The Network in Action: 3 Year Snapshot

Wed, August 26, 2020

With Springboard’s 6th phase of funding in full swing since April, we’ve been reflecting on all the high points from our past three-years and captured them in a new highlights document. This document dives into the continued growth of our organization and the impacts of our targeted industry initiatives.

Springboard exists as the bridge between the business and academia by engaging key Atlantic Canadian industries to identify gaps that could be addressed through R&D. In this brochure, read about some of the R&D projects led by our 19 member institutions in the past three years, or learn about some of our successful industry initiatives like the Lobster Food File project, which focused on the strategic development of the Atlantic Canadian Lobster Industry.

With over 40 Industry Engagement Professionals situated across Atlantic Canada, the Springboard network can increase the competitiveness of Atlantic Canada’s industries.

Click here and read more from our Phase 5 Highlights Document and help us share our successes on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Members in The News- Spring 2020

Fri, June 26, 2020

The events from these past few months have put a new focus on some of the projects, as researchers pivoted their efforts to aid in the fight against COVID-19. During this time, we’ve seen impressive and inspiring initiatives out of our institutions.

We’ve pulled together a handful of articles that show off the efforts of our network, so keep reading and get caught up on where #TeamSB made the news so far in 2020.

Acadia University

Researchers at Acadia University are responding to COVID-19 in a number of ways. Members of the university’s psychologyy department are investigating predictors of intimate partner violence and staff from its Nutrition and Dietetics deprtment are assessing challenges within local systems during COVID. Click here to read more about those projects and others on Acadia’s website.  

Cape Breton University (CBU)

Martin Mkandawire is a chemistry professor at CBU that’s using a technology that can help speed up the testing process for COVID-19. Using surface acoustic wave technology, Mkandawire hopes to rapidly diagnose COVID-19 from a patients oral and nasal fluids, completing the process in less than 10 minutes. You can read more about that project here

Mount Allison University (Mt.A)

Matthew Betti is an assistant professor at Mount Allison University  is part of a national COVID-19 task force that is looking into a shortage of personal protective equipment, or PPE. His work on the COVID-19 task force includes crunching numbers to determine things like how much PPE Canada needs – province by province. Read more about this project here.

Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU)

Christine Lackner, a developmental psychologist at Mount Saint Vincent University  launched a national survey that will explore the family role in vaccine decision making. Lackner’s finding will zero in on demographic factors such as age, socio-economic status and family composition. You can click here to read more about this survey here

Saint Mary’s University (SMU)

 Dr. Maryanne Fisher, SMU’s “relationship professor” is studying the impact COVID-19 has had on dating and romantic relationships.She says online dating websites and appshave reported a surge in users during the pandemic. Read more about her research here

St. Francis Xaiver University (St.FX)

Dr. James Hughes is an assistant professor in Saint Francis Xavier University’s Faculty of Computer Science. He’s currently leading a study that will use artificial intelligence (AI) to explore the best strategies for COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and treatment in Nova Scotian communities. Read more about Dr. Hughes' project here. 

Resources and requests for COVID-19 research

Wed, March 25, 2020

Atlantic Canada’s researchers are among those working to develop countermeasures against the virus. Here’s a round-up of some of the regional and national resources available to support this important research, as well as additional supplies and manufacturing capacity needs that have been identified by the Government of Canada.

Provincial Resources
New Brunswick
Newfoundland & Labrador
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
regional & Federal announcements and resources
Additional Needs

PRESS RELEASE: Springboard Atlantic brings Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster (NGen) to the region.

Tue, March 10, 2020

[Halifax, NS, March 10, 2020] – The Canadian Advanced Manufacturing (AM) Supercluster, run by the not-for-profit Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), is headed to Atlantic Canada thanks to efforts from Springboard Atlantic Inc. (Springboard). This collaboration is designed to increase the awareness of the AM Supercluster among Atlantic Canadian companies and research institutions.

“NGen is dedicated to leveraging the strengths of our manufacturing and technology sectors and our highly skilled workforce right across Canada to build world-leading advanced manufacturing capabilities for the benefit of Canadians. We want to ensure that Atlantic Canada can benefit from the collaborative project opportunities NGen supports, and that advanced manufacturing capabilities in Atlantic Canada play a bigger part in our country’s economic future.” says Jayson Myers, CEO of NGen.

A general information session will be hosted via Webinar on March 25th, including an overview of the AM supercluster and how Atlantic Canada’s business and research communities can participate.

On May 28th 2020, Springboard Atlantic and NGen will host the Advanced Manufacturing Collaboration Day for Atlantic Canada’s manufacturing sector at Pier 21 in Halifax, NS.

Outcomes for AM Collaboration Day include conversations regarding manufacturing sector challenges here in Atlantic Canada, identifying potential projects that could leverage AM Supercluster funding or other non-supercluster funds, and an Atlantic Advanced Manufacturing Research Expertise and Capacity report, which will be made available regionally and shared via NGen to their membership.

 “I’m pleased that Springboard has the opportunity to introduce NGen to Atlantic Canada. We have deep research expertise and innovative businesses in our region that can increase sector competitiveness and sustainability while generating new economic opportunities for Canada.” says Daryl Genge, CEO of Springboard Atlantic.

Manufacturing is a cornerstone of Canada’s economy, accounting for approximately $174 billion of Canada’s GDP and representing more than 10% of the total GDP. With more than $354 billion in exports each year, it represents 68% of all of Canada's merchandise exports.

For more information about this initiative, click here.

Springboard Atlantic 

Springboard Atlantic is Atlantic Canada’s commercialization network. We represent the collective academic research and development expertise of 19 universities and colleges across the region. We act as a bridge between academia and industry bringing world class ideas to the marketplace and drawing in industry challenges to be solved. With over 10,000 researchers, 30 industry engagement professionals and over 6000 research deals done in the last 3 years our model stands alone in Canada as an example of collaboration.

Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster NGen
Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster is led by Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), an industry-focused, not for- profit corporation dedicated to positioning Canada as a world leader in advanced manufacturing capabilities. The Supercluster will drive connections between technology and industrial companies to accelerate the development, adoption, and scale-up of transformative capabilities in Canadian manufacturing.

For Press Inquiries:

Jennifer Lee
Communications Coordinator, Springboard Atlantic
T: +1 902 421 5678

Jennifer MacLean
Director, Collaboration, NGen
T: +1 519 697 2258

Members in the News: Fall and Winter 2019/2020

Fri, February 28, 2020

NSCAD University students are utilizing their design skills to assist the residents of Northwood, a continued care facility in Halifax. This project, which was announced in November, is evaluating the SMART technology used by the residents to identify and address accessibility barriers.

Dr. Gary Thompson, College of the North Atlantic’s Director of Innovation and the geoscientist who was featured in our recent Industry Research Collaboration video series, was named Geoscientist of the Year by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum its annual conference in St. John’s.

The folks at the University of New Brunswick released an innovation ecosystem map, which was produced in partnership with Global Advantage Consulting Group. The study showed that New Brunswick’s share of Canadian GDP had fallen from 1.7 percent in 2013 to 1.64 in 2017 and concluded that the province needs more innovation.

And X-Terra Resources Inc, precious resources exploration and acquiring company, entered a strategic partnership with the University of New Brunswick’s Research Chair in Economic Geology, Dr. David Lentz to do R&D for the company.

