Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Air Street Capital, Alberta Innovates, Alexander First Nation, Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, Amplitude Ventures, Baker Hughes, BDC Capital, Bellywood Partners, BKR Capital, Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Canada School of Public Service, Canada's Ocean Supercluster, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Capital Power Corporation, Carleton University, Champlin Advisory, Conoco-Phillips, Continental Resources, Dalhousie University, Deep Trekker, Desjardins Capital, Ekona Power Inc., Enbridge Inc., Enoch Cree Nation, EVA, First Nation Capital Investment Partnership, Foundaction, Future Skills Centre, Gandeeva Therapeutics, Government of British Columbia, Government of Quebec, Government of Saskatchewan, HydroSurv Unmanned Survey Inc., IBM, International Air Transport Association, Lab2Market, Laboratories Canada, Leaps by Bayer, Lehigh Hansen Materials, Lightspeed Commerce, Live work Communications, Lux Capital, McMaster University, Mining Innovation Commercial Accelerator, Mitsui, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, Natural Resources Canada, NGIF Cleantech Venture, Obvious Ventures, OMERS Ventures, Optina Diagnostics, Paul First Nation, Protein Industries Canada, Real Ventures, Saipem, Severstal, Silicon Valley Bank, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Sonardyne, StartupPG, Sustainable Development Technology Canada, The Conference Board of Canada, TransAlta, Treralys Capital, Université de Montréal, University of Luxembourg, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, Voyis, WeBC, White Star Capital, Wrk Technologies Inc., and YELL Canada North



The Short Report – Feb. 9, 2022: Quebec getting Canada’s first universal quantum computer, Canadian cleantech companies receive more than $52 million in SDTC funding, Ocean Supercluster announces largest project to date, public servants learn about AI, and more

Mark Lowey
February 9, 2022


Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) has announced an investment of $52.3 million in 16 Canadian cleantech companies boosting innovation across all regions of Canada and in several sectors. Areas the companies are working in include agriculture, aquaculture, cybersecurity, transportation, pathogen detection, space, energy systems, data analysis, sustainable infrastructure, emissions monitoring and waste management. The funding includes $4 million for Edmonton-based satellite startup Wyvern to help the company launch its DragonEye satellite. The company’s high-resolution hyperspectral imaging technology will help farmers use less fertilizer, pesticides and water and help produce bigger yields. SDTC & Wyvern

Canada's Ocean Supercluster has announced its largest project to date, the $65-million Clean Ocean Advanced Biofuels Project. Project leader Ontario-based Valent Low Carbon Technologies will work with a pan-Canadian team to produce Canada's first renewable diesel from abundantly available agricultural and forestry byproducts. The goal of the project, which will produce fuel and solvents along with a hydrocarbon material with improved nutritional value for human health products, is to introduce a low-carbon biofuel across the marine ecosystem. Project partners include FORGE Hydrocarbons, Mara Renewables, Clearwater, Katal Energy, Horizon Maritime, and Sustainable Development Technology Canada. The Ocean Supercluster is providing nearly $5.7 million for the project, with the balance coming from industry and government partners. Canada's Ocean Supercluster

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster has announced five new projects with a total value of nearly $29 million. The projects include the Autonomous Remote Offshore Wind Inspection, Navigation and Deployment (AROWIND) project, led by Ontario-based subsea imaging company Voyis. Voyis will develop the core optical sensor products and algorithms for the project, aimed at developing an uncrewed surface vessel-based inspection solution for offshore wind farms. The Ocean Supercluster will provide close to $3 million for this project, with the balance coming from project partners, including Voyis, Deep Trekker, and HydroSurv Unmanned Survey Inc., and international partners EVA, Sonardyne and Saipem. Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

The Prairies-based Protein Industries Canada supercluster has announced a $2.4-million project with industry partners aimed at making the raising of deployable capital easier for plant-based food and ingredient processors. Led by Bellwood Partners and Champlin Advisory, alongside other industry stakeholders, a consortium will work with an advisory board to identify and break down barriers to raising capital for the next generation of plant-based food and ingredient processors. The consortium's objectives include creating a fund to raise $200 million in equity capital, with a focus on securing investments from Canadian institutions and other key stakeholder groups. Protein Industries Canada

Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, has announced $17.9 million in funding for the first wave of 60 approved clean technology projects under the Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program. The funding will help farmers and agri-businesses across Canada develop and adopt the latest clean technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance their competitiveness. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of Natural Resources Canada, has endorsed the Pan-Canadian Geoscience Strategy, which outlines Canada’s intention to produce world-leading geoscience to meet the growing global demand for responsibly sourced minerals and metals. Developed by federal, provincial and territorial geological survey organizations across Canada, the strategy aims to improve collaboration and the availability and accessibility of public geoscience data and knowledge, and to develop skilled scientists — all to support Canada’s critical minerals strategy currently under development. Natural Resources Canada

