Summer 2017

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Message from the Publisher

Welcome Message from Fernand Proulx
Interim President and CEO, Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation

Celebrating Canada 150+

Science and tech get a reboot for Canada 150
Three of our cities—Toronto, Montreal and, Vancouver—are ranked among the top 25 most innovative cities in the world, according to the 10th annual “Innovation Cities Index. Yet, we as Canadians are reluctant to brag about our accomplishments. Canada’s 150+ celebrations are providing new opportunities to break with that quiet and modest persona, and the newly branded Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation is one of the main groups leading this charge.

150+ years of Indigenous innovation
When the revamped Canada Science and Technology Museum, which is located on unceded Algonquin territory, reopens this November, it will include an expanded narrative of Canadian innovation – one that recognizes the contribution of Indigenous innovations, past and present, and highlights the fascinating way historical innovations influence current practice.

Wilfred Buck: The Star Guy
Move over Bill Nye the Science Guy, and make way for Wilfred Buck, Manitoba’s very own Star Guy. Buck is a science facilitator at the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC). He works with First Nations schools to bring an Indigenous perspective to teaching science.

Let’s Talk Energy – A Q&A with Let’s Talk Energy manager Jason Armstrong
It’s difficult these days to have a conversation about energy without also talking about the economy and the environment. That’s why the Canada Science and Technology Museum launched Let’s Talk Energy, an initiative that brings together a national network of partners and advisors to inform and engage Canadians on energy topics to support them in making informed choices.

Museum puts the fun back into learning
The research is in – children learn best through inquiry-based learning. In response, the Canada Science and Technology Museum is about to get even more hands-on.

Spotlight on Indigenous Innovations

BC to host global Indigenous health research network
An international network of Indigenous health researchers and knowledge keepers now have a home at Thomson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia thanks to a $1-million Canadian Institutes of Health Research grant.

$2.6M boosts Indigenous health research
An Indigenous-led, community-hospital-university-private sector partnership to enhance Indigenous maternal and child health will address some of the underlying causes of health inequity through an innovative new action-research project.

11 innovations you may not have known were Indigenous
Canadian innovation didn’t begin with the first settlers in the 1600s. It’s been happening throughout the thousands of years that Indigenous people have lived on these lands. Learn about some of the more known – and lesser known – Indigenous innovations and discoveries.

Engineering program targets Indigenous youth
The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) has been awarded nearly $150,000 in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council to teach Indigenous youth about engineering principles.

Indigenous businesses embracing innovation
Indigenous businesses are more innovative and more export-oriented than the broader Canadian small business sector, and are more likely to export beyond the United States, according to a June report released by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business in TD Economics.

New Indigenous entrepreneurship institute to open in 2018
Algonquin College is on track to open a new $44.9 million building next spring in Ottawa that will include an institute for Indigenous entrepreneurship, the first of its kind in an Ontario college.

International Collaborations

Engineered protein targets mysterious Middle East virus
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, which first appeared in 2012, as an urgent threat with no vaccine or treatment in sight. This could change thanks to a new anti-viral tool, developed by University of Toronto researchers.

Quantum computing, brain research top list for new U.S.-Canada collaborations
President Donald Trump’s push for major cuts to research funding in the U.S. are fueling even closer scientific ties between Canada and its southern neighbour. Preliminary talks have begun between the U.S. National Science Foundation and research funders in Canada to kickstart new research collaborations in quantum computing, the brain, biodiversity and the Arctic.

The Atlantic Canada Start-up Ecosystem
“There’s never been a better time to be a start-up in Atlantic Canada,” says Doug Robertson, CEO of Venn Innovation in Moncton, New Brunswick. Venn – a globally recognized innovation hub – is a part of a growing group of Atlantic-based organizations committed to creating successful entrepreneurs and companies in the region.

Canada selected to lead council of global research funders
Canada’s profile on the global stage was bolstered in late May with news that Dr. Mario Pinto, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council president, will take over as chair of the Global Research Council (GRC), a federation comprising the heads of 70 science and engineering funding councils from 50 countries.

Company Spotlight: Titanium Corporation
Creating value from oil sands waste
Scott Nelson, president and CEO of Titanium Corporation, explains how his clean tech company is processing oil sand waste — recovering valuable minerals that would otherwise be lost and reducing the carbon footprint of the industry.

Canada 150+ Signature Projects

A giant “nature selfie” takes aim at a major conservation problem
On Canada’s 150th birthday, you might expect that experts have discovered pretty much all the species that roam the vast country. But in fact, scientists are aware of only about 50% of the animals, plants, and fungi that inhabit Canada’s diverse ecosystems.

