Organizations:
adMare BioInnovations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Amgen Ventures, AmorChem, Canada Plastics Pact, Canadian Research Knowledge Network, Canadian Space Agency, Cereals Canada, ChargeLab, Chief Science Advisor’s Youth Council (CSA-YC), Circular Materials, Cleantech Commons, CoLab, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives, Concordia University's Centre for Applied Synthetic Biology, CPE Analytics, Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, Environment and Climate Change Canada, European Commission, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), Fieldless Farms, Fonds de solidarite FTQ, Forbion, Foundation Equity, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering, Genesys Capital, German Aerospace Center, Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, Harvard Medical School, Hôpital Montfort – Institut du Savoir, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Inversago Pharma, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JDRF T1D Fund, Kyoto University's Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises, McGill University, McMaster Innovation Park/Synapse Life Sciences Consortium, McMaster University Nuclear Operations and Facilities (NOF), Moderna, NASA, National Academy of Medicine (NAM), National Centre for Space Studies, National Research Council, National Research Council of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, NCSG Crane & Heavy Haul Services, New Enterprise Associates, NORCAT Underground Centre, Office of the Chief Science Advisor, Ontario Genomics, Rémillard Consulting Group, Rogers Communications, Service Alberta, St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation, The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, The Hospital for Sick Children, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, the Weizmann Institute of Science, Toronto Metropolitan University Science Discovery Zone, Università degli Studi di Padova, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Université de Montréal, Université du Quebec à Montreal, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, University of Saskatchewan, University of Toronto, University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, Uvaro, Velocity, Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Institute of Genomic Medicine, Vienna University of Technology, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Yaletown Partners

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The Short Report - October 26, 2022: NSERC prizes; Canada's role in NASA's climate science satellite mission; an EU-Canada quantum project, and more.

Cindy Graham
October 26, 2022

INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATIONS

The Government of Canada will contribute instruments to satellites as part of the NASA-led Atmosphere Observing System mission, which will measure aerosols and clouds and how they impact Earth's weather and climate. This initiative includes teams from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, France's National Centre for Space Studies, the Canadian Space Agency and the German Aerospace Center. Canada's contribution, the High-altitude, Aerosol, Water vapour, and Clouds (HAWC) satellite system, is valued at more than $200 million. It will enable climate scientists and weather forecasters to better understand and predict extreme weather events through fully accessible data. The HAWC mission is a collaboration between four co-lead institutions including the University of Toronto, the University of Saskatchewan, Université du Québec à Montréal, and McGill University, as well as the Canadian Space Agency, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Natural Resources Canada, the National Research Council, and Canadian aerospace companies with expertise in optics and satellite technology. GOCU of T

An international project co-funded by the European Commission (within the Horizon Europe program) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council will allow researchers to study the distribution of complex (high-dimensional) entangled photons via satellite for the first time. Roberto Morandotti of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) is the Canadian project lead, which will include researchers from the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo, while European partners include the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (Germany), the Università degli Studi di Pavia and the Università degli Studi di Padova (Italy), the Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (France), and the Vienna University of Technology (Austria). The project will be funded by both countries for $2 million over three years and is part of a larger funding initiative of three research and innovation projects from the EU and Canada to support fundamental research in quantum technologies. The three projects will share grants worth a total of about €4 million from the EU and nearly $5 million from NSERC. The announcement was made in early October. Newswire

Scientists in Canada and Japan are partnering on a project to design stem cells that have the potential to serve as universal donors for repairing or replacing damaged cells and tissues without the usual risk of rejection for regenerative medicine and cancer treatments. The National Research Council, Concordia University's Centre for Applied Synthetic Biology, and Kyoto University's Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) launched an alliance to accelerate research toward the use of iPS cells in therapeutic applications, with the goal of shortening the translational gap — the period of time and effort needed to move a scientific breakthrough into something practical that can be used with actual patients. NRC

Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo discussed the passage of the U.S. CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 (CHIPS Act) and its implications for the North American semiconductor industry last week. Raimondo underscored the U.S.’s commitment to Canada-U.S. supply chain security in the semiconductor industry, and said it was a key area for collaboration, which would include efforts to strengthen domestic research and development, commercialize emerging technologies and innovations, and bolster manufacturing capacity to support mutual goals for supply chain resilience and industry competitiveness. GOC