Tuma Young, Dr. Claudette Taylor, Dr. Matthias Bierenstiel and Dr. Audrey Walsh are part of a new research group at Cape Breton University studying Maskwiomin, a traditional medicine made from the oil of birch bark and is used to treat skin conditions such as rashes, eczema and psoriasis. The researchers received a $850,000 grant to develop this traditional Mi'kmaw medicine for potential future commercial production as a skin ointment.

Memorial University is “expanding focus” with its new Lab2Market Oceans Program. Lab2Market is a team-based, experiential learning and lean methodology-driven program focused on training PhDs and post-doctoral scholars to become the next corporate innovators.

A chemistry professor at St. Francis Xavier University has found a way to freeze lobster for preservation, without compromising taste. Dr. Shah Razul used high-tech computer simulations to determine the best “ingredients” (a combination of biomolecules) to freeze the lobster.

And in January, St.FX signed a memorandum of understanding with Maritime Launch Services (MLS). The company has proposed to construct and operate a private commercial space launch site for launching satellites into low Earth orbit and establish a commercially-controlled, commercially-managed launch site that would provide options in North America.

Members in the News- Summer and Fall 2019

Wed, October 30, 2019

Significant funding announcements, research licenses and new centres; Springboard Atlantic had an excellent quarter.

One important piece of news that benefits the entire network was announced at the end of August when ACOA said it will refund Springboard, giving our organization another three-year runway. Springboard will receive $9.6 million from the government along with a matching contribution of $5.1 million from out members.

This quarter saw even more funding news at the University of Prince Edward Island’s Atlantic Veterinary College, Memorial University and Acadia.

UPEI’s AVC received $1.3 million in federal funding to expand on research projects that will benefit the dairy industry. Meanwhile, entrepreneurship programs at Memorial University and Acadia received provincial ACOA grants totaling to almost $1.9 million.

The grants will be used to fund Memorial’s Centre or Entrepreneurship (MCE), while at Acadia it will go towards the LaunchBox, a new entrepreneurship “sandbox” at the University.

Aqualitas, a cannabis company in Windsor Nova Scotia, entered the European cannabis market. This article covered that story and gave a particular shout out to our organization, acknowledging the researchers at Dalhousie and Acadia that they were connected with via the Springboard network.

It said:

“The organization benefits from the powerful relationship it shared with Springboard Atlantic, which represents 19 member universities in the Atlantic Canada.

It has established deep rooted, strong collaborative research partnerships with two of Springboard’s members, Dalhousie (Halifax, Nova Scotia) and Acadia (Wolfville, Nova Scotia) universities, to build a method of producing organic cannabis with minimal environment damage, and to develop sustainable products.”

Huddle wrote an excellent piece on our friends over at the Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick and the institutions advanced manufacturing capabilities. The article covers the local impact of CCNB-INNOV’s Applied Research Network and it’s ability to assist the manufacturing sector with specialized technical assistance on business or production challenges.

Canutra Naturals Ltd, a cannabis-based natural products company in British Columbia was awarded its cannabis research licence, which means it can continue the development of its proprietary cannabis genetics and phenotypes at its flagship 76-acre campus in Kent County, New Brunswick, with the Université de Moncton as its research and development partner.

Innovative food chemistry research on the StFX campus received a boost with the news that human nutrition professor, Dr. Marcia English at St.FX, will receive nearly $200,000 in research funds to continue her innovative food chemistry research.

The funding will be used to purchase research equipment for her project entitled, “Food Chemistry Research Platform for Investigating Aroma-active Compound Interactions in Plant-based Proteins.” She has also received $88,626 in matching funds from Research Nova Scotia.

The Nova Scotia Government awarded $300,000 to Université Sainte-Anne professors, Karine Pedneault and Gustavo Leite to develop a winemaking research laboratory. This will include a wine making room, fermentation rooms and refrigerated storage rooms. 

The New Brunswick Community College’s (NBCC) Centre for Applied Research in Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing is aiming to open a lab that will support the region’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by boosting the provinces web-design and UX capabilities.

To execute this project, NBCC was awarded a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) toward equipment to begin Phase 1 of the lab.

And three new research centres were unveiled at Memorial University, UPEI and the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC).

UPEI received $18.5 million to build the new Canadian Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation. The university will be home to a new 45,000-square-foot facility that will be a centre for research, and support UPEI's Bachelor of Science in applied climate change and adaptation as well as proposed master's program.

Memorial University is establishing a new Harsh Environment Research Facility (HERF) to strengthen the region’s infrastructure and expertise in technologies operating in harsh environments, such as the ocean, energy, shipping, and aerospace sectors. 

And finally, NSCC has officially launched its Sensing, Engineering and Analytics-Technology Access Centre (SEA-TAC) thanks to a 1.75 million investment from the Government of Canada.

Springboard receives $9.6M from ACOA

Fri, August 30, 2019

Last week was an exciting one for the Springboard network. We had our AGM, Board meeting, and made a very important announcement.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is continuing its support for Springboard Atlantic by investing $9.6 million, giving our organization another three-year runway.

ACOA’s investment is made in addition to contributions from the member institutions, which totals $5.1 million.

The announcement took place at The Labs at Innovacorp and was well-attended by some of our members, our board and some of our neighbours within the building.

The crowd got to hear Springboard stories from two successful Nova Scotian companies, Coloursmith Labs and Adaptiiv.

Adaptiiv is a med-tech company that uses 3D printing to improve patient experience in radiation therapy.

Dr. James Robar, the main researcher behind Adaptiiv’s technology shared his story along with his co-founder, Peter Hickey.

“A lot of inventions seem obvious in hindsight, and when we thought of the [3D Bolus] that’s how we felt.” Robar said.

“So we had this sense of urgency, but also had to file all the patents. Enter Springboard. We were able to do all of this, beginning with Springboard funding for proof of concept (PoC) and patent and legal (P&L) costs.”

By working closely with #TeamSB member, Doris Grant at Dalhousie ILI, Dr. Robar was able to navigate seamlessly through the PoC and P&L world and was connected with Peter Hickey, one of the company’s co-founders.

“Springboard allowed us to get a head start,” Hickey explained.

“By talking with James and through ongoing conversations with Doris, I quickly saw what an opportunity it was not only from a commercial point of view but the importance of keeping this technology in Nova Scotia.”

Today, Adaptiiv has clients in 11 countries.

The crowd got to hear more about the benefits of Springboard’s multi-institutional network with Gabrielle Masone’s address. She talked about how the multiple members from our network helped her fast-track the development of her product, the world’s first colour-correcting contact lens.

“I knew in an instant that Springboard’s network of universities would be a key factor in driving the R&D growth of Coloursmith,” Masone said during the announcement.

 Her company leveraged the research expertise at three Springboard institutions and was assisted by, Margaret Palmeter from Dalhousie, Kevin Buchan and Danielle Goodfellow with SMU and Andrew Kendall at St.FX.

 “Because of [their] ability to action our ideas we proved our scientific concept, filed a foundational patent, graduated to have our own facility in  [The Labs at Innovacorp], closed a 600K financing round, and are now working with some of the world’s largest contact lens company to bring our contact lenses to market. All within one year.”

 The only unfortunate thing about our announcement was that we couldn’t name every single success story our members have had a hand in. Adaptiiv and Coloursmith are two of hundreds of collaborations our network helped facilitate.  

We can’t wait to continue the great work of our network and further the development of the Atlantic Canadian innovation economy. 



