The Short Report - May 19, 2021: Ottawa injects $200 million into domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity, CAN Health Network project extended, nuclear leaders prepare CANDU reactors for decommissioning, and more

Cindy Graham
May 19, 2021


The Government of Canada is investing nearly $200 million from the Strategic Innovation Fund in Resilience Biotechnologies (Mississauga) to support emergency preparedness for future pandemics and bolster manufacturing capacity for vaccines and therapeutics, including mRNA technology. The new Mississauga facility is expected to manufacture 112 million to 640 million doses of mRNA vaccines per year. – GoC

The Government of Canada has extended the CAN Health Network project in Ontario by one year with a $3.25-million investment in Trillium Health Partners through FedDev Ontario, building on the previous $3.5 million investment launch in Ontario in 2019. Meanwhile, the federal government is contributing more than $2.2-million to establish the Horizon Health Network through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency to support the expansion of the CAN Health Network to Atlantic Canada. – GoC

Related: CAN Health Network to offer integrated market for high-growth SMEs

Canadian Blood Services and Roche Diagnostics (Laval) are partnering on a seroprevalence study that compares the level of antibodies generated by COVID-19 vaccines with those generated by natural infection in Canadians. Canadian Blood Services has been testing blood donor samples for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 since last summer as part of a long-term project funded by the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force. – Roche


Regional Innovation Networks (RINs) in Alberta will have received a total of nearly $8 million in 2021/22 after a recent top-up contribution of more than $3.5 million from Alberta Innovates. Most of the funding will be divided among eight RINs to accelerate and scale up early-stage technology companies, but $500,000 of the new funding will go towards strengthening the Alberta Innovation Network and supporting Alberta-wide initiatives. – Alberta Innovates

Ryerson University's Diversity Institute and TECHNATION are expanding a project to upskill talent in digital competencies for women and under-represented groups, thanks to a $4.2 million re-investment from the Future Skills Centre in the Advanced Digital and Professional Training (ADaPT) skills development and work placement program. – TECHNATION Canada

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing more than $2.5 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help farmers improve water quality and soil health on farms in the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair watersheds. – Government of Ontario

The Canadian Space Agency is supporting the development of a Canadian-funded, Canadian-built space telescope for studying extrasolar planets. Prototype developer Jason Rowe, Canada Research Chair in Exoplanetary Astrophysics at Bishop’s University, and Stanimir Metchev, Canada Research Chair in Extrasolar Planets at Western University, are recipients of the more than $1 million in funding for the project. – Western University

Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) Centre for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and SNC-Lavalin (Montreal) have signed a collaboration agreement that will see the decommissioning of CANDU reactors around the world and identify future skills needs. OPG's Pickering Nuclear Generating Station will reach the end of commercial operations in 2025, subject to regulatory review. – OPG

South Korea's electric and autonomous vehicle cybersecurity provider AUTOCRYPT and the University of Windsor's SHIELD Automotive Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence are partnering to boost autonomous vehicle cybersecurity R&D in Canada. The partnership follows AUTOCRYPT’s recent expansion into North America with the opening of its first North American office in Toronto. – AUTOCRYPT

Meanwhile, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council has awarded University of Windsor engineering professor Narayan Kar more than $1 million to lead a three-year project to make better electric drive systems with auto parts supplier Magna International (Aurora, ON), power device company GaN Systems (Ottawa) and a researcher at Concordia University. The industry partners are adding more than $700,000 in in-kind contributions to the research for a total of nearly $2 million for the project. – UWindsor


Venture capital firm CTI Life Sciences Fund (Montreal) has raised $100 million in the first close of its third venture fund with limited partners Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Investissement Québec and Teralys Capital. BDC Capital’s fund investments team also contributed and invested in CTI’s second fund through the federal government’s Venture Capital Action Plan. CTI Life Sciences’s third fund will largely target biotherapeutics companies. – Betakit


Dr. Jason Cleaversmith has been appointed executive director of Incubation and Infrastructure at the PEI BioAlliance. He is responsible for the Emergence Bioscience Business Incubator and various BioAlliance facilities and equipment initiatives. His appointment is effective June 21st. – PEI BioAlliance

Nicole Kaniki is joining the University of Toronto as its first director of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in research and innovation. Kaniki was responsible for the management of tri-agency granting programs, including the Canada Research Chairs program in Western University's research division. She was also the equity, diversity and inclusion specialist at BrainsCAN, a $66-million cognitive and behavioural science research initiative. – U of T

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.