The Short Report - May 5, 2021: Federal government invests in vaccine uptake, Carleton U embarks on aging project, $5 million for new ocean supercluster projects, and more

Cindy Graham
May 5, 2021


The Government of Canada is investing $2.25 million to support vaccination uptake among Canadians. The Canadian Association of Science Centres will receive nearly $1.75 million for ScienceUpFirst, its national initiative addressing vaccine misinformation, and the University of Toronto’s CARD project will receive nearly $500,000 to design and implement pain mitigation strategies to reduce fear of needles. – GoC

Carleton University and the Bruyère Research Institute are partnering with AGE-WELL Network Centres of Excellence and Best Buy Health to conduct research on sensor-based smart technologies that allow seniors to age independently in their homes. The project is part of the Sensors and Analytics for Monitoring Mobility and Memory (SAM3) National Innovation Hub, a collaboration between the Bruyère Research Institute and Carleton University in partnership with AGE-WELL. – Carleton U


Optical fiber maker Coractive (Quebec City) and partners including the Quebec Government and Investissement Québec, Desjardins Entreprises–Québec-Portneuf and Quebec City are contributing more than $34 million towards a new fibre optic production facility that will serve as company headquarters and see shared R&D capacity with various education institutions. Construction is expected to begin this summer and to be completed in late 2022. – Coractive

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is awarding more than $5 million to projects in the ocean industry, including $2.6 million towards the Sustainable Protein for Aquaculture project (creating sustainable low-cost protein for aquaculture); $320,000 towards the Unmanned Twinning Project (digital twinning of underwater infrastructures); $1.1 million towards the Split PM Hybrid Propulsion Motor Project (development of a financially viable hybrid diesel electric system for vessels) and nearly $1.2 million towards the Mobile and Mixed Reality Virtual Technician and Maintenance Software project (developing an integrated service hub for data in ocean industries). – Ocean Supercluster

The University of Alberta has received $2 million in research funding from the Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (Saskatoon) to develop earlier-maturing, more disease-resistant wheat for Western Canadian growers. The funding agreement takes place over the next five years. – CWRC

The Government of Ontario is introducing its first digital and data strategy after two years of consultations with individuals and businesses. The strategy will establish a provincial data authority responsible for building an infrastructure that works with research organizations and municipalities to leverage secure and reliable data sources. – Ontario Government

The Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (Toronto) and biotechnology innovator Amgen Canada (Mississauga) are partnering on a multi-year fund to identify, develop and commercialize technologies and therapies in regenerative medicine. – Amgen

3D robotics supply chain company Attabotics (Calgary) is partnering with artificial intelligence (AI) company AltaML (Edmonton) and AI research application company Alberta Intelligence Machine Institute (Edmonton) to integrate AI technology into Attabotics’ supply chain infrastructure and optimize efficiency. – AltaML

The MaRS Discovery District (Toronto) and the Royal Bank of Canada are launching an accelerator program to support Canadian women with clean technology ideas in the transition from concept to market. – MaRS


New angel investment network Archangel Network of Funds (Toronto-Waterloo) debuted with an oversubscribed first closing of $10 million. Archangel is investing in early-stage, high growth Canadian technology companies across a wide range of sectors. Its general partners are Benton Leong, Randall Howard, Jacky Chen, Ellen Fang, David Rich, Ehsan Mirdamadi and Peyvend Melati joined by Amber French, Todd Bissett, Danielle Graham and Aislinn Shoveller. – Archangel Network

AVAC Group (Calgary) has launched a $15-million venture capital fund, Carrot Ventures, to address systemic challenges faced by agricultural technology (AgTech) start-ups. Carrot will offer holders of AgTech intellectual property (IP) an option to commercialize their IP and will offer syndicating AgTech investors a stream of start-ups in which to invest. – Cision


A Research Canada expert advisory panel report looking at the role of Canada’s health and biosciences industry within the research and innovation ecosystem is calling for strengthened cross-sector partnerships in light of the changing biomedical landscape. – Research Canada

The RAND Corporation's Space Enterprise Initiative (Santa Monica, CA) has published a report discussing responsible space behaviour, key problems and potential solutions to guide space activities in the new era. – RAND


The Rideau Hall Foundation has announced recipients of its sixth annual Governor General’s Innovation Awards recognizing individuals, teams and organizations for excellence in innovation. The award winners are Dr. Sheila Wang (nominated by Mitacs for leadership in creating an artificial intelligence-driven technology for monitoring wound care patients remotely); Arctic Corridors and Northern Voices, a team led by Dr. Jackie Dawson, Dr. Natalie Carter, Ms. Natasha Simonee and Ms. Shirley Tagalik (nominated by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for integration of traditional Inuit knowledge and western science); Dr. Xiaoyi Bao (nominated by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for developing optical fiber-based technology that detects dynamic stress and high and low frequency vibrations indicative of crack formations); Dr. James Robar (nominated by The Discovery Centre for integrating 3D printing into the treatment of skin, breast, head/neck and gynecological cancers); the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (ITC) Project led by Dr. Geoffrey T. Fong, Dr. David Hammond and Dr. Mary E. Thompson (nominated by Canadian Institutes of Health Research for research supporting and defending effective tobacco control policies) and Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey-Canadian Leaders in Indigenous Education led by Chief Leroy Denny and Ms. Blaire Gould (nominated by the Forge Institute for the creation of an education authority comprised of a community-based, Mi’kmaq led collective.) – Rideau Hall Foundation

Dr. Annemieke Farenhorst has been appointed associate vice-president, research at the University of Manitoba effective July 1 for a five-year term. Farenhorst is currently associate dean, research and a professor of soil science in the university’s faculty of agriculture and food sciences. She holds active grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. – UManitoba

Ranil Sonnadara is the new president, chief executive officer and chief research officer of Compute Ontario. Sonnadara is a behavioural neuroscientist at McMaster University and the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. He has been Compute Ontario’s vice-chair of the board of directors since 2015 and has served as interim president and CEO since October. – Compute Ontario

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