Acuitas Therapeutics, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Alberta @ Work, ALS Canada, ALS Canada Research Program, AltaML, Alvin and Mona Libin Foundation, ApplyBoard, Aquatic and Crop Resource Development Research Centre, Arctic Research Foundation, Ardra Inc., Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, BrainBox AI, Canadian Space Agency, CarbonCure, Caro Meats, Cell Ag Tech, Centre de recherche CERVO, Council of Canadian Academies (CCA), Dalhousie University, Department of Lab Medicine and Pathobiology, Digital Supercluster, Eastern Canada Oilseed Development Alliance, Evolved, federal government, Global Affairs Canada, Government of Alberta, Government of Canada, Government of Saskatchewan,, Haltech, Innovate BC, Innovate Niagara, Innovation Factory, Innovation Guelph, Institute for Science, Judd Street Associates-Crops Consulting Services, Libin Cardiovascular Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, McGill University, Microsoft, MyoPalate, National Centre for Audiology, National Research Council of Canada, National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Protein Industries Canada, Rideau Hall Foundation, Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association, Society and Policy, South East Research Farm, Spencer Horticultural Solutions, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, TANZ Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases, TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario, The Montreal Neurological Institute – Hospital, Université de Moncton, Université de Montréal (CR-CHUM), Université Laval, University of Calgary, University of Ottawa, University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan, University of Toronto, Western University, and WEtech Alliance



The Short Report - May 11, 2022: New AI centres for Alberta and New Brunswick, a CCA-appointed expert panel on international STI partnerships, winners of the GG Innovation Awards, and more.

Cindy Graham
May 10, 2022


Edmonton-based AltaML and the Government of Alberta have launched Alberta’s first artificial intelligence (AI) lab to create data-driven solutions for government problems. The Alberta government will invest $3.4 million annually into for the next 5 years, ending in 2027. Funding is allocated by Alberta @ Work, through the Alberta Technology and Innovation StrategyGovernment of Alberta

Meanwhile, the Government of Canada is contributing almost $2 million through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency to support artificial intelligence (AI) at the Université de Moncton. The funding supports the purchase of computer equipment and the creation of a professional master’s program in AI and data science and will help establish the Atlantic Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence and Data Management to facilitate internships and research projects. UdeMoncton

The Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) and Ontario Genomics have announced recipients of more than $900,000 in funding through Canada’s first regional cellular agriculture competition, AcCELLerate-ON, which supports R&D of advanced food production methods such as cell culture, precision fermentation, and tissue engineering. The four genomics and engineering biology projects chosen include Ardra Inc.(Toronto - developing fermentation-based production of the blood component heme to provide meat-like flavour in plant-based foods); Cell Ag Tech (Toronto - scaling up the manufacturing of fish muscle stem cells); Evolved (formerly Caro Meats - Kitchener, creating cultivated pork belly that is identical to conventional pork belly) and Dr. Michael Garton in collaboration with MyoPalate (Toronto - establishing foundational tools for cultivated pork production). Ontario Genomics

Protein Industries Canada has announced a $350,000 project to grow the plant-based foods ecosystem in Atlantic Canada. The project will see the Eastern Canada Oilseed Development Alliance (ECODA) work with Dalhousie University and the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) to explore and quantify the value of plant-protein food and ingredients in Atlantic Canada the Atlantic Region. PEI BioAlliance

The PEI subsidiary of Norway-based aquaculture investment company Amar Group has acquired Halibut PEI’s (HPEI) halibut facility and broodstock, according to an email newsletter from the PEI BioAlliance. Amar cites potential for synergizing with HPEI’s work on Spotted Atlantic Wolffish farming in Canada and Norway, and expanding and developing the Wolffish and Halibut species into commercially viable and environmentally sustainable aquaculture businesses.

Microsoft has launched a Data Innovation Centre of Excellence (DICE) at its new Canadian headquarters in Toronto. The centre will function as an innovation hub for tech start-ups, students, and community organizations, allowing experts to co-innovate with customers and partners on data, AI and mixed reality technology solutions. Microsoft

The National Research Council’s Aquatic and Crop Resource Development Research Centre is collaborating with the Arctic Research Foundation (ARF), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the Canadian Space Agency to develop methods for isolated or remote communities to produce their own fresh fruits and vegetables year-round. This community-driven initiative has hired and trained members of the Nunavut community of Gjoa Haven to grow Indigenous plant species in the controlled environment of pods powered by renewable wind and solar energy sources. GOC

The Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan are investing more than $484,000 in six projects through the Strategic Field Program (SFP), which offers funding for field-level demonstrations and research on best practices of agriculture producers, such as studying the effect of dugout aeration on greenhouse gas emissions and the use of virtual fencing on forested pasture. Successful projects in 2022 will be conducted by the University of ReginaUniversity of SaskatchewanSouth East Research FarmJudd Street Associates-Crops Consulting ServicesSpencer Horticultural Solutions, and the Saskatchewan Stock Growers AssociationGovernment of Saskatchewan

The Council of Canadian Academies (CCA), at the request of Global Affairs Canada, has formed an expert panel to assess best practices and determine approaches for evaluating and selecting international science, technology and innovation partnership opportunities. Monica Gattinger, director of the Institute for Science, Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa, will serve as chair. CCA