The Government of Quebec and IBM have partnered to bring to Canada the country’s first universal quantum computer (combining the full power of a classical computer with the power of a quantum computer) — the fifth dedicated IBM quantum system installed in the world. The system, to be anchored by a new Quebec-IBM Discovery Accelerator, will be deployed at IBM’s semiconductor assembly and testing facility in Bromont, Que. The accelerator will focus on driving science and discovery in key areas such as energy, life sciences, sustainability and semiconductors, using computational technologies such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing. IBM

Quebec Premier François Legault has announced the province’s first two “innovation zones” in Sherbrooke and Bromont, two municipalities in the Eastern Townships. The aim of the zones is to bring together businesses and the education sector to stimulate high-tech projects and investments. The “Sherbrooke quantique” zone, which includes a government investment of $131 million to support 13 projects, will specialize in quantum science. Quebec will invest $24.7 million in the other smaller zone, “Technum Quebec,” in Bromont which will specialize in digital technologies. CTV

The Government of British Columbia has announced 25 new clean tech projects that will be supported by CleanBC Industry Fund’s third round of investment. The projects will support a wide range of clean technologies, including energy-efficiency improvements at pulp and paper mills, electrification of equipment in the mining and oil and gas sectors using renewable energy, and methane gas-capture systems at the Vancouver landfill and at oil and gas operations. The CleanBC projects are supported by more than $70 million in carbon tax revenues paid by industry and are part of the program’s Emissions Performance stream. Government of B.C.

The Government of Saskatchewan is modifying its Made in Saskatchewan Technology Program (MIST) to help startups connect with more government organizations and support more complex projects. Under the changes, companies that were successful in the program can now receive up to $30,000 in total for up to three pilot projects. Previously, companies were awarded a contract of up to $10,000 to have their technology piloted by government. Government of Saskatchewan


Alberta Innovates is investing more than $6 million into the province’s life sciences sector to give innovators and SMEs access to resources to develop ground-breaking health solutions. The funding is being delivered through Stage 2 of Alberta Innovates’ Health Innovation Platform Partnerships program, which will support three projects to deliver the platforms, infrastructure, tools and resources for Alberta innovators to test, develop and accelerate new health innovations and technologies. Alberta Innovates

Gandeeva Therapeutics, a Vancouver-based biotech company, has announced it has raised US$40 million in a Series A funding round led by Lux Capital and Leaps by Bayer (the venture arm of pharmaceutics company Bayer). Other investors included Obvious Ventures, Amplitude Ventures and Air Street Capital. Gandeeva Therapeutics said it will use the funding to advance its artificial intelligence-driven “cryo-EM platform” that images protein-drug interactions at the atomic level to advance discovery, design and development of novel precision medicines. Gandeeva Therapeutics

Montreal-based health tech company Optina Diagnostics has announced the closing of an investment of up to $2.6 million from the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF). The investment will be made through the ADDF’s Diagnostics Accelerator, a collaborative research initiative supported by ADDF’s co-founder Leonard A. Lauder, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and others. Optina will use the funding to expand the company’s clinical study of its awAIr™ cerebral amyloid status test for Alzheimer’s disease detection. Optima Diagnostics


The Weston Family Foundation has launched a $33-million Homegrown Innovation Challenge to spark creative solutions to boost the sustainable production of fruits and vegetables in Canada. The Challenge focuses initially on tools and technologies to enable domestic food producers to grow berries out of season, competitively and at scale, and then expanding innovative systems into an array of fruit and vegetable crops. Funding will be awarded over six years to eligible teams; the ultimate winning team could be awarded as much as $8 million. Weston Family Foundation

BKR Capital (formerly known as Black Innovation Capital) has closed an additional $4.5 million CAD for its venture capital fund focused on Black tech entrepreneurs in Canada. This funding was provided by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, through Teralys Capital, and Fondaction. Launched in 2021, BKR Capital increased its target fund size to $20 million from its initial $10-million goal and has now secured a total of $19.5 million in commitments. Betakit

Montreal-based Wrk Technologies Inc. announced it has raised $55 million in funding, including a Series A round led by OMERS Ventures and White Star Capital, along with seed funding from Desjardins Capital and Real Ventures, and debt from Silicon Valley Bank. Wrk, whose automation platform combines workplace automation with a skilled human workforce, said it will use the funding to strengthen and enhance its Hybrid Automation platform. Wrk

Ekona Power Inc., based in Burnaby, B.C., has received a $79-million equity investment to commercialize clean hydrogen technology. Baker Hughes led the funding round, with support from Mitsui, Severstal, Conoco-Phillips, TransAlta, Continental Resources, NGIF Cleantech Venture, and BDC Capital’s Cleantech Practice. Ekona Power will use the funding in commercializing its novel methane pyrolysis technology platform, which produces clean and low-cost hydrogen. The technology is expected to help reduce carbon emissions in the oil and gas operations, power generation, chemicals manufacturing, steel production, and natural gas transmission and distribution. Ekona Power

McMaster University has received a donation of more than CAD$32 million from Marnix Heersink, an Alabama physician and entrepreneur who grew up in Burlington, Ont. The gift will create the Marnix E. Heersink School of Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship, to educate the next generation of entrepreneurial health innovators. A portion of the gift will create the Mary Heersink Centre for Global Health, named for his wife, to create new solutions addressing emerging trends and threats to global health, such as pandemics and the climate crisis. McMaster University.

