Canadian Space Agency , Concordia University , Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada , University of British Columbia, University of Manitoba , University of New Brunswick , University of Saskatchewan , Western University , 360 Concussion Care, ABB Canada, AbCellera Biologics Inc., Alberta Innovates, Arca Climate Technologies Inc. , Attawapiskat First Nation, B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy, BHP Group Ltd., Blackstone Minerals, Brookfield Asset Management, Business Development Bank of Canada, Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec, Canada Border Services Agency, Canada Revenue Agency, Canada's Ocean Supercluster, Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL), Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, Canvus, Cellebrite, Center for Affordable Water & Sanitation Technologies, CHEO Research Institute, Chiefs of Ontario, Competition Bureau Canada , Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), Correction Service Canada, Department of Finance Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Department of National Defence, Diagram, Dow Chemical, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ericsson, EverWind Fuels, Export Development Canada, Federal Court of Canada, Fraser Institute, Genetec Inc., GHGSat, Global Affairs Canada, Government of Quebec, Grayshift, Harmony Healthcare IT , Haskayne School of Business, InBC Investment Corp, Innovate BC, International Criminal Court, Investissement Quebec, Liven Proteins Corp., Magnet Forensics, Microsoft, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Cybersecurity Consortium, Natural Resources Canada, NBM Korea Co. Ltd., NEO Battery Materials, Nickel Search, Novacap, Oceana Canada, Once Upon a Time Foundation , Ontario Brain Institute, Ontario Infrastructure Bank, Palette Skills, Platform Calgary, Poseidon Nickel, Protein Industries Canada, Radio-Canada, Rakovina Therapeutics Inc. , RBC, Rogers Communications, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Sagard, Shared Services Canada, Sixty Degree Capital, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Solotech, Solutions Guiker Inc. , Startup Genome, Stem Cell Network, Supreme Court of Canada, Talon Metals, ThoughtExchange, Toronto Academic Health Science Network , Toronto Metropolitan University, Transportation Safety Board Canada , U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases , U.S. National Institutes of Health, United Nations, Université de Moncton, Université de Montréal, University of Calgary, University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization , University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, Upskill Canada, Vale, Vancouver Coastal Health, VERSES AI Inc., VWS Pathfinder , Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry , , WindEurope, and York University


Alberta Innovates' Digital Innovation in Clean Energy program, amendments to Artificial Intelligence and Data Act, audiovisual and entertainment technology, Axis Accelerator at University of New Brunswick, battery materials technology, Brookfield Infrastructure Fund, Canada's Ocean Supercluster Ambition 2035 goal, carbon catpure and storage at Alberta chemicals plant, carbon dioxide removal technology for mineral mines, career accelerator programs, CASTL national biomanufacturing skills and training program, clean energy hub in Nova Scotia, Climate Action Incentive Payment tax rebate, cloud-based solutions for physical security, concussion care, cybersecurity training, developing vaccine products, Diagram's ClimateTech Fund, experiential learning for entrepreneurs, federal departments using data-extraction tools, gap in government research funding for Toronto Academic Health Science Network , Global Startup Ecosystem Report Climatech Edition, greenhouse gas emissions in Canada , greenhouse gas monitoring from space using satellites, growing Canada's ocean economy, growth chart for the human cerebellum, growth of technology jobs in Canada , health data management, innovation in health care and climate, layoffs in biotechnology sector, legal challenge against the federal carbon tax, managing Canada's fisheries, mass timber construction , next-generation intelligence software systems, NRC Industrial Research Assistance program, number of new mines needed for EV metals , Ocean Startup Project, Pan-Canadian AI strategy, Platform Calgary's Launch Party 2023 tech startup winners, proposed federal cap on oil and gas industry's emissions, recycling wind turbine blades, regulatory framework for AI systems, review of Business Development Bank programs, security for 5G systems, social-ecological map of health of Canadian lakes, startup incubators, stem cell-based treatment for Type 1 diabetes, Tesla magnetic resonance imaging system, U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, UN COP28 climate summit, using AI in the engagement space, using AI to better control non-invasive cancer treatment, using AI to detect wildfires, Vegan Women Summit’s (VWS) Pathfinder Virtual Pitch Competition, and world's top cleantech and Blue Economy ecosystems

The Short Report: December 6, 2023

Research Money
December 6, 2023


Finance Canada announced up to $400 million in clean investment tax credits for Dow  Canada's $11.5-billion net-zero emissions ethylene cracker and derivatives site (photo at right) in Fort Saskatchewan near Edmonton. Dow will expand and retrofit its chemicals facility and incorporate carbon capture, utilization and storage technology to significantly reduce existing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and abate all new emissions resulting from the plant’s increased production. The company also will enhance its operations to produce clean hydrogen, which will be used as a clean fuel supply for the plant’s furnaces. Combined, these technologies are expected to reduce GHGs by approximately 1 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. The federal government support includes the federal Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage investment tax credit and Clean Hydrogen investment tax credit. The Alberta government, through its Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program, will provide a 12-per-cent grant up to $1.8 billion divided into three rebates over three years of production, Dow plans to begin construction in 2024, with capacity additions expected to come online beginning with the first phase in 2027 and 2029. Finance Canada, Dow Canada

Global Affairs Canada announced a $125-million loan from Export Development Canada to support EverWind Fuelsclean energy hub, which includes a green hydrogen-green ammonia production facility in Point Tupper, in Nova Scotia. The loan will support clean power generation and clean hydrogen production for export to markets in Germany and around the world, as well as for domestic consumption. Global Affairs Canada

The University of Waterloo received $3.1 million from Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Palette Skills, to launch two new career accelerator programs. WatSPEED, UWaterloo’s professional and executive education arm, will develop intensive training opportunities to prepare people in the advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity sectors. The programs are powered by the Upskill Canada initiative. University of Waterloo

Alberta Innovates is providing $2.5 million in new funding through the Digital Innovation in Clean Energy (DICE) program for projects that support the development of digital technologies that create value and jobs while reducing emissions in the energy sector. Up to $250,000 is available per project for a term of 18 months. The DICE program encompasses technologies in artificial intelligence and machine learning, blockchain, industrial internet of things, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), virtual and augmented reality, digital twins, and many more. Alberta Innovates

