Organizations:
ABB Group, adMare BioInnovations, Alberta Innovates Ecosystem Development Partnerships Program, Aspire Food Group, Avidbots, BDC Capital, Biodiversity Genomics Europe, BMO Capital Partners, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Mother-Child Collaborative Training Platform (CAMCCO-L), Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CANOR), Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), Canadian Science Policy Centre, Chief Science Advisor of Canada, CHU Sainte-Justine, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Durham College, Environment and Climate Change, Evidence for Democracy, Genome Canada, GGV Capital, Giatec Scientific, Golden Ventures, Golden Vision Capital, Government of Ontario, Government of Yukon, Horizon Europe, Innovation, Jeneration Capital, Kensington Capital Partners, Lotte Confectionary, Mount Royal University, Next 47, Nicola Wealth, Office of the Auditor General, PrairiesCan Regional Innovation Ecosystem program, Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Schulich School of Engineering, Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society, Science and Economic Development Canada, Sinai Health System, SOSV, TD Ready Commitment, TechYukon, the Cathy and Bruce Williams Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fund, True Ventures, Université de Montréal, University of Calgary, University of Guelph, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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The Short Report - October 5, 2022: Accelerating Ontario's R&I development, a network for perinatal research on medications, U of T's AI roundtable with South Korea, and more.

Cindy Graham
October 5, 2022

GOVERNMENT FUNDING

The Government of Ontario is investing more than $198 million in 241 research projects at colleges, universities and research hospitals through the Ontario Research Fund and the Early Researcher Awards programs. The funding will help cover the cost of research operations and build research teams for recipients, which include Sinai Health System (Toronto; nearly $6 million to identify and characterize rare cells that contribute to cancer and neurodegenerative disorders and to develop drug leads for treatment); Durham College (nearly $800,000 to create a resource for small- and medium-sized enterprises to evaluate, develop and deploy cybersecurity systems), and the University of Waterloo (more than $700,000 to improve the conversion of food waste into biodegradable bioplastic materials using genomic solutions). Government of Ontario

Minister for International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan) Harjit S. Sajjan has announced more than $11 million in funding through PacifiCan for the University of British Columbia to undertake two complementary projects to enhance the delivery and efficacy of mRNA vaccines. The first is receiving $3.5 million in PacifiCan support to optimize how mRNA vaccines are administered on a cellular level, and to improve their uptake in the body. The second project will receive $7.6 million in PacifiCan support to help identify and address new COVID-19 variants before they can spread. GOC

The Canadian Digital Adoption Program, which helps local enterprises boost their digital presence or establish an e-commerce platform, is now open for application for Yukon businesses. Successful recipients receive a micro-grant of up to $5,000, along with advisory support, thanks to a $182,000 investment delivered through the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CANOR). The program is being administered by TechYukon through support from the Government of Yukon, CanNor, and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. TechYukon

COLLABORATION & INNOVATION

University of Guelph-developed technology will be used by Biodiversity Genomics Europe (BGE) — a new research alliance launched with $28 million in funding from Horizon Europe, the EU’s €100-billion research program — on a European "megaproject" to combat the biodiversity crisis. BGE will use UGuelph's DNA barcoding technology and other approaches to evaluate phenomena such as pollinator declines and changes in ecosystem structure. UGuelph BGE

RELATED: Canada and EU deepen research partnerships as Horizon Europe talks enter new phase

London, Ontario-based Aspire Food Group and South Korean snack food manufacturer Lotte Confectionary have signed a memorandum of understanding to formalize cooperation in the distribution of crickets as food, R&D activities, and to have LOTTE act as exclusive distributor of Aspire- and LOTTE-created food products in key Asian and European markets. Ottawa announced an investment of up to $8.5 million through the AgriInnovate Program, to support Aspire in creating the ideal growing conditions for crickets at its London, Ontario facility last June. Cision

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research has launched the Canadian Mother-Child Collaborative Training Platform (CAMCCO-L), Canada's first interdisciplinary training network in perinatal research on medications.  Dr. Anick Bérard from CHU Sainte-Justine and Université de Montréal will pilot the program, which focuses on the impact of medications taken during pregnancy. The training platform will offer specialized online courses and professional research training workshops, including seminars on patient-oriented research, discussion forums, a summer school on drug development, and Canadian and international professional internship opportunities with CAMCCO-L mentors. McGill University Health Centre

Swiss-based digital technology company ABB Group is investing $18 million to expand its presence in Canada following its $16-million investment at its Pointe-Claire facility last year. The investments are part of ABB's five-year strategy to enhance and expand efficiency and sustainability across operations. Automated equipment, robotics technology, an advanced design lab, and more than 32,500 square feet of building improvements are expected to boost total production capacity by more than 30 percent. ABB

Energy resource modelling accelerator Energi Simulation (Calgary) is investing $1 million over the next five years to establish a geothermal energy centre and a new research chair position, which will be held by Dr. Roman Shor, associate professor at University of Calgary's Schulich School of Engineering. The Energi Simulation Centre for Geothermal Systems Research is expected to train at least two research associates, four postdoctoral fellows, 16 PhD students, and 10 MSc students on an annual basis for the next five years, and expects to raise more than $5,000,000 in matching funds from industry and government, establishing it as Canada’s premier research centre for geothermal systems. Energi Simulation UCalgary

