A3 Surfaces, AFA Systems, agricultural research, Atkinson Foundation, Big Mountain Foods,, Canada-India Joint Science and Technology Committee, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Canvass Analytics, Cascadia Seaweed Corporation, Centre for Drug Research and Development, Centre for Future Work, Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine, Courtois Foundation, Desjardins Capital, DL Seeds, Electrical Safety Authority, Electrification and Energy Transition Panel - Ontario, Enns Brothers, European Commission, FedDev Ontario, First Nations Fisheries Legacy Fund Society, Global Research Council, GlycoNet, Government of Alberta, Government of British Columbia, Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, Government of Quebec, Horizon Europe, INCA Renewable Technologies, Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics, Invest Alberta, l’Université de Sherbrooke, McCain Foods, Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation du Québec, Mitacs, Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, Naut’sa Mawt Tribal Council, Nexus Robotics, Pacific Salmon Foundation, Pediatric Outcomes Improvement through Coordination of Research Networks (POPCORN), PINQ2, Prairie Fava, Prima, PROMPT, Protein Industries Canada, Royal Society of Canada, Ryerson University, School of Climate Change and Adaptation, Toronto Metropolitan University, Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke, University of Manitoba, University of Prince Edward Island, UPEI, and VentureLabs



The Short Report - April 27, 2022: Canada-EU research partnership talks, CIHR's new clinical trials fund, a nationwide platform to study Covid's impact on children, U de M's natural life sciences boost, and more.

Cindy Graham
April 26, 2022


The European Commission is set to open formal talks with Canada about joining the bloc’s key funding program for research and innovation, Horizon Europe, after concluding informal exploratory talks between the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Membership would allow Canadian researchers to have the same access and privileges to the program as European researchers. European Commission

RELATED: Canada and EU deepen research partnerships as Horizon Europe talks enter new phase

Université de Montréal has received $159 million from the Courtois Foundation to accelerate the discovery of new materials in the natural sciences, including materials that will help transition to greener technologies. The donation will be used to create a state-of-the-art research centre, The Courtois Institute, which will be built as a new wing in the campus science centre, will focus on matter and materials research such as creating greener batteries, improving the functionality of 3D printed objects, and improving the efficiency of materials in solar panels. UdeM

The federal government is investing nearly $7 million on a Canada-wide research platform to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on children. The new Pediatric Outcomes Improvement through Coordination of Research Networks (POPCORN) platform will bring together pediatric health researchers from 16 research sites across Canada to monitor infections, vaccination, and the social impact of the disease on children and youth. It will be led by Dr. Caroline Quach at the Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine in Montreal. GOC

The Université de Sherbrooke and the Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation du Québec have launched the Digital and Quantum Innovation Platform (PINQ2) to support the acceleration of digital transformation in the province. The platform, which received $16 million in funding from the provincial government and "significant support" from industry leaders, will function as a collaborative ecosystem to train the next generation of scientists, businesses, and organizations in digital professions. The platform will collaborate with Prompt, Prima, and Mitacs to gain access to financing for projects. Cision

GlycoNet, the Canadian Glycomics Network, is investing more than $1.7 million for 13 glycomics projects across Canada. Industry collaborators, health foundations and business partners are also co-investing nearly $6 million, bringing the total funding to $7.7 million. The funding will support research to improve quality of life for patients with chronic diseases, cancer, infectious diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. GlycoNet

INCA Renewable Technologies (Kelowna) plans to build an advanced bio-composites manufacturing facility in Vegreville, Alberta that could process 54,000 tonnes of biomass per year generated from hemp. The facility will be adjacent to InnoTech Alberta, Alberta’s research facility for hemp composites, genomics and agronomics, and will transform hemp into a highly refined fibre that serves as a substitute for balsa wood, which is used as a core material in boats, wind turbine blades, and bioplastic material for the automotive industry. Invest Alberta is providing support by connecting INCA to potential investors, strategic partners, grant sources and researchers, as well as providing export guidance. INCA

RELATED: Alberta and federal governments co-invest $900,000 to grow province’s hemp industry