Members in the News- Spring 2019

Mon, August 12, 2019

The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) granted the Université de Moncton $100,000 to fund a project in partnership with Sweat Academy Athlete Development Inc. to design a connected (IoT) coaching machine for basketball players. 

NBIF had already funded a joint project between Sweat Academy and the Department of Electrical Engineering at UdeM in 2017-2018.

Researchers at Dalhousie University are finding new uses for existing laser technology way to diagnose middle ear problems that cause hearing loss, without the need for more invasive procedures.

UPEI is helping Acadian Supreme, a lobster processing plant, reduce its carbon footprint with a new device designed by students. The device recovers some of the energy that’s used to cook the lobsters and puts that energy back into its operating systems.

"It takes a lot of energy, we're cooking anywhere from 35- to 40-thousand pounds in this cooker so we have to keep that boiling all day," said Jeff Malloy, CEO of Acadian Supreme in Abram-Village, P.E.I. 

The Office of Research and Graduate Studies at Cape Breton University announced the addition of four university research chairs whose focus will be to work with communities on research-community collaborations. 

Congratulations to Matthias Bierenstiel, Pat Maher, Kathy Snow, and Leslie Wardley, who started their new roles April 1, 2019.

Members of StFX’s FluxLab were awarded a US patent for its gas sensing device, a vehicle-based Emissions Attribution via Computational Techniques (“ExACT”) gas leak detection technology, and also to its inventors, earth sciences professor and university project lead Dr. Dave Risk, Dr. Bjorn Brooks and Dr. Martin Lavoie for the “Gas Emission Detection System and Method.”

In May, BioNB held its annual three-day conference, Atlantic BIOCON. Over 150 industry insiders and onlookers discussed ways to launch and accelerate regional bio-based projects. Special shout out to our members at SMU, who hosted the event in Halifax and CCNB, who supported the event.

The Canadian Ferry Association contributed $695,000 to fund a five-year industrial research chair at Memorial University’s School of Maritime Studies. This will enhance the Marine Institute’s research expertise in marine passenger transportation technology.

Members in the News

Tue, April 16, 2019

Researchers at Cape Breton University are aiming to revitalize the island’s oyster industry in the Bras’ d’Or Lake. The project aims to determine the life cycle of a parasite that almost wiped out the oyster population years ago, and hopes to bolster the stock once more is understood about this micro-organism.

Memorial University student, Jackie Saturno, is researching how different fishing ropes break down into the ocean in order to determine which ropes create less microplastics. She is conducting this research at MUN’s Marine Institute and plans on publishing her findings in order to educate the fishing community on the environmental impact of microplastics.

At Holland College, people are creating an online video cookbook for folks with disabilities. The recipes are carefully designed to be easy to make and nutritious. This project received funding from the provincial government as part of a community wellness grant.  

In November, the Université de Moncton inked a deal with the federal government, Genome Canada, Genome Atlantic, NBIF and Organigram to study genome mapping for the cannabis industry. The goal of the project is to identify specific traits of cannabis crops through genetic mapping to improve on harvesting practices and crop quality. The project’s partners plan to commit $1.1 million to the project over the course of three years.

The folks at CCNB reported a successful harvest with its project with the Marijuana Company of America to cultivate hemp plants for CBD extraction. CCNB’s role in the project was to identify and provide solutions to expedite the harvesting and drying process.

UPEI spin-out company, Nautilus Biosciences which is now owned by Croda, announced its expansion of its facility on the UPEI campus. The expansion included a new, high-tech machine that allows its scientists to conduct tests on marine microbes, faster and more efficiently.

The Creative Destruction Lab-Atlantic received a hefty investment from Invest Nova Scotia. CDL–Atlantic, which is run through partnership between the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and Dalhousie University’s Rowe School of Business, will receive $1.25 million over the course of 5 years. This is a great example of CDL-Atlantic gaining momentum on the East Coast, so far it has graduated 12 companies out of its program. 

---We’re excited to see our members generating so much good news for the Atlantic Canadian innovation and business community and we’re looking forward to reading more in the future!

The Springboard Effect

Tue, April 16, 2019

The significance of Springboard Atlantic’s network is evident at all stages of the commercialization process. Our team is committed to working with both researchers and industry to forge strategic relationships that have a lasting economic impact. For this quarterly newsletter, we’re highlighting three stories from our members that showcase the effect of the Springboard network within the Atlantic Canadian ecosystem. Each company is at a different point in its commercialization timeline but all recognize the value of the Springboard network as a crucial stepping stone in propelling its growth and development.


In March, The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation hosted its biennial Breakthru startup competition. This year’s top winner, Canum Nanomaterials, took home prizes valued at $446,000 as well as the CBC Viewer’s Choice Award, which gives the team the opportunity to pitch their business on CBC’s Dragon’s Den.

It's an exciting win for the company but it’s also a great achievement for the University of New Brunswick as the venture started as a research project in UNB’s Department of Chemical Engineering.

“In early 2019, Dr. Felipe Chibante from the Department of Chemical Engineering disclosed a technology entitled “Scalable Large Volume Plasma for Fullerene Synthesis” to UNB’s Office of Research Services (ORS),” said Hart Devitt, UNB’s Director of Industry and Government Services.  

The technology, which will be commercialized by Canum Nanomaterials, presents a faster, cost-effective way of making fullerenes.

Fullerenes are nanoparticles made up carbon atoms organized in a spherical structure.  These are very strong structures and therefore have a wide range of commercial applications, including in healthcare and solar energy.

One example of the benefits of using fullerenes is solar energy. The advantage of using the organic material is you can make flexible solar cells and the fullerenes allow electrons to travel further within its own structure, which is something that other organic materials do not allow. By being able to travel further, it allows the electricity to be transferred better and smoother.

Canum is currently developing a process to construct fullerenes faster and cheaper for markets, like solar energy.

“UNB and Canum are currently setting up a collaborative project under which UNB will provide access to materials and equipment that will enable Canum to further enhance and improve the technology,” according to Devitt.  


When Halifax entrepreneur, Gabrielle Masone, decided to invent the world’s first colour blindness correcting contact lens, she knew she couldn’t do it alone.

So Masone, the CEO of Coloursmith Labs, turned to the expertise of three Nova Scotian universities to develop this groundbreaking lens.  

“Working with Saint Mary’s, St.FX and Dalhousie was one of the smartest moves Coloursmith has made to date,” said Masone. “They offer access to a talent pool of smart, driven and skilled people with unique and exciting ideas for our product and business that keeps us consistently on our toes.”

By working with our member institutions, in close partnership with Dr. Danielle Tokarz at SMU, Coloursmith has proven its scientific concept and is very close to completing its first prototype.

“This is a great example of a company having an assortment of research questions, and by working with several Springboard members Gabrielle was able to find the skills and knowledge her team needed,” said Kevin Buchan, the Director of SMU’s Office of Innovation and Community Engagement.

Because of the stellar research backing her product, Masone has raised thousands of dollars in funding, taking home top prizes in competitions such as the Volta Cohort pitch competition and Innovacorp’s Spark Innovation Challenge. 


Canada’s Smartest Kitchen (CSK), a Technology Access Centre located at Holland College’s Tourism and Culinary Centre, combines culinary creativity, food science, and marketing insights to bring innovative food product ideas to life.

When Royal Star Foods was creating a new “Lobster Concentrate” ingredient from the underutilized lobster bodies and shells to add to its line of products in 2013, they looked to Canada’s Smartest Kitchen to help them identify how this product could be used by both food manufacturers and restaurant operators.

