The Short Report - August 31, 2022: A boost for NRC research initiatives; Spaceport Nova Scotia gets an all-clear for construction, Ottawa launches the Net-Zero Challenge, and more.
August 31, 2022
The National Research Council is investing more than $19 million in dozens of collaborative research projects under the NRC's Ideation Fund initiatives, Challenge programs and the Global Innovation Clusters support program. Projects will address environmental sustainability, health innovation and artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. Recipients include Memorial University of Newfoundland (nearly $218,000 for a training simulator that teaches trainee ship operators how to navigate waters with unpredictable ice due to climate change); the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute ($198,000 to use artificial intelligence to speed up the design of stem cell therapies and uncover ways to treat degenerative muscle diseases), and University of New Brunswick ($787,000 to work on cybersecurity solutions that enhance the security of smart and autonomous transportation and enable decision-making). GOC
The Saskatchewan Research Council has processed metal ingots — a key ingredient in the manufacturing of permanent magnets for electric vehicles, wind turbines and electronics — at its Rare Earth Processing Facility. The development represents a step towards establishing a vertically integrated rare earth element supply chain in the province. The Rare Earth Processing Facility received an additional $20 million in funding from the Government of Saskatchewan in June. Government of Saskatchewan
The Government of British Columbia is investing $8.6 million in Mitacs Accelerate and Elevate programs in the areas of clean technology, life sciences, emergency management and advanced timber. Accelerate programs provide a minimum of four-month collaborative applied research internships with industry for post-secondary students and postdoctoral researchers. Elevate programs provide two-year collaborative postdoctoral fellowships with industry, with a special focus on advancing research management and professional skills. Government of British Columbia
The Smart Grid Innovation Network (SGIN; Fredericton) has received more than $815,000 in funding through Natural Resources Canada's $1.56-billion Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways program to help electric utilities decarbonize and to expand Canada's electricity grid via development of a smart energy scorecard to serve as a benchmark for progress. The project is being carried out in collaboration with Dunsky Energy + Climate Advisors (Montreal), Siemens, MITACS, and the University of New Brunswick. Natural Resources Canada
The Canadian Space Agency is funding seven concept studies valued at approximately $250,000 each that may be selected for prototyping and which involve developing technologies to support Moon infrastructure. The main areas of focus include agriculture and food production; autonomous and intelligent robots and rovers; avionics and communication; mining and on-site resource utilization, and power generation and distribution. The companies awarded funding include Canadensys Aerospace (Bolton, ON), Canadian Space Mining Corporation (Carp, ON), Honeywell Aerospace (Kanata, ON), and MDA (Brampton, ON). CSA
COLLABORATIONS & FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
Emissions Reduction Alberta’s (ERA’s) ACT4 program, which is designed to facilitate the deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) technologies, is open for applications. ERA has partnered with the Research Council of Norway-coordinated Accelerating CCS Technologies (ACT) and committed $2.85 million towards the initiative. In total, $19 million is available for the global funding program, which is open to projects in Germany, India, Norway, United States and Canada. The Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund of the Government of Alberta provides funding for the ERA. Proposal deadline submission is September 12. ERA
Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson has launched a call for proposals to support the establishment of biomass supply chains that will ensure a steady supply of feedstock for clean fuel production facilities. The project call is a component of the $1.5-billion Clean Fuels Fund and includes three project streams, which are expected to support emissions reductions. Projects could receive up to 50 percent of eligible costs, to a maximum of $5 million in funding. GOC
The Guelph-based Canadian Food Innovation Network is calling for a reduction in single use plastics with a $500,000 challenge. An open call will be launched September 1 for collaborations to conduct research, develop, and demonstrate plastic alternatives that will enhance recyclability or industrial composting of food products. CFIN will match 50 percent of total eligible project costs up to $1 million. Deadline for letters of intent is October 11 while the due date for full proposals is December 16.CFIN
Concordia University's District 3 innovation hub has teamed up with In Vivo (Montreal) to accelerate the commercialization of life sciences and health technologies startup winners from In Vivo's EFFERVESCENCE Pan-Canadian Start-up Pitch Competition. District 3’s in-kind prize is valued at more than $20,000. The winning teams include Paperplane Therapeutics (Montreal), 3F Waste Recovery (Main Brook, N.L.), and HDAX Therapeutics (Mississauga), which also won the overall 2022 pitch competition. Concordia U.