Democratizing Citizenship: How big data is revealing what it means to be Canadian
Canada prides itself at home and abroad for its diversity and its fundamental belief in multiculturalism. As part of the country’s 150th anniversary celebrations, a Toronto company that combines digital media and data science is launching a new app that aims to foster understanding between people in different communities.

The excitement and challenges of science on Canada C3
We chat with Dr. Mark Graham, the chief scientist of Canada C3. Canada C3 is a five-month journey of a lifetime around Canada’s coastlines designed around the four key themes of Canada 150: diversity and inclusion; reconciliation; youth engagement; and the environment.

Innovation150 Stories

Synthesizing insulin in Canada
Synthesized insulin is a hormone used by 300 million people around the world to treat diseases like diabetes. But few people know that it was first synthesized in our nation’s capital by the late Indo-Canadian scientist, Dr. Saran Narang.

From mobile labs to Ebola vaccines
When faced with an anthrax scare in New Brunswick, scientists from the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg rushed out with their equipment on hand. The success of this mission inspired NML to create the world’s first mobile lab. Now the concept is spreading worldwide.

The polar bear and the volcano
When Environment and Climate Change Canada scientist emeritus Dr. Ian Stirling started polar bear research in western Hudson Bay in the 1980s, he never imagined that it would become the first research program in the world to demonstrate the effects of climate change on polar bears.

The Waterloo Pump fills glasses worldwide
In 1978, Professors Alan Plumtree and Alfred Rudin designed a hand operated water pump at the University of Waterloo, called the Waterloo Pump.The invention helped many around the world suffering from a lack of clean drinking water, and is still being used and developed upon today.

Canadian Tech at the Leading Edge
Canada aims to lure world’s AI talent with new institute
Geoff Hinton, Yoshua Bengio and Richard Sutton may not be household names, but in the world of artificial intelligence these Canadian researchers are global superstars. Ensuring these and other coveted AI researchers call Canada home has become a top priority for governments, academia and industry. Enter the Vector Institute (VI)…

Youth Spotlight
Shining a light on Canada and its next generation of change-makers
19-year-old Ann Makosinski has stepped up as one of the country’s most influential entrepreneurs… and notably, one of its youngest. The creative mind behind Hollow Flashlight — a flashlight powered by heat expelled from the human hand — was a recent inductee to Forbes magazine’s coveted “30 Under 30” list, and she doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

Big Science in a Big Country
From the depths of the Canadian shield to a Nobel prize
SNOLAB is a world-class science facility nestled in the depths of a century-old and still operating Vale Creighton nickel mine inside the Canadian Shield near Sudbury, Ontario in Canada. Currently focussed on sub-atomic physics, largely neutrino and dark matter physics, the combination of great depth and cleanliness that SNOLAB affords allows extremely rare interactions and weak processes to be studied.

Navigating a melting Arctic
The Inuit of Pond Inlet, Nunavut, have been navigating the sea ice for centuries, relying on their experience and wisdom from their elders to inform when and when not to travel across the frozen mass. But as global warming intensifies, the ice is becoming increasingly unpredictable and unsafe. A new technology is promising to change that as a result of a collaboration between Memorial University, the Inuit community, and Nunatsiavut, the self-governing Inuit region of Labrador.

Quebec life sciences strategy targets $4 billion in foreign investment
The recently-released 2017-2027 Quebec Life Sciences Strategy is positioning the province to be in the top five North American life sciences clusters within a decade.

Invented in Canada
Learn about some of the amazing inventions that have come from Canada

Canadarm and Canadarm 2

Insulin extraction and purification

Discovery of stem cells


Key frame animation

The modern alkaline dry battery

Mosquito repellant

Java script


3TC for HIV and Hepatitis B

Polio vaccine

The pacemaker

Electric wheelchair

Electron microscope

Radiation therapy



Innovation Spotlights

Uber opens self-driving research hub in Toronto

Self-driving e-shuttle coming to Montreal

Funding awarded for bio-refineries

Air Canada moving to shared fuel system

IoT network expands across Canada

Waterloo building global-scale AM lab

Merck and TEC Edmonton create health incubator

McGill to open retail innovation lab

DMZ expands to New York City

Engaging Entrepreneurs – One Student at a time


In the News

Cancer biologist wins prestigious African-Canadian Award

Canada fast tracks global skills visa

Canada spending $50M to teach kids code

Canada joins SESAME synchrotron project

High school wins use of CERN accelerator

Trudeau delivers on deal to stop muzzling

Genomics consortium receives $33-million boost

UNB home to new 3D metal printing centre

Investment Attraction Accelerator to Launch in Atlantic Canada

Calgary opening centre for carbon conversion

Canada expands agricultural research with Germany

Arctic Council inks deal on scientific cooperation


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This project received generous support from the Ontario Centres of Excellence TalentEdge Internship Program (TIP).

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