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reports and analyses of the forces driving
science and technology investment in Canada

copyright 1999, Research Money Inc.

editor: Mark Henderson


Volume 10, Number 12, JULY 17, 1996

How it looks to me.... by Mark Henderson

FEATURE REPORTS | RESEARCH BRIEFS

How it looks to me....
by Mark Henderson, editor, RE$EARCH MONEY Is Canada really gaining on its OECD partners in the battle to exploit technology for competitive advantage? It may still be too early to say for sure, but as this issue's listing of TOP-100 Corporate R&D Spenders confirms, Canada's leading industrial R&D performers are spending like never before. Those firms invested a record $6,153 million in R&D in FY95, 14.2% more than in FY94 which was also a record year.

While most of that increase can be attributed to the remarkable R&D growth of Northern Telecom, the upward trend is undeniable and a strong signal that many in the industrial community are recognizing the crucial role R&D plays in the overall system of innovation.

Yet R&D output is only one piece of a complex, ever-evolving process that move ideas into the marketplace. Taking measures to ensure the effectiveness and health of other elements in that system of innovation -- basic research, increased access to appropriate sources of capital -- is an equally important task that's more difficult to substantiate.

Our TOP-100 list is a good indicator that things are moving in the right direction, confirming an earlier Conference Board of Canada survey that also projects strong R&D growth. The listing isn't perfect, with a disturbing number of firms refusing to divulge data. But perseverance and excellent data tracking by key Evert staff have produced a ranking that provides an illuminating glimpse into Canada's R&D future.


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FEATURE REPORTS...

NEW FREEDOMS HELP ONTARIO HYDRO TECHNOLOGIES
EVOLVE INTO GLOBALLY FOCUSED RESEARCH PROVIDER

RESEARCH MONEY EXCLUSIVE REPORT
CANADA'S TOP-100 INDUSTRIAL R&D SPENDERS MAINTAIN
RECORD GROWTH RATE FOR SECOND YEAR RUNNING


CANADA's TOP-100 R&D SPENDERS
An Exclusive Table Compiled Annually by RE$EARCH MONEY

OFFICIALS SCRAMBLING TO SECURE NEW FUNDING SOURCES AS
MOUNTING JOB LOSSES THREATEN CANADA'S NUCLEAR R&D CAPABILITY


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RESEARCH BRIEFS

  • Bio-Mega announces $14-million facility expansion
  • Manitoba Cancer centre to receive $38-million upgrade
  • ARC and MSI team to certify recycled magnesium technology
  • Precarn-led consortium to develop remote system
  • Committee to prepare plan for Univ of Regina research park
  • Province renews funding for Univ of Saskatchewan program
  • ARC opens new forest products laboratory
  • CMDF makes three more investments worth $5.2 million


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Bio-Mega announces $14-million facility expansion Bio-Mega/Boehringer Ingelheim Research Inc has received $14 million from its parent to expand its Laval PQ facility and purchase new equipment. A new two-story building costing $9 million will be constructed beside the existing structure, increasing Bio-Mega's 6,000-sq-m of space by 30%. The remaining $5 million goes towards new research equipment to outfit new laboratories for biochemistry, analytical chemistry and advanced magnetic resonance scanning. Bio-Mega parent Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Inc, is a wholly owned subsidiary of US-based Pharma Investment Ltd. In FY95, it spent $32 million on R&D and claims the expansion of its affiliate will make it Canada's premier privately held pharmaceutical research facility. Bio-Mega is focused on the development of therapeutics agents in the areas of cardiovascular, immunology and respiratory central nervous system....


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Manitoba Cancer centre to receive $38-million upgrade The provincial government is joining the Manitoba Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation to help fund its $38-million upgrade which includes $1.8 million in new equipment. While the bulk of the money will be spent to expand the Foundation's patient care capabilities, funds will also be used to boost its research facilities including those of the Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology. The redevelopment involves the renovation of an existing structure and the construction of a new one on an adjacent site. Work is expected to continue from 1997 to 2001. The Manitoba government is contributing $23 million, with the remaining $15 million being provided by the Foundation....


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ARC and MSI team to certify recycled magnesium technology Magnesium Services (Canada) Inc (MSI) has entered a joint venture with the Alberta Research Council (ARC) to certify its recycled magnesium products to automakers' standards and develop other technologies to produce new secondary, value-added products. MSI's technology to produce high purity, secondary magnesium alloy has already been pilot tested, and plans are in place to commercialize it with a production facility to be built by late 1997. The project is expected to generate up to 15 engineering and scientific jobs and $4 million in international investment for further technology development and engineering design. ARC was chosen as a partner for its world-class expertise in magnesium metallurgy, gained through its participation in two other joint ventures leading to the development of Thixomolding magnesium components. Recycled magnesium is an economically attractive compound in the automotive industry due to its light weight and superior strength. Because of US legislation to push for greater fuel economy, the magnesium die casting industry is exploding with projected annual growth of 20% for the next five years....


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Precarn-led consortium to develop remote system A consortium led by Precarn Associates Inc and Spar Aerospace Ltd will spend $2.35 million over 21 months to develop a Remote Controlled Remediation System for commissioning and decommissioning tasks, primarily at nuclear facilities. Precarn will contribute $940,000, with the remainder provided by Spar and its partners: National Optics Institute, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd, Engineering Services Inc (Toronto), and the Univ of Laval (Qubec). Spar has already utilized the remote handling expertise is gained via its work of the Canadarm to develop a robotic manipulator arm for use in underground storage tanks used for radioactive waste....


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Committee to prepare plan for Univ of Regina research park A steering committee has been formed to prepare a detailed plan for the development of a research and development park associated with the Univ of Regina with a proposed emphasis on information technology and telecommunications. The committee was struck after an agreement was reached between the university, the Saskatchewan Opportunities Corp, the City of Regina and its economic development authority. It will review current research and scientific activities at the university, within industry, Crown corporations, institutions and the federal and provincial governments. In addition to the two sectors already identified as having strong potential, other advanced technology sectors will also be considered, such as film, new media, agribusiness and energy....


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Province renews funding for Univ of Saskatchewan program The Saskatchewan government has committed $3.5 million annually to the Univ of Saskatchewan's Strategic Research Program. The 11-year-old joint venture between the university and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food funds agriculture-related research projects in many areas including growth and reproductive immunology, bio-resource engineering, horticulture science, integrated soil management and crop development and diversification. The commitment of continued funding provides long-term stability and the creation of university-level jobs. In 1995, 24 projects were funded in 10 study areas, while another 23 projects have been financed so far this year....


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ARC opens new forest products laboratory The Alberta Research Council has opened a new forest products laboratory featuring an advanced production line in the hopes of gaining more international business contracts. It also serves as a key element in ARC's commitment to a collaboration with Forintek Canada Corp to develop and apply oriented strandboard research (R$, May 8/96). The new lab extends the capabilities of ARC's Forest Products Group, with its pilot plant allowing for much larger projects applicable for test marketing and a test bed for new technologies....


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CMDF makes three more investments worth $5.2 million The Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund has made three new investments. They are: Hemosol Inc ($3 million); UltraVision Inc ($2 million); and, TerraGen Diversity Inc ($200,000)....


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