The Short Report, October 30, 2019: Bad loans, rocket propulsion, population growth

Mark Mann
October 30, 2019

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is contending with defaulted loans worth $43.2 million dollars, comprising more than 10% of the federal agency's $422.9-million portfolio. By comparison, only 3.3 per cent of the loans given out by the Business Development Bank of Canada were impaired as of March 31. - Financial Post

University of Toronto’s seed-stage accelerator Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is opening its second European location in Paris. Following the launch of CDL-Oxford at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School in March of 2019, the new CDL-Paris is being opened in collaboration with the HEC Paris business school. CDL-Paris will accept 25 startups into its first cohort, with applications set to open in April 2020. CDL’s not-for-profit program has so far been credited with creating over $4.34-billion in equity value. - University of Toronto

Ford Motor Co. unveiled more details of its expansion in Ottawa. In October 2017, the company signed an agreement to transfer as many as 400 former Blackberry workers to Ottawa to support Ford's R&D efforts, especially in the areas of telecommunications and software. Since the automaker opened its "connectivity and innovation centre" in Ottawa — one of three, including Waterloo and Oakville — in March 2018, the number of employees has grown from 150 to 300. Ford now occupies 40,000 square feet of space at 700 Palladium Dr., and has secured 20,000 square feet across the street for further expansion, as well as signed a deal for 62,000 square feet in a nearby building now under construction. These expansions would enable the company to double its Ottawa workforce. - Ottawa Citizen

After initially having their funding frozen over a conflict with Ryerson University’s Engineering School Administration, the Ryerson Propulsion Group has now obtained funding from the university and permission to build their own rocket engine. The conflict arose over whether the group would be allowed to design and build their own liquid nitrous oxide/liquid ethanol rocket engine, rather than buy one off-the-shelf. - SpaceQ

Quebec's ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation (MEI) has launched a call for major science and tech partnership projects between Quebec and Chinese companies, focusing on the environmental, health and ICT sectors. Supported projects will "establish lasting and fruitful partnerships between Chinese and Quebec companies.' - Économie et Innovation Québec

The Century Initiative think thank released a report arguing that Canada should grow its population to 100 million by 2100, in part by making it easier for international students to stay in Canada. While hundreds of thousands of students come to study in Canada every year, the study finds, only a third are able to remain. The Century Initiative is led by prominent executives like BlackRock Inc.’s Mark Wiseman, Canada’s ambassador to China Dominic Barton and Business Council of Canada president Goldy Hyder. The group believes that a larger population translates to greater economic growth and more contributions into social programs like health care and education.- The Star, BNN Bloomberg

Scotiabank is preparing a big push into the tech financing markets in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, in order to compete with other large financial institutions like Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and CIBC for market share in “the early and growth-stage technology and innovation segment." - The Logic


U.S. Consul General Greg Stanford launched the U.S.-Canada Innovation Partnership to promote a stronger bilateral relationship through collaboration on innovation, technology, research, science, and related issues. Canadian partners include the CEOs of MaRS Discovery District and the Digital Media Zone (DMZ); executives from Cisco, Google Canada, OMERS, and Accenture; presidents and vice presidents from the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, University of Waterloo, McMaster University, and York University; experts from the Cross-Border Institute at the University of Windsor; representatives of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and Torys, LLP; and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Vector Institute, Evergreen, The Knowledge Society and the Centre for Social Innovation. - U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada

Non-white entrepreneurs and social economy leaders are being left out of the development of the federal government's new $755-million social innovation and social finance fund, says researcher Caroline Shenaz Hossein. Additionally, Ryerson professor Wendy Cukier and McGill University assistant professor Suzanne Gagnon have written that racialized people are not being included in leadership roles in this innovation space. - The Conversation

In her annual report to Governing Council, University of Toronto ombudsman Ellen Hodnett declared her support for the university’s mandated leave of absence policy, which is used in exceptional circumstances to help students who display concerning behaviour indicative of extreme mental health challenges or serious health issues. The policy offers an alternative to disciplinary measures like expulsion. “The mandated leave policy is both evidence-based and fair,” Hodnett said. - University of Toronto


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