The National Research Council of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) and Innovate BC are providing a combined total just over $2 million in R&D funding to 13 companies in British Columbia. The companies are piloting cleantech projects as part of efforts to support the development of a greener B.C. and bolster the province’s cleantech sector. The funding is supported through the BC Fast Pilot program, a joint initiative between NRC IRAP and Innovate BC. This is the fifth round of funding through the BC Fast Pilot program, which launched in 2019. NRC

The Protein Industries Canada global innovation cluster is expanding a call for projects under the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy. The call will consider projects from consortiums of companies that span the entire agriculture and food value chain, from seed genetics to on-farm production through to ingredient manufacturing, food processing and logistics. Protein Industries Canada


The University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) was awarded a seven-year contract valued at up to US$30 million from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. VIDO is one of only seven organizations selected as a member in the NIAID service provider pool. It is also the only non-U.S. organization and the only university-based organization selected. VIDO’s Vaccine Development Centre will play an important role in providing services to help a wide variety of researchers obtain the critical data needed to advance products, partnerships, and complete studies needed to enter clinical trials. University of Saskatchewan

Toronto Metropolitan University’s Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst, a major hub for training, innovation and collaboration in cybersecurity, received $16 million in additional funding from the hub’s founding partners. Rogers Communications committed $15 million over five years and RBC provided $1 million. The additional funding will support all aspects of the Catalyst’s work including its workforce training programs, cyber innovation and research. Over the past five years, the Catalyst has empowered more than 7,000 individuals and 500 organizations across Canada with its cybersecurity programs and initiatives, the partners said. Toronto Metropolitan University

The CHEO Research Institute in Ottawa, 360 Concussion Care, and the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) announced a $5.4-million research collaboration that aims to transform concussion care globally, advancing knowledge and treatment across the full spectrum of impacted patients, Funded by OBI, the TRANSENDENT research program is led by Dr. Roger Zemek, clinical research chair in pediatric concussion and professor at the University of Ottawa’s Brain and Mind Research Institute and senior scientist at CHEO. The TRANSCENDENT team will identify precise indicators to reliably track concussion recovery, utilizing cutting-edge assessments including physiological evaluations, fluid biomarkers and advanced neuroimaging. They will conduct parallel studies and transfer critical knowledge in real time – to improve the diagnosis, treatment and management of concussion from all causes, across the entire patient spectrum. The team also will share its datasets of thousands of patients via the OBI’s collaborative research platform Brain-CODE, to leverage international partnerships and cross-link related datasets using advanced neuroinformatics. uOttawa

Concordia University has partnered with communications technology company Ericsson, University of Manitoba, and University of Waterloo on a new research project funded by Canada’s National Cybersecurity Consortium (NCC), under the Cybersecurity Innovation Network. The “Building Cyber Resilient and Secure 5G Network Through Automation and AI” study will investigate 5G security by designing and implementing technologies that can prevent, predict, detect and mitigate cyber threats using machine learning and artificial intelligence. The NCC will contribute $1 million over three years, with matching funds of $1.2 million from Concordia, Ericsson and the University of Manitoba. Concordia University

The University of Toronto and its partner hospitals are propelling the Toronto region as a leading global hub for life sciences research, but the network’s success is at risk from under-investment, according to a new report. The report, commissioned by U of T and done by Shift Health, examined the strengths and challenges within the Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN), which comprises U of T and 14 academic hospitals – and its surrounding ecosystem. In addition to leading on research, talent and public and private investment in Canada, the report found that TAHSN rivals top-tier hubs in the U.S., despite a significant gap in access to government health research funding for the TAHSN hub, compared with its U.S. peers, along with higher salaries for life sciences research talent in the U.S. Other issues outlined in the report include the lower number of early-phase clinical trials conducted in Canada compared with leading U.S. hubs, and a lack of sufficient capital to scale startups into global champions. The report marks the first time TAHSN’s impact has been evaluated against leading hubs in North America. Measuring 10 quantitative indicators, the report found that TAHSN’s strength lies in its fusion of discovery research, talent development, startup and commercialization supports, and robust industry partnerships. More investment in the life sciences sector is needed if the federal and provincial governments are to meet their goals of leveraging new investments in bioinnovation and biomanufacturing, increase the competitiveness of Canadian companies, and meet the projected demand for more workers, said members of TAHSN. University of Toronto

A team led by Western University professor of computer science and neuroscientist Jörn Diedrichsen has received $1 million from the Once Upon a Time Foundation to develop a growth chart for the human cerebellum across an entire lifespan from birth to 80 years. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that was historically thought to be primarily responsible for motor control and balance. New research has revealed it supports cognitive and social functions as well, and cerebellar dysfunction has been linked to conditions such as autism, dyslexia and schizophrenia. Over the next three years, Diedrichsen and his collaborators will create an analytics pipeline that will estimate the volume of different parts of the cerebellum from an estimated 70,000 brain scans, from full-term and pre-term infants to people aged 80. The growth chart will allow clinicians for the first time to track neural development across a lifespan, providing a framework for diagnosis and prognosis. Western University

The University of New Brunswick’s Faculty of Business in Saint John launched a pilot initiative called the Axis Accelerator. The startup incubator will focus on developing programming to help faculty, students and alumni interested in entrepreneurship understand themselves as founders, identify lead customers, and build a scalable, repeatable sales strategy to help them take their business to the marketplace. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the provincial government each invested $127,500 in the pilot project. University of New Brunswick

The Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL), a national skills and training organization headquartered in Prince Edward Island, launched its national biomanufacturing skills and training program – CASTL Elevate. The program, supported and powered by Upskill Canada, will allow CASTL to train up to 400 new biomanufacturing workers with  in-demand technical and essential skills training for careers in the sector. As part of the 10-week program, CASTL will prepare participants for biomanufacturing technician roles through a series of self-directed and instructor-led learning, along with hands-on experience at one of CASTL’s state-of-the-art biomanufacturing training facilities in Charlottetown and Montreal. The program is supported by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s Upskilling for Industry initiative. CASTL

