1Qbit , American Chemistry Council, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) , BTQ Technologies , Chalk River Laboratories , Global First Power (GFP) , Government of Manitoba , Graphite Innovation and Technologies , Hardware Catalyst Initiative , Rayleigh Solar Tech , Sam Ibrahim Centre for Inclusive Excellence in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership, Spire Global , VentureLab, Agnostiq, Alberta Health Services, Anges Québec, AQC, Arolytics, Atomic Energy of Canada, BDC Capital, Belinda Chang (University of Toronto, Brightspark Ventures, Canada Economic Development, Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Population and Public Health, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC), ChrysaLabs, Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X), Deep Sky, Deep Sky, DWave, Ecofuel, EfficiencyOne, Emmertech, evolutionQ, exactEarth, Export Development Canada, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, Global Water Futures Observatories (GWFO) network, Government of Canada, Government of Quebec, IBM Canada, International Council of Chemical Associations, International Council of Quantum Industry Associations, Koan Capital, Koïos Intelligence, Leaps by Bayer, McGill University, McMaster University, McMaster University, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGEN),, OneEleven, Ontario Centre of Innovation, Ontario Centres of Excellence, Ontario Centres of Excellence, OroraTech, Propulia Capital, Prosaris Solutions, Quantum Industry Canada (QIC) , Research Manitoba, Researching Strategies for Rehabilitation (RESTORE) Network, Simon Fraser University, Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP), Stem Cell Network (SCN), TELUS Ventures, Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation, Université de Montréal's Department of Social and Preventive Medicine and School of Public Health, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, University of Saskatchewan, University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), University of Waterloo, ventureLAB, Wilfrid Laurier, and Xanadu



The Short Report - May 17, 2023: Advancing Manitoba's research ecosystem; Chalk River Labs site to host world's first MMR; a wildfire monitoring satellite; USask's GWF program finale, and more.

Cindy Graham
May 17, 2023


The Government of Manitoba will increase funding for Research Manitoba to $13.6 million in the fiscal year 2023-24, an increase of 13 percent from the previous year. The funding aims to advance Manitoba's research ecosystem, support strategic investments in research and innovation, enhance Indigenous participation in research, and contribute to the development of a new research strategy to expand grant programs for Indigenous students and scientists and promote Indigenous-led research projects. Government of Manitoba

Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) has launched a call for project proposals targeting the entire value chain of road-based battery and fuel-cell electric vehicles (EVs), as well as their respective systems and components. The funding initiative follows NGen’s 2021 commitment to fund more than $76 million of business-led collaborative projects for building capabilities in Canada’s EV value chain. The new challenge is aimed at addressing the critical innovation challenges of the EV industry and will build on the success of the previous initiative. NGen will accept expressions of interest from members until October 11, 2023. Globe Newswire

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) has pledged nearly $3 million to four cleantech start-ups and a non-profit energy efficiency organization, to be distributed through ACOA's Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program. The companies and organization receiving the funds include Rayleigh Solar Tech (Halifax), Graphite Innovation and Technologies (Dartmouth), Prosaris Solutions (Halifax), Arolytics (Halifax/Calgary), and EfficiencyOne (Dartmouth). ACOA


Global First Power (GFP) has chosen the Chalk River Laboratories site to locate its proposed micro-modular reactor (MMR) project. The project is a collaboration between Atomic Energy of Canada, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and GFP. The reactor, developed by Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (Seattle), is a clean energy solution aimed at displacing fossil fuels in remote and industrial settings. GFP has submitted an application for a Licence to Prepare Site to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission with an environmental assessment for the project underway. AECL

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has awarded a contract to Spire Global subsidiary ExactEarth (Cambridge, ON) to deliver preparatory work for implementation phases of a wildfire monitoring satellite. The contract is the initial step towards CSA’s planned WildFireSat mission, which aims to monitor all active wildfires in Canada from space on a daily basis to support wildfire management, provide Canadians with more precise information on smoke and air quality conditions, and more accurately measure the carbon emitted by wildfires. Spire will partner with Germany's space-based thermal intelligence company OroraTech for the contract. Spire

Vancouver-based BTQ Technologies has been accepted into the Quantum Industry Canada (QIC) consortium, a group of companies that includes DWave (Burnaby), Xanadu (Toronto), evolutionQ (Waterloo), agnostiQ (Toronto), and 1Qbit (Vancouver). The consortium was formed to ensure that Canadian quantum innovation and talent is translated into Canadian business success and economic prosperity. Earlier this year, QIC received a $1.4-million investment as part of the National Quantum Strategy, which aims to create job opportunities while driving the commercialization of quantum technology in Canada. The QIC also signed a memorandum of understanding in January to establish the International Council of Quantum Industry Associations. Cision

RELATED: As the federal government launches a quantum strategy, researchers say nurturing a long-term, cohesive ecosystem is key

