The Short Report - July 15, 2020: Indigenous workers face high risk of automation, Quebec's homegrown innovators win funding, and more

Mark Mann
July 15, 2020

One-third of Canada's Indigenous workers are in jobs facing a high risk of automation, according to a new report by researchers at the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute and the Future Skills Centre. The study showed that Indigenous workers in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Prince Edward Island are more at risk from automation than non-Indigenous workers in these provinces. - Powell River Peak

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), one of the six regional development agencies (RDAs), will invest $16.4 million in 46 homegrown Quebec businesses and organizations to help them develop interactive solutions, specialized software, tailored digital platforms, online instruction programs and biotechnology products. The funds are being granted under CED’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program. -

The Canada Foundation for Innovation launched its second Exceptional Opportunities Fund focused on COVID-19, this time offering investments of up to $2 million for colleges, polytechnics and Cégeps to support urgent needs for equipment for ongoing applied research and technology development. The competition seeks proposals from all disciplines that can demonstrate a direct and immediate impact on current and pressing research issues related to COVID-19. The CFI will cover up to 100 percent of the eligible costs of a project. The CFI's previous Exceptional Opportunities Fund for COVID-19 was directed to universities and research hospitals. -

Dr. Khan Wahid (PhD) and his team of researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) received $250,000 from the federal New Frontiers in Research Fund to create an (AI)-enabled capsule capable of diagnosing gastrointestinal cancers. SmartCap will allow doctors to trace the smart capsule through its intestinal voyage with the help of wireless biosensors that detect and analyze disease indicators and communicate with external devices. - Yorkton This Week 

The International Centre of Expertise in Montreal for the Advancement of AI (ICEMAI) officially launched its activities. The new international research hub will focus on responsible AI and data governance through collaboration between private, public, and academic partners. Jacques Rajotte has been appointed the centre’s interim executive director. ICEMAI is part of the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI), a global Canada and France-led initiative that launched last month. - BetaKit

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O'Regan announced a $770,000 investment to help Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro build an electric vehicle (EV) network along the Trans-Canada Highway with 28 chargers across the province. The funding comes through the Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment Initiative (EVAFIDI) and the Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program, and builds on the $1,289,400 the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is investing in the project. -

Red Deer College (RDC) won an innovation enhancement grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) that will provide $400,000 in funding annually for five years to expand the research potential for the college's alternative energy systems. RDC was also awarded a technology access centre grant for $350,000 in annual funding over the next five years. “We will be able to offer the region access to increased applied research capacity, increased industrial services, higher profile for entrepreneurial clients, and access to a national network for collaboration,” said Joel Gingrich, dean of RDC’s school of trades and technologies. - Red Deer Advocate

Ingenium—Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation has announced plans to reopen the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and the Canada Science and Technology Museum. The reopening plan includes e-ticketing, requiring visitors to book specific times to visit the museums this summer and fall. - CTV News

Queen’s University and the Kingston Economic Development Corporation announced the first nine rural, women-led businesses to participate in a regional mentorship program. Drawing on more than $3 million in funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy is supporting the WE-CAN Project to provide three months of mentorship to female entrepreneurs in the area. - The Whig 

Hockeystick's Q1 2020 tech report for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) found a 63% decrease in total funding and a 41% decrease in total funding rounds. The biggest investments went to Top Hat ($72 million), which provides a learning platform for higher ed, and ADA ($63 million), a provider of blockchain-powered cryptocurrency. - Hockeystick


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