Engineers at the University of Waterloo are harnessing artificial intelligence to help doctors better see and control a non-invasive cancer treatment. Their imaging system will allow for the safer and more effective use of high-intensity, focused ultrasound to destroy a wide range of cancerous, often deadly, tumours. The system, the first AI-powered ultrasound technique developed for focused ultrasound treatment, can tell doctors exactly how much of a cancerous tissue is destroyed. Currently, ultrasound treatment is difficult to control with precision, which means the treatment can inadvertently damage healthy tissue near a tumour or leave part of a tumour untreated, allowing a cancer to spread. To overcome this problem, the UWaterloo team built its own prototype system that included an AI framework integrated with the ultrasound imaging procedure, along with a robotic arm, for real-time monitoring of focused ultrasound treatment. University of Waterloo

A team of engineers at the Université de Moncton in New Brunswick is training artificial intelligence to find wildfires faster. The team is fine-tuning an algorithm that works with satellite and drone images to detect fires more accurately than humans. The technology also predicts where a blaze will spread, helping firefighters know where to send resources. The algorithm quickly analyzes data from different sources, including sensors on the ground and images from drones and satellites. With those pictures, it rapidly scans pixel by pixel to search for smoke or flames, with a level of precision beyond what the human eye could detect. If it spots something of concern, the algorithm then considers environmental conditions – like heat and wind – to determine if it’s actually a fire. Moulay Akhloufi, a computer science professor and head of the university’s Perception, Robotics and Intelligent Machines Laboratory, said his research team’s fire-spread models will need more satellite data in order to be used in Canada. A new tool for getting a handle on wildfires is in development. In 2029, the Canadian Space Agency plans to launch WildFireSat, the world’s first purpose-built satellite for monitoring wildfires. CBC

Vancouver-based AbCellera Biologics Inc. laid off 10 per cent of its staff, joining a growing list of biotechnology companies reducing jobs as they face a prolonged sector slump. The company cut 63 jobs, mostly in Vancouver, as it shifts its focus away from discovering antibody drugs for other pharmaceutical companies – it has 110 such programs under way with 42 partners – and toward developing its own treatments. AbCellera had been on a rapid pace of growth, hiring more than 500 people since it went public nearly three years ago after rapidly discovering an antibody to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients, using its complex technology platform. AbCellera’s stock has shed two-thirds of its value in the past two years, but the company still has more than $US1 billion in total available liquidity. The Globe and Mail

Montreal-based rental platform Solutions Guiker Inc. acquired (the amount wasn’t disclosed) Toronto-based property tech startup, which offers a fractional real estate investment platform. The deal merges Willow’s security expertise and extensive user base with Guiker’s vast network of renters and landlords. This integration allows Guiker to introduce fractional ownership in rental properties, significantly widening access to real estate investment, Guiker said. Fractional ownership enables individual investors to invest in distinct real estate buildings, regardless of investment size. Guiker

Waterloo-based Open Text Corp., an information management software company, is selling its mainframe-computer business, Micro Focus's application modernization and connectivity unit, to Massachusetts-based Rocket Software Inc. for more than US$2.27 billion in cash. Open Text said it will focus on cloud capabilities and artificial intelligence, aiming for higher growth. Ground News  

ABB Canada in Quebec secured a third contract with Montreal-based GHGSat to manufacture optical sensors for GHGSat’s satellites scheduled to launch into orbit in 2024. GHGSat is a global leader in high-resolution greenhouse gas monitoring from space. The new satellites will join GHGSat’s expanding constellation which detects and quantifies industrial gas leaks from space. ABB has built the payloads for 10 of GHGSat’s emissions monitoring satellites launched into space. ABB said that this year the company doubled its manufacturing infrastructure dedicated to space projects to better serve the booming space sector. ABB

Vancouver-based cleantech startup Arca Climate Technologies Inc. is testing its system for carbon dioxide removal at BHP Group Ltd.’s nickel mine in Australia, launching a pilot project to decarbonize processing of the critical mineral. The B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy has provided Arca with a $1.25 million-grant for the project. It will take place over 18 months at BHP’s Mount Keith Nickel mine in Australia. Arca’s air-to-rock mineralization technology uses automated rovers and surface manipulation machines on mine tailings, to speed up the natural carbon mineralization process that occurs when certain minerals are exposed to air. The process also measures and verifies the amount of carbon captured, and calculates the value in terms of carbon credits. Arca was spun off of research done at the University of British Columbia; the three co-founders are geoscientists from UBC. The company said it’s now working with nickel producers, including global mining major Vale, Talon Metals,  and Australia-based juniors Poseidon Nickel, Nickel Search, and Blackstone Minerals,  to advance CO2 removal at mine sites on three continents. New Westminster Record, Arca Climate Technologies

New Westminster, B.C.-based VERSES AI Inc., a cognitive computing company specializing in next-generation intelligent software systems, has partnered with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to develop new interoperability and governance infrastructure for the global space economy. NASA in the U.S., along with partner nations, seek to advance international and interagency collaboration on space exploration through developing new technology and policy standards. VERSES AI's intelligence-as-a-service platform, Genius™, can provide the interoperability, knowledge sharing, transparency and accountability that are prerequisites for collaboration in space, said Jason Fox, the company’s chief technology officer. VERSES AI


Toronto-headquartered Brookfield Asset Management has raised a total of $30 billion for its flagship global infrastructure equity fund, Brookfield Infrastructure Fund. The raise includes $28 billion for the fund and approximately $2 billion in related co-investment vehicles. It is the largest fund every raised by Brookfield. The majority of the capital was raised from existing investors, including public and private pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions, endowments, foundations and family offices. Brookfield is focused on significant investment opportunities related to digitization, decarbonization and de-globalization. Brookfield Asset Management

