The Short Report - May 12, 2021: Canada invests $80 million in cyber security, a Canadian-German clean tech collaboration, the third Arctic ministerial, and more

Cindy Graham
May 12, 2021


The Government of Canada has committed an additional $375 million to the World Health Organization-initiated Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator to accelerate development, production and access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines on a global scale, bringing Canada’s total contribution to more than $1.3 billion. – GoC

The University of Calgary has launched an initiative to reduce the risks, incidence and long-term effects of preterm births thanks to $5 million in community donations through the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Calgary Health Foundation. The investment is part of the Calgary Health Foundation’s Newborns Need campaign, a $152 million commitment to advance maternal and newborn care in southern Alberta. – UCalgary

Toronto-based Myant, Inc. is the recipient of $1.5 million from the Government of Ontario’s Ontario Together Fund to research, test and deploy smart clothing technology that can detect oncoming diseases, including COVID-19. Myant aims to launch the technology by this summer. – ON Government

The University of Toronto hosted a workshop of attendees from academia, government and industry to address gaps in Canada’s biomanufacturing ecosystem and discuss solutions for public health challenges including COVID-19. – U of T


The Government of Canada is investing $80 million to position Canada as a leader in cyber security by launching centres of expertise in R&D, cyber security skills development and commercialization that will include the private sector, not-for-profits, Canadian post-secondary institutions and provincial, territorial and municipal governments. – GoC

The Government of Canada is contributing more than $4 million to launch a collective of farmers and scientists who will develop, test and share innovative agricultural practices and technologies through Living Lab – Ontario in the Lake Erie region. The hub is to be led by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association with research focused on reducing soil and nutrient runoff from agricultural land into Lake Erie, improving water quality, conserving soil health and increasing biodiversity on agricultural lands. – ON Government

The Strategic Innovation Fund is getting ready to launch programs that accelerate product development and technology adoption in Canada’s food industry. The Canadian Food Innovation Network is recruiting a board of directors and permanent staff team, including innovation directors from across the country. The formal launch is slated for September. – CFIN

Natural Resources Canada, the National Research Council and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany are launching a material acceleration centre focused on clean hydrogen, conversion to renewable fuels and new battery technologies. It will receive $2.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and matching funds from German host organizations in addition to $4.4 million of in-kind support from the Government of Canada. – GoC

Seneca College (Toronto) and Kingbridge Centre (King City, ON) are building an applied research and innovation hub that will scale businesses in agriculture, food production and processing, energy and environmental sectors in York region. – Seneca

The Government of Canada participated in the third Arctic Science Ministerial—an international gathering co-hosted by Iceland and Japan this year—to promote Arctic science collaboration and Indigenous research priorities. The Canadian delegation included the minister of northern affairs, Daniel Vandal; Canada’s chief science advisor, Dr. Mona Nemer; the president and CEO of Polar Knowledge Canada, Dr. Jennifer Hubbard, and the president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Natan Obed. – GoC

Meanwhile, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, United Kingdom Research and Innovation, POLAR Knowledge Canada, the National Research Council of Canada, Parks Canada Agency, and Fonds de recherche du Québec have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop a research program that studies changing Arctic ecosystems and its impacts on Inuit communities, and which will explore technologies that enhance resilience to environmental change. – GoC

The Indigenous Innovation Initiative, an Indigenous innovation platform hosted by Grand Challenges Canada, has announced the inaugural grant recipients for its Advancing Indigenous Gender Equality through Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Program. Ten projects from across Canada will receive a total of $2.5 million to advance Indigenous gender equality across health, economic and social dimensions. – Grand Challenges Canada


Autonomous farming business Precision AI (Regina) closed a seed round of $120 million in equity and grant funding co-led by At One Ventures (San Francisco), the Industrial Innovation Venture Fund of BDC Capital, with participation from Fulcrum Global Capital (Kansas) and Golden Opportunities Fund (Saskatoon). There were supporting non-dilutive co-investments from Sustainable Development Technology Canada and Protein Industries Canada (Regina). – Betakit

Montreal-based venture capital firm CTI Life Sciences Fund raised $100 million in the first close of its third venture fund; its limited partners included previous investors Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Investissement Québec and Teralys Capital. CTI Life Sciences’ third fund will target life sciences companies, particularly in biotherapeutics. – CTI Sciences Betakit

Canadian investor Arlene Dickinson has launched Venturepark, a business growth ecosystem focused on consumer-packaged goods (CPG) to support food and health brands. Dickinson's ecosystem offers capital, marketing, programming, innovation, commercialization and media amplification and will serve clients across North America. – Cision


Penny Walsh-McGuire has been appointed executive director of the Charlottetown-based biotechnology company Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences, a partnership of academia, industry and government that oversees future skills needs of the bioscience sector.  Walsh-McGuire has been CEO, executive director and chief marketing officer for several not-for-profit organizations and most recently served as chair of Holland College’s board of governors. Her appointment takes effect on June 7. – PEI BioAlliance


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