Food product developers at Canada’s Smartest Kitchen tested the ingredient in a variety of food applications and identified many valuable uses for the product. Building on existing sales channels, Royal Star was able to sell Lobster Concentrate to operators across Canada and exports the product to China.

CSK has continued its development work with Royal Star since that time and is currently supporting the commercialization of a finished product using the lobster concentrate as an ingredient that has opportunities for sales in both retail and restaurants.

“Adding value to underused products helps companies be both more financially and environmentally sustainable,” explains Shawn MacDougall, Manager of Applied Research at Holland College, “This is a very valuable service that CSK provides small to medium-sized companies who do not have the time or capacity to do so internally.”

Canada’s Smartest Kitchen (Holland College) has been integral in supporting the access of funding, showcasing the product at tradeshows around the globe, and looks forward to continuing the development work to determine further uses for the ingredient.

Ocean to Plate- Lobster Research and Innovation Forum

Thu, January 24, 2019

Diving into Lobster Industry Collaboration
Ocean to Plate – Lobster Industry Research Forum set to Kick off in Truro

January 25, 2019 (Halifax, NS) – Ocean to Plate – Lobster Industry Research Forum, Atlantic Canada’s largest lobster industry focused event, will take place January 29 in Truro, NS. The forum will bring together lobster industry players all along the value chain with the research capacity at Atlantic Canada’s universities and colleges. The goal of the event is to drive new research and development collaborations and spark new projects that can support one of Atlantic Canada’s key industries at a time of significant change.

Lobster is one of Atlantic Canada’s most important exports. The Nova Scotia industry alone landed over 51,000 million tons of lobster worth $570 million (2014 numbers). Lobster is Nova Scotia's most valuable seafood export and is primarily shipped as a live product. Lobster landings have been experiencing an upward trend and remain at one of the highest levels recorded this century. In Nova Scotia alone, landings have more than doubled over the past 20 years.

Atlantic Canadian lobster is recognized worldwide for its quality and outstanding taste, but with climate change, rapidly evolving technologies and globalization, the Atlantic Canadian lobster industry faces new challenges. That’s why Springboard Atlantic and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) launched an initiative to support the stakeholders of the lobster industry to ensure the sustainability and continued growth of this important Atlantic Canadian sector. Initial consultations with harvesters, processors, shippers, and buyers have shown ACOA and Springboard the key challenges facing the lobster industry. These consultations have resulted in an initial expertise map and helped identify the need to bring the industry together for collaborative workshops.

Four events in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and PEI have already taken place across the region. These consultations will culminate with the Pan-Atlantic event on January 29 in Truro, NS. The event will feature keynotes where industry leaders share best practices for building partnerships. These speakers will be followed by working sessions where industry and academia can engage to explore collaborative solutions to company challenges.

“I am pleased to see the innovation ecosystem at work in Atlantic Canada on this project. The lobster industry is a major component of the region’s economy and, through strategic consultation and collaboration, the industry can prepare for future challenges and create solutions. Organizations like Springboard are catalysts for helping to commercialize leading research, and this partnership with ACOA ensures those tools have the furthest reach.” – The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“The lobster industry is integral to Atlantic Canada’s economy and finding innovative ways to help it thrive is really why Springboard Atlantic and ACOA are collaborating on this project.  We have our 19 universities and colleges throughout the region that are conducting research and providing technical solutions ranging from lobster biology and genetics, bait, data analytics, value-added products to automation.  We feel strongly that our academic institutions are well positioned to work alongside industry partners to tackle important challenges and develop new commercial opportunities.  Our event on January 29 is the culmination of months of hard work and we are looking forward to some really strong outcomes.” – Daryl Genge, President & CEO, Springboard Atlantic


About the Organizers 

Springboard Atlantic 

Springboard Atlantic is Atlantic Canada’s commercialization network. We represent the collective academic research and development expertise of 19 universities and colleges across the region. We act as a bridge between academia and industry bringing world-class ideas to the marketplace and drawing in industry challenges to be solved. With over 10,000 researchers, 30 industry engagement professionals and over 6000 research deals done in the last 3 years, our model stands alone in Canada as a best practice example of collaboration. 

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency supports work at Springboard Atlantic through the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF). The AIF helps Atlantic Canadians develop and bring to market new products and services that lead to market success, help grow strategic sectors, or lead the creation of research and commercialization partnerships. The AIF builds on the commitments towards innovation made in the Atlantic Growth Strategy, and is aligned with Canada’s Innovation Agenda.



Interviews and press: 

Katrin Sommerfeld
Programs Manager
Springboard Atlantic
Halifax, NS
(902) 421-5678

Jana Parker-Smith
Communications Manager
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Cheers to Research

Sun, November 18, 2018

Across Atlantic Canada food and beverage has always been an integral part of who we are as a region – not only defining our heritage and culture but as a focal point for coming together.  In recent years, a global food revolution has begun to change the way we look at food and, in particular, how it’s made.  This has led to a renewed interest in growing the food and beverage sector in Atlantic Canada.  With an abundance of natural resources, growers and processors are looking to develop value-added products with global appeal.   This shift has raised the importance of food within our research and development community with more of Atlantic Canada’s research institutions including food and beverage into their research priorities.

In a region where seafood has dominated the food and beverage focus for many years, A number of academic institutions including Holland College ( including Canada’s Smartest Kitchen),  UPEI, St FX, CCNBDalhousie, Acadia and other Springboard Atlantic members are focusing on food.  As well, the four Atlantic provinces and the federal government are pushing food and beverage growth through the Atlantic Growth Strategy.

“A couple early wins have generated a lot of momentum in food and beverage for the region,” says Shawn MacDougall, Research Development Officer at Holland College. “For so long Atlantic Canada has just been pushing out the same exports like lobster or potatoes and now with new innovations and a renewed focus on bringing the region’s capacities together we are realizing the opportunity to be leaders in food and beverage innovation.”

This innovation is focusing on key new trends like servicing new diets fads like Keto or developing enhanced omega beverages.

This increased food production also means increased food waste which has led to continued research into bio-related industries such as energy and pharma.  Jared Christensen, Industry Liaison for CCNB says that this food waste management focus is allowing our region to truly utilizing all the materials we have to their fullest potential and creating value-add products that could make a huge difference in society. 

Jolene MacEachern, Manager, Industry Liaison and Innovation (Agriculture/Aquaculture) with Dalhousie University says that while the department of agriculture has always been focused on food innovation, the increased priority has, in part, come from the global demand for local food that’s coming from consumers.

“At the end of the day the consumer is driving trends in food and beverage,” says MacEachern.  “And those trends lead to industry partners looking for research solutions.  These trends are coming because consumers are being conscientious about where their food comes from, what they’re eating and the production practices that are going in to these foods.”

“For the last 50 years research had been focused on growing practices and getting the most per acre but there is a bit of shift to look at how do we make food of a higher quality, more functional, or with a longer shelf life and then inserting technology into food like genetic modifications or the use of technology to increase sustainability,” says MacEachern.

Members in the News: Summer 2018 Recap

Sun, November 18, 2018

In New Brunswick, the federal government and the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation contributed $5.45 million to the University of New Brunswick’s Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence.

UNB also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Civilized, a cannabis lifestyle media outlet, to help facilitate research and networking opportunities between its Health Research Chair in Cannabis and the global cannabis community.

