The Short Report – September 16th, 2020: Investing in tidal power; new CERC appointment in AI; better fertilizer management to reduce GHG’s

Cindy Graham
September 16, 2020


Canadian public company Kontrol Energy Corporation announced the launch of a wall-mounted device to detect the presence of COVID-19 in the air. The technology has immediate applications in schools, hospitals, long term care facilities and mass transit vehicles including planes, trains and buses in the fight against COVID-19. - Kontrol

Joule, a subsidiary of the Canadian Medical Association, is granting $1 million, its largest grant offering since its inception in 2016, to a total of 6 recipients to boost COVID -19 innovation through its Innovation Grant Program. The recipients were chosen from 300 applications and were selected across 3 categories: supporting front line health workers, access to care during the pandemic, and population health solutions. - Joule


Carleton University and the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun (NND) have signed a 7-year MOU that will see them collaborating on Indigenous and Northern studies, postsecondary education, research, and access for learners. NND will lead the choice of areas of research and researchers, involve local people, and be a repository for the research results. The partnership will draw on both traditional Indigenous knowledge and non-Indigenous knowledge to inform and enrich research and teaching. - Carleton

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is establishing a new School for Advanced Digital Technology (SADT) in Calgary to support the convergence of digital literacy and technology training into new and existing programs. The initiative supports SAIT’s ambition to boost the local talent pool. As part of SADT, Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF) is seeding the startup of a Digital Transformation (DX) Talent Hub with up to $8.2 million over five years. - SAIT


The Canadian government is investing a total of $9.4 million in tidal power to bring clean energy technology to Atlantic Canada. The investment will see $4 million go to Nova Innovation to build a tidal turbine array using subsea tidal technology in Petit Passage in the Bay of Fundy; $1.58 million to the University of Manitoba in partnership with SOAR – Sustainable Oceans Applied Research – to advance research on river hydrokinetic and in-stream tidal energy technologies; $2 million to Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia to research an environmental effects monitoring solution for the instream tidal energy industry in Canada, and $2 million to Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy to create a risk assessment tool and regulatory authorization process. The tidal energy risk assessment programme involves participation from multiple partners including Acadia University, Marine Renewables Canada, Mi’kmaw Conservation Group, Dalhousie University’s Ocean Tracking Network and the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy. - The Chronicle Herald

The Vinyl Institute of Canada, in partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada, will begin its medical polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pilot program in two Toronto hospitals— St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Humber River— from September 15 to March 31, 2021. It’s expected to divert at least 80,000 pounds of recyclable PVC products from landfills through the collection of IV bags, oxygen masks and oxygen tubing waste from hospital operating rooms.  More hospitals are expected to join the program this year. Cambridge-based PVC recycler Norwich Plastics will manage the logistics of the collected materials and their conversion into new products, such as hoses, tubing, automotive supplies and sound-dampening products. - Recycling Today

E2Metrix, a Sherbrooke, Quebec wastewater treatment company, will receive more than $4.5 million to help mining operations recycle wastewater and operate more sustainably. The funding is part of Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program, a $155 million investment to accelerate the development of clean technologies to reduce greenhouse gas and air pollution while minimizing landscape disturbances and improving waste management practices. E2Metrix’s funding will allow for the use of its ECOTHORTM technology to clean and separate contaminants from mining wastewater. – GoC


Lightspeed POS, a Canadian provider of point-of-sale software, filed for a $376 million listing on the NYSE (LSPD). The company currently trades in Toronto. - SEC

Klue, a Vancouver-based competitive enablement platform, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Craft Ventures led and was joined by HWVP and return backers OMERS Ventures, Rhino Ventures, and BDC Ventures. - Klue

CANARIE announced the selection of four successful projects from its recent Research Data Management funding call. This funding will enable research teams to work toward greater interoperability and integration of data platforms, repositories, and services within Canadian and global digital research infrastructures. This funding is part of the Government of Canada’s $137 million investment supporting CANARIE’s 2020-24 mandate. - CANARIE


Dr. Bartha Knoppers (PhD) is the 2020 Till & McCulloch Award recipient for her paper in Science, titled "Biotechnologies nibbling at the legal 'human'.” The Till & McCulloch Award was established in 2005 in honour of Canadian scientists and stem cell pioneers Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch. -  Stem Cell Network

Dr. Irena Rish was appointed the latest Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Autonomous Artificial Intelligence (AI) by Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains. Dr. Rish will receive $10 million in funding over 7 years from the Government of Canada and nearly $25 million from the Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute (Mila), the Université de Montréal and several other public and private organizations. Her plans include setting up a cross-disciplinary research centre at the Université de Montréal where she and her team will bridge the gaps between AI, biology, neuroscience and psychology. - CERC

University of Manitoba Agricultural and Food Sciences professor Mario Tenuta has been named the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Industrial Research Chair (IRC) in 4R Nutrient Stewardship. Tenuta will receive a combined funding amount of $2,930,000 awarded over five years to advance 4R nutrient stewardship, an innovative approach to fertilizer management developed with the fertilizer industry. The chair is awarded in partnership with NSERC, the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF), Fertilizer Canada, and the University of Manitoba. - University of Manitoba

The Royal Society of Canada (RSC) announced its 2020 medal and award winners. Among the 16 recipients recognized are Alfonso Mucci for his contributions to geochemistry, Gilla Shapiro for her work in psychology, health equity and health policy, and Barbara Sherwood Lollar for developing methodologies for effectively remediating contaminated water sources and environments. See the full list of winners here. - RSC

The Wistar Institute, an international biomedical research leader in cancer, immunology, infectious disease research and vaccine creation in Philadelphia, announced the appointment of Dr. Ami Patel (PhD), as a Caspar Wistar Fellow in the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center. Patel received her PhD in medical microbiology from the University of Manitoba and her doctoral research was performed in the Special Pathogens Program at the Public Health Agency of Canada. – Wistar Institute


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