British Columbia's agriculture producers and processors can apply to increase their competitiveness, resiliency and innovation through the Knowledge and Technology Transfer Program (KTTP) on September 1. There will be three funding streams, including a new stream for regenerative agriculture practices in this call. The KTTP is funded by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments to grow Canada's agri-food and agri-products sectors. GOC
The Government of Nova Scotia has cleared commercial Maritime Launch Services to begin construction of Spaceport Nova Scotia, Canada's first commercial spaceport. The approval confirms that Maritime Launch has satisfied the conditions related to construction of Spaceport Nova Scotia within the Environmental Assessment approval granted in 2019. Maritime Launch
The Government of Canada has launched the Net-Zero Challenge, a national voluntary initiative for businesses that commit to implementing plans to transition their facilities and operations to net-zero emissions by 2050. Companies that join must meet minimum requirements, submit annual progress reports, and produce five-year updates of their net-zero plans. Founding participants include Aviva Canada (Markham), the Cement Association of Canada, CN, Woodfibre LNG (Vancouver), and BASF Canada (Mississauga), among others. GOC
Hamilton-based AtomVie Global Radiopharma has closed its Series A financing round with U.S.-based healthcare investment firm Avego Management with a commitment of at least $40 million. AtomVie is a spinout from the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization, a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research. CPDC
Public Policy Forum and Queen’s University have released a report highlighting key recommendations from health care leaders and stakeholders for transitioning to an "equitable, efficient, and innovative digital health care model" in Canada. Key recommendations include: Improving governance and coordination mechanisms through a new framework between federal, provincial, and territorial governments that ensures innovation and new approaches are fostered; patient ownership and access to protected health information data that is transparent, and which features built-in provisions for consent on data sharing, and addressing the gaps in coverage and disparities in who has access to care. Queen's U.
Canada faces a serious shortage in employees with digital, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills, according to a report from the C.D. Howe Institute. The report recommends increasing the supply of people with digital skills by developing and attracting talent, and investing in reskilling and upskilling the workforce. It also recommends following the U.S. lead to focus on skills, "as many major tech companies in the United States have shifted their hiring qualifications from education to skills and eliminated a post-secondary degree requirement for jobs." C.D. Howe Institute
Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson released a report that was commissioned last year to update the federal government’s understanding of Canada’s overall electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure needs and how they are likely to evolve as the market continues to grow. The report, entitled Canada’s public charging needs – Updated projections was conducted by Dunsky Energy + Climate Advisors (Montreal). GOC
Gary Bennewies, CEO of Ipsos Canada and chair of the Canadian Research Insights Council (CRIC) is retiring after nearly 40 years. Cynthia Pachovski will serve as interim CEO of Ipsos from September 1, and Nik Nanos, chief data scientist and founder of Nanos Research, will serve as the new chair of CRIC. Cision CRIC
Aker Solution (St. John's), JD Irving, and Equinor Canada (St. John's) are among a group of 23 Atlantic Canadian companies, researchers and organizations attending the Offshore Northern Seas Conference and Exhibition 2022 (ONS 2022) in Stavanger, Norway, from August 29 to September 1. The conference focuses on energy, technology and innovation and is an opportunity for Atlantic Canada's small and medium-sized businesses to build global business connections and showcase their expertise to the international offshore energy industry. GOC
Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says it will be dissolved by Public Health Ontario on September 6 and that it is being replaced with a new, smaller advisory group that some science table members say will be less independent. Ontario Covid-19 Science Table Ottawa Citizen