Meanwhile in Newfoundland, Memorial University earned a spot in the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy’s list of the world’s top post-secondary institutions for the study of marine and ocean engineering. MUN is the only Canadian University to be featured on the list, ranking at number 38 of 44 universities from around the globe.

The College of the North Atlantic has partnered with Anaconda Mining in Baie Verte to work on a collaborative research and development project to improve resource grade determination and control at its Point Rousse Project on the Ming’s Bight Peninsula.

Hanatech, an IoT smart solutions provider in Bedford, Nova Scotia, received grants from two educational institutions to work on its recent projects. The first grant, from Saint Mary’s University, helped Hanatech build its One Smart View portal, a customizable dashboard for people like property managers, building owners or SME’s to manage all their cloud-based devices and connections. Its second grant is with the Nova Scotia Community College to develop a smart farming app that measures factors like weather, humidity, fertilizer etc. and pinpoints ideal harvest times.

The federal government unveiled DeepSense, a Dalhousie University-based oceans research partnership between industry, academia and government. This initiative will help companies benefit from technology solutions for ocean related data and help them make sustainable and better-informed commercial decisions.

And finally, The Maple League of Universities is offering a new, multidisciplinary course that explores the theme of “time”. The online course is delivered through video seminars from four professors from different fields of expertise: Dr. David Hornidge, Physics, Mount Allison University; Dr. Michele Murray, Religion, Bishop’s University; Dr. Michael Cardinal-Aucoin, Biology, St. Francis Xavier University; and Dr. Jeff Hennesy, Music, Acadia University.

Members in the News: Spring 2018 Recap

Fri, June 29, 2018

St. Francis Xavier announces new spin-out company Arolytics Inc. The company's goal is to help companies more effectively monitor, track, and manage their emissions.

The Space Cube satellite project awarded multiple members a chance to build new satellites for space missions: Dalhousie, Into Orbit: DAL Students and Profs to Build Satellite for Space Mission, Canadian CubeSat Project selects UNB, UdeM and NBCC to participate, CubeSat - Selected Teams

Acadia University is working to test the efficacy of a new natural tick repellent: Insect repellent - does natural beat DEET? . 

 SucSeed Tackles Food Security  A company born from the Enactus_MUN program is tackling food security in the Arctic. 

Feds, IBM Donate $6M to UNB - The University of New Brunswick has received almost $6 million in funding from federal and provincial governments and IBM. The money will go to UNB’s Centre for Advanced Studies to develop new runtime software that will enhance a computer's workflow and function. 

Scott Brison and Andy Fillmore were on the SMU campus to announce $1.8 million from the Coastal Restoration Fund (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) for Dr. Danika van Proosdij's research. She will use the funding to create new salt marsh habitat around the Bay of Fundy and beyond, addressing the impact of climate change on our region and tackling a global problem. The goal is that the new marine life and new marshes will be able to absorb the rising sea levels.

Cape Breton University's Verschuren Centre receives provincial funding of $2.4 million to help commercialize fisheries waste to product initiative. 

Dalhousie Spin Out 3D Bolus, now Adaptiiv Takes Next Step, Joining Forces with CIVCO

Celebrating Success: 2017-18 Year in Review

Fri, June 29, 2018


                                                                                                   Click image to expand

Since joining Springboard in January it has been my pleasure to get to know our membership, our partners, and our clients. We are very lucky in Atlantic Canada to have an organization like Springboard representing the collective research and development capacity of 19 institutions across the region. Springboard’s vision is one of an Atlantic Canada where universities and colleges realize their full potential to solve the most significant economic and social challenges society faces through meaningful collaboration and the commercialization of research.  More than 30 Industry Liaison and Technology Transfer (ILO/TTO) professionals work on behalf of Springboard Atlantic within their institutions to fulfill its mandate. First, by working with researchers to bring world-class ideas to the marketplace and second, by working with industry to address key issues and to capitalize on new opportunities through the application of research. The Springboard network stands as a leading model in Canada to drive innovation and competitiveness through the partnership of industry and institutions. It is my pleasure to lead this organization and to share our success over the last year with you now.

By the numbers:

Like the researchers we work with we believe in measurable outcomes. And, we’ve got lots of numbers to share. Let’s take a deeper look at the numbers behind our infographic and what they mean for Atlantic Canada.

In the last year alone, the Industry Liaison Officers of the network met with 1703 companies. That’s 32 companies a week for 52 weeks. That’s a lot of industry engagement. These meetings are the pipeline that feeds the 2000 industry research deals that were executed by our membership this year and the 511 transfers of intellectual property out of the institutions and into products and services in the marketplace.

What does the work behind these numbers actually look like? The ILO/TTOs work spans every aspect of the research & development lifecycle. Their roles are varied and can range from negotiating new licensing deals with large corporations to advising start-up companies on intellectual property strategy.  They understand how to navigate the funding landscape to help finance the development of new ideas, and they can negotiate the deal(s) that ensure the idea becomes a product or service that benefits a company.

In addition to the human power of the network that is driving innovative ideas forward, , we also spent $820,319 #springboarding new opportunities. This funding comes from our Innovation Mobilization program, a $1.5-million fund that enables network members to undertake specific commercialization projects within their institutions.   These projects include proof of concept testing, patent & legal support, market analysis & prototyping, and industry engagement.

Stories of Success:

There is a story behind every one of these big numbers we are sharing with you. Let’s take for example the new relationship between UPEI and Nautlilus Biosciences that helped facilitate the sale of Nautilus to Croda International. Croda plans to not only keep the PEI facility but expand their footprint and create the Croda Centre of Innovation for Marine Biotechnology in Charlottetown. Or CCNB, who recently completed an NRC research grant to help the brewing industry identify critical points in their process. This initiative helped various breweries from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec by providing a full analysis of one of their beers accompanied by a detailed report highlighting the most noticeable characteristics of their brew. The initiative also helped to optimize their processes and the next phase of the project will build more capacity for quality control on site. In an industry where quality and consistency are king, this type of data is invaluable to their production.

Looking forward:

As we build on the success of last year we will continue driving meaningful economic growth and innovation with an even greater focus on our three main pillars. Our support of the startup ecosystem will remain a key component of our work. With some exciting new partnerships on the horizon for the fall, we are looking forward to continuing to drive the quantity and quality of new business ideas in the region. We’ll also target new industry-specific solutions in those sectors that mean the most to our Atlantic economy and will increase competitiveness through the adoption of innovative practices and technologies. Trying a new model of collaboration in a directed way will drive exciting new opportunities for our company partners. And finally, we know our institutions provide the entire region with a unique comparative advantage when working with national and international partners. The collective research and development capacity in Atlantic Canada is over 10000 people strong. Utilizing that capacity to attract new business and research investment is the basis of our final pillar. Aligning these pillars with the priorities of our member institutions and continuing to support our existing commercialization mandate is key to our success going forward.

We see pilot projects as the perfect place to start and look forward to providing more details in the coming months as we launch projects that support a renewed strategic focus.  If this past year’s Investment Opportunities Pilot Program is any indication (p.s. exciting outcomes from that project coming soon to a news outlet near you) we know we’re on the right track. We’re looking forward to taking on these new challenges and can’t wait to share more with you.

If you would like to join us and be a part of bringing business, universities and colleges together to make exciting things happen in Atlantic Canada, please reach out. We are always looking for new partners and new challenges to solve.