Toronto-headquartered Sixty Degree Capital announced the close of its third venture fund, with $338  million to invest in high-growth enterprise software and healthcare startups. In enterprise tech, Sixty Degree Capital aims to invest in enabling technologies for enterprises such as data and cloud infrastructure, artificial intelligence, developer tools and cybersecurity. In healthcare, the VC firm primarily focuses on therapeutics, health services, medical devices and diagnostics, seeking to drive value-based care, uncover new modalities, address untreated diseases, and discover first and best-in-class therapeutics. Sixty Degree Capital has invested in Canadian startups, including Miovision and Northern Biologics. Sixty Degree Capital 

Montreal-based venture builder Diagram raised nearly $50 million for its new ClimateTech Fund, in commitments toward the fund’s $60-million target. The Quebec government, through Investissement Québec, and Sagard, an alternative asset management firm, partnered to co-anchor the fund. Other major investors included Mavrik, the family office of Mark Pathy, Fondaction, and Fonds québécois d’amorçage Teralys, a Teralys Capital seed fund financed by CDPQ. The ClimateTech Fund seeks to build and invest in companies developing capital-efficient digital solutions that accelerate the global transition to a more sustainable future. The fund will also invest in promising early stage companies sourced through Diagram and Sagard’s extensive network, with a particular focus on Quebec-based businesses. Diagram Ventures

Public pension fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) acquired a minority stake (the amount of investment was not disclosed) in Montreal-based Solotech, which provides audiovisual and entertainment technology. The goal of the investment – the largest in 45-year-old Solotech since 2013 – is to support the company’s acquisition and growth strategy to expand its markets. Solotech has 2,000 employees in 20 strategic locations in North America, Europe and Asia. Since 2013, the company has been held by a group of Quebec-based shareholders – Claridge, Investissement Québec and Desjardins Capital – that CDPQ now joins. CDPQ

ThoughtExchange, based in Rossland, B.C., raised $13.5 million in equity financing from InBC Investment Corp. along with existing investors Information Venture Partners, Yaletown Partners, Voyager Capital, HarbourVest and First Generation Capital. ThoughtExchange is a leader in the engagement space, combining AI capabilities with proprietary qualitative survey methods to help leaders innovate their strategies. Techcouver

Montreal-headquartered Novacap, a private equity firm, invested (the amount was not disclosed) in Indiana-based Harmony Healthcare IT (HHIT), a health data management and platform solution provider, to enhance HHIT’s technological capabilities and expand its role in the health information technology sector. HHIT’s HealthData Platform™, provides an enterprise-wide, cloud-hosted infrastructure that secures patient, employee, and business records for healthcare delivery organizations in the U.S. and Canada. Novacap

Toronto-based NEO Battery Materials announced that its South Korea subsidiary, NBM Korea Co. Ltd., closed a Series A $3-million strategic investment from Automobile & PCB Inc., a South Korea automotive parts manufacturer. The private share of sales raised more than $3.64 million. NEO Battery Materials is a battery materials technology company focused on developing low-cost silicon anode materials that enable longer-running, rapid-charging lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles, electronics and energy storage systems. The company is currently building its first commercial plant in South Korea. NEO Battery Materials

Vancouver-headquartered Spring Impact Capital unveiled a $20-million impact fund targeting high-potential Canadian innovation in the fields of health care and climate. The organization’s new venture fund represents an independent expansion of Spring, the company said. The fund intends to leverage Spring’s expertise in scaling high-growth, early-stage businesses to increase the development of impact ventures in Canada. Techcouver


The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), a Crown corporation, has contributed to the growth of small and medium-sized businesses, addressed challenges facing entrepreneurs, achieved positive financial results, and provided support during periods of economic uncertainty, according to a report by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). However,  BDC also needs to provide more support to specific groups, such as Indigenous entrepreneurs, newcomers and new businesses, ISED’s review said. Many communities, especially those in specific regions and rural areas, remain underserved by  BDC’s offerings, the report noted. “Research, analysis and stakeholder feedback highlighted data reporting and information sharing gaps, as well as a need for enhanced cooperation and alignment with partners.” ISED’s review covered the period from 2010 to 2022. Over this period, according to the report, the BDC supported SMEs at all stages of development and operating in all industries across Canada by:

  • increasing the number of direct and indirect clients served from 29,000 to 95,000
  • extending more than $75 billion in loans and investments to entrepreneurs
  • delivering close to 25,000 advisory mandates (which represent distinct advisory products or services provided to entrepreneurs at a specific point in time)
  • supporting the growth of the venture capital ecosystem, including by supporting Government of Canada programming 
  • working with over 150 partners (as of 2022) to extend its reach to SMEs
  • broadening its support to SMEs in underserved markets, including equity-deserving groups through targeted initiatives
  • enhancing client service through the launch of its online financing platform
  • delivering on key Government of Canada initiatives such as the provision of pandemic-relief to SMEs to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BDC, which lends money to small-business owners across Canada and invests in startups through its venture capital arm, increased its assets under management from $17.7 billion in 2010 to about $41.6 billion in 2022, and is the largest VC investor in Canada, according to ISED's review. ISED

The federal government is offering several amendments to Bill-27, the proposed Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA), in response to feedback from stakeholders and parliamentarians. François-Philippe Champagne, minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), said in a letter to the chair of the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology that the amendments include updating  the definition of “high-impact” AI systems to include several classes of high-impact systems that would be regulated – including to prevent discrimination against individuals. These classes include: AI systems related to employment and services provided to an individual; processing biometric information; moderating content on an online communications platform; in matters related to health care or emergency services; decisions by a court or administering body; and systems used to assist law enforcement officers. Other proposed amendments, aimed at identifying, assessing and mitigating risks of harm along the entire AI supply chain, would require organizations making high-impact systems commercially available to assess the impacts of both intended and foreseeable uses of their systems, report “near-misses” of harm to the federal AI Data Commissioner, and cease operations if a high-impact AI system has caused serious harm (such as death or bodily injury). The amendments also would require organizations with “general purpose” generative AI systems (such as ChatGPT and others now on the market), which can create text, audio, images and video that appear to either depict or to have been created by real humans, to ensure such “person-seeming” outputs can be readily detected by people, and to advise a human that they are communicating with an AI system. Other amendments would grant the AI Data Commissioner the powers to conduct investigatory activities, rather than those powers being allocated to ISED’s minister. The amendments also would align AIDA with evolving international standards in the EU and by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, including imposing more stringent requirements on high-risk AI systems at various stages of the system’s lifecycle, including pre-commercialization. ISED

