The Short Report - August 10, 2022: A new CEO for C100; Stem Cell Network launches last funding competition for 2022-2025, Alberta tech investments soar, and more

Cindy Graham
August 10, 2022


The Stem Cell Network will launch the second and final of two national research funding competitions for its 2022-2025 funding cycle on September 1, following the federal government's investment of $45 million in 2021. The second competition will consist of five regenerative medicine research programs to advance stem cell and regenerative medicine research, and will focus on innovation, clinical translation, policy and societal impact, and commercialization. SCN

Alberta Innovates has launched a call for proposals for up to $20 million over two years in the first round of funding from the Hydrogen Centre of Excellence. Proposals are being accepted in areas including hydrogen production, storage, transmission, end-use, increased competitiveness, and economic diversification. The deadline for entries is September 6. Alberta Innovates

France-based Biocodex Microbiota Foundation is looking for academics and scientists in Canada to apply for a €25,000 research grant as part of a multi-year research initiative to further the understanding of the human microbiome. The deadline for the 2022 call for projects is October 16 and the final decision of the independent scientific committee will be communicated in November. Biocodex

The Canadian Food Innovation Network is awarding $338,000 through its Innovation Booster program to food sector projects in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta. The program, supported by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, provides support to small or medium enterprises to address food innovation challenges or technical hurdles to achieving commercialization goals. This round's funding recipients include the following: Trendi Tech (Burnaby, B.C.; using rescued foods to make healthy soups); Nutrimeals (Calgary; developing a beta prototype for a personalized nutrition platform); Henry's Tempeh (Kitchener; developing an automated fermentation Incubator for pulse-based tempeh products), and Index Biosystems (Toronto; bio-tagging grain for transformative digitization and traceability in commodity food supply chains). CFIN

AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence has launched its annual National Impact Challenge startup competition, open to any entrepreneur or startup with a technology-based solution that can support the health and quality of life of older adults or their caregivers. The winner will receive $20,000 in cash plus in-kind prizes. The Ontario Brain Institute is the key sponsor, with sponsorship also coming from IP law firm Bereskin & Parr. The deadline to submit an application is September 2. AGE-WELL


Palo Alto-based software as a service provider SandboxAQ has entered a partnership with quantum-safe cybersecurity company EvolutionQ (Kitchener) as part of Sandbox's new strategic investment program,  with the goal of providing a system of solutions to protect commercial and government data from quantum computer attacks. The collaboration follows evolutionQ' s $7-million Series A financing raise in June  in which SandboxAQ participated. EvolutionQ

Space Canada, the recently formed national space industry association headed by former New Brunswick premier Brian Gallant, is adding its name to the list of organizations calling for an advisory group focused on space. Canada’s Space Advisory Board was last active before the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020 and its mandate has subsequently expired. SpaceQ


The Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada is investing more than $7.5 million under the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative to support British Columbia's aerospace sector to innovate, commercialize and compete globally. Avcorp Industries (Delta, B.C.) receives nearly $5 million to adopt digital technologies to enhance efficiency and productivity; the University of Victoria receives $1.5 million to develop hybrid electric propulsion systems, and Chinook Helicopters (Abbotsford) receives nearly $1.2 million to develop and commercialize a virtual reality training and simulation system. GOC

The Coronavirus Variants Rapid Response Network is investing nearly $7 million to support 15 new research projects focused on understanding Omicron subvariants and future variants and finding solutions to curb them. The projects will include the study of viral transmission between animals and people, the tracking and modelling of new variant mutations in Canada, and the enhanced surveillance of wastewater across the country, among others. The investment will also lay the groundwork for a preparedness network that will make it easier for researchers to study variants in Canada. Mechanisms being created include: a SARS-CoV-2 biobank and data platform to facilitate sharing of resources; a network-wide sharing agreement to facilitate the lawful transfer of data and samples between laboratories across Canada; a Wastewater Surveillance Group to bring together Canadian wastewater and environment investigators from universities across Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada/National Microbiology Laboratory and provincial wastewater surveillance programs; and  creating the Canadian Consortium of Academic Biosafety Level 3 (CCABL3) Laboratories, which aims to facilitate and expedite research on Risk Group 3 pathogens by Canadian scientists, industry, and public health laboratories. CoVaRR-Net

Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (Sarnia) and Biomass Quality Network Canada are working on standards for measuring and assessing the quality of bioproducts as well as helping scientists explore plant genetics and environmental factors that could lead to new crop varieties to supply bioproducts production, thanks to nearly $2 million in funding through the AgriAssurance ProgramGOC

The Government of Ontario is supporting a $21.4-million investment by aircraft parts manufacturer Cyclone Manufacturing (Mississauga), with a $1.5-million investment through the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness stream of Ontario’s Regional Development Program. The funding is to help Cyclone invest in new technologies that will enable it to undertake process work done outside of Canada and bring the work to Ontario. Government of Ontario

The Government of Canada is contributing $1 million to the Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario to support a study involving 10 collaborating wood manufacturing enterprises to leverage new opportunities for the wood manufacturing sector. The project, which is being funded through the Forest Industry Transformation program, aims to integrate industry 4.0 technology to help establish an industry roadmap, enable future investments, and demonstrate the role of Canada's forest manufacturing enterprises in using innovative technologies. GOC

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario is contributing more than $950,000 to support the farm and food sector in the area. The Rural Agri-Innovation Network has received a non-repayable contribution of $721,530 to deliver a Responsive Advancement for Meat Processing (RAMP) program that will provide productivity assessments and management training to abattoirs and meat plants throughout Northern Ontario, while Penokean Hills Co-operative will receive $230,000 towards infrastructure expansion to improve operational efficiency and capacity at feed yards. GOC


Alberta has attracted nearly $500 million in investment through the first half of 2022, surpassing last year in total investment. Alberta's tech sector recorded $268.6 million in venture funding in the second quarter of this year, while in the same quarter a year ago only $16 million was raised.


Doug Schweitzer has resigned as Alberta’s jobs, economy and innovation minister. Schweitzer was elected MLA for Calgary-Elbow in 2019 and served as justice minister and solicitor general. He has been the Alberta’s jobs, economy and innovations minister for the past two years. and said in an announcement on social media that he plans to serve as MLA until the end of August. Edmonton Journal

Catherine Stewart has been appointed Canada’s new ambassador for climate change, succeeding Patricia Fuller. Stewart previously served as Canada’s chief negotiator on climate change and most recently was assistant deputy minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada's international affairs branch. Her appointment comes as Montreal gets set to host the the COP15 UN global biodiversity conference in December. GOC

Dr. Jean-François Côté has been appointed president and scientific director of the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM). Côté is internationally recognized for his research on metastasis and has led the Cytoskeletal Organization and Cell Migration research unit at the IRCM for the past 17 years. He also holds a new Canada Research Chair in Cell Signaling and Metastatic Cancer (Tier 1)Université de Montréal

Dr. Fei-Fei Liu has been appointed scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's Institute of Cancer Research for a term of four years, effective September 1, 2022. Liu is chief of the radiation medicine program and head of the department of radiation oncology at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network in Toronto. The Institute will be based at the University Health Network during Liu’s term. GOC

Alyssa Brierley is the new executive director of the National Institute on Ageing (Toronto). Brierley served as the health, social, justice and labour policy advisor to the president of the Treasury Board of Ontario and as the director of policy to the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure before serving as executive director and general counsel at the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation in 2018. NIA

Ray Newal has been appointed CEO of The C100, a not-for-profit Canadian technology member association. Newal was the head of capital and ecosystem at MaRS Discovery District; he also led the expansion of global investor Techstars into India, where he worked as the managing director from 2018 to 2020. He co-founded mobile video startup Jigsee and communication SaaS platform DOSE Work The C100 Betakit


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