Building Bridges to Investment Opportunities

Tue, May 29, 2018

In the fall of 2017, Springboard Atlantic announced the launch of a pilot Investment Opportunities Program focused on attracting more start-up investment to the Atlantic region.

The idea of the pilot program, funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and in partnership with Halifax-based Jameson Group, was to develop an investor attraction pilot program for early stage high growth companies in Atlantic Canada. The program matches investors living outside of Atlantic Canada and investment ready start-ups looking for their first seed or angel investment. The magic of the program is in the work done by the Jameson group and Springboard to identify investors who are particularly interested in Atlantic Canadian companies and the training companies received to be ready to work with these investors.

“We were looking for Atlantic Canadian companies that showed the capacity to scale,” says Jameson Group Partner Bob Williamson. “In doing so we wanted them to have the ability to be funded so we needed to see they were fundable and that they had a certain level of validation/customer discovery already done and that they were market ready.”

Working with experts from each of the Atlantic provinces, Springboard chose 16 companies from a number of applicants to go through a boot camp weekend to determine who would participate in the Toronto pitching mission.  The boot camp covered key topics including session readiness and how to pitch. In the end, 12 companies were chosen to participate in the mission.

 “When we met with them for the first time most of them were fairly comfortable with what they knew and their approach to investors,” says Williamson.  “Fifty-four hours later they were all in awe saying “we didn’t know what we didn’t know.””

During the mission itself, the companies were able to pitch at two separate events – one organized by the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO Canada) and the other by the Ontario Angels Network

James Stewart with EhEye Inc, one of the 12 companies who participated in the mission, says the learnings from the pilot program changed the way they now pitch the company.

“It definitely changed my pitch and my story”, says Stewart. “Even our one liner changed, going from being a company that automates video surveillance to a company that protects people.”  “What I also liked about it is that it connected a number of entrepreneurs across multiple sectors and regions,” says Stewart. “Now this group is being supportive of each other, helping to break down barriers between provinces and sectors that may have unintentionally grown over the past few years – we need more of this.”

Sizwe Dhlamini with PHV Energy agrees.  “We went and listened and learned a whole lot,” says Dhlamini.  PHV, who develops efficient and smart transformer bushings, had just wrapped up testing and was in the first stages of its investor journey.

“We knew that we would get some nos before we got yeses,” says Dhlamini.  “This program prepared us for what to expect and the feedback and direction from people in the industry.  Some were interested and some just gave us feedback, but it has been very helpful.  We’ve also been able to learn so much from the other companies including the questions they asked.”

Williamson says that the event couldn’t have gone better. A number of the companies, including EhEye and PHV are now in ongoing discussions with potential investors and there are expectations that potential investment for a number of the companies is imminent.

Springboard CEO Daryl Genge says the program reinforces the need for continued mentoring and investment in our Atlantic companies. “The early reaction and positive feedback on this pilot shows that we have amazing ideas in Atlantic Canada that can compete for funds and opportunity on a national stage,” says Genge.

For Williamson, he’s convinced that continuing the program will foster even more opportunity for Atlantic-based companies that will expand and grow which, in turn, will help our region and our economy grow.

“Ideally what will happen is to bring investors from outside Atlantic Canada into the region to grow the total pool of investors but to do it in syndication with Atlantic Canadian angels,” says Williamson. “Wouldn’t it be great to see two angel groups come together so that when one invests the other one will also invest.  It will help to grow the pool, spread the wealth and allow us to help more start-ups in Atlantic Canada.”

Canadian CubeSat Project selects UNB, UdeM and NBCC to participate

Tue, May 08, 2018

New Brunswick's CubeSat NB project will be the collaboration between the University of New Brunswick (UNB), the Université de Moncton (UdeM) and the New Brunswick Community College, which is aiming to launch the cube satellite or cubesat, from the International Space Station in 2021.

The CubeSat NB project is one of the 15participating teams and their work will provide new insights into the behaviour of Earth’s ionosphere, part of the upper atmosphere. The construction and the operation of CubeSat NB will see the involvement of numerous students from the field of engineering, science and technology and the students will play a lead role in the development of the physical design and in the fabrication and programming of the sophisticated computers that will be needed to successfully launch and operate the satellite.

Part of the development will be the custom robust mission software and hardware, which will enable the cube satellite to transmit mission data, manage power consumption and solar battery charging, temperature sensing and thermal management, antenna and solar panel deployment, timekeeping, security, file management and fault protection.

CubeSat NB will also carry spectral cameras to examine the varying composition of the atmosphere and another camera will take images of the Earth’s surface for earth science and meteorology applications. 

To read the full story on NBCC's website, click here.

To read the full story on UNB's website, click here.

Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash

Canadian Innovation News: Fredericton NB’s ecosystem is driving the city forward

Tue, April 24, 2018

As the entrepreneurial spirit flourishes across Atlantic Canada, the city of Fredericton continues to work hard at cultivating a start-up ecosystem that builds on the city’s early successes in key areas like biosciences, ICT and data security.

Most communities that want to grow their start-up ecosystems rely on regional and provincial services to help. By contrast, the city of Fredericton’s economic development agency Ignite Fredericton has invested significantly in its Planet Hatch accelerator to provide a high level of infrastructure to its business start-up community.

3D Bolus, now Adaptiiv Takes Next Step, Joining Forces with CIVCO

Tue, April 24, 2018

Ever since Dr. James Robar, Dalhousie University received Springboard's Innovation Mobilization Funding for Proof of Concept and Patent & Legal in 2014, we have been following his impressive technology and it's development into the Dalhousie Spin-out company 3D Bolus and its development and growth.

Thanks to the dedicated and invaluable support from Dalhousie's Industry Liaison & Innovation (ILI) Office, a Springboard member and the tireless work of Doris Grant, Director, one of the offices Industry Liaison Officers (ILO's), we are thrilled to see 3D Bolus, now Adaptiiv continue to be #springboarding forward and to grow.

After launching three different products, achieving sales in six different countries and raising almost $3 million in equity funding, Adaptiiv has now announced its partnership with CIVCO Radiotherapy.

CIVCO will be the distributor of Adaptiiv software applications, providing a turn-key solution, enabling the 3D printing of patient-specific simple or modulated thickness bolus and high dose rate (HDR) surface brachytherapy applicators. The software application integrates directly with existing treatment planning systems, requires less time and replaces the need for hard-to-fit simple bolus and expensive applicators, providing a more comfortable fit for the patient. 

We are thrilled to see Adaptiiv's success and are looking forward to what is to come, as stated by Peter Hickey, CEO Adaptiiv.

“We have a pipeline with some really great innovation,” said Hickey. “That’s what we are. We’re a Nova Scotian-based innovation company that’s producing solutions to problems that people haven’t solved yet.”

To read the full story in CISION, click here.

To read the full story in Entrevestor, click here.

Dalhousie’s Annual Engineering Capstone Conference a great success

Fri, April 13, 2018

On  April 10, industry partners, engineers, students, faculty, and others came to the Westin Nova Scotian hotel in downtown Halifax to see the team presentations and a poster expo of hundreds of final-year Engineering students as part of the annual Dalhousie Engineering Capstone Conference.

To help support this great event, showing off the talent at Dalhousie University and to connect researchers with industry, Springboard Atlantic provided Innovation Mobilization Industry Engagement Funding. 

The conference marks the culmination of the Capstone design project, which challenges students to integrate their engineering know-how into potential real-world solutions for industrial partners and hopes that some of the teams make the right connections moving forward. 