Ottawa-based AI governance firm has been accepted into a federal procurement program that allows Canadian government departments and Crown corporations to directly purchase the company’s artificial-intelligence governance software. The company's Machine Trust Platform software allows tech leaders to measure trust parameters, such as privacy, ethics, transparency, and bias, and mitigate the risks associated with AI implementation. The framework provides a three-year procurement vehicle for interested government departments to purchase NuEnergy's solutions and ensures compliance with global standards and evolving legislation. NuEnergy


Canada's Stem Cell Network (SCN) will invest nearly $9 million in 24 regenerative medicine research projects and clinical trials involving 232 researchers, clinicians, and trainees at 12 Canadian research institutions. Additional support from 23 partner organizations, valued at $9.44 million, means the total funding for projects amounts to $18.36 million. The research from this funding round will focus on 14 disease areas, including muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, liver disease, wound repair and osteoarthritis, and will contribute to advancing treatments for diseases such as diabetes, retinal degeneration, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and lung and heart disease. This funding announcement marks the largest injection of funding in SCN's history, and when combined with the May, 2022 award of $19.5 million, brings SCN's total investments to $28.4 million for 56 projects in 26 disease areas. SCN

The Government of Canada has announced an investment of $6.3 million to the Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X), a non-profit global partnership that supports the development of new antibiotics, vaccines, and other preclinical and early-stage development products against antibiotic-resistant infections. The investment aims to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a growing and urgent threat to global health and a leading cause of death worldwide. The investment will also support Canadian research groups and industry in their R&D efforts for therapeutic and diagnostic solutions to fight AMR. PHAC

CanStroke Recovery Trials, a Calgary-led national platform for stroke recovery research, has been awarded $3.5 million over three years from Health Canada's Canada Brain Research Fund, in partnership with Brain Canada. The funding will be used to expand the platform to more cities and regions across Canada, launch multi-site clinical trials, test new medications and technologies, and develop a comprehensive training program in stroke recovery. The program will bring together clinicians and researchers from universities and hospitals across Canada to test new approaches, therapies, and technologies to improve recovery from stroke. CanStroke


The University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) has received a $25-million donation from Scarborough-based entrepreneur Sam Ibrahim, to create the Sam Ibrahim Centre for Inclusive Excellence in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership. The centre will support UTSC student entrepreneurs and encourage them to develop their ventures in Scarborough, with the goal of spurring economic growth in the Eastern Greater Toronto Area. Equity and inclusion will be central to the centre's activities, with student entrepreneurs facing financial barriers eligible for three new awards established by Ibrahim as part of this investment: the Sam Ibrahim Awards, the Gabriel Fanous Awards, and the Shaemin Ukani Awards. U of T

The University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services have partnered to launch the Researching Strategies for Rehabilitation (RESTORE) Network, which will focus on conducting clinical trials and testing new therapies and technologies to improve the quality of life of individuals with neurological disorders. The network will focus on spinal cord injuries, stroke, and movement impairment. RESTORE is supported by a $4.7-million gift to UCalgary from the late Calgary philanthropist Edith Rodie, who was passionate about rehabilitation and wanted to leave a legacy of supporting rehabilitation research. UCalgary

The international Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) has announced its 2023 research grants and postdoctoral fellowships. The program supports interdisciplinary research collaborations between scientists from more than 70 countries. Four Canadian projects have been funded under the theme of "Complex mechanisms of living organisms," including research on protein multifunctionality (Canadian lead Dr. Belinda Chang, University of Toronto); the architecture of photosynthesis (Dr. Anja Geitmann, McGill University); electrogenetic control of bacterial metabolism (Dr. Lisa Craig, Simon Fraser University), and the evolution and physiology of the olfactory-immune system connection (Dr. Ben Matthews, University of British Columbia). Additionally, two Canadian researchers have been selected as fellows, focusing on the role of microbiomes in the origin of animals (Dr. Jennah Dharamshi) and inferring selection strength along environmental gradients using whole-genome sequence data (Dr. James Santangelo). CIHR


Montreal-based agtech startup ChrysaLabs has raised $15 million in a funding round that included Leaps by Bayer, TELUS Ventures, and BDC Capital, as well as existing investors Ecofuel, Emmertech, Anges Québec, AQC, and Koan Capital. ChrysaLabs provides soil-testing technologies that use a sampling probe to analyze 40 different soil parameters using artificial intelligence (AI). The company plans to expand into the carbon verification market to help farmers access accurate soil data. BetaKit

Montreal-based Deep Sky, a venture aimed at building large-scale carbon capture infrastructures, plans to use existing technologies on the market to create facilities that capture CO2 molecules from the open air and oceans and bury them underground. The startup has raised $10 million from investors, including Brightspark Ventures and the Government of Quebec, and plans to raise $50 million to select a site and build a pilot project next year. The founders aim to monetize Deep Sky's infrastructures by distributing "premium" carbon dioxide removal credits to compliance markets, voluntary markets, and government procurement. BetaKit