Microsoft supports the implementation of the federal government’s proposed Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA), currently being debated in Parliament. AIDA’s initial focus on a risk-based approach provides an important benchmark for the future, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s vice-chair and president, wrote in a Microsoft report. Microsoft also supports federal, provincial and municipal governments as they look to establish regulation, policy and guidance for the responsible use of AI, Smith said. “We must always ensure that AI remains under human control. This must be a first-order priority for technology companies and governments alike.” Canada should consider using procurement rules to promote the use of relevant trustworthy AI frameworks, such as requiring suppliers to certify via third-party audits that they comply with international standards, Smith said. Microsoft also supports development of a broad legal and regulatory framework based on the technology architecture for AI, promoting transparency and expanding academic and nonprofit access to AI, establishing effective “safety brakes” to control critical infrastructure, and new public-private partnerships – including at the international level – to use AI as an effective tool to address the inevitable challenges that come with new technology. Microsoft

Nearly 300,00 technology jobs have been created in Canada over the past six years, with more employment growth projected in 2023, said a report by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), the nonprofit association for the information technology industry and workforce. Net tech employment reached an estimated 1,352,210 workers in 2022 and is projected to grow by 1.3 per cent this year, to nearly 1.4 million workers, according to the report. All provinces are projected to see an increase in tech employment this year, with nearly 60 per cent of growth in the Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver metro areas. Software engineers and designers, IT support and network technicians, database analysts and administrators, and computer and information system managers are the occupations in highest demand. The Toronto metropolitan area has the highest concentration of technology workers as a percentage of its overall workforce (10.3 per cent), well above the national benchmark  of 6.6 per cent. Vancouver (8.6 per cent), Montreal (8.5 per cent) and Calgary (6.9 per cent) also are above the national rate. The tech industry – nearly 55,000 business establishments – delivers a direct economic impact estimated at $113.4 billion, approximately 5.5 per cent of the overall Canadian economy, an increase from $104.6 billion in the prior year. The estimated median annual wage for a technology worker in Canada is $88,233 – 48 per cent higher than the median national wage for all occupations. CompTIA

North America is home to 10 of the world’s top 25 Blue Economy ecosystems, with eight in the U.S. and two in Canada – one in Atlantic Canada (ranked No. 8) and one in Vancouver (No. 14), according to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report Climatech Edition by San Francisco-based Startup Genome. The report looked at the potential of cleantech and the oceans-based Blue Economy, examining the current state of startup activity and associated investments in those sectors and rankings reflecting which global ecosystems are currently driving innovation. In the first half of 2023, Series A funding in the Blue Economy increased by 31 per cent compared with the first half 2021, with the median Series A deal increasing by 40 per cent, the report found. The report included contributed articles from Startup Genome’s research partners, including Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC), whose Ocean Startup Project with partners received special mention. With close to 600 members and a project portfolio valued at $420 million, OCS is supporting the delivery of more than 120 new ocean products, processes and services that serve to accelerate the digital, sustainable and inclusive growth of Canada’s ocean economy. OSC’s objective, detailed in the document Ambition 2035, is for Canada’s ocean sector to sustainably grow its ocean economy from $39 billion in 2019 to $220 billion by 2035. The six key drivers of that growth are: energy; sustainable seafood; marine transport; ocean technology; tourism and recreation; and the public sector, OSC said. In the Global Startup Ecosystem Report Climatech Edition, Vancouver ranked No. 5 in the top five cleantech systems in North America.  For the global cleantech sector, Series A funding increased 73 per cent and Series B funding by 166 per cent in the first half of 2023 compared with the first half of 2021. In the second quarter of 2023, cleantech increased its share of Series A funding to 25 per cent compared with all other tech startup sub-sectors – up from 14 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2022. North America’s cleantech “Ecosystems to Watch” are Calgary and Edmonton, the report noted. In 2022, Calgary ranked fourth in investment attraction across Canada with 64 deals totalling $647 million, and increased its total VC investment by 13 per cent from 2021 to 2022. Edmonton attracted $76.3 million in VC investment across 23 deals in 2022. Starup Genome

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has made no significant performance improvement in managing the country’s fisheries – measured against science, monitoring and management indicators – over the past seven years, according to the 2023 Fishery Audit by Oceana Canada. DFO has failed to rebuild depleted fish populations, harming marine life, coastal communities, the seafood economy and the planet, Oceana Canada, an independent charity committed to rebuilding Canada’s oceans through science-based fisheries management, said in its seventh annual audit. The number of health fisheries stocks has declined, less than a third of Canada’s marine fish and invertebrate populations can be considered healthy, and nearly 40 per cent of fisheries lack enough information to assign the health status needed to properly manage them, said Rebecca Schijns, fishery scientist at Oceana Canada. Only six of 28 critically depleted stocks have a plan to bring the population back to healthy levels, and none of them complies with the amended Fisheries Act, according to Oceana Canada’s audit. Oceana Canada

More organizations are adopting cloud-based solutions for physical security including data and business intelligence, according to a report by Montreal-headquartered Genetec Inc., which provides unified security, public safety, operations and business intelligence solutions. Based on a survey of more than 5,500 security professionals worldwide, 44 per cent of end users reported that more than 25 per cent of their physical security setups are now either in the cloud or use a combination of cloud and on-premises solutions. Cybersecurity concerns about the cloud are lessening, with respondents ranking cybersecurity risks in sixth position among the factors deterring their organizations from adopting security systems in the cloud, Genetec said. Sixty per cent of end user respondents said their organizations aim for a security deployment strategy that combines both on-premises and cloud-based solutions. Genetec