Springboard had the chance to be present at the event and we were impressed by the number of projects being showcased, the level of commitment and enthusiasm of the teams and the high quality of work. Well done and congratulations!

To read the full story in Dal News, click here.

Photo by Chester Alvarez on Unsplash

Regional Mining Symposium Explores Innovation Ideas

Tue, April 10, 2018

 Supported by Springboard Atlantic's Innovation Mobilization Industry Engagement Fund, representatives from the College of the North Atlantic (CNA), Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), Anaconda Mining, Rambler Metals and Mining, and Guy J. Bailey gathered at the two-day Baie Verte Mining Innovation Symposium.

The industry partners had the chance to meet, together and separately, with MUN researchers from both the St. John's and Grenfell campuses and CNA's academia, and also had the chance to meet with the Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Research Data Canada (RDC).

Allan Cramm, vice president of innovation and development with Anaconda, is a promoter of the Baie Verte Peninsula as a whole. He believes the common goal of the mining sector to improve the industry in the region is beneficial for all and he hoped that the symposium led to an increased interest in mining innovation within the research community.

The "bring science to the site" mentality led to the makeshift mining site set up at the symposium location at the College of the North Atlantic in Baie Verte. Speakers delivered their messages next to a grader or excavator, and nearby there was some scaffolding set up.

Ken Carter, director of engagement at Grenfell Campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland, appreciated the opportunity to tour the mining sites to get a greater appreciation for the work and the opportunities for research and he felt the symposium was highly effective in its attempt to create interest in the sector with the around 60 attendees.

"You had all the right players in the room - you had industry, you had government, you the university as well as the College of the North Atlantic," Carter said. "Bringing all those partners together, and having funding agencies and community partners there, had an incredible synergy amongst all of us.

To read the full article in the Labradorian, click here.

Photo by Mariusz Prusaczyk on Unsplash

3rd Year UNB Student wins RBC Student Pitch Competition

Tue, April 10, 2018

The third-year University of New Brunswick (UNB) business administration student, Holly Ayles has been recognized for her smartphone app that allows people with food allergies to find safe places to eat.

Drawing on a frightening experience two years ago in a restaurant, she found out that she has an allergy to tree nuts and going forward it became very hard for her to find places where she can safely eat.

So she set out to change that and she came up with an app, Have Food, where the user selects their dietary restrictions and the app will provide safe restaurants in major cities and tourist destinations across Canada.

Continuing from her first-place placement, Ayles doesn’t have a concrete timeline for full development of the app but will be taking courses through UNB’s Technology Management & Entrepreneurship program to further her knowledge of entrepreneurship and further refine her idea. 

To read the full story in Entrevestor, click here.

Atlantic Canada hotbed of biotech innovation

Thu, April 05, 2018

The New Issue of Canadian Innovation News is here!  This issue outlines some of the ways that Canadian innovation is changing the world, and provides information on how you can connect and collaborate with the top researchers, innovators and organizations in Canada.

Over the coming weeks, we'll be sharing the Atlantic Canadian stories highlighted in this issue. We are starting with the articles focused on celebrating Life Sciences and Biotech innovation in Atlantic Canada. If you can't wait to learn more you can read the whole publication, including a spotlight on inspirational women in STEM at

What makes Atlantic Canada a hotbed for bio and life sciences?
The past decade has seen Canada become a global leader in life sciences and biotechnology research, innovation and commercialization. While biotechnology research is done throughout the country, Atlantic Canada is leading the charge in key areas.

Atlantic Canada is currently home to over 150 bioscience companies and 25 research organizations, with over $1 billion dollars in exits and follow-on investment in life sciences and biotechnology over the past few years.

Find out how Atlantic Canada is leveraging its unique culture and its inherent entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit to compete – and win – on the global stage:

Springboard Atlantic is proud to be a Content Partner for Canadian Innovation News and excited to share the spring issue with you, it's time to celebrate Atlantic Canada's cutting-edge research. So please, share the good news! 

MUN Hands out $40 K in Woodward Cup

Tue, April 03, 2018

BreatheSuite, VitalMIST and WARPAR Corp, run by three Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) engineering students were the top three winners among the eight finalists. The Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship hosted the business idea competition last Wednesday, which awarded $40,000 in seed funding and other supports to student entrepreneurs.

Each winner took home $10,000 as well as up to $1,500 in marketing and legal expenses and they will have access to MCE’s co-working space as well as enrolment in the Genesis Centre’s Evolution Program, and a free seminar from the Gardiner Centre.

BreatheSuite, aims to build an add-on device for inhalers, allowing people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to receive optimal dosages of medication.

VitalMIST, offers a nasal optimizer that allows physicians to administer liquid medication effectively.

WARPAR, builts a product called Enzo, a light dimmer that can monitor power, and is compatible with most lightbulbs on the market.

Delta Innovations and BlueBrick Design & Development received honourable mention and prizes of $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.

To read the full article in Entrevestor, click here.

College of the North Atlantic’s Wave Environment Research Centre Opens up new Opportunities

Thu, March 29, 2018

Aquaculture is an important economic opportunity for Newfoundland and the College of the North Atlantic’s Wave Environment Research Centre (CNA WERC) in Lord’s Cove offers a number of opportunities with their work and research for the region.

Dr. Michael Graham, director of WERC and his team, with the support from Springboard's Innovation Mobilization Fund for Marketing Support have significantly advanced the work in the use of ocean wave energy to supply sea water to land-based aquaculture via a pump that they developed. He also said that the project successfully developed a test facility to house the equipment needed to carry out the project’s other objectives that developed over time.

However, what no one could foresee were the other opportunities that opened up unintentionally - the centre has become a major tourist attraction for Lord's Cove. WERC is now working with the town to develop the centres tourist potential and will provide further employment so the researchers can focus on their work.

A number of other projects are underway and in one of them, the centre collects information valuable to business, including six years of weather data, and has the infrastructure in place such as mooring sites with anchors, and access to labs and workshops at the CNA campus in Burin. 

Besides further projects in various stages of planning, WERC also offers possibilities for entrepreneurs and talks are underway with Memorial University’s Centre for Social Enterprise to explore options.

To read the full article in The Northern Pen, click here.

Photo by Bailey Mahon on Unsplash

UPEI Researchers Receive Funding for Mapping the Islands Energy Future

Mon, March 26, 2018

Mitacs has teamed up with Drs. Matthew Hall and Andrew Swingler and will be providing funding for three graduate students and to begin work on building a map towards making the Island’s energy system 100 per cent carbon free. Both researchers are part of UPEI's School of Sustainable Design Engineering. In total, the researchers will receive $150,000 from Mitacs Accelerate Program.

With $150,000 from Mitacs Accelerate and the P.E.I. Energy Corporation, Dr. Matthew Hall and Dr. Andrew Swingler will hire

“Prince Edward Island has a significant amount of renewable energy generation in the form of wind energy,” said Hall, an assistant professor. “But we are also heavily dependent on less clean electricity coming across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick.”

Moving toward a carbon-free system isn’t just about adding more wind and solar capacity, explained Hall. Further growth in renewable energy is constrained by intermittency of the power generation and storage costs.

The researchers will work with he PEI Energy Corp., which will provide essential data, knowledge of the market and networks of industry expertise.