Meanwhile, the CCA has completed a report for the National Research Council examining the opportunities, challenges, and implications of deploying AI technologies to enable scientific and engineering research design and discovery in Canada. CCA


ALS Canada has awarded $830,000 in research fellowships and trainee awards for the 2021 grant cycle through the ALS Canada Research Program. Clinical research fellowships were awarded to Dr. Andrea Parks (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre - $130,000 for research to identify early psychological distress in ALS and guide appropriate management) while Dr. Vincent Picher-Martel (Massachusetts General Hospital) was awarded $200,000 for exploring if a new biomarker could be a target for future ALS therapies. Trainee awardees in the doctoral stream include Maria José Castellanos Montiel (The Montreal Neurological Institute – Hospital, McGill University, awarded $75,000); Amélie Poulin-Brière (Centre de recherche CERVO, Université Laval, awarded $75,000), and Belay Gebregergis (the TANZ Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Department of Lab Medicine and Pathobiology at University of Toronto, awarded $75,000). Postdoctoral stream awardees include Dr. Liziane Bouvier (Sunnybrook Research Institute, awarded $110,000) and Dr. Hana Fakim, Université de Montréal (CR-CHUM, awarded $165,000). ALS Canada

The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation - Canada (DRIFCAN) and the Alberta Diabetes Institute at the University of Alberta are launching a research partnership with the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF-Miami) that will see an expansion of lab and research capabilities to find a cure for diabetes. The partnership is being spearheaded by DRIF CEO Sean Kramer and Melanie Hibbard, executive director of DRIFCAN. Diabetes Research Institute

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research is contributing more than $2.5 million to launch the Canadian Mother-Child Collaborative Training Platform (CAMCCO-L), a skills development initiative for early career researchers working in the field of medications and pregnancy research. Led by Dr. Anick Berard (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine), it will provide training in the areas of pharmacogenomics, pharmacoepidemiology, toxicology, and artificial intelligence. CAMCCO-L is one of 13 interdisciplinary teams to receive CIHR funding through its Health Research Training PlatformUniversity of Manitoba

The University of Calgary’s Libin Cardiovascular Institute is the recipient of a $7.5- million donation from the Alvin and Mona Libin Foundation. The donation is the foundation’s latest investment in cardiovascular research, which totals more than $23 million since 2003 to improve cardiovascular health through operating funds, scholarships, awards, projects, research and equipment. U of Calgary


The Government of Canada is investing nearly $47 million to foster applied research partnerships between Canadian colleges, CEGEPs, polytechnics, and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The funding is provided through investments announced in Budget 2021 for the Applied Research and Technology Partnership grants, made available through the Tri-agency College and Community Innovation (CCI) program and managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research CouncilNSERC Full Competition Results

Innovation Guelph has secured $10 million from the federal government to partner with regional innovation centres (RICs) in southwestern Ontario that are bringing clean technology innovations to market through the inclusion, diversity, environment, acceleration (i.d.e.a) Fund. The five RICs helping disburse the funding are Haltech (Halton), Innovate Niagara (St. Catharines), Innovation Factory (Hamilton), TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario (London), and WEtech Alliance (Windsor). Participating businesses will be provided with up to $30,000 in seed funding to support commercialization efforts and growth, as well as up to 40 hours of advisory services. The inaugural cohort starts June 30 and concludes in February. Applications are open from May 10 to June 7. GOC

Innovate BC has opened applications for its Ignite program where British Columbia-based R&D projects in the areas of natural resources, applied science and engineering could receive up to $300,000 in funding. Applications are open until July 4. Innovate BC

The Digital Supercluster is investing in two new leadership training programs: Athena Digital Leaders (to increase technology adoption and foster diverse technology leadership in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science), and Asia Competence for Tech Professionals (a pilot program that will train technology professionals to help Canadian companies increase exports and collaborate at a global level on green innovation and sustainability.) Digital Supercluster


The Rideau Hall Foundation has announced winners of the 2022 Governor General’s Innovation Awards. Science and technology-related recipients include Dartmouth, NS-based CarbonCure, for its work in carbon dioxide removal technologies for the concrete industry (Robert NivenJennifer WagnerDr. George (Sean) MonkmanDr. Dean Forgeron, leads); Vancouver-based Acuitas Therapeutics (Dr. Pieter R. Cullis, Dr. Michael J. Hope, Dr. Thomas D. Madden, founders), for developing the lipid nanoparticles that enable COVID-19 mRNA vaccines; Kitchener-based ApplyBoard (Martin Basiri, Meti BasiriMassi Basiri, leads), for using artificial intelligence technology to improve global access to education; Montreal-based BrainBox AI (Jean-Simon Venne, lead), for their use of artificial intelligence technology to optimize HVAC systems in real-time; and the team of researchers at the National Centre for Audiology at Western University (Dr. Susan Scollie, lead), for developing the world’s first pediatric hearing aid prescription software. GG Innovation Awards

Peter Wilenius, formerly the vice president of business development at CANARIE, has been appointed vice president of cybersecurity programs and services. Meanwhile, former senior director of business development Tim Stupich has joined CANARIE’s executive team as vice-president of business development. The changes were announced to “reflect CANARIE’s focus on cybersecurity and the opportunities to leverage and strengthen national, regional, and local coordination through the recent integration of the Canadian Shared Security Operations Centre (CanSSOC) with CANARIE’s existing cybersecurity activities.” CANARIE  

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