Tools capable of extracting personal data from phones or computers are being used by 13 federal departments and agencies, according to contracts obtained under access to information legislation and shared with Radio-Canada. Radio-Canada has also learned that those departments’ use of the tools did not undergo a privacy impact assessment as required by federal government directive. The tools in question can be used to recover and analyze data found on computers, tablets and mobile phones, including information that has been encrypted and password-protected. This can include text messages, contacts, photos and travel history. Certain software can also be used to access a user’s cloud-based data, reveal their internet search history, deleted content and social media activity. Radio-Canada learned other departments have obtained some of these tools in the past, but say they no longer use them. The federal departments included:

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission
  • Canada Revenue Agency
  • Shared Services Canada
  • Competition Bureau Canada
  • Global Affairs Canada
  • Transportation Safety Board Canada
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Correction Service Canada
  • Canada Border Services Agency
  • Department of National Defence
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Evan Light, associate professor of communications at York University’s Glendon campus in Toronto and an expert in privacy and surveillance technology, filed the original access to information request to find out more about how police agencies in Canada are using the technology. Light said he’s shocked by the widespread use of such software within the federal government, calling it “worrisome and dangerous.” According to documents Light shared with Radio-Canada, Shared Services Canada purchased the equipment and software for the end users from suppliers Cellebrite, Magnet Forensics and Grayshift. CBC

The sheer scale of new mines needed globally to produce the metals required for electric vehicle production raises serious questions about governments’ timelines for adopting EVs, according to a study by the Fraser Institute policy think-tank. The study, “Can Metal Mining Match the Speed of the Planned Electric Vehicle Transition,” by Kenneth Green, senior fellow at the Fraser Institute, found that a total of 388 new mines must be built worldwide to produce the metals, including nickel and lithium, required for EVs. As of 2021, only 270 metal mines operated in the U.S. and only 70 operated in Canada. According to a federal mandate, all new passenger vehicles and light trucks sold in Canada must be zero-emission by 2035, and 50 per cent of all new passenger cars and light trucks in the U.S. must be zero-emission by 2030. The International Energy Agency (IEA) suggests that to meet international EV adoption pledges, the world will need 50 new lithium mines by 2030, along with 60 new nickel mines and 17 new cobalt mines, Green said. The materials needed for cathode production will require 50 more new mines, and anode materials another 40 mines. The battery cells will require 90 new mines, and EVs themselves another 81 mines. Due to the time required to locate, design, develop and build mining and refining projects – including time related to regulatory requirements imposed by government – it takes significant time to get mining projects up and running, Green noted. For example, lithium production from a new mine takes between six and nine years, and nickel production takes between 13 and 18 years, according to the IEA. “In light of these production timelines, the Canadian federal EV mandate, which is approximately 11 years away, seems unrealistic,” Green said. “The significant risk of inadequate mineral and metal production threatens the viability and realism of government-mandated EV transition plans.” Fraser Institute

Canada needs a "concrete and measurable plan" to connect the country's upstream mining and materials sectors to the domestic battery sector and the downstream parts and assembly sectors, according to a report by Acclerate, a zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) industry association of manufacturers, parts suppliers, miners and others. Faster advancement and commercialization also is needed in evolving Canadian manufacturing and battery technologies, as well as in fuel cells, said the report. It is based on a survey of 20 senior corporate executives within Canada's ZEV supply chain. They expressed concern about the current lack of investment in certain pivotal segments of the supply chain, particularly mid-stream processing. Other concerns were: deployment of charging infrastructure; permitting timelines for critical mineral mines; the lack of public investment in the infrastructure to enable new mines to operate;  the need for more technical know-how within the ZEV supply chain labour force; and the impact of the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act incentives on foreign direct investment in Canada. On the positive side, Canada's advantages include: strong manufacturing and technology sectors; a clean national energy grid (but with grids that aren't yet ready to handle the additional load demands from large-scale ZEV deployments); abundance of water and critical minerals; strong talent and training systems;, a positive tax regime; and the availability of R&D tax credits. The report identified four areas to guide development of an industrial plan aimed at building a thriving ZEV industry for Canada. These areas are:

  • Canada must significantly invest in every segment of the supply chain
  • Canada is best positioned if it sees this industrial opportunity as one focused primarily on North America
  • key performance indicators are integral to measuring Canada's progress towards success
  • industrial planning must focus on both the production of today's resources, materials, components, vehicles and infrastructure, along with innovating and scaling tomorrow's technologies. Accelerate  

The Chiefs of Ontario (COO) representing First Nations across the province, along with Attawapiskat First Nation, have launched a legal challenge against the federal government’s carbon tax, maintaining the tax discriminates against people who live on reserve. The COC and Attawapiskat asked for a judicial review in Federal Court, saying the federal government refused to negotiate with First Nations in Ontario to alleviate the “discriminatory and anti-reconciliatory” application of the Greenhouse Gas and Pollution Act on First Nations. First Nations face significant infrastructure and economic gaps, making it difficult to transition to less carbon-intensive alternatives, they said in their court filing. Technologies like electric vehicles or heat pumps are not only unavailable, but unworkable and unaffordable in many Indigenous communities that already have higher poverty rates than the rest of Canada’s population, the COC said. Also, the federal Climate Action Incentive Payment tax rebate isn’t readily accessible to First Nations. Many First Nations members living on reserves don’t pay income tax (income earned on reserves is tax-exempt), so can’t access the rebates. First Nations administrations in Ontario receive a group rebate of 0.7 per cent of the carbon levy collected in the province. But COC and Attawapiskat argue this is insufficient to offset what their members pay. COC

