The Short Report - June 17, 2020: A big Silicon Valley innovation hub comes to Canada, Agri-Food steps up help for producers, and more

Mark Mann
June 17, 2020

The Silicon Valley-headquartered innovation hub Plug and Play will open an office in Mississauga, its first base in the Canadian market. The expansion is being supported by chemical production company BASF. Plug and Play runs two programs per year across a variety of industries and its global locations, and has 300 corporate partners and 200 venture capitalists in its network. In 2017, Plug and Play was named the “most active Silicon Valley venture capital firm” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. - BetaKit

The government of Quebec launched a second call for proposals for its Fonds d’accélération des collaborations en santé (FACS). Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals for projects that address the current and future needs of life sciences companies, such as in the biopharmaceutical industry, the medical technology sector, and artificial intelligence applications for health. Successful applicants will receive between $5 and $10 million in financing. - CQDM

A new study by Statistics Canada has found that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) owned by immigrants were more likely than similar enterprises owned by Canadian-born individuals to implement a product or process innovation. Immigrant ownership also had a positive effect on the incidence of marketing innovations, the study found. - StatCan


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada launched a $77.5 million Emergency Processing Fund (EPF) to help Canadian food producers, processors, and manufacturers take extra risk mitigation measures to be able to maintain Canada’s food production during COVID-19. The program prioritizes projects based on two objectives: 1) Emergency COVID Response to assist companies to implement changes required by COVID-19 to ensure the health and safety of workers; and 2) increasing capacity for herd management. -

CAE announced it has received certification from Health Canada for its CAE Air1™ ventilator, designed and manufactured in Montreal. Two months ago, CAE signed a contract with the Government of Canada to manufacture and supply 10,000 ventilators.  The company will start distributing hundreds of ventilators to hospitals across the country every week. - Newswire


Ray Hoemsen announced he is retiring from his position as Executive Director of Research Partnerships and Innovation at Red River College, where he has led the applied research enterprise since 2004. Hoemsen's tenure saw the college achieve around $85 million in capital investments for research infrastructure and annual research revenue of around $6-million, as well as a consistent Top 10 Canadian Research College ranking and the prestigious Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council College Synergy Award for Innovation to recognize RRC’s decade-long research partnership with Manitoba Hydro “to reduce energy consumption and increase sustainability in the region."

Dave Nikolejsin, British Columbia’s former deputy minister leading the province's natural gas strategy, has resigned. He is known for publicly criticizing the government for harming competitiveness through such priorities as carbon taxes, changes to environmental assessment processes, and implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Nikolejsin has held such roles for the province as Chief Information Officer, head of the Environmental Assessment Office, Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines, and, since 2015, Deputy Minister of Natural Gas Development. The new deputy minister at energy, mines and petroleum resources is former Fraser Institute director Fazil Mihlar.

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