The Short Report, August 21, 2019: Bio-manufacturing, insurance innovation, women entrepreneurs

The Academic Ranking of World Universities released its list of top 1000 universities worldwide, with four Canadian universities in the top 100: University of Toronto (24), University of British Columbia (35), McGill University (90) and McMaster University (also 90). – ARWU 2019

Genome Ontario has published a proposal to the Strategic Innovation Fund‘s National Ecosystems Stream, to establish a National Synthetic Biology-Enabled, Sustainable Bio-Manufacturing and Bio-Technology Ecosystem in Canada. Together with the Genome Canada Enterprise, the proposed ecosystem would seek to establish Canada as a global leader in novel, industrial scale advanced bio-manufacturing technologies, with a focus on the industrial biotechnology, agriculture and agri-food, and health and biosciences sectors. – Genome Ontario

Bayer is acquiring Blue Rock Therapeutics, a stem cell therapy commercialization venture now headquartered in New York but originally based in Toronto, where it still has offices. Bayer already owned a 40.8 percent stake and will pay US$240 million in cash upfront for the remaining shares, as well as an additional US$360 million payable upon achievement of pre-defined development milestones. – Newswire

The Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO) announced the launch of its Innovation and Emerging Technology Advisory Committee, or INNOTECH, to evaluate the application of new and emerging technology and digital innovation in the P&C insurance industry. – Canadian Underwriter

Quebec steel manufacturer Verbom will receive over $960,000 in funding through Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) under the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program Steel and Aluminum Initiative to develop production equipment and tools. – Newswire

Innovation Guelph received $1,879,983 from the federal government to expand its Rhyze Project, which helps local women entrepreneurs find venture capital and mentorship. The funding is part of Ottawa’s $2-billion Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy. – BetaKit

Steel manufacturer Stelco will receive almost $50 million in federal funding to modernize its facilities and improve sustainability. The funding joins $451 million in projects that the Hamilton company is undertaking over the next two years, which CEO David Cheney says will add 75 jobs. – CBC

The Ontario government is earmarking $1.2 million for the University of Guelph to fund research into bio-products, waste reduction and recycling technologies. The projects focus on finding replacements for plastic. The money is part of the province’s annual investment of $5.8 million into the Agri-Food Innovation Alliance. – Guelph Mercury

The Tri-council agencies are “looking for a seamless solution” to help manage their research grants and awards. The solution should counter the problems associated with aging systems, out-of-date technology, and inconsistent data architecture. –


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the creation of a new advisory committee to help promote apprenticeships and skilled trades across Canada. The committee will lead consultations, explore partnerships and provide advice to the federal minister of employment, workforce development and labour. Members named to the committee include Mandy Rennehan, founder and CEO of Freshco, Jamie McMillan, ironworker and founder of Kickass Careers, and Matt Wayland, executive assistant with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. – CTV News

The Government of Canada announced appointments to the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization (CASDO): Philip Rizcallah as Chief Executive Officer, Paul Claude Bérubé as Chair, and Mary Reid as Vice Chair. CASDO is a new organization that was established by the Accessible Canada Act; its purpose is to develop accessibility standards for the federal jurisdiction. – Newswire