Montreal-based start-up Koïos Intelligence has secured $6.5 million in funding from investors including Propulia Capital, Canada Economic Development, and Export Development Canada to expand its artificial intelligence (AI)-powered conversational assistant for insurance brokers and customers. The company will use the funds to develop a virtual assistant, offering consumers personalized service and reducing waiting times by up to 30 percent. Koïos aims to become the first conversational assistant in the insurance sector in the US and Canada. Koïos Intelligence


The Government of Canada has released its first national-level disaster risk assessment, the National Risk Profile, to increase awareness and inform decision-making for reducing, preparing for, and responding to natural disasters. The report examines disaster risks from earthquakes, wildfires, and floods, and their cascading effects on pandemics like COVID-19, providing decision-makers with a consolidated, national picture of disaster risk and associated capabilities, and providing all Canadians with a better understanding of the risks they face. The report is based on broad public engagement, including input from stakeholders from all sectors across Canada. The next phase of the profile will focus on heat events, hurricanes, and space weather. Public Safety Canada


Jean Bélanger, the founder of Responsible Care,  passed away at age 89 on April 28, 2023. He was the first president and CEO of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC), serving from 1979 until 1996. Responsible Care, the environment, social and governance (ESG) standard for the global chemistry industry, was initiated by Jean in Canada in 1985, and in 1988, he led its adoption by the American Chemistry Council. Jean also played a key role in the formation of the International Council of Chemical Associations and its Responsible Care Leadership Group. Today, Responsible Care is practiced in over 70 countries and by 95 of the largest 100 global chemical companies. CIAC

Dr. Katherine Frohlich has been appointed the scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Population and Public Health for a four-year term, effective September 1, 2023. Frohlich is a leading public health researcher and professor at Université de Montréal's Department of Social and Preventive Medicine and School of Public Health. Her work focuses on reducing social inequities in health for young people in cities through health promotion, social epidemiology, sociology of health, and health geography. As scientific director, Frohlich will advance research initiatives that address population and public health priorities in Canada and support the implementation of CIHR’s Strategic Plan. The Institute will be based at Université de Montréal during her term. CIHR | U de M

McMaster University's office of the vice-president, research has appointed Jessie Cumming as the director of research security risk. Cumming will oversee McMaster's efforts to examine and promote security in research and innovation, international partnerships, and commercialization activities. She will work with all levels of the University to develop resources, tools, and guidelines for McMaster’s research community that are designed to mitigate security risks and meet institutional and national security objectives. McMaster

Melissa Chee, president and CEO of Markham-based tech hub VentureLab, is stepping down from her position with her five-year term ending on June 3. She will continue as a strategic advisor to the board to support the leadership transition until a new CEO is appointed. VentureLab's chief operating officer, Matt Skyner, will serve as the interim president and CEO from July 1. Chee led VentureLab's creation of Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI), a lab and incubator for founders commercializing hardware and semiconductor solutions. BetaKit

Matthew Lombardi, managing director of Toronto-based tech hub OneEleven, is stepping down from his role after leading the tech hub's revival since September 2020. Lombardi, who was appointed by OneEleven following its acquisition by the Ontario Centres of Excellence (now the Ontario Centre of Innovation) in August 2020, said his term will end this spring. Angelo Casanas, OneEleven’s programming director, will assume leadership duties on an interim basis. Under Lombardi's leadership, OneEleven reopened in October 2020 after its closure in April due to the pandemic. He put in place an advisory council to oversee OneEleven' reboot and launched its talent upskilling program in 2021. BetaKit

Luigi Pozzebon has been appointed vice president of satellite systems at Brampton-based space tech services company MDA, and is reporting to MDA chief executive officer Mike Greenley. Pozzebon stepped into the role in an acting capacity earlier this year. Pozzebon will assume general management of MDA's satellite manufacturing facilities in Montreal, which are home to more than 1,000 engineering, technical, and business staff. MDA

University of Saskatchewan's (USask) Global Water Futures (GWF) initiative, which has led the world's largest freshwater research program for seven years, is coming to an end. The GWF was established in 2016 with a $77.84-million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) and featured a partnership between the program’s lead institutions: USask, University of Waterloo, McMaster University, and Wilfrid Laurier. The initiative finale will showcase research from scientists and researchers across Canada, highlighting advancements in forecasting and modelling of water-related issues. While the initial CFREF program is ending, GWF research will continue through facility research funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Major Science Initiative (MSI) grant for the Global Water Futures Observatories (GWFO) network, an initial $15.25 million grant for 64 water observatory sites and several major water laboratories across Canada. USask

Ontario's Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP) has ceased operations as its three-year funding agreement with the Canadian government comes to an end. SOSCIP provided access to advanced computing platforms and technical expertise to researchers from academia and industry to promote Canada's innovation economy. In 2019, it received a $10 million-investment from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario meant to cover a three-year period. The consortium was established in 2012 as a partnership between several Ontario-based academic institutions, IBM Canada, Ontario Centres of Excellence, and small and medium-sized businesses. BetaKit


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