,” the report claims that the region provides ample support to tech startups through its numerous accelerators and incubators, but lacks support and resources for scaleups. As a consequence, Toronto lags behind international competitors in its capacity to generate high-growth firms. - Defying Gravity: Building a Scaleup Ecosystem

The Canadian Frailty Network and the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) have partnered with health technology firm Metabolon Inc to develop a $4-million research program that will perform large-scale metabolomic profiling and biomarker identification with samples from the Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging (CLSA), a national research platform on aging involving 50,000 men and women in Canada. - Biospace

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) announced two investments worth a total of $4 million: $2,085,600 for the Centre for Women in Business (CWB) at Mount Saint Vincent University to develop and deliver an intensive management program called “Greater Heights for Growth,” targeted at women business owners who have built profitable businesses in high-growth sectors and are generating revenue of $1 million or more; and $1,940,292 for the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) to create the Atlantic Canadian Women in Business Growth Partnership, alongside other organizations in Atlantic Canada that support women in business. - MSVU

Montreal-founded, San Francisco-based startup Sonder will open a second headquarters in Canada after raising US$210 million in financing, bringing its valuation to over $1 billion. Sonder founder Francis Davidson says that Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are possible hosts for the new headquarters. The company offers a rival service to AirBnB and currently employs 900 people, of which 140 are located in Canada. - The Globe and Mail

Suncor will receive $4.6 million in SIF funding to build 92 electric vehicle (EV) fast chargers at its Petro-Canada locations across the country. The funding is part of Ottawa’s $182.5-million investment to build a coast-to-coast charging network for electric vehicles, with 500 fast chargers to be built this year and hundreds more expected over the next two years. Another $130 million from Budget 2019 is being invested in charging infrastructure, alongside a new incentive worth up to $5,000 for Canadians who purchase or lease a zero-emission vehicle. - Newswire

FedDev Ontario will contribute $14 million to Niagara College to expand the Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI), a network of seven post-secondary institutions that pools resources and expertise to support smaller manufacturers to adopt cutting-edge technologies. The new funding will allow SONAMI to add three new post-secondary institutions and provide greater expertise in areas such as bio-industrial manufacturing, green product manufacturing and intelligent manufacturing. The FedDev investment leverages over $24 million in funding, including $14 million from industry collaborators and $10.3 million from SONAMI member post-secondary institutions. -

Amazon Web Services (AWS) will launch a Cloud Innovation Centre (CIC) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, with a focus on health and wellbeing. Called the UBC Community Health and Wellbeing CIC, the centre is the first of its kind in Canada and will officially open in early 2020. - UBC


The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada named Pierre Pettigrew as the new chair of its board of directors. An executive advisor at Deloitte Canada, Pettigrew was the Government of Canada's special envoy for the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and arbitrates international trade disputes at the World Trade Organization. During his years as a Member of Parliament (1996-2006), Pettigrew served as minister of Foreign Affairs, minister for International Trade and minister for International Cooperation. - Asia Pacific Foundation

Tom Corr is resigning from his role as president and CEO of Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), following recent news that 30-50% of staff were laid off due to funding cuts by the provincial government. Claudia Krywiak, VP of corporate development, planning and strategic initiatives, will serve as interim CEO until OCE can appoint a permanent replacement. During his tenure, Core “refocused the organization to stimulate business-led innovation and accelerate commercialization of leading-edge technologies,” according to a statement by the OCE. - BetaKit

The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) has appointed Suzanne Grant its interim CEO following the sudden passing of president and CEO John Reid on June 24. Grant was the cofounder and CEO of health-tech company iBIONICS, and is a current Entrepreneur In Residence at the CATA Women in Technology Forum. “John was one of a kind and we shared a passion for pulling others up. I am humbled by this appointment and with the support of Canada’s small and medium tech business leaders, we will carry the torch assuring John’s legacy and ensuring CATA’s impact flourishes,” Grant said in a statement.  - CATA

The University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science, Society and Policy is launching five new Research and Engagement Clusters: Arctic Change, headed by Jackie Dawson, Canada Research Chair in Environment, Society and Policy; Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, headed by Jason Millar, Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in the Ethical Engineering of Robotics and AI; Energy, headed by Monica Gattinger, Director of the ISSP; Inclusive Innovation, headed by Kelly Bronson, Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Science and Society and co-headed by Sandra Schillo, associate professor at The Telfer School of Management; and Risk, Technology and Security, headed by Mark Salter, professor at the School of Political Studies. - ISSP

Stefan Leslie will be leaving his role as executive director of the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) to become the CEO of the newly-formed Research Nova Scotia (RNS). An independent, not-for-profit corporation, RNS was created by the provincial legislature six months ago to support, organize and coordinate funding for research in Nova Scotia. Leslie previously worked for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “I am looking forward to bringing my background in both government and working with a non-profit research organization to Research Nova Scotia as it works to enhance the province’s research capacity,” Leslie said in a statement. - Research Nova Scotia

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