ABB, ALUS Canada, ATB Financial, ATB ventures, B.C. Investment Agriculture Foundation, Bell, Bensadoun School of Retail, BioTalent Canada, Business Data Lab, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, Canada's Digital Technology Supercluster, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Forage and Grassland Association, Canadian Institute of Health Research, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Resource Innovation Network, Canola Council of Canada, Composites Development Centre of Quebec, Constellation Software, Cyber Security Innovation Network Program, Desautels Faculty of Management, Earth Daily Analytics, ECOCERT Canada, EKONA Power, Enerkem, Flex-Ion Battery Innovation Centre, FuellCell Energy, Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, Government of Quebec, Halles d’Innovation et de Formation Avancée, i-Open Group, Innovate BC, Innovation, Ionomr Innovations, Ivado Labs, KWI Polymers, l’Union des producteurs agricoles, Magna International, Manitoba Association of Watersheds, McGill University, ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation, Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Habitation, National Cybersecurity Consortium, National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program, New Brunswick Soil and Crop Improvement Association, Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, Perennia Food and Agriculture Inc., Prince Edward Island Federation of Agriculture, Province of British Columbia, QuantoTech, Queen’s University, Results Driven Agriculture Research, Science and Economic Development Canada, Sherbrooke OEM, Shopify, Simon Fraser University, Statistics Canada, Terramera, University of Saskatchewan, University of Victoria, Ventra Group, Verge Ag, Versa Power Systems, and Western University



The Short Report – Feb. 23, 2022: Funding for farmers to mitigate climate change, USask's cystic fibrosis study, a boost for postpandemic recovery research, and more.

Cindy Graham
February 23, 2022


The Government of Canada has launched a special call to support research for post-pandemic recovery through the New Frontiers in Research Fund, which aims to "mobilize Canadian-led research efforts in support of a more equitable, sustainable and resilient post-pandemic reality." The funding supports a diverse portfolio of projects that address one or more of the research priorities outlined in the UN Research Roadmap for COVID-19 Recovery. Up to $24 million will be provided to a minimum of 48 projects, with a proportion of the awards equal to the proportion of applications received being reserved for early career researchers. GOC

University of Victoria health researchers will receive more than $3 million in federal support from the Canadian Institute of Health Research's fall 2021 Project Grant competition to support a number of health studies. These include Dr. Nathan Lachowsky's study on the the use of 2SLGBTQQIA+ patients’ medical data ($654,840 in funding); Dr. Brian Christie's study on the effects of prenatal marijuana and alcohol use on learning and memory processes ($841,500) and Dr. Gautam Awatramani's study on combatting blindness ($1,082,475). UVic

Researchers at Queen’s University have received over $2 million in funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to advance programs addressing a series of public health challenges. They include Dr. David Reed ($918,000 for a five-year program aimed at finding new treatments for chronic abdominal pain), Dr. Mark Ormiston ($750,275 to study the molecular processes involved in pulmonary arterial hypertension), Dr. Chris McGlory ($535,500 to investigate the causes of muscle loss and possible treatments) and Dr. Imaan Bayoumi ($100,000 to develop a one-year research program on poverty and child health). Queen's University

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is awarding more than $800,000 over five years to a University of Saskatchewan (USask) research team studying cystic fibrosis using a One Health approach. The team includes two physiologists, a molecular biophysicist, two medical doctors and a veterinarian who will use the funding to explore cellular processes that occur in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, paving the way for potential new treatments. The ongoing collaboration is led by Dr. Julian Tam and Dr. Juan Ianowski. USask 


The federal government will provide up to $183 million to 12 organizations to improve resiliency to climate change for farmers through its On-Farm Climate Action Fund. Recipient organizations include ALUS Canada, B.C. Investment Agriculture Foundation, Canadian Forage and Grassland Association, Canola Council of Canada, ECOCERT Canada, Manitoba Association of Watersheds, New Brunswick Soil and Crop Improvement Association, Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, Perennia Food and Agriculture Inc., Prince Edward Island Federation of Agriculture, Results Driven Agriculture Research and l’Union des producteurs agricoles. Recipient organizations will redistribute the funding through individual application intakes. GOC Project backgrounders

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) is contributing nearly $40 million for over 20 small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) projects to reduce environmental impact and foster the green economy. The funds have been granted under CED's Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program and so far include $950,000 for waste recycling equipment manufacturer Sherbrooke OEM and $800,000 for the Composites Development Centre of Quebec in Saint-Jérôme for research in sustainable development. GOC

Earth Daily Analytics (EDA, Vancouver) has awarded a $30-million contract to global tech company ABB (Zurich) to develop and manufacture multispectral imaging systems on satellites circling the Earth. The images will be used by EDA to provide insights into climate change, enabling support for positive environmental action, including conservation and sustainable resource management. ABB

