BDC Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Capricorn, Cement Association of Canada, Daiya Foods, Drillco Mining and Exploration, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), European Commission, Flyscan System, George Weston Ltd Centre for Sustainable Supply Chains, Georgian Partners, Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, Government of Quebec, Grand River Foods, Health Canada, In-Q-Tel, l' Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Laboratories Canada, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, McMaster University, Merit Functional Foods, MinCon Canada Drilling, Mission Control Space Services, Molded Precision Components, Montreal Heart Institute, NASA, National Research Council (NRC), National Science Foundation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF), Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp, OMERS Capital Partners, Pharmascience, Protein Industries Canada, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), Terramera, the Gates Foundation, The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), the University of Ottawa, Tiger Global, Tim Draper, TWC Nutrition, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Energy, UK Research and Innovation, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Universidade Federal Rural do Semi-Árido, University of British Columbia, US Department of Agriculture, US National Institutes of Health, Wagg's Petroleum Equipment, Women and Gender Equality Canada, Xanadu Quantum Technologies, and York University



The Short Report - June 2, 2021: Cleantech R&D gets a boost, Biden's 2022 research budget, UBC studies rapid testing kits, and more

Cindy Graham
May 30, 2021


The Government of Canada is investing $7 million in projects that will study the effects of plastics on the environment. Among the selected studies are a University of British Columbia project that will quantify and characterize microplastics in aquatic environments, as well as an international collaboration between l'Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), Health Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, McMaster University, the University of Ottawa, Universidade Estadual Paulista (São Paulo) and Universidade Federal Rural do Semi-Árido, (Mossoró, Brazil) that will examine the risks of exposure to nanoplastics. The funding is supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council through the Plastics Science for a Cleaner Future Initiative. – GoC Project Recipients

The University of British Columbia's new COVID-19 rapid testing clinic for students living on campus is the first in Canada to use the Roche SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test Kit in a university setting. Results of the 13-week clinic are being collected to determine the viability of self-administered rapid screening tests for the general public across Canada. – UBC

The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal has published results of Montreal Heart Institute's Colcorona study on the prevention of morbidity and mortality related to COVID-19. The study concludes colchicine could be considered a treatment for non-hospitalized patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who are at risk for complications; it was supported by Pharmascience (Montreal), the Government of Quebec, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Montreal philanthropist Sophie Desmarais and the National Institutes of Health. – Montreal Heart Institute


US President Joseph Biden has submitted his budget request for fiscal year 2022 starting in October. The budget asks for a 9 percent increase, or US $13.5 billion, in total federal spending on R&D, bringing the total to US $171 billion. Spending on basic research would rise by 10 percent (US $4.4 billion) to US $47.4 billion; applied research would get a 14 percent bump (US $6.3 billion) to US $51.1 billion. Changes in basic research under request by agency in $US include: Department of Defense: -11%, -289 million; National Science Foundation: +9%, +$566 million; Department of Energy: +7%, +373 million; NASA: + 24%, +$1.105 billion; Department of Agriculture: +26%, +292 million – Analytical Perspectives, US Budget 2022

The Canadian government is investing more than $44 million in projects to bolster R&D in cleantech innovation. Among the businesses receiving funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) are Terramera (Vancouver; nearly $8 million to develop a soil carbon validation tool); Molded Precision Components (Oro-Medonte, Ontario; $9.3 million to advance plastic manufacturing) and Flyscan System (Quebec City; $1.5 million to develop an aerial detector of liquid pipeline leaks). – GoC 

The Government of Canada is supporting more than 100 research projects across Canada with $14.5 million in awards through the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) 2020 Exploration competition. Managed as a tri-agency program by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the NFRF is under the direction of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee and is targeting interdisciplinary, high-risk, high-reward research. Projects receiving funding include using machine learning algorithms to help predict suicidal behaviour in young people and developing a film to cover urban buildings to mitigate flooding and provide cooling in extreme-weather events. – GoC

Protein Industries Canada (PIC) is co-investing in a project that uses Canadian crops to develop new plant-based foods and ingredients. PIC will contribute half of nearly $8 million to the project while partners Merit Functional Foods (Winnipeg), TWC Nutrition (Winnipeg), Daiya Foods (Burnaby) and Grand River Foods (Cambridge, ON) will contribute the remaining half. – PIC

The Government of Canada is investing more than $7 million through Women and Gender Equality Canada in projects to advance gender equality in Ontario communities. Projects will receive between $160,000 to $1.5 million to develop partnerships and strategies that promote equitable participation in the economy, advance women and underrepresented groups into leadership roles, foster self-esteem in girls and gender-diverse youth and improve financial literacy education. – GoC

The National Research Council is providing up to $3 million in R&D funding to support seven Canada-UK projects focused on sustainable agriculture and aquaculture practices. The funding for Canadian firms is being delivered through NRC's Industrial Research Assistance Program while project partners from the UK will receive up to a combined $3.5 million from UK Research and Innovation's Innovate UK. – Newswire

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is contributing $3 million to Mission Control Space Services (Ottawa) to spur technology innovation for lunar orbit as Canada prepares to land a lunar rover on the Moon in the next five years. The funding comes through CSA's Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program. – GoC

The Government of Ontario is contributing more than $500,000 to Northern Ontario mining companies to help develop innovative technology, purchase equipment and expand operations in North Bay. Funds are being delivered through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and recipients are as follows: Drillco Mining and Exploration ($243,280 to develop a clean-tech, deep surface drill prototype); MinCon Canada Drilling (nearly $200,000 to purchase equipment), and Wagg's Petroleum Equipment ($120,000 to expand its North Bay facility). – Ontario Government

The Canada Foundation for Innovation, in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Laboratories Canada and the National Research Council, is hosting an international conference for Canadian and European officials who are sharing challenges and trends in research infrastructures around the world. The conference runs until June 3. – ICRI

RELATED: Q&A: the European Commission’s Jean-Eric Paquet and CFI’s Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte on research infrastructure after COVID-19

York University has launched a new supply chain education centre as part of its school of business. The George Weston Ltd Centre for Sustainable Supply Chains has appointed David Johnston research chair and director of the new centre. – York U.

The Government of Canada and the Cement Association of Canada are partnering to provide guidance on how to reach net-zero concrete by 2050 and position Canada as a global leader in low-carbon cement and concrete production technologies. – GoC


Photonic quantum computing company Xanadu (Toronto) has raised USD $100 million in Series B financing to fund building of a fault tolerant quantum computer. Bessemer Venture Partners (San Francisco) led the round with participation from Capricorn (Belgium), Tiger Global (New York), BDC Capital (Ottawa), In-Q-Tel (Virginia) and returning investors Georgian (Toronto), OMERS (Toronto) and Tim Draper (California). The round brings Xanadu's total investment to date to USD $145 million. – Cision 


Dr. Mourad Debbabi has been appointed dean of Concordia University's school of engineering and computing science after having served as interim dean since May, 2020. Debbabi is a cybersecurity, cyberforensics and critical infrastructure protection expert. His five-year term began on June 1. – Concordia

Dr. Steve Lacroix has been selected by an international panel to receive the 2020 Turnbull-Tator Award in Spinal Cord Injury and Concussion Research for findings that represent a major advancement in spinal cord research. Lacroix is a professor in the department of molecular medicine at Université Laval and director of the Neurosciences Axis at the CHU de Québec–Université Laval Research Center. He receives a $50,000 grant to continue his research. - Brain Canada

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