The Short Report - May 22, 2019: Discovery Grants, IP Expert Panel, Cannabis and UFC

Debbie Lawes
May 22, 2019

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council has awarded an unprecedented $588 million in grants to more than 4,850 researchers, exceeding the record $558 million awarded last October to nearly 4,300 recipients. (R$, October 31, 2018) Today’s announcement includes: $426 million in Discovery Grants for more than 2,295 researchers; $6.2 million in Discovery Launch Supplements for 499 early-career researchers; and, $83 million in Scholarship and Fellowships to support nearly 1,700 graduate students and fellows. The funding stems from the historic $4 billion for research committed in Budget 2018. - NSERC

The Ontario government is launching an expert panel and online consultation on intellectual property with the goal of maximizing commercial opportunities for academia in its work with incubators, accelerators and regional innovation centres. The panel’s report, due in December, will also include an action plan for a provincial IP framework. The panel members are: Jim Balsillie, co-founder of the Council of Canadian Innovators; Dr. Shiri Breznitz, associate professor, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto; Myra Tawfik, EPICentre professor of Intellectual Property Commercialization and Strategy, University of Windsor; Dr. Dan Herman, VP of Strategy and Partnerships, Myant Inc.; and Natalie Raffoul, managing partner, Brion Raffoul Intellectual Property Law. – Ontario Government

After more than 18 years, the Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity ceased operations May 16 following a decision by the Ontario government to cut all its funding, which amounted to just under $1 million annually. Prior to closing, the institute published a final Prosperity scorecard for Ontario, rating the province on 10 indicators. Their website will remain archived until 2021. The recent Ontario budget also cut funding to the Mowat Centre. - IC&P

Innovation minister Navdeep Bains today launched Canada’s new Digital Charter, as well as an action plan for implementing the Charter’s 10 principles: universal access; safety and security; control and consent; transparency, portability and interoperability; open and modern digital government; a level playing field; data and digital for good; strong democracy; free from hate and violent extremism; and, strong enforcement and real accountability. - GoC

Invest Ottawa has launched the $11-million Ottawa L5 Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) Test Facilities, which will allow innovators and companies to tackle issues such as CAV operations in inclement weather, safety and security, interoperability, data collection and analytics, and connectivity. – Invest Ottawa

The University of Toronto’s Medicine by Design is awarding $1.2 million to nine research teams to advance regenerative medicine research and translation, using tools such as synthetic biology and mathematical modeling. – U of T

Aurora Cannabis Inc., Edmonton, has inked an exclusive, multi-year, multi-million collaboration with mixed martial arts organization UFC to advance clinical research on the relationship between hemp derived Cannabidiol (CBD) products and athlete wellness and recovery. The research will be conducted at the UFC’s Performance Institute in Las Vegas and led by Dr. Jason Dyck, a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Medicine at the University of Alberta. - Newswire

University of Calgary spin off Parvus Therapeutics has signed a licence agreement with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, to further develop and commercialize a precision nanomedicine treatment for autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmune liver diseases. - Parvus

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions has made several recent investments: $500,000 to Reflex Photonics to acquire specialized equipment for making of electronic optics and photonic products; $2.6 million (includes Quebec funding) to Carrefour Québec International to help Quebec companies grow markets outside the province; $500,000 to Laboratoire M2, Sherbrooke to tap new markets for its non-toxic and biodegradable disinfectant product for cows and cattle; $500,000 to electronics firm Gentec Inc. to complete an expansion and modernize its operations; and, $100,000 to Laval Smart Mobility Incubator and Accelerator (CIAMIL) to acquire cloud computing infrastructure. - GoC

The Mining Association of Canada is receiving $325,000 from Natural Resources Canada’s Climate Change Adaptation Program towards a $650,000 project to develop best practices and guidance for the mining sector on climate change risks and adaptation measures. - GoC

A Vancouver-based precision oncology company, Cancer Treatment Options and Management Inc., is launching a new bioltech company, Liquid Biopsy Labs that uses a simple blood test to check for cancer cells in the body. Its patent-pending technology claims to produce tests that are 99% accurate, and show signs of cancers months, even years, before a tumor would be visible with traditional imaging tools. - Newswire

The Hawaii Department of Transportation is demonstrating the effectiveness of carbon-injected concrete using a process developed by Halifax-based CarbonCure Technologies Inc. Carbon dioxide captured by Hawaii Gas and distributed by Matheson Gas is mixed into the concrete using CarbonCure Technology where it is converted to a mineral and permanently embedded within the concrete. - CarbonCure

The Grapevine

Dr. Jane Rylett, a neuroscientist and expert in Alzheimer research, will take over as scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Aging effective August 1. Rylett is currently associate dean in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University, and a scientist in the Molecular Medicine Research Laboratories at Robarts Research Institute. - GoC

University of Canberra president Dr. Deep Saini has been appointed president of Dalhousie University, effective January 1, 2020. Saini earned his PhD in plant physiology from the University of Adelaide in Australia and has worked at four different U15 universities in Canada, including VP at the University of Toronto. - Dalhousie

Dr. Nicolas Bélanger, a professor in TÉLUQ University’s Department of Science and Technology, will become the scientific director of the Réseau Reboisement Ligniculture Québec (2RLQ), a new research network focused on intensive forest production. The network will have an annual budget of $110,000, with funding from the Quebec government and partners. - UQuebec

Other News

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