The Short Report - July 22, 2020: Alberta university research leans on fossil fuel industry, patent filings go up during COVID-19, and more

Mark Mann
July 22, 2020


Alberta Innovates announced over $3 million in funding for 17 successful projects in its Digital Innovation in Clean Energy (DICE) program. These projects will develop and bring technology to market that creates jobs in the digital economy, improves the efficiency of energy production, reduces GHG emissions and contributes to environmental innovations in water and land management. The DICE program provides up to $200,000 per successful project, and this funding is then leveraged by the private sector over 4.5 times to create over $13 million in value for Alberta’s economy. - Alberta Innovates

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains announced close to $230 million in funding through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) Major Science Initiatives (MSI) Fund to continue to support the operating costs of 14 national research facilities at 10 universities. This additional investment increases the total amount of support through the CFI’s MSI Fund to $533 million between 2017 and 2023. - CFI

The Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO) launched its first eight Early Adopter Health Network (EAHN) innovation projects out of 70 applications. Each of these eight commercial-ready technologies will receive rapid evaluations by Ontario health care organizations. The selected technologies include an artificial intelligence-based image search platform, a dual-energy x-ray device for screening asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, and a device to wirelessly assess and monitor blood flow for critically ill patients. - OBIO

Opinion: Canada lags in Deep Tech investing, though not for lack of talent. The problem lies with Canadian investors, who are shy of taking technology risks, even as Deep Tech investing globally has grown by 22 percent a year over the past five years to over $20-billion. RiSC Capital founders Colin Webster and Scott Pelton argue that seed-stage Deep Tech investments offer a unique and profitable opportunity for Canadian investors. - BetaKit

A survey of IP, R&D and innovation professionals by patent intelligence company PatSnap found that patent filings either remained unchanged or had increased since COVID-19. Respondents cited a lack of funds as the number one obstacle to their current IP activities. - PatSnap


A new report from the University of Alberta’s Parkland Institute, titled, Knowledge for an Ecologically Sustainable Future? Innovation Policy and Alberta Universities, found that post-secondary institutions in the province have oriented their research work to attract investment from the fossil fuel industry, prioritizing this type of research over other areas, like renewable energies, energy efficiency and conservation. The report found this pattern also reflected in the establishment of research chairs and institutes. - Winnipeg Free Press

Several research centres at the University of Lethbridge will be equipped with new computing infrastructure thanks to $147,000 in support from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s (NSERC) Research Tools and Instruments Grants Program. - ULethbridge

The McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship received a $3-million gift from the John Dobson Foundation to scale up its programming. The Dobson Centre offers programming and mentorship that has helped shape and create nearly 1,000 startups—with more than 400 still in development. - McGill

Arctic researchers are adapting to the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic by relying on Indigenous partners to continue their work. More than 60 per cent of federally funded research scientists who responded to a survey by ArcticNet said they had made arrangements with northerners to conduct some of their data gathering. - The Globe and Mail


Barbara Zvan was named the inaugural President and CEO of the Board of Trustees for the University Pension Plan Ontario (UPP), a newly established jointly sponsored pension plan (JSPP) designed to enhance the long-term sustainability of Ontario university pension plans. Zvan is the former Chief Risk and Strategy Officer (CRSO) for the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP). - Newswire

Other News

Events For Leaders in
Science, Tech, Innovation, and Policy

Discuss and learn from those in the know at our virtual and in-person events.

See Upcoming Events

You have 1 free article remaining.
Don't miss out - start your free trial today.

Start your FREE trial    Already a member? Log in


By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies. We use cookies to provide you with a great experience and to help our website run effectively in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.