The Short Report - April 19, 2023: Ottawa & Ericsson’s new R&D partnership; NSERC's grant extension; MRI training in Saskatchewan, supporting Indigenous students in heart and brain science, and more.

Cindy Graham
April 19, 2023


Ericsson and the Government of Canada have announced a joint investment of more than $470 million in R&D centres in Ottawa and Montreal. The five-year partnership aims to position Canada as a global leader in next-generation communications technologies, including 5G advanced, 6G, artificial intelligence, Cloud RAN, and core network technologies. The investment is expected to create and upskill hundreds of jobs and support the expansion of research facilities for quantum computing at Ericsson's Quantum Research hub in Montreal. The investment will also enable Ericsson Canada to onboard up to 60 additional interns per year — 300 across the five-year timeline — to boost ongoing academic partnerships, with most students based in the Montreal and Ottawa R&D centres. Ericsson

The Government of Yukon has launched a new agricultural funding program under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) with $9.25 million in funds, representing a 25 percent increase in funding compared to the previous Canadian Agricultural Partnership program. The program follows the signing of the Canada-Yukon Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership bilateral agreement on 4 April 2023 with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and aims to advance priorities such as tackling climate change, supporting research and innovation, and enhancing sector capacity and competitiveness. The Government of Yukon

Meanwhile, the Canadian and Ontario governments are investing up to $6 million through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) to support agri-food businesses and industry organizations in expanding into domestic and foreign markets. The Grow Ontario Market Initiative, a cost-share initiative, will provide support for market analysis, planning, product development, and market-entry promotional efforts to expand opportunities for Ontario food products. Eligible businesses can apply for up to 50 percent cost share, to a maximum of $60,000 for producers and food and beverage processors, and up to $125,000 for sector organizations, starting on 19 May 2023. Government of Ontario

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council  and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council are allowing grant recipients to request a one-year extension without funds for research grants that have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This extension is separate from other pandemic-related initiatives and can be requested by completing a grant amendment form with a justification for the extension due to pandemic-related delays. Eligibility criteria include grants in their final year, maintaining an eligible position at the administering institution, up-to-date annual statements of account, and certain restrictions on remaining funds and previous approvals. NSERC

The Government of Canada and the Government of Switzerland have signed a joint statement on science, technology, and innovation, with the aim of strengthening research collaborations between the two countries. The joint statement updates and expands a previous agreement signed in 2018 and focuses on themes such as climate and sustainability, life sciences and health, quantum science and technology, and artificial intelligence for the period of 2023-2028. The partnership aims to foster greater research ties, share best practices, facilitate access to technology, markets, and talent, and build linkages between academia, industry, and government to promote trade, investment, and innovation. ISED

The Government of Canada  has accepted Germany's invitation to become a partner host country at HANNOVER MESSE, one of the world's largest industrial development and technology trade fairs, in 2025. The partnership provides an opportunity to showcase leadership in industrial and technological innovation and collaborate with leading companies in Germany, Europe, and around the world to develop solutions for challenges related to climate goals, economic diversification, low-carbon industries, and supply chain restructuring. Key areas for the trade fair include Industry 4.0, carbon-neutral production, artificial intelligence and machine learning, energy management, and hydrogen and fuel cells. ISED


Saskatchewan Polytechnic has been granted cannabis research and analytical licenses by Health Canada, enabling the polytechnic to take on projects aimed at improving plant quality and propagation techniques and to provide analytical services to licensed cannabis growers. Sask Polytech's applied research may include experimental breeding programs, microbiome analysis, genotyping, and analysis of soil and plant material for micronutrients or heavy metals. It says the intellectual property for all applied research projects is retained by the industry, fostering future collaboration and innovation. Sask Polytechnic