The governments of Canada and Quebec are granting nearly $23 million to the NPO Halles d’Innovation et de Formation Avancée (HIFA) to build an innovation centre specializing in next-generation packaging and manufacturing intelligence. The centre will enable SMEs in the manufacturing sector to accelerate their digital transformation and SMEs in the agri-food sector to help reduce food waste. The Government of Canada is granting a non-repayable contribution of $9.4 million under the Jobs and Growth Fund (administered by CED in Quebec) while the Government of Quebec is granting $13.4 million, including $12.9 million in non‑repayable financial assistance from the Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation and $500,000 from the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Habitation. GOC

The Government of Ontario is supporting an $18.5 million investment by auto parts manufacturer Ventra Group (Mississauga) towards the creation of the Windsor-based Flex-Ion Battery Innovation Centre, which will produce advanced lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and conduct product and manufacturing technology R&D. The provincial government is investing $1.5 million in the centre through its Regional Development Program. Government of Ontario

Vancouver-based cleantech company Ionomr Innovations will establish a U.S. fuel cell and green hydrogen electrolysis R&D centre in the Greater Rochester area of New York. The company will renovate its current space to create a customer applications test centre and expects to be operational at the new location by Q2 2022. Ionomr

Canada's Digital Technology Supercluster is investing more than $4 million in a project that creates a digital twin of a farm to support operational planning and decision-making using geospatial technology, data platform development, computer vision and artificial intelligence. The project is being led by Verge Ag (Lethbridge) in collaboration with Terramera (Vancouver), i-Open Group (Abbottsford), Simon Fraser University and QuantoTech (Vancouver) with nearly $6.5 million in industry support. The project is also being supported by the Province of British Columbia through the StrongerBC Agritech Grant program. Digital Supercluster

The Government of Canada is launching a challenge to Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses to propose solutions to help communities that could be at risk from wildfires. Under the Innovative Solutions Canada program, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is inviting SMEs to develop novel software capable of producing high-resolution vegetation mapping data in wildland urban interface areas and wildland areas near communities. Challenge winners may receive up to $150,000 to refine their R&D into novel software and up to $1 million to develop a working prototype. GOC


The National Cybersecurity Consortium (NCC), a federally incorporated not-for-profit established by experts at five Canadian universities in 2020, will receive up to $80 million to lead the Cyber Security Innovation Network (CSIN). CSIN is responsible for enhancing R&D, increasing commercialization, and developing cybersecurity talent by encouraging partnerships between academia and industry to address a shortage of specialists in the industry. GoC

The Government of Canada is contributing nearly $3 million towards the establishment of the Business Data Lab (BDL), a partnership between the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Statistics Canada. The lab will help governments, business associations and entrepreneurs identify growth opportunities for businesses and enhance the availability of data on Canada's business sector by providing results based on industry and geography as well as company size, age and ownership. GOC

Western University has committed $1 million towards eight 5G research projects that will test technological properties and capabilities in real-world scenarios at Western's living lab, which was created in 2021 as part of a partnership between Bell and Western. The projects are being carried out in partnership with Bell, and include applications in remote, robot-assisted surgeries, app development, big data processing and enhanced security for drones. Western

ATB Ventures, the research and innovation arm of Alberta-based ATB Financial, is collaborating with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to provide the technology platform to support its National Digital Trust Service proof of concept. Over 20 organizations are participating in the proof of concept with the goal of making it quicker, easier, and more cost-effective to issue and verify digital credentials. ITWorld Canada


Magna International, Constellation Software and Shopify round out the top three Canadian corporate R&D spenders on Research Infosource's top 100 R&D spender's list for 2021, their percent change over the previous year increasing by 31 per cent, 15 per cent and 57 per cent respectively. Research Infosource

Innovate BC and the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) are providing a combined total of over $2 million in R&D funding to help 14 companies pilot their technologies and create new jobs across B.C. through the B.C. Fast Pilot Program. The program will provide up to $200,000 in funding. Project areas include mitigating the impacts of climate change, improving operational efficiencies, and increasing health and safety. This is the third round of funding through the BC Fast Pilot Program, originally launched in 2019. Innovate BC


BioTalent Canada announced the release of its 2021–2022 National Compensation Guide for the Canadian bio-economy. The guide reviews 34 job titles and skills profiles within the Canadian bio-economy to provide employers with up-to-date compensation data. BioTalent Canada


Montreal-based ELNA Medical has appointed Dr. Maxime Cohen as its first head of artificial intelligence. Cohen leads the Scale AI research chair in data science for retail and teaches as a full professor of operations management at Bensadoun School of Retail and the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University. Cohen is also a scientific advisor in AI and data science at IVADO Labs (Montreal) and has served in strategy and research advisory roles with several companies, including Google/Waze, Aldo Group, IBM and Oracle. ELNA


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