Steven Guilbeault, minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, announced at the United Nations COP28 climate summit that the federal government has published draft methane regulations for the oil and natural gas industry. The target is to reduce methane emissions by at least 75 per cent from 2012 levels by 2030. Ottawa also announced a $30-million investment to establish a Methane Centre of Excellence in the near term to improve understanding and reporting of methane emissions, with a focus on collaborative measures to support data and measurement. The Alberta government, responding in a statement, said the federal government has "unilaterally established" new methane emissions rules and targets that are "costly, dangerous and unconstitutional." It is illegal for Ottawa to attempt to regulate Alberta's  industries in this manner, and the government "will use every tool at our disposal to ensure these absurd federal regulations are never implemented in our province," the UCP government said. Guilbeault said earlier at COP28 that the government's  proposed cap on emissions from the oil and gas industry is coming, but it’s taking longer than expected in part because of a recent Supreme Court decision that found Ottawa had overreached with its environmental protection laws, While the federal government’s carbon-pricing law was upheld by the Supreme Court, the court deemed the government’s environmental assessment law unconstitutional in part. The Alberta government has vowed to fight the imposition of the emissions cap. The oil and gas sector was responsible for about 28 per cent of all GHG emissions in Canada in 2021, making it the largest emitter in the country. On the international front, on COP28's first day, several nations pledged a total of more than $300 million to a new fund to help poor nations cope with costly climate disasters. However, most of the 23 countries plus the EU that pledged in 2015 to double their investments in clean energy R&D, as part of the Mission 1.0 initiative, still haven’t – including Canada. The U.K. was the only nation that met the target, while Canada has reached 56 per cent of the target and the U.S. 36 per cent.  Environment and Climate Change CanadaThe Globe and Mail, Information Technology & Information Foundation

THE GRAPEVINE –News about people, institutions and communities

Three Calgary-founded startups received awards at Launch Party 2023, spearheaded by Platform Calgary – the largest technology startup celebration of the year in Calgary. The event capped off Innovation Week which brings together thousands of people to attend activities hosted by partner organizations across the city to learn, connect and celebrate tech and innovation. Each year, 10 Calgary-based startups are showcased at Launch Party, of which three receive standout awards. This year’s award winners are:

  • Alumni’s Choice Award – AITHR Automotive Intelligence, an intuitive, easy-to-use AI-powered car-searching software for auto dealerships that instantly scans inventory of inspected vehicles to optimize deal structuring and enhance the buying experience.
  • Alex Raczenko Pitch Award – OraQ AI, which uses AI and machine learning to empower dentists to deliver precision dental care while enhancing the patient experience.
  • People’s Choice Award – ENA Solution, a durable, easy-to-use thermostat designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses that have not grown to the point of smart building control and were stuck using legacy and often wasteful technology. 

The other seven startups recognized at this year’s Launch Party are:

  • Neobi, a market intelligence data solution providing real-time Canadian cannabis sales data analytics.
  • Monark, an interactive, data-driven development and performance optimization platform for new and middle managers. The technology combines live mastery sessions with a robust, machine learning-powered platform, to deliver lasting behaviour change, higher engagement and lower turnover.
  • MedEssist, which builds and deploys world-class clinical solutions, digital business tools and a full-service technical support team to bolster independent pharmacies.
  • Huumans, an AI-powered financial service and accounting ecosystem that makes it easier and more efficient for businesses to understand and manage their financial data.
  • Hempalta, which creates and produces a diverse range of industrial hemp-based commercial and consumer products for a healthier and more sustainable future.
  • Digital Carbon Bank, which provides a secure platform for standalone companies and joint ventures to efficiently manage digital emissions and carbon assets.
  • Collegium Technologies Inc., a fully-digital, data and AI-driven commercial real estate development management company whose platform significantly reduces cost, schedule and risk for commercial real estate developers. Platform Calgary

Fei Luo of Toronto-based Liven Proteins Corp. won this year’s Vegan Women Summit’s (VWS) Pathfinder Virtual Pitch Competition, securing a spot to showcase her company’s products at the 2024 Vegan Women Summit in New York City. Liven Proteins uses precision fermentation to produce animal-free proteins from upcycled agriculture and food byproducts, including pea starch, to enhance the taste and texture of plant-based foods. Using synthetic biology and large-scale fermenters, the company creates protein ingredients from underutilized plant-based materials, supporting a circular economy in the food industry. Additionally, Liven Proteins addresses food waste by transforming side streams from food processing into valuable protein ingredients. Four Canadian plant-based startups founded by women made the list of the top 10 finalists in this year’s international VWS pitch competition. vegconomist

Brian J. Porter was appointed as the inaugural chair of the board of directors at the Ontario Infrastructure Bank. This appointment is the first governance step in establishing the arm’s-length, board-governed agency. Porter served as president and CEO of Scotiabank until January 31, 2023. He currently serves as board chair of Huron University College at Western University, as a director of the Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., and as a board director of the Atlantic Salmon Federation. Ontario Infrastructure Bank

Valerie Oosterveld, a law professor at Western University, was appointed to the prestigious position of special advisor to the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) prosecutor Karim A. A. Khan. While at Western, Oosterveld’s research has centred around gender issues within international criminal justice. In 2022, she was part of a pan-Canadian partnership honoured with the 2022 Partnership Award by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for advancing international criminal justice. Oosterveld was one of three new special advisors appointed by Khan. According to the ICC, the selection of new advisors helps to reinforce a network of experts representing different regions of the world with cultural, linguistic and gender diversity. All work done by special advisers is pro bono. Western University

Vancouver-based biopharmaceutical company Rakovina Therapeutics Inc. appointed Dr. Petra Hamerlik, PhD, chair of translational neuro-oncology at the University of Manchester and former central nervous system cancer bioscience lead at AstraZeneca, to Rakoniva’s scientific advisory board. The company is focused on developing novel DNA-damage response inhibitors to address high unmet medical needs in the treatment of cancer. Rakovina Therapeutics

The Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary has added a new Block Week course, “Entrepreneurial Leadership,” to its MBA curriculum this year. The course focuses on how to integrate leadership within an established enterprise. The course pairs elements of the classroom with experiential learning through onsite visits to the Centre for Affordable Water & Sanitation Technologies, where students are asked to identify opportunities for the company to create and sustain a competitive advantage. Development support for the new course came from the RBC Teaching and Curriculum grant program administered by the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to help strengthen entrepreneurial learning. Through a grant from this same program, Dr. Michael Robinson, PhD, professor of entrepreneurship finance at Haskayne, has written a new book, Founder's Guide to Governance: Beyond a Good Idea, to help business creators understand the skills, knowledge and resources required to lead a company. UCalgary

The Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry is now home to Canada’s first 15.2 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging system – one of the most powerful MRI systems in the word. The $6-million pre-clinical scanner – only the second of its kind in North America and sixth in the world – is a boost for neuroimaging research at Western, enabling researchers to study the brain with unprecedented special resolution and unique image contrast. The new MRI system arrived in November and is expected to be ready for use by mid-2024. The system will support interdisciplinary research focused on neurological disorders, including pioneering research in neuroimmunology led by newly announced Canada Excellence Research Chair Dr. Robyn Klein as well as a multicentre project focused on drug development for neurological conditions led by Dr. Ravi Menon, PhD. This project has received $24 million from the federal New Frontiers in Research Fund. Western University

The Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL) unveiled its new biomanufacturing training facility at the Angus Technopole in east Montreal. The facility contains state-of-the-art pilot-scale bioprocessing equipment, including: bench-top and pilot-scale single-use bioreactors; laboratories including a cell culture lab; a solution and preparation area; and classroom spaces that will enable employees to gain practical skills immediately transferable to the operations and workflows used in biomanufacturing. The facility mimics biologics production processes such as those used to manufacture monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, viral vectors and other biopharmaceutical products. The training facility was made possible through an investment of $2.5 million from the Quebec government, along with support from adMare BioInnovations and various other partners. CASTL

The University of New Brunswick’s (UNB) engineering faculty, the longest-standing in Canada, is revolutionizing its legacy with a sustainable twist as it constructs its new engineering commons. The open-concept, nearly 20,000 sq-ft of new learning space is supported by mass timber wood columns with a glass façade, blending innovation with a deep appreciation for its historical significance and the province’s forestry heritage. The renovation and expansion of Head Hall, including a three-storey atrium, is a $22.9-million project that will create a cutting-edge, sustainable space for learning, collaboration and innovation. Construction is expected to be completed by June 2024. The project was made possible by a cornerstone gift of $1.1 million from UNB engineering alumnus Bill Cooper (BScCE’62), with alumni and friends contributing more than $5 million to the project. UNB

New clinical trial results from the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health show that an innovative stem cell-based treatment for Type 1 diabetes can regulate blood glucose levels and reduce dependence on daily insulin. “This is a significant step toward a functional cure for Type 1 diabetes,” said Dr. David Thompson,  principal investigator at the Vancouver trial site, clinical professor of endocrinology at UBC. and director of the Vancouver General Hospital Diabetes Centre. The findings, published in Nature Biotechnology, arise from a multicentre clinical trial for an experimental cell therapy developed by U.S. biotechnology company ViaCyte (acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals) that is being clinically tested in Canada. The therapy aims to replace the insulin-producing beta cells that people with Type 1 diabetes lack. Dubbed VC-02, the small medical implant contains millions of lab-grown pancreatic islet cells, including beta cells, that originate from a line of pluripotent stem cells (which can be used to create any cell or tissue the body needs to repair itself). The VC-02 devices – approximately the size of a Band-Aid and no thicker than a credit card – are implanted just beneath a patient’s skin where it's hoped they will provide a steady, long-term regulated supply of self-sustaining insulin. The Vancouver-based clinical trial, funded by Canada’s Stem Cell Network, was conducted at Vancouver General Hospital, with additional sites in Belgium and the U.S. Ten participants, each of whom had no detectable insulin production at the start of the study, underwent surgery to receive up to 10 device implants each. Six months later, three participants showed significant markers of insulin production and maintained those levels throughout the remainder of the year-long study. These participants spent more time in an optimal blood glucose range and reduced their intake of externally administered insulin. Some 300,000 Canadians have Type 1 diabetes, which is estimated to cost the Canadian health care system $29 billion annually. UBC

A team of biologists at Université de Montréal combined three national datasets to produce the first-ever “social-ecological” map of the overall health of Canadian lakes. Their study, which looked at 659 lakes in 12 southern Canadian ecozones, is published in the open-access journal Facets. Led by professor Roxane Maranger, who holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in aquatic ecosystem science and sustainability – and involving then-members from her lab – Andréanne Dupont, Morgan Botrel and Nicolas St Gelais – the scientists analyzed information collected from three independent national datasets: the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s Canadian Lake Pulse Network (2019); the World Wildlife Fund Canada’s Watershed Reports (2017); and Statistics Canada’s Survey on the Importance of Nature to Canadians (1996). The first dataset provided data on the biophysical and chemical characteristics of lakes, while the second dataset evaluated the level of threats to the lakes’ health. The third dataset established what recreational uses Canadians were making of their lakes, corrected for current population densities. Threats include pollution, climate change, invasive species, overuse of water, and loss of natural habitat. The highest overall threat levels were found around the Great Lakes and the southern part of the Prairies. Regions within the St. Lawrence River watershed were the only ones affected by water overuse in the assessment used. Pollution was a widespread threat, especially along the U.S. border. Canada has more than 900,000 lakes – more than any other country in the world. Université de Montréal

Canvus, a company based in Rocky River, Ohio, is recycling used wind turbine blades into public benches, including outside the Great Lakes Science Center in downtown Cleveland. Each bench, painted by local artists, weighs 230 kilograms (about 500 pounds). A dozen benches reuse about one-quarter of a single 45-metre wind turbine blade. Many more blades will soon need second lives of their own, as wind turbines installed in the early 2000s start to reach the end of their lifespan. By 2025, trade association WindEurope estimates that 25,000 tonnes of wind turbine blades will be phased out each year in Europe alone, equivalent to the weight of more than 6,000 Hummer SUVs. Currently, most wind turbine blades end up in landfills or are incinerated. Turbine manufacturers are working on making their blades recyclable, but for now startups like Canvus offer a more immediate fix: repurposing them into planters, picnic tables and park benches. Bloomberg



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