Prairie Fava (Glenboro, MB) is partnering with Vancouver-based Big Mountain Foods on a project to produce fava-based products at the first ever allergen- and soy-free tofu factory in the world. The partnership builds on two earlier Protein Industries Canada projects in which each company worked with other consortia to build out capacity around the creation and application of new ingredients and food products. PIC

Antimicrobial company A3 Surfaces (Saguenay, QC) has received $4 million in financing to support the commercialization of its anodized aluminum in France and Italy. The financing consists of a $2 million convertible loan from the Government of Quebec, $1 million from Desjardins Capital and $1 million from shareholders. A3


The Canadian Institutes of Health Research will soon provide new funding - a total of $250 million over three years - in the form of a new Clinical Trials Fund to address the need to build Canada's biomedical ecosystem to prepare for future health challenges. The funding will be provided through three mediums: the Pan-Canadian Clinical Trials Consortium, the Clinical Trials Fund Training Platforms, and Clinical Trials, as a component of Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy, the federal government's more than $2.2 billion investment over seven years from Budget 2021. CIHR

Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development Mary Ng has announced a call for applications to deliver the Inclusive Women Venture Capital Initiative (IWVCI), a new three-year, $15 million investment under the $6 billion Women Entrepreneurship Strategy. The program is meant to support projects that strengthen the capacity of women entrepreneurs to access VC funding. It will provide education and training to support equitable access to funding and mentoring models to improve access to capital, among other initiatives. GOC

The Government of Alberta has released the Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy (ATIS) to attract business and investment in its technology and innovation sector and to generate $5 billion more in revenue from Alberta tech companies by 2030. The strategy, which has been allocated $73 million over three years, plans to increase its tech and innovation pool by developing micro-credential programs, expanding the Major Innovation Fund, and establishing an artificial intelligence (AI) lab for developing talent, producing new AI solutions, and creating commercialization opportunities. Government of Alberta

The governments of Canada and British Columbia are contributing $30.5 million in funding for 22 projects under the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF). The funds will support monitoring, research, and planning processes to enhance understanding of factors affecting local salmon populations and help inform management decisions in rebuilding habitats. Projects include the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s project to expand and improve the use of the Pacific Salmon Explorer, an interactive data visualization tool that tracks and reports information on the status of fish conservation units and their freshwater habitats, and the First Nations Fisheries Legacy Fund Society’s project to enhance capacity for monitoring and managing wild salmon habitat in First Nations by integrating community mapping and geospatial technologies. Government of British Columbia

FedDev Ontario is investing over $5.7 million through the federal government's Jobs and Growth Fund in Canvass Analytics (Toronto), an artificial intelligence (AI) software provider whose platform is used in the automotive, chemicals, energy, food and beverage, and metals and mining sectors to monitor and predict future output so engineers can optimize processes and reduce water consumption and CO2 emissions. The investment will allow the company to expand and accelerate the commercialization of their AI software platform. GOC


The Government of Canada is investing more than $6.4 million in agricultural pre-commercial science and research projects to fight climate change. Recipient organizations include AFA Systems (Brampton, ON, receives more than $1 million to develop a prototype of a compostable can system); Cascadia Seaweed Corporation (Sidney, B.C., receives up to $533,475 to determine the potential of three types of seaweed as an alternative cattle feedstock); Enns Brothers (Oak Bluff, Manitoba, up to $2,719,745 to advance development of an AI-driven device for autonomous, non-destructive crop monitoring); McCain Foods (Florenceville-Bristol, New Brunswick, up to $477,550 to pilot clean technologies and regenerative farming practices on a commercial potato farm); Naut’sa Mawt Tribal Council (Delta, British Columbia, up to $283,206 to investigate the impacts of integrating hog strip grazing in a market vegetable’s cover crop rotation system on soil quality, the nutrient life cycle, and the economics of such integration), and Nexus Robotics (Halifax, Nova Scotia, with operations in Brossard, QC, up to $1,364,399 to develop software that will add insect pest and disease detection to its weeding robot). The projects are funded through the AgriScience Program, an initiative of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the $3 billion, five-year (2018-2023) investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen and grow Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector. GOC Backgrounder