Health Canada's Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP) has provided nearly $2 million in funding to startup company SCATR (Vaughn, ON) to roll out its drug-checking technology at 11 safe consumption sites across Ontario, Nova Scotia, and B.C. as part of a pilot project with Western University. The technology uses Raman spectroscopy to analyze the composition of street drugs in under 15 minutes, providing users with information about dangerous fillers and other drugs like fentanyl analogues, and the team hopes to expand the use of the technology across Canada and in other countries to help address the global opioid crisis. The Government of Canada plans to reduce overdose rates with new funding of $37 million, which will be divided among 42 projects in British Columbia, Manitoba, Nunavut, and Ontario through SUAP with the aim of providing greater access to prevention, harm reduction, and treatment services  and is part of the government's larger investment of $359 million in support of a renewed Canadian Drug and Substances Strategy, with $144 million allocated to support community-led and not-for-profit organizations over the next five years. Western U. | Health Canada

Glycomics research network GlycoNet  has announced a $1.7-million investment in five Canadian-led glycomics research projects. The funding includes $728,500 from GlycoNet, along with approximately $986,000 in co-funding from research partners and industry collaborators across Canada. The projects will focus on developing new tools, diagnostics, and therapeutics in organ transplantation, infectious diseases, cancer, dementia, and other health conditions. One of the initiatives, led by Dr. Lori West at the University of Alberta, will refine a tool to analyze ABO blood group antibodies for better organ donor-patient compatibility, while another project led by Dr. Matthew Macauley, will develop immune-based protective therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease. GlycoNet

The Michener Institute of Education at the University Health Network (UHN, Toronto) and the National Medical Imaging Clinic, Education & Research Centre (NMICERC) are partnering to bring MRI training to Saskatchewan and Western Canada. The partnership was developed to bring Michener’s MRI technologist training program to students in Saskatchewan,  which does not currently have such a program, The program will be delivered remotely by Michener faculty while NMICERC will host the clinical training in Saskatoon. The partnership includes initiatives such as a bridge program for Indigenous youth in Saskatchewan and Western Canada interested in entering the MRI technologist program.  Michener Institute

The centrifugal microfluidic chip control, developed by researchers at the Medical Devices Research Centre at the National Research Council, has received international patent protection from the Canadian Intellectual Patent Office and the patent offices of the United States, Japan, Australia, South Korea, and the European Patent Office and under the World Intellectual Property Organization Patent Cooperation Treaty. Microfluidic chips are small devices used for biological testing in various fields such as medicine, pharmaceutical research, pathogen detection, and food and water analysis. The new technology allows for improved diagnostic processes, food security, and even health monitoring of astronauts in space, contributing to the Canadian government's goals in health and sustainability. NRC

Heart and Stroke Foundation, Brain Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (CIHR-ICRH) have launched a new funding program for Indigenous post-graduate students. The funding program will provide financial support of up to $50,000 per award for masters students and up to $90,000 per award for doctoral students, with a total commitment of $850,000 from the funding partners. The Personnel Awards for Indigenous Scholars aim to increase the number of highly qualified trainees working in heart and/or brain research from Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) communities in Canada.  Heart and Stroke

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) has launched Canada's first remotely-piloted aviation training center, focusing on heavy-lift and beyond-visual-line-of-sight Remotely-Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). The initiative was awarded nearly $1.5 million by the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative, a Government of Canada program aimed at supporting economic growth in the Prairies. SAIT worked collaboratively with remotely-piloted aircraft systems manufacturers and aviation regulatory agencies in North America and Europe to provide advanced training and certification for RPAS with a payload capacity of 25 kilograms or more, positioning Alberta as a leader in the field. Skies Magazine

Concordia University has launched PLAN/NET ZERØ, a climate initiative aimed at achieving carbon neutrality across its two Montreal campuses before 2040. The project will turn the campuses into living labs that reduce energy consumption, optimize heating systems, and encourage behavioral change with the goal of showcasing Concordia as a global hub for green-energy solutions through partnerships including small and medium-sized enterprises, global enterprises, financial institutions, community organizations, governments, and researchers. Concordia U.

