The Short Report - September 21st, 2022: B.C. invests in clean energy; AI funding for ag-food; national standards for animals, and more.

Cindy Graham
September 21, 2022

The CleanBC Industry Fund is investing $25 million in carbon tax revenue, supporting 26 fossil fuel alternative projects, in three streams: emissions performance, innovation acceleration, and project feasibility studies. Projects include the replacement of propane-powered lift trucks with electric trucks at Kruger Products L.P. in Queensborough (provincial funding amount: $43,750), and replacing a natural gas-fired broiler with waste-heat exchangers on compressors at the Tourmaline Oil Corporation gas processing facility (provincial funding amount: $2.65 million). Government of British Columbia

Meanwhile, eight universities in British Columbia have received $30 million to support 120 post-secondary research projects through the BC Knowledge Development Fund. The universities receiving funding include Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, the University of Northern British Columbia, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Langara College, Vancouver Island University and the University of Victoria. Projects supported will include genomic and metabolic solutions for B.C. agriculture at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and studies on healthy brain development in pre-term infants at the University of British Columbia. Government of British Columbia

Protein Industries Canada is launching a new stream of programming through a $30-million commitment under the Government of Canada’s Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy Funded projects will use AI to grow Canada’s plant-based food, feed, and ingredients ecosystem. The first round of intakes is open from Sept.14 to Oct. 26; a second round will open in early 2023. PIC release Project Application Information

The University of Guelph’s Turfgrass Institute (GTI) celebrated its 35-year anniversary with the opening of the GM Frost Research and Information Centre, which includes 14 research plots to study pesticide use, grass species, varieties and seeding methods, sports field construction, and disease and weed control. The funding was provided largely by the Government of Ontario through the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario. UGuelph


Climate solutions accelerator Climate Ventures (Toronto) has merged into a partnership between Social Innovation Canada (formerly the Centre for Social Innovation), and Foresight Canada. This collaboration will run Earth Tech and Accelerate from Anywhere flagship programs through those organizations, rather than under the Climate Ventures brand. Climate Ventures

A new college dedicated to the study of leadership, the Wilson College of Leadership and Civic Engagement, will open in 2024 at McMaster University, thanks to a $50-million donation by former Chancellor Lynton “Red” Wilson. The centre will include learning and research collaborations such as policy hackathons, civic engagement opportunities through internships, and placements in community-focused organizations. It will also create the Wilson Chair in Leadership and Civic Studies, which will lead a team of researchers and visiting fellows from the public and private sectors. McMaster

Quebec artificial intelligence (AI) research institute Mila is partnering with Intel Corporation on a three-year strategic research and innovation collaboration to apply machine learning in climate science, disease research, and drug discovery. Mila

The University of Alberta has launched a new lab and endowed chair in asthma and obstructive lung disease, supported by a gift from AstraZeneca. The AstraZeneca Canada Inc. Chair in Asthma and Obstructive Lung Disease will be held by Dr. Paul Forsythe, who will set up the lab and research team to carry out the study. U of A

The University of Toronto Scarborough has launched a lab to research and address health disparities faced by the Black community in Toronto, with a particular focus on access to primary health care. The Black Health Equity Lab, directed by Dr. Notisha Massaquoi, will design solutions for health disparities and operate in partnership with Scarborough’s TAIBU Community Health Centre. U of T


Raven Indigenous Capital Partners, North America’s only Indigenous-led and owned venture capital intermediary, has launched Raven Fund II, its second fund, with an initial close of $46 million and a target size of $75 million. Investors include BDC Capital, Farm Credit Canada, the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, Vancity, and Bank of America. BDC

Carbon credit project investor and finance company Invert (Ottawa) has raised $25 million in equity financing, providing it with capital to expand its carbon credit streaming portfolio and continue developing its recently launched app. Investors include lead strategic investor Altius Minerals (Newfoundland and Labrador). Invert recently announced purchase and streaming agreements with Aperam Steel, Brazil's largest steelmaker, and BC Biocarbon, for high-quality carbon removal credits (CORCS) derived from biochar. Invert

Ideon Technologies (Richmond, B.C) has raised $21 million in Series A financing to help address the critical mineral supply shortage. The round was led by Playground Global (Palo Alto), with support from undisclosed existing investors and Ideon employees. Ideon’s other investors include the University of British Columbia Seed Fund, which participated in the company’s $1.3 million July 2020 seed round. Betakit


A fact sheet on global R&D spending by the U.S. Congressional Research Service finds that Canada ranks 11th out of 20 countries for spending on R&D. Other key report findings show the U.S. share of global R&D expenditures has fallen 40% since 1960 to about 31% of global spending while China's share has grown from 5% in 1960 to almost 25%, second only to the U.S. Since 2000, total global R&D expenditures have more than tripled in current dollars, from US $675 billion to US $2.4 trillion in 2020. Congressional Research Service Fact Sheet

The Canadian Foundation for Animal-Assisted Support Services has published Canada’s first voluntary national standards for animal-assisted human services. The standards outline the requirements for developing a management system for an animal-assisted human service provider (AAHSP) and aims to increase transparency and accountability of the delivery; establish requirements and best practices for administration and governance, and promote a voluntary, third-party conformity assessment program to cultivate a credibility chain. HRI Portal

A review of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol by the Institute for Sustainable Finance (Smith School of Business, Queen's University) and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada says the protocol, which is the most commonly used standard by companies measuring and reporting their GHG emissions, requires clearer directions for emissions measurement and disclosure. The report finds that the corporate standard is not prescriptive enough and requires significant application guidance, while the development process is not fully transparent and needs review. ISF


Former senior mineral economist and battery mineral advisor at the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Aleem Ladak has been hired by Tesla to work in government policy for critical minerals and supply chain. Ladak joined Tesla in August from the Ontario ministry, ahead of Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry François-Philippe Champagne's recent visit to Tesla’s car factory in Fremont, California to discuss the feasibility of building a Tesla battery gigafactory in Canada. Electric Autonomy Tesla Oracle

Dr. Adrian Le has been appointed chief medical officer of regenerative medicine and orthobiologics business Regenerative Medicine Institute of Canada. Le currently serves as the president and chair of the Canadian Board of Orthobiologics and Regenerative Medicine (CBORM), a not-for-profit dedicated to advancing the use of orthobiologics and regenerative medicine therapies in clinical practice. CBORM and Le will lead the creation and maintenance of a national data registry on patient outcomes for orthobiologics in Canada. RMIC physicians and clinics will participate in the registry to further develop evidence-based medicine in orthobiologics. Newswire

Dr. Peter Nickerson is the new dean of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and dean of the Max Rady College of Medicine, as well as vice-provost (health sciences) at the University of Manitoba. Nickerson is a physician and researcher in the field of organ transplantation. University of Manitoba

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