The School of Climate Change and Adaptation at the University of Prince Edward Island, in partnership with the town of Stratford and the city of Charlottetown, has launched a citizen-science based sustainability initiative that will use data from community members to better understand the local impacts of climate change. Participants will be asked to note observations related to seasonal changes, weather, plants and wildlife, drainage, flooding and more around their home or local neighbourhood. An information session for the climate tracker initiative will be held May 17. UPEI


The Government of Ontario has created an energy transition panel, effective April1, to advise the government on how to integrate long-term energy planning and transition the economy to become more climate-friendly. The Electrification and Energy Transition Panel will exist for up to one year and will consist of a three-member advisory group chaired by David Collie, former president and CEO of Ontario's Electrical Safety Authority. QP Briefing

A report based on a multi-year research project to study workers’ collective voice and agency in the future of work concludes that Canada's adoption of new technology has slowed in recent years and that there is little evidence that robots and other advanced technologies are displacing workers and causing technological unemployment in Canada. The report, which reviews nine empirical indicators of Canadian innovation, technology adoption, and robotization, was authored by economist Jim Stanford for the Centre for Future Work’s PowerShare project and published in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives with support from the Atkinson Foundation. Centre for Future Work

Canada's tri-funded Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics, created to promote the ethical conduct of research involving human participants, is proposing to "dramatically simplify" the ethics approval processes for studies involving multiple institutions. The panel proposes to mandate that all applications for multi-site, minimal risk studies undergo an initial review by a single research ethics board, whose verdict and rationale would be circulated to participating institutions for review and approval. The panel is aiming to make recommendations on harmonizing ethics review processes to the three federal research funding agencies in the fall of 2022, according to a news article from the Canadian Medical Association Journal. CMAJ News


The Toronto, Quebec and Alberta tech sectors set records for venture investment in the first quarter of 2022 while British Columbia and Waterloo started off strong, according to analysis from Toronto, Quebec and Alberta eclipsed previous records, raising a collective $1.87 billion (54 percent increase compared to last quarter and 59 percent increase year-over-year), $1.46 billion (633 percent increase from the previous quarter and 440 percent year-over-year), and $205.6 million (212 percent increase from 2021 fourth quarter and a 26 percent increase year-over-year), respectively. Meanwhile BC tech startups collectively raised 28 investments totalling nearly $530 million (a 20 percent decline in total investment from Q4 2021 and a 48 percent decrease year-over-year) while tech in Waterloo closed 11 investments totalling more than $157 million (a 57 percent increase in the number of deals compared to last quarter and a 73 percent decrease in total investment). Q1 2022 reports


The board of governors of the former Ryerson University has approved a recommendation to change its name to Toronto Metropolitan University, president and vice chancellor Mohamed Lachemi has announced. The name change was part of 22 recommendations made by the university's Standing Strong (Mash Koh Wee Kah Pooh Win) Task Force over concerns about Egarton Ryerson, the man the institution had been named for and his links to Canada's residential schools. Toronto Metropolitan University

Megan Gervais is the new chief technology officer of Protein Industries Canada (PIC), replacing PIC inaugural CTO Chris Anderson, who has accepted a new position as general manager at plant-breeding company DL Seeds (Roland, Manitoba), according to an organization newsletter. Gervais is a professional engineer who has worked in research, technology commercialization and management roles with Canadian contract research organizations, supporting both public and privately held companies. At PIC since 2019, she was responsible for developing and executing PIC’s intellectual property strategy and working with supercluster members to negotiate strategies for collaborative technology development projects. PIC

Josie Erzetic has been appointed president and chief executive officer of Ontario's Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), effective April 4. Erzetic served as ESA's vice president of operations and its chief regulatory offices and general counsel. She replaces outgoing president and CEO David Collie, who is chairing the Ontario government's new Electrification and Energy Transition Panel. Cision

Dr. B. Mario Pinto has been appointed the University of Manitoba’s next vice president (research and international), effective October 1, 2022. Pinto has served as president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and holds a fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada. He has also served as co-chair of the Canada-India Joint Science and Technology Committee, chair of the Global Research Council, and was a founding member of the Centre for Drug Research and Development, VentureLabs and Venture Connection, as well as a primary advocate for the inception of the Canada Accelerator Incubator Program (CAIP). University of Manitoba


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