The Short Report – May 1, 2019: Licensing income, new Teachers fund, federal investments

Debbie Lawes
May 1, 2019

Details are beginning to emerge on cuts to R&D in the April 11 Ontario budget: $1 million for the Mowat Centre (closing), the Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity (closing) and the province’s Health System Research Fund (clawed back). R$ will investigate these and other cuts further. – Mowat Centre

Canada and Japan have signed two agreements to strengthen investment and research ties. One between Invest in Canada and the Japan External Trade Organization will make it easier for Canadian and Japanese companies to partner, and another between the National Research Council of Canada and the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International of Japan will support R&D in fields like robotics and telecommunications. - PMO

The Canada-Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation has approved $4.28 million in new funding for seven industry-led projects in life sciences, artificial intelligence, clean tech, cybersecurity, and information and communications technologies. - CIIRDF

Environment and Climate Change Canada is joining international partners in funding new research by the World Economic Forum that, in its first phase, will examine the economic value of nature associated with biodiversity, the climate, and society, and “high-ambition solutions” based on evidence. GoC 

Canada’s academic institutions generated just $75 million from licensing income in 2017, with the University of Saskatchewan leading the pack ($18.5 million), while the number of inventor disclosures hit 1,882 – an 11% increase over 2016, reversing a three-year downward trend (AUTM).

Canada’s largest private funder of vision research, Fighting Blindness Canada, is calling for a national vision health strategy – including increased research funding for clinical trials – to avert an emerging vision health care crisis that could see the number of people living with blindness double by 2031. - Newswire

Innovation, Science and Economic Development has launched a series of initiatives to foster a more inclusive intellectual property system for Indigenous knowledge and cultural expressions, including an IP grants program and a new Indigenous Peoples and IP webpage. - GoC

The federal government is one of several partners investing in the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Canadian Data platform, a seven-year, $81.35-million initiative that provides a single portal through which researchers will be able to request access to a multitude of administrative, clinical, and social data from various sources across the country. - CIHR

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) has launched the Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP), which will focus on late-stage venture capital and growth equity investments in companies that use technology (e.g., computing, materials science, robotics and medicine) to disrupt incumbents and create new sectors. - OTPP

BMO has launched a Technology & Innovation Banking Group to provide advice and funding to help scale high-growth companies, from startup to post exit or IPO. - BMO

Vancouver-based medical diagnostics company LightIntegra Technology Inc. has raised about $7.1 million in a Series A financing, led by Genome BC and Boardwalk Ventures Inc., to commercialize a first-of-its kind test to quickly analyze blood quality for transfusions. - BusinessWire

The Saskatchewan Research Council and Saskatoon-based research company Kanata Earth Genetics Inc. have partnered to provide analytical testing and genomic services to licensed cannabis producers across Canada. - Newswire

Recent federal funding announcements: $1.9 million for the World Trade Centre Montréal to expand its Trade Accelerator Program to communities across Quebec (GoC); $15.3 million for 15 projects through the Substance Use and Addictions Program, the Harm Reduction Fund and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (GoC); over $1.6 million to the University of Lethbridge to enhance its Terrestrial Eco-system Remote Sensing program and to help the local Piikani First Nation meld traditional teaching with new technological innovations in community-based environmental monitoring (GoC); $11.2 million to the Bioproducts Cluster, led by Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, to develop new applications for farm crops and residues (GoC); $2 million for the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s new Centre for Grid Innovation to help companies develop and test innovative power generation technologies (NAIT); $6.7 million to Eavor Technologies Inc., Calgary, to develop a demonstration facility for a closed-loop geothermal system (Newswire); and nearly $3.5 million for two projects at the University of Winnipeg – machine learning for digital agriculture, and a precision agriculture platform (UWinnipeg).


Dr. Douglas Muzyka, the former president for DuPont’s operations in Canada, Mexico and China, replaces Tom Jenkins as the new chair of the National Research Council’s governing council. - GoC

The National Angel Capital Organization has appointed Claudio Rojas, formerly managing direct at Hurt Capital Inc., as its CEO. Rojas replaces Yuri Navarro who moves over to Montreal-based Panache Ventures, a venture capital firm specializing in seed stage startup investments. - NACO

Olivia Steedman has been tagged to lead the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan new investment vehicle, the Teachers’ Innovation Platform. Steedman was previously the senior leader of OTPP’s infrastructure and natural resources group. - OTPP

Andre Salvi, who recently led strategy partnerships with fintech companies for BMO, will head the bank’s new Technology & Innovation Banking Group.  The group also includes managing directors Devon Dayton and Deirdre Bergin. - BMO

Lionel Pellizzari is the new senior director, development and innovation, at Développement international Desjardins in Quebec City where he will coordinate activities related to digital and technological solutions. - DID

The Quebec government has appointed former PricewaterhouseCoopers executive Guy LeBlanc as president and CEO of Investissement Québec and a member of the agency’s board of directors. He replaced Pierre Gabriel Côté effective April 23. - Investissement Québec

The Manitoba government has appointing seven new members to the board of Research Manitoba: Tracey Maconachie (chair), Dr. Rashid Ahmed, Doreen Bilodeau, Dr. Hani El-Gabalawy, Luis Escobar, Earl Gardiner and Andrea Legary. Dr. Digvir Jayas and Christopher Johnson were reappointed to the board. (Gov-MB)

The federal government has appointed several researchers, as well as physicians and patient advocates, to the new Scientific Advisory Committee on Health Products for Women. The researchers include: Dr. Lorraine Greaves (chair) (UBC), Dr. Cara Tannenbaum (UdeM), Dr. Ashley Waddington (Queen’s), Dr. David Urbach (U of T), Dr. Sherif Eltonsy (U of M), Dr. Sharon Batt (Dalhousie) and Dr. Louise Pilote (McGill). - GoC

Dr. Kim McGrail, professor at the UBC School of Population and Public Health, will lead the new Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research Canadian Data platform which will make it easier for researchers to access and analyze health research data.

After almost three years as ArcticNet executive director, Leah Braithwaite has returned to Environment and Climate Change Canada to resume her federal public service career. Dr. Mickael Lemay will take on her duties as acting manager of the network.

York University deputy provost Dr. Rui Wang takes over as interim VP of research and innovation at the institution effective May 1, replacing Robert Haché who will become Laurentian University’s next president and vice-chancellor. - YorkU

Dr. Marcelin Joanis, an expert in public economics and professor at Polytechnique Montréal, has been appointed VP for research at the Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis of Organizations in Montreal. - CIRANO

Queen’s University researcher Dr. James Reynolds becomes chief science officer at Kids Brain Health, after serving as acting CSO for the past year. One of his first priorities will be crafting a successful Cycle III proposal to the Networks of Centres of Excellence program. - Kids Brain Health

Health Sciences North and the Health Sciences North Research Institute in Sudbury ON have appointed Dr. Greg Ross as VP, academic and research impact, effective May 1. – Health Sciences North

The University of Toronto has selected Dr. Christopher Yip for a five-year term as dean of Applied Science & Engineering effective July 1. Yip currently serves as U of T’s associate VP, international partnerships. – U of T

Dr. George Belliveau, who specializes in research-based theatre and performed research, takes over July 1 as department head, Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia. - UBC

Other News

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