BIOSCIENCES AND HEALTH

Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering are partnering with Moderna to develop RNA (ribonucleic acid) therapeutics that could have the potential to treat many diseases including cancer, diabetes, and musculoskeletal diseases. Dr. Omar Khan, Canada Research Chair in Nucleic Acid Therapeutics, is leading U of T's research team on the project, which is the first academic partnership between Moderna and a Canadian university. U of T and Moderna announced a framework agreement to advance research in RNA science and technology earlier this year. U of T

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) is investing more than $5.6 million to support Ontario Genomics in delivering a seed funding program to help small and medium-sized genomics enterprises scale-up and move from research to commercialization. Through the BioCreate program, Ontario Genomics, in partnership with Velocity (Waterloo), McMaster Innovation Park/Synapse Life Sciences Consortium (Hamilton), Toronto Metropolitan University Science Discovery Zone (Toronto), and Cleantech Commons (Peterborough), will provide more than 30 successful applicants with access to lab space, business support tools, mentoring, and tech development guidance. Ontario Genomics

The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario along with Ontario provincial partners including St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation, The Hospital for Sick Children, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and Hôpital Montfort – Institut du Savoir are making a combined investment of more than $68 million over five years to support patient-oriented research in Ontario through the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) SUPPORT Unit, which connects research with patient needs. GOC

PARTICIPATION & ADVISORY OPPORTUNITIES

The Office of the Chief Science Advisor of Canada is seeking 15 candidates interested in science, technology, engineering and math and their societal dimensions for the second cohort of the Chief Science Advisor’s Youth Council (CSA-YC). The council was established to provide balanced views to the CSA from the perspective of youth, to alert the CSA and Office of the CSA to questions and issues related to groups that council members represent, to inform on key issues and challenges in Canada's science community, and to advise and participate in outreach activities. The deadline for applicants for the second cohort is November 4. CSA-YC

Evidence for Democracy will host an interactive webinar on Monday, October 31st at 12:30 pm ET to review key findings from their latest report, Eyes on Evidence. The report examines the transparency of evidence-informed usage in provincial policy-making processes and is E4D's latest in a series of reports on the transparency of policy-making processes in Canada. Register here for the webinar.

RELATED: Eyes on Evidence III: still almost nothing to see here

COLLABORATION AND INNOVATION

McGill University has launched an institute to study genomic medicine thanks to a landmark donation of $30 million from Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist Victor Dahdaleh. The Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Institute of Genomic Medicine will support advancements in genomics research and infrastructure, including the development of diagnostic tools, targeted treatments, and pharmaceuticals and preventative vaccines. The institute will also lead research on the ethical, policy, and legal implications of genomic medicine. McGill 

McMaster University's suite of nuclear facilities and operations are undergoing an organizational structure to prepare for a new chapter of nuclear research and innovation, precipitated by the growth in demand for McMaster’s nuclear portfolio and the pending retirement of Nuclear Operations and Facilities (NOF) director Chris Heysel, who led NOF for 20 years. The new structure will include three areas of focus for leadership, which will include director of reactor operations and maintenance; director of commercial products and services, and director of research and education support. Assistant vice-president of research Dave Tucker will oversee the new structure. McMaster

The Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises, part of the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University, has selected ten of Canada’s highest-potential growth-stage companies for the eighth cohort of Lazaridis ScaleUp. The companies selected for access to the program, which has raised more than $2 billion in funding in six years, include CoLab (St. John’s), Fieldless Farms (Cornwall), Uvaro (Kitchener), and ChargeLab (Toronto). Wilfred Laurier University

The Canada Plastics Pact, the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, and Circular Materials are working together to advance a circular plastics economy, including

de-risking and scaling up investments in infrastructure and innovation to accelerate

the transition to a low-carbon, circular economy for plastic packaging in Canada. The group will jointly focus on the recycling system for plastic packaging, including design for recyclability, sorting, and processing technologies, as well as mechanical and molecular or chemical recycling solutions. Canada Plastics Pact

