ABOzymes, Adastra, adMare BioInnovations, AlayaCare, Atlantia, Bien Chez Soi, Bioform Solutions, BioNTech SE (Germany), Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in the Life Sciences, Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Trials Group, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Canadian Space Agency, Centre for Innovation in Artificial Intelligence Technologies, Cintech agroalimentaire, CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de Montréal, Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research, Cornell University, Dalhousie University, Deloitte, e-Zinc, Eastern Canada Oilseed Development Alliance, ENFOCOM, Equinor, federal government, GoodLeaf Farms, Government of Canada, Government of Quebec, Johnny’s Selected Seed, Loblaw Companies, London Drugs Limited, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Office of Research, Penn Institute for RNA Innovation, Plant-Based Foods of Canada, Polytechnique Montreal, Protein Industries Canada, Pulse Canada, Queen’s University, Raytheon Canada, RNA Protein Replacement Therapies (Germany), Sanctuary AI, SCALE AI, Seneca College, Stem Cell Network, SunGro, TAP, The Canadian Cyber Assessment, Training and Experimentation Centre, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, University of Guelph, University of Guelph Research Data Centre, University of Pennsylvania, University of Prince Edward Island, University of Szeged, University of Toronto Mississauga, US Nuclear Industry Council, and Victoria University



The Short Report - April 13, 2022: New cybersecurity research hub in Calgary; health research in space; bolstering animal disease preparedness; and more

Cindy Graham
April 12, 2022


The federal government has accepted the conclusions of the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada's environmental assessment of the Bay du Nord oil and gas development project, which clears the way for the project to proceed approximately 500 kilometres east of St. John's over the next 30 years. The Norwegian company Equinor must comply with 137 legally-binding conditions throughout the project's lifecyle, including measures to protect fish and fish habitat, migratory birds, species at risk, air quality, human health and Indigenous peoples' use of resources, and a requirement to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. GOC

On a related note, Ottawa is requiring new oil and gas production projects subject to federal impact assessments to demonstrate "best-in-class" low-emissions performance. The guidance on new projects includes a requirement to demonstrate that the project: integrates advanced technologies and best environmental practices to minimize emissions; compares project emissions with other high-performing projects globally; and develops a plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 for projects operating past that date. GOC

The Government of Canada is investing more than $4 million to recruit, train and mentor hundreds of new energy advisors as part of a greater $10-million call for proposals that will train up to an additional 2,000 energy advisors to conduct pre- and post-retrofit home energy evaluations. The investments include $1.15 million to SaskPower in Regina, $681,000 to the Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology in Thunder Bay, and  $675,000 to NorQuest College in Edmonton. GOC

Toronto-based e-Zinc, a company that has developed a technology for storing energy in zinc, has raised $31 million  in Series A financing led by US-based Anzu Partners, with additional funding from BDC CapitalToyota Ventures (San Francisco), and Eni Next (Boston). Existing investors, including Seed Round lead investor Energy Foundry (Chicago), also participated. e-Zinc will use the funding to start the pilot production of its first commercial energy storage systems for field deployment. Businesswire

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) president Rumina Velshi highlighted CNSC's readiness for regulating small modular reactor (SMR) technology at the US Nuclear Industry Council Summit on advanced reactors last week. She described US National Research Council projects underway that could support CNSCs own regulatory reviews and articulated what industry could do to enhance the regulatory process. GOC


The governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing more than $2 million to modernize Manitoba's Animal Health Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) to better prepare for animal disease outbreaks. Modernization is expected to strengthen the animal disease surveillance program, improve diagnostic service delivery in the agriculture sector, and enhance Manitoba's ability to prepare for new and emerging animal diseases by increasing efficiency and its capacity to diagnose. GOC

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) has renewed its support of the Queen's University-based Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) with a five-year, $30- million commitment. The funding represents a continuation of CCS’s largest research investment, which began in 1980 when it helped to create the research group that became CCTG’s national research network. CCS

Genome BC is funding several projects to support innovation and commercialization through its Pilot Innovation Fund. Projects include new methods for profiling the genetic diversity of individual cells that will transform our understanding of diseases (led by Karen Cheung, University of British Columbia); developing a scalable spatial gene expression technology using a DNA-based global positioning system (led by Nozomu Yachie and Geoffrey Schiebinger, UBC), and a project that aims to break the blood group barrier for kidney transplantations (led by Peter Rahfeld - ABOzymes, Caigan Du, Christopher Nguan, Jayachandran Kizhakkedathu and Stephen Withers - all from UBC). Genome BC

Canada’s Stem Cell Network (SCN) has launched a three-year strategic plan funded by the Government of Canada through a $45-million Budget 2021 commitment. The plan includes "a diverse set of funding programs that span the research pipeline", including support for early career investigators and new clinical trials. Stem Cell Network

The Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in the Life Sciences (CASTL, Charlottetown) has been granted $2.5 million to establish a Quebec biomanufacturing training and requalification centre. The project, in partnership with adMare BioInnovations (Montreal), will support the purchase and installation of pilot-scale bioprocessing equipment for a CASTL training facility and will fund part of the initial operating expenses for two years. CASTL



Agri-food tech innovation centre Cintech agroalimentaire (Sainte-Hyacinthe) is the recipient of nearly $4 million in Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions funding. Nearly $3 million of which will help facilitate the development of new food sources high in plant protein and improve their sensory properties, and $800,000 will go towards developing methods to recover the by-products generated by sector businesses. GOC

Protein Industries Canada is partnering with the Eastern Canada Oilseed Development Alliance, Dalhousie University, and the University of Prince Edward Island on a $350,000 project to explore and quantify the value of plant-protein food and ingredients in the Atlantic Region, while also increasing awareness of the sector. The project will focus on opportunities to increase economic return, improve diversity and sustainability, and increase the production of plant-based crops and ingredient processing in the region. Protein Industries Canada

Protein Industries Canada is also partnering with Pulse Canada, Plant-Based Foods of Canada and Loblaw Companies to examine Canadian regulations related to the plant-based foods and ingredients sector to support regulatory modernization. The collaboration aims to address knowledge gaps in four areas of regulatory modernization: protein labelling claims (e.g., determining whether a food is considered a “good source of protein”); naming conventions around plant-based foods (e.g., how and when companies can use words such as “plant-based cheese,” “sausage” or “patties”); discretionary fortification of simulated plant-based meat and poultry products on nutrient intake; and development of in vitro methods to evaluate protein digestibility. Protein Industries Canada


Scale AI, Canada’s supercluster in artificial intelligence (AI) and data science, is investing $24 million to support five new projects, including a smart platform for optimizing vertical farming (Adastra, GoodLeaf Farms, University of Guelph, SunGro and Johnny’s Selected Seed), predictive modelling and optimization algorithms for home care delivery (AlayaCare, CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de Montréal, Bien Chez Soi, Polytechnique Montreal), and an AI-powered supply chain model focused on demand, from supplier to customer (London Drugs Limited, Deloitte, TAP, Sanctuary AI, and Atlantia). Scale AI

The Government of Quebec has launched a call for innovation projects in AI for Quebec businesses, primarily SMEs and startups to develop and commercialize or adopt AI technologies. The deadline to apply is May 8. Quebec Government

The University of Calgary, in partnership with ENFOCOM (Calgary) and Raytheon Canada have launched The Canadian Cyber Assessment, Training and Experimentation Centre (CATE) to expand Canada's research capacity in cybersecurity. Facilities will be located in both Calgary and Ottawa, providing a virtual platform for collaboration across Canada for university students and consortium members, with plans to engage industry partners and all levels of government. UCalgary

Seneca College has received $641,800 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council to support applied research on AI. The grant will support construction of the Centre for Innovation in Artificial Intelligence Technologies (CIAIT), where Seneca researchers will collaborate with industry partners to find AI solutions in sectors ranging from advanced manufacturing and commerce to creative media and finance. Seneca


Dr. Michelle Edwards has been appointed inaugural director of agri-food data strategy with the Office of Research at the University of Guelph, effective April 5. The new position expands on the former position of director of research data strategy for the Food from Thought research program at U of G, which was funded in part by a $76.6-million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. Edwards has served as director of the University of Guelph Research Data Centre and director of data services at the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research at Cornell University. UGuelph

Dr. Rhonda McEwen, vice-principal, academic and dean at the University of Toronto Mississauga, has been named  president and vice-chancellor of Victoria University at the University of Toronto. McEwen served as director of U of T Mississauga’s Institute of Communication, Culture, Information & Technology and as a special adviser to the VP and principal on anti-racism and equity. She holds the Canada Research Chair in Tactile Interfaces, Communication. U of T

Miranda Alldritt has been appointed chief business officer of Vancouver-based Bioform Solutions, a sustainability-focused technology company that replaces single-use plastics with plant-based products. Alldritt was previously president of decision analytics asset management company Copperleaf Technologies (Vancouver) and worked at Creo (Burnaby; now part of Eastman Kodak Company) in engineering and product management roles. Bioform Solutions

University of British Columbia professor Dr. Pieter Cullis has been named a 2022 Canada Gairdner International Award laureate for his pioneering work developing the lipid nanoparticle delivery technology that enables mRNA therapeutics, including the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Cullis is a pioneer in lipid chemistry and the formation of lipid nanoparticles. He was recognized along with Dr. Katalin Karikó, senior vice president of RNA Protein Replacement Therapies at BioNTech SE (Germany) and a professor at the University of Szeged, and Dr. Drew Weissman, director of the Penn Institute for RNA Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania, for their joint contributions in developing nucleoside-modified mRNA to avoid immunogenic reactions and improve the translational properties of mRNA once inside a cell. UBC



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