RELATED: Canada urged to "go deep" on geothermal energy

Genome Canada and adMare BioInnovations (Montreal) have signed a memorandum of understanding to identify viable academic research projects that can be developed into sustainable enterprises in healthcare and support building a robust healthcare diagnostics and therapeutics innovation pipeline. The partnership's initial focus will be on connecting researchers supported by Genome Canada’s Genomics Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) with adMare’s industrial drug development resources and financial support systems. AdMare

STRATEGIES & REPORTS

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault has released a methane strategy outlining the government's plans for strengthening the clean technology sector, improving methane detection, measurement, and reporting, and how it will meet its Paris Agreement targets and Global Methane Pledge. GOC

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) has launched a corporate strategy known as Vision 2030. The strategy identifies CNL's view as having a central role in the Canadian nuclear landscape by serving as a national resource to all levels of government, the nuclear industry, the broader private sector, and the academic community. The strategy organizes CNL’s activities into three priorities: restoring and protecting the environment, advancing clean energy, and contributing to the health of Canadians. CNL

Privacy Commissioner of Canada Philippe Dufresne's annual report to Parliament highlights privacy challenges raised by digital technologies and notes the importance of building privacy into new products or initiatives. Dufresne welcomes Bill C-27, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, as an important step towards modernizing federal privacy laws and lays out his vision for recognizing privacy as a fundamental right, in support of the public interest, and as an accelerator of trust in institutions. Office of Privacy Commissioner

The Office of the Auditor General's Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development has tabled its findings on the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC)'s management of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste to Parliament. The audit finds that CNSC “did a good job of managing the low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste that makes up 99.5% of Canada’s radioactive waste output" and that CNSC's management aligns with key international standards to protect the environment and the safety of current and future generations. GOC

VC FUNDING

Kitchener-based automated machine manufacturer Avidbots has raised nearly $97 million in Series C funding. The financing was led by Jeneration Capital (Hong Kong), with strong participation from existing investors True Ventures (Palo Alto), Next 47(Palo Alto), SOSV (Princeton, NJ), GGV Capital (Menlo Park), BDC Capital, Golden Ventures (Toronto), and Kensington Capital Partners (Toronto). New investors—BMO Capital Partners, Golden Vision Capital (New York) and Nicola Wealth (Vancouver)—also joined in the latest funding round. Avidbots has raised nearly $146 million to date and secured additional space to support R&D at its new headquarters in Kitchener. Avibots

Ottawa-based cleantech company Giatec Scientific has raised $5 million in investment from BDC Capital's Cleantech Practice fund, which will advance Giatec’s goal of lowering CO2 emissions resulting from concrete production by 400 million tons annuallyGiatec

THE GRAPEVINE

Dr. Flordeliz (Gigi) Osler and Ian Shugart have been appointed to Canada's Senate by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Osler, a Winnipeg-based surgeon and assistant professor at the University of Manitoba, was the first woman surgeon and the first racialized woman elected president of the Canadian Medical Association. Shugart has served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Minister of Environment and Climate Change. He was the 24th Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, where he led the federal public service’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He currently teaches at the Munk School in the Master of Global Affairs and Master of Public Policy programs. GOC

Dr. Vanessa Sung has been appointed interim executive director of Evidence for Democracy, covering for executive director Rachael Maxwell, who is on maternity leave until October 2023. Sung most recently worked in the office of the Chief Science Advisor of Canada, where she served on the Expert Panel on COVID-19, the inaugural Chief Science Advisor’s Youth Council, and the Science Meets Parliament program in partnership with the Canadian Science Policy Centre. ED

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol visited the University of Toronto campus for a roundtable discussion on the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential applications, and to explore opportunities for collaboration between U of T and South Korean partners. The talk was moderated by Leah Cowen, vice-president, research and innovation and strategic initiatives, and included contributions from university professor emeritus and AI deep learning pioneer Dr. Geoffrey Hinton; Garth Gibson, president and CEO of the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence; Elissa Strome, executive director of Pan-Canadian AI Strategy at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research; and Dr. Lisa Austin, chair in law and technology at U of T’s Faculty of Law and associate director at the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society. U of T

Dr. Nicole Weckman has been appointed the Paul Cadario Chair in Global Engineering at the University of Toronto, effective January, 2023. The chair, the first of its kind in Canada, was made possible by a $1.5-million donation from adjunct civil engineering professor and Distinguished Fellow in Global Innovation Paul Cadario. Weckman is co-founder of Cambridge, UK-based medical technology start-up 52 North Health. U of T

Peter Fenwick has been appointed Mount Royal University's inaugural director of scale-up and growth programs. His appointment is funded by the Alberta Innovates Ecosystem Development Partnerships Program, PrairiesCan Regional Innovation Ecosystem program, the Cathy and Bruce Williams Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fund, and the TD Ready Commitment. MRU

 


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