Back Issue


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

copyright 1999, Research Money Inc.

editor: Mark Henderson


Volume 11, Number 15, SEPTEMBER 24, 1997

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

FEATURE REPORTS | RESEARCH BRIEFS | PERSONALITIES

How it looks to me....
by Mark Henderson, editor, RE$EARCH MONEY With a new era of wireless communications about to unfold, events in the sector are developing a pace characteristic of rapidly evolving technology sectors. As articles in this issue illustrate, both government and the private sector are positioning themselves to ensure that Canada achieves leverage through its participation in the global wireless boom.

The Communications Research Centre has always focused on wireless technologies, particularly as they apply to satellite communications. Now that expertise is being accentuated and promoted in the hopes that collaboration can be enhanced and increased. That emphasis is even more critical given the declining funding levels CRC receives from Industry Canada (link to story).

In the private sector, two major players -- Newbridge Networks Corp and COM DEV International Ltd -- are laying the groundwork for a collaborative R&D effort that could make those companies leaders in multimedia satellite technology (see item). SpaceBridge Networks Corp is their joint foray into the emerging market of low earth orbiting (LEO) satellites, and they're investing millions to develop the necessary technologies.

All this spells good news for relevant researchers regardless of their affiliation. With the early leadership of CANARIE and others, Canada has a respectable shot at developing an international reputation for wireless excellence.


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FEATURE REPORTS...

CRC PUSHING WIRELESS EXPERTISE TO MEET EXPLODING
INDUSTRY DEMAND AND BOOST CONTRACT RESEARCH REVENUE

CANARIE AND CRC SINGLED OUT AS CRUCIAL BUILDING BLOCKS
IN DEVELOPMENT OF CANADA's INFORMATION HIGHWAY


CFI EXECUTIVE AND MEMBERSHIP SELECTED

DYNAMOTIVE'S DEVELOPMENT OF CLEAN FUEL TECHNOLOGIES
ACCELERATED BY TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIPS CANADA INVESTMENT

NEW CONSORTIUM FORMING TO STIMULATE CANADIAN-ASIAN RESEARCH AND TRADE IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

SPACEBRIDGE CHOSES QUEBEC FOR
NEW TELECOMMUNICATIONS R&D CENTRE

QUEBEC TARGETS FOREIGN IT FIRMS
WITH NEW ITDC PROGRAM


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RESEARCH BRIEFS

  • Cymat Aluminium receives $3.4 million in TPC funding
  • Hydro-Qubec spins off electric motor technology
  • Inflazyme to enter 10-year pact with microalgae producer
  • NRC signs agreement with BDC to spin off promising technology
  • COM DEV raising $77.5 million through underwriting syndicate
  • RIM enters financing and technology agreement with Intel
  • Image Processing Systems issues public shares to raise $13.5 million
  • TELUS helps fund trials for cellular tracking technology
  • NorTel to sink $270 million into upgrading Montreal facility
  • NHC develops gallium arsenide chips for LAN/WAN connections
  • Groundwater research chair established in Waterloo
  • Cancer Society donates $1.25 million to prostate cancer research


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Cymat Aluminium receives $3.4 million in TPC funding Cymat Aluminium Corp, Mississauga ON has received $3.4 million from Technology Partnerships Canada to develop and produce closed-cell aluminium foam for porous, light-weight panels to be used for retaining walls, fire doors and architectural panels. The process is appropriate for applications involving energy absorption, sound reduction and materials handling. Target markets are the automotive and aerospace sectors. The three-year old firm will create 75 new high tech jobs once the process enters full production....


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Hydro-Qubec spins off electric motor technology Hydro-Qubec is spinning off its problem-plagued in-wheel electric motor technology known as M4 with the assistance of three major financial players. The utility will hold 49% interest in the firm, as yet unnamed, with the balance to be owned by Sofinov (20.4%), Socit gnrale de financement du Qubec (20.4%) and Fonds de solidarit travailleurs du Qubec (10.2%). Initial capitalization totals $6 million and the financial partners will focus on developing new business partnerships and marketing the M4 technology, for which it now holds an exclusive worldwide licence. Hydro-Qubec unloaded the technology -- developed by IREQ -- following a review committee recommendation...


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Inflazyme to enter 10-year pact with microalgae producer Inflazyme Pharmaceuticals Ltd has signed a letter of intent for a 10-year drug development and manufacturing agreement with Hawaii-based Aquasearch Inc, a marine bioscience producer of microalgae. Aquasearch will produce large quantities of different microalgae and Inflazyme will investigate each species for therapeutic activity in the areas of inflammation, cancer, blood and cardiovascular diseases. Aquasearch will receive cost-plus reimbursement of research expenses....


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NRC signs agreement with BDC to spin off promising technology The National Research Council (NRC) has entered a three-year pilot program with the Business Development Bank of Canada to spin off commercially promising technologies developed within its laboratories. Under the terms of the agreement, NRC will identify technologies which will be available for BDC financing and management support. The NRC first announced it was negotiating with the BDC in April/96 when it released Vision to 2001 its latest five-year plan (R$, April 10/96). The BDC has also signed an agreement with the NRC's Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) to introduce clients to the services offered by each others' organizations. The objective is to provide small- and medium-sized firms with a single point of access to financial, management and technology development resources. In recent months, BDC has launched similar seed stage funds in western Canada (Western Technology Seed Investment Fund) and Quebec (T(2)C(2). Initial commitments are in the $100,000-$500,000 range....