Canada’s Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator, based in Sudbury, Ont., has launched a pan-Canadian call for proposals, with $30 million in total funding allocated for projects for up to one-third of total eligible project costs. The program seeks solution providers in mining and other sectors to address challenges in four areas of interest: increase mining production capacity at lower cost, reduce mining energy consumption and GHG emissions, implement smart, autonomous mining systems, and reduce environmental risk and long-term liabilities for mining. MICA


Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration is partnering with the International Air Transport Association to launch the Professional Certificate in Air Transport Principles and Policy. The online, instructor-led program is aimed at both policy makers and aviation professionals and will be delivered through Carleton’s Transportation Policy and Innovation Centre. The program will focus on the business practices and economic impact of the air transport industry, and on the nature and complexity of the public policy-making process as it relates to the sector. Carleton University

The University of Ottawa is partnering on a joint research program with the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust to increase research excellence in information and communications technology and facilitate technology transfer through exchanging people and expertise between both institutions. The research will focus on the security, safety and reliability of systems enabled by artificial intelligence and the use of AI to automate the verification and testing of such systems. uOttawa

The University of Toronto’s Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society has partnered with the Canada School of Public Service to teach federal public servants about artificial intelligence. More than 1,000 Canadian public servants have signed up for the eight-part online course, “Artificial Intelligence is Here,” so far. U of T

Dalhousie University has launched Lab2Market (L2M) Halifax Winter 2022 cohort, which will include 11 researchers from five universities across Canada. The 16-week program focuses on supporting women in research, and all mentors, facilitators and entrepreneurial leads are leading women in their fields. The teams are conducting research on topics such as automated circuitry design, fatigue management, ocean waste and pharmaceutical development. Participating teams are from Dalhousie University, Memorial University, University of Alberta, University of Toronto and Saint Mary’s University. Lab2Market

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation are partnering on a national research program to advance understanding of reconciliation. The collaboration will foster research on reconciliation and residential schools, done by and with Indigenous communities. The partnership responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s calls to action. SSHRC

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is partnering with Laboratories Canada to strengthen their collaboration to ensure researchers in federal labs, as well as those in universities, colleges, research institutes and research hospitals continue to have the facilities and equipment needed to keep pace with transformative changes in science. Since 2018, the two organizations have worked together through the CFI’s Research Facilities Navigator, on online resource for innovators in all sectors that lists the research expertise and infrastructure available in more than 750 publicly funded facilities. CFI

Enbridge Inc. and the First Nation Capital Investment Partnership (FNCIP) have teamed up to build one of the world’s largest carbon transportation and storage hubs, west of Edmonton. The Open Access Wabamun Carbon Hub is being developed to support recently announced carbon capture projects by Capital Power Corporation, Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited (Lehigh Cement) and potentially others. The carbon hub is the first partnership for the FNCIP, formed by the Alexander First Nation, Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Enoch Cree Nation and Paul First Nation — all in Alberta. Enbridge


Canada’s transition toward a green economy will bring significant shifts in the Canadian and global labour markets, resulting in new careers and making others obsolete, according to a new report from The Conference Board of Canada and the Future Skills Centre. One in five Canadians is in an occupation at risk of automation, with limited options to transition to a new job or sector without significant training, the report found. The ability to transition from high-risk, low-mobility jobs is uneven across the provinces and territories, according to the report. The report focuses on how to successfully complete the transition to clean economy jobs, how long to dedicate to upskilling, and which resources should support the career evolution. The Conference Board of Canada


Dr. Christian Baron, PhD, has been appointed vice-president of research programs at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Starting Feb. 21, Baron will manage the federal agency’s two research portfolios with Dr. Tammy Clifford, PhD, vice-president of research in learning health systems. Baron will be responsible for designing, developing and administering the CIHR’s funding programs and science policies. He has been a professor in Université de Montréal’s biochemistry and molecular medicine department of the Faculty of Medicine since 2008 and chaired the department from 2008 to 2015. Université de Montréal

JP Chauvet, current president of Montreal-based e-commerce software provider Lightspeed Commerce, has been appointed CEO of the company, replacing founder and outgoing CEO Dax Dasilva. Dasilva will continue to serve as executive chair of Lightspeed’s board of directors. As part of the transition, current board chair Patrick Pichette will become the board’s lead independent director. Lightspeed’s share price has dropped more than 75 per cent over the last six months from its peak in September 2021. Lightspeed

Shauna Harper has been appointed CEO, effective April 4, of WeBC, a not-for-profit organization previously known as Women’s Enterprise Centre. WeBC has supported women business owners in all regions of B.C. for more than 26 years. Harper, a fulltime entrepreneur for the last 22 years, currently is based in Prince George where she is the CEO of Live Work Communications, programs manager at YELL Canada North, and co-founder of StartupPG. WeBC 


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