Cereals Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada have launched the latest edition of the National Wheat Research Priorities to guide research in the Canadian wheat industry over the next five years. The next set of priorities will focus on wheat sustainability and innovation at the regional and national levels and includes six themes: improving wheat yield, crop environment interactions, cropping system sustainability, continuous improvement in food safety, customer quality, and wheat nutrition. Real Agriculture

Rogers Communications plans to establish a centre of excellence at the NORCAT Underground Centre in Sudbury through a five-year partnership to accelerate technology adoption in the global mining industry. The agreement calls for a dedicated wireless private network, which would deliver enhanced coverage and connection and enable clients to develop, test, and demonstrate scalable technologies including tele-remote and autonomous operations, industrial IoT, asset tracking, and drone mapping. Northern Ontario Business

VC FUNDING NEWS

Montreal-based biotech company Inversago Pharma has completed a Series C funding round of $95 million, led by New Enterprise Associates (Maryland). New investors Forbion’s Growth Opportunities Fund (Netherlands) and Amgen Ventures (San Francisco) joined current investors, including Forbion’s Ventures Fund IV, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Genesys Capital (Toronto), AmorChem (Westmount, Quebec), JDRF T1D Fund (Boston), and adMare BioInnovations (Montreal). Inversago plans to use the funding to move its program into a Phase 2 clinical trial in diabetic kidney disease in Q4 of this year. Inversago Pharma

THE GRAPEVINE

Carleton University biologist and conservationist Dr. Lenore Fahrig has been awarded the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, Canada’s most prestigious science prize, while geoenvironmental engineer Dr. Kerry Rowe is the inaugural recipient of the NSERC Donna Strickland Prize for Societal Impact of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research. The prizes are part of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council's annual awards recognizing natural sciences and engineering research excellence. Other awardees this year are Dr. Tomislav Friščić, recipient of the John C. Polanyi Award in recognition of his advancements in mechanochemistry, and The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment team based at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in British Columbia, who have been awarded this year's Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering. Newswire

Dr. Daniel Jutras has been appointed chair of the board of directors of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) for a three-year term, effective November 2. Jutras is currently rector of the Université de Montréal and was a professor and dean of the faculty of law at McGill. He will be leading CRKN through the final years of its current strategic plan. U de M

Nate Glubish, a former investment manager of Yaletown Partners (Vancouver), has been appointed minister of technology and innovation by new Alberta premier Danielle Smith. Glubish was previously minister of Service Alberta; prior to his political career he facilitated investment in Alberta technology companies, working as a partner with Foundation Equity (St. Albert, Alta.) and at the Edmonton head office of NCSG Crane & Heavy Haul Services, where he managed mergers & acquisitions. Betakit LinkedIn

Dr. Connie Eaves, a professor in University of British Columbia's department of medical genetics and the school of biomedical engineering, has been elected to the US National Academy of Medicine in recognition of her contributions to the field of stem cell research. Election to NAM is considered one of the highest honours in health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Eaves was among 100 new members of the Academy announced on October 17, 2022. UBC

University of Calgary professor Dr. Peter Stys is the first winner of the $1-million Hopewell M.I.N.D. Prize (Maximizing Innovation in Neuroscience Discovery) for his project exploring the non-immune role of B cells in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. The prize was created through a $10-million donation from Mr. Sanders Lee to the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and offers up to $1 million per year for the next 10 years to fund research projects in brain and mental health at the University of Calgary. Stys' project was selected by an international panel of experts, including representatives from Harvard Medical School, the Weizmann Institute of Science, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. UCalgary

As part of changes in senior ranks of the public service announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Annette Gibbons, Associate Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Development, will become Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, effective October 31, 2022. Other appointments include Lawrence Hanson, Associate Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, who becomes Associate Deputy Minister of Environment and Climate Change, effective November 14, 2022; Kevin Brosseau, Assistant Deputy Minister, Safety and Security, Transport Canada, becomes Associate Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, effective November 14, 2022, and Catherine Blewett becomes President of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency in addition to her current role as Deputy Minister of Economic Development, effective November 26, 2022. GOC

 

 

 

 


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