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COM DEV raising $77.5 million through underwriting syndicate COM DEV International Ltd, Cambridge ON, is seeking to raise $77.5 million through a "bought deal" financing arrangement with an underwriting syndicate led by TD Securities Inc and RBC Dominion Securities Inc. The Cambridge ON-based firms plans to use the proceeds for capital expenditures, working capital and R&D....


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RIM enters financing and technology agreement with Intel Waterloo ON-based Research in Motion (RIM) has received an unspecified equity investment from Intel Corp, the world's larger computer chip maker. The two firms have also entered into a technology pact combining RIM's wireless expertise with Intel's semiconductor capabilities, but investment and related agreement details were not disclosed. RIM has just announced an IPO....


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Image Processing Systems issues public shares to raise $13.5 million Processing Systems Inc, Scarborough, has raised $13.5 million by issuing six million common shares. The proceeds will be used for increased R&D, marketing and business development, and repayment of debt relating to its acquisition of Chicago-based Tisma Machinery Corp. IPS develops and manufactures machine vision systems for automated inspection and process control. It has been recognized as one of Canada's 10 fastest growing firms....


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TELUS helps fund trials for cellular tracking technology TELUS Mobility has given Cell-Loc Inc an R&D grant to assist the firm in testing its cellular telephone tracking technology. The Calgary-based Cell-Loc is conducting Phase II trials of its Cellocate AMPS product prototype in the standard matrix or grid configuration typically found in urban cellular networks. The trial is testing for compliance with E9-1-1 requirements. A commercial version is expected by mid 1998....


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NorTel to sink $270 million into upgrading Montreal facility Northern Telecom Ltd will spend $270-million extend its global development centre for optical networks and expand its St-Laurent manufacturing facility. The new facility will be used to accommodate rapid growth of its employee base over the past 18 months and allow consolidation of employees in two other area facilities slated for closure. For more information on the expansion, request the September 18/97 issue of affiliate publication The Electronics Communicators by calling Subscriber Services at (613)728-4621....


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NHC develops gallium arsenide chips for LAN/WAN connections NHC Communications Inc has completed final testing on its gallium arsen- ide SX88 matrix chip, positioning the Montreal-based manufacturer of switching and fibre optic components to build standard 5 and higher physical switching products. Initial research on the microchip technology was undertaken by NHC engineers in collaboration with a team of engineering scientists at École Polytechnique, led by Dr Bozena Kam- inska. The new chip eliminates the need to manually manoeuvre physical LAN and WAN connections. The chip was created on a gallium arsenide platform to exploit its superior characteristics for very high frequency operations....


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Groundwater research chair established in Waterloo The Univ of Waterloo has joined with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Motorola Canada Ltd and EnviroMetal Technologies Inc to establish a $2.6 million chair of groundwater remediation at the Waterloo Centre Groundwater Research. Dr Bob Gillham will head up the chair, which will build on the university's research into cleaning up contamination caused by halogenated organic compounds. Research was developed at the university with the zero valent process....


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Cancer Society donates $1.25 million to prostate cancer research The Canadian Cancer Society has donated $1.25 million to a new research initiative dedicated solely to prostate cancer research and spearheaded by CCS affiliate, the National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC). The Institute hopes to attract the participation of several government and private sector organizations and is currently discussing the project with federal granting agencies. The NCIC is also holding six regional workshops to generate interest for the project and gather ideas on prostate cancer research from scientists and survivors of the disease....


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PERSONALITIES

Dr Gerard Lynch has been appointed president of Photonics Research Ontario, the Toronto-based Ontario Centre of Excellence formerly known as the Ontario Laser and Lightwave Research Centre. Lynch replaces acting executive director Dr Marek Laubitz. Lynch holds a PhD in applied physics from Queen's Univ and has served in several executive positions including VP marketing and commercial operations for Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. Lynch also sits on PRO's new board of directors along with: Dr Arpad Bergh, Optoelectronics Industry Development Association; Dr Peter Dawson, NRC Institute for Microstructural Sciences; Donald Dewees, Univ of Toronto; Dr Loris Gregoris, SPAR Aerospace Ltd; Dr Janet Halliwell, JEH Associates Inc; John Kennedy, EFOS Canada Inc; Dr Rudolph Kriegler, Northern Telecom Ltd; Dr Richard Miller, Ontario Cancer Institute; Dr John Reid, Lumonics Inc; Dr Joseph Straus, JDS Fitel Inc; John Thompson, Univ of Waterloo; and, Dr George Tomko, Mytec Technologies Inc....

BioChem Pharma Inc has strengthened its senior ranks with three executive appointments. François Legault has been appointed to the new position of executive VP investments and subsidiaries, moving from senior VP finance, administration and treasurer. Dr Fred Andrew becomes CFO, moving over from BCE Inc where he held several positions including VP and treasurer; Greg Arnsdorff has been named president of BioChem ImmunoSystems, BioChem's diagnostics subsidiary. Arnsdorff moves over from Abbott Diagnostics (Canada) and replaces Silvio Nuzzo, who is retiring....

Nadim Bakhach has been named president and CEO of Montreal-based Andromed Inc, a new medical instrumentation company affiliated with Theratechnologies Inc. Bakhach holds a masters of engineering from the Univ of Ottawa and an MBA from McGill Univ. Prior to joining Andromed, he was VP operations director for Matrox Electronics Systems Inc....


RE$EARCH MONEY -- September 24, 1997
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