The Government of British Columbia has launched a new life sciences and biomanufacturing strategy as part of its StrongerBC Economic Plan, positioning B.C. as a global hub for life sciences. The strategy aims to create opportunities for innovative companies advance health and pandemic preparedness at home and internationally and focuses on five pillars, including supporting targeted investments in people and infrastructure, expanding clinical trials capacity, addressing skills shortages, and streamlining access to light-industrial-zoned land and buildings for biomanufacturing activity. As part of the strategy, B.C. will invest $10 million in a new wet lab facility with adMare Bioinnovations to support the growth of early-stage biotechnology companies. Government of B.C.

The Government of Nova Scotia has announced $3 million in funding for NPO Net Zero Atlantic to support research and development aimed at helping Nova Scotia achieve its 2050 net-zero emissions target. Net Zero Atlantic will use the funding to deliver the Emerging Concepts and Technologies Research program, which will support Nova Scotia-based solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adopt new technologies. The program will run for three years, with the first call for applications expected in the summer. Government of Nova Scotia


Toronto based VC firm Round13 Capital has raised $200 million in the first close of its third fund (limited partners undisclosed) with a target size of $300 million. Co-founders Bruce Croxon and John Eckert have stepped back from leadership roles and appointed Brahm Klar and Wilson Lee as managing partners for Round13 Fund III. Round13 has also rebranded its growth fund to PropelR Growth Fund, which focuses on later-stage pre-IPO companies and is led by co-founder and managing partner Sanjiv Samant. Round13 has previously raised funds for its Digital Asset Fund, which invests in blockchain and Web3 infrastructure companies, and its second growth fund, which is also in the final stages of closing. BetaKit

The Government of Quebec has granted Mila - Quebec AI Institute, $21 million over three years to support socially beneficial AI research and talent development in Quebec. The funding is part of the Quebec Research and Innovation Investment Strategy 2022-2027 and aims to accelerate investment and adoption of AI innovations in companies while solidifying Quebec's leadership in ethical and responsible AI development. Yoshua Bengio, founder and scientific director of Mila, expressed gratitude for the support and emphasized Mila's commitment to developing AI for the benefit of all and contributing to discussions on governance and ethics related to AI technology. Mila

Toronto-based Kepler Communications, which provides satellite telecommunications services with the goal of building the internet for space, has raised $123 million in Series C funding led by IA Ventures, (New York) bringing its total equity raised to over $200 million. Kepler also had support from Costanoa VenturesCanaan Partners, Tribe Capital, BDC Capital’s Industrial Innovation Venture Fund. Kepler plans to launch an optical data relay infrastructure in 2024 to complement its existing radio frequency network, with operational services available to customers by Q1 2025. Kepler

ChargeLab (Toronto), which specializes in building scalable electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions, has secured $20 million in Series A extension financing from industrial electrical products company Eaton and electric vehicle charging network operator Silver Comet, (Atlanta), as part of strategic partnerships to expand its market reach in the US. ChargeLab provides a software platform for managing EV charging equipment, with the goal of becoming "the Android of EV charging" by offering hardware-agnostic software. The latest funding brings its total round size to $30 million. ChargeLab

Medical technology startup MY01 (Montreal) has raised $12.5 million in Series A funding led by Investissement Québec with participation from Desjardins Capital and Fondaction. The company uses microsensors to help diagnose acute compartment syndrome (ACS), a condition that occurs when muscle pressure builds to dangerous levels. MY01's Continuous Compartmental Pressure Monitor (CCPM) translates continuous pressure data to a monitor and a mobile app, making ACS diagnosis more efficient and accurate. The funding will be used to expand commercialization activities in the US and accelerate the startup's growth, following its FDA approval and launch in several major US hospitals in 2021. MY01


Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault has released the 2023 National Inventory Report on greenhouse gas emissions to the United Nations. The report states that Canada's emissions are going down from both 2019 and 2005 levels, and that the slight rebound in emissions after the COVID-19 pandemic is smaller than expected. The report shows that Canada's emissions in 2021 were 53 megatonnes lower than in 2019, and 62 megatonnes below 2005 levels. The report also highlights progress in reducing emissions in the electricity sector and residential emissions, but notes that emissions from the oil and gas sector increased in 2021. ECCC | Backgrounder



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