“Prince Edward Island is a leader in wind energy and well-positioned for leadership in emerging renewable energies,” comments Heather MacLeod, energy assets manager at the PEI Energy Corp. “We are pleased to partner with the University of Prince Edward Island’s School of Sustainable Design Engineering on this important research.”

Mitacs is a national, nonprofit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for 18 years. Working with 60 universities, thousands of companies, and both federal and provincial governments, Mitacs builds partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada.

To read the full article in Journal Pioneer, click here.

To read the full article in Solar Energy, click here.

Photo by Shaun Dakin on Unsplash

Team of UNB Students is Converting Gas Vehicles to Electric Power

Wed, March 21, 2018

Potential Motors, the new startup of four last-year engineering students at the University of New Brunswick (UNB), will be showcasing their technology at the fourth annual UNB Engineering Design Symposium.

This one-day event allows final-year UNB engineering students to showcase hundreds of designs and prototypes to the community.

The student team, who developed the technology for their senior engineering design class, say they can convert a vehicle in a fraction of the time and cost (within a day) of other conversion kits to produce electrical power. 

Potential Motors is looking at the commercial vehicle market first and are receiving startup mentoring through UNB’s Technology Management & Entrepreneurship program. The four final-year engineering students – Barnhill, Nick Dowling, Isaac Barkhouse and Samuel Poirier – are planning to commercialize their work through their new startup, Potential Motors. They see potential and a big market for their work, especially in Europe.

To read the full article in Entrevestor, click here.

Photo by Garett Mizunaka on Unsplash

NS Governement Provides Funding for SMU’s Entrepreneurship, Discovery and Innovation Hub

Tue, March 20, 2018

St. Mary's University (SMU) is planning to build a new Entrepreneurship, Discovery and Innovation Hub on the campus in the South End of Halifax and the Province of Nova Scotia will contribute about $11 million to the facility. The facility will advance the ‘Discovery and Innovation’ and ‘Intercultural Learning’ components of the Saint Mary’s University 2017-2022 Strategic Plan.

The other innovation-related funding initiatives that the government announced last week include:

  • Research Nova Scotia Trust: $20 million to fund post-secondary research in oceans and ocean technologies, life sciences, information technology and other areas.
  • Offshore Growth Strategy: $ 11.8 million to extend offshore activities in the earth and oil sciences for another four years.
  • DeepSense: $5 million to support the creation of a platform for ocean data analysis to contribute to the growth of the regional marine economy.
  • Innovation Team: $1.5 million to support a new suite of projects that will help post-secondary institutions contribute to the growth of the provincial economy, attract students and provide more research and development opportunities.
  • Sandbox: $850,000 to create a ninth sandbox in the Southwestern Nova Scotia region to bring together students from Nova Scotia Community College and Université Sainte-Anne.

To read the full story on Entrevestor, click here.

Team of Canadian Researchers are leading Antibiotic Bacterial Resistance Research

Fri, March 16, 2018

It is well known that antimicrobial resistance is a threat to global health and occurs when bacteria, viruses or parasites, adapt to drugs used to treat conditions and are therefore no longer effective.

To fight the threat of antimicrobial resistance three Canadian research teams will help lead the global response ighting drug-resistant infections, one team is at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and the University of Saskatchewan, one at the Université de Sherbrooke and one at the University of Ottawa will share $300,000 in funding from the Government of Canada.

At UNB, Dr. Suzanne Hindmarch (political science), is studying international relations and global health, and together with Dr. Malcolm King, scientific director of the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research at the University of Saskatchewan, will co-lead a team of mostly Indigenous researchers. The Indiginous researchers will consult with Indigenous organizations in Canada on their perspectives on antimicrobial resistance, the unique issues it poses in their communities and how they would like to be involved in the national and global response.

When Dr. Hindmarch began researching the topic she was suprised to see that Indiginous perspectives were not present in antimicrobial resistance.

“Because the antimicrobial resistance response is still in its infancy, there’s a tremendous opportunity to work in partnership to build Indigenous leadership into this response from the outset – and to ensure that the response is culturally safe, respectful of Indigenous peoples and well-situated in the larger context of Indigenous health, wellness and sovereignty,” Hindmarch said.Anti

To read the full article in Global New, click here.

Do You Know What Sea Lettuce is and What it is Good For?

Thu, March 15, 2018

Sea lettuce is an algae, which thrives in an excess of nutrients, for examples where farm runoffs (fertilizer nitrates) or golf course maintenance flow into the ocean. When sea lettuce dies off and decomposes, it uses up all the oxygen, killing plants and fish in the process and in its vacinity. 

To find a solution for this problem, Mike Cassidy, owner of Transcon International Ltd., contacted Bishnu Acharya, an assistant professor at the UPEI School of Sustainable Design Engineering, and international graduate student Ankita Shrestha to use their expertise and to perform the research.

Cassidy has been working on the problem of sea lettuce since 2011, has purchased a stainless steel harvester, which resembled a grain combine, to remove the invasive plant from tributaries. With the abundant amount of raw material he knew that he had to look for a value-added product to deal with the sea lettuce. 

One thought was to recover the energy from the plant, which needs to be dried and Dr. Acharya and Ms. Shrestha came up with a more efficient and cost-effective process, called hydrothermal processing, which uses reduced heat and mild pressure. Any carbon in the sea lettuce is turned into char, which can be used for energy and soil application, a much needed product in PEI's low organic-matter soil. Along with the hydrochar, the process divides the sea lettuce into a biogas, which can be used in energy application, and a nutrient-rich liquid that can be used for agricultural application.


Springboard's member Synapse Inc., turning UPEI ideas into solutions, helped to prepare a successful proposal for a Mitacs Accelerate research internship, valued at $30,000.

To read the full article in The Guardian, click here.

Photo by Bjørn Tore Økland on Unsplash

Food Hack to Address the Issue of Food Safety and Security in Nova Scotia

Thu, March 15, 2018

In a province rich with natural resources and famous for its apples, blueberries and lobster, it would be hard to fathom that so many people living in Nova Scotia face food insecurity. Yet many Nova Scotians struggle to afford food and feed their families while living in a province with an abundance of food resources.

"It's a problem that's difficult to define and not everyone agrees on what the problem actually is and also what the solution needs to be," says Jennifer Brady, assistant professor in the department of applied human nutrition at Mount Saint Vincent University. "And often times one solution ends up exacerbating different aspects of the problem."

On February 19 and 20, students from five universities and colleges in Halifax are going to try at Food Hack Nova Scotia, an innovation challenge will take place at Saint Mary's University.

In a multi-institutional partnership between the Nova Scotia Community College, Mount Saint Vincent University and Saint Mary's University, NSCAD University and the Atlantic School of Theology this event will be held for the first time and is a brand new forum for this kind of discussion in Nova Scotia. "With two days of intense and immersive work, combined with hands on training, mentoring, and peer learning, it is the perfect environment to turn ideas into reality," says Jordan Landry, manager of entrepreneurship with NSCC. "We expect ideas to collide and lead to the kind of creativity that allows for truly great projects and businesses to start."

Landry says the Hack is essentially a challenge for students to explore these issues from as many angles a possible. "We expect to see all sorts of solutions and business ideas from our students, some of which will be techbased, while others may involve flipping existing business models, taking products to new markets and even developing campaigns."

Springboard is very pleased to be providing partial funding for this event via our Innovation Mobilization Fund - Industry Engagement. We look forward to seeing what the students come up with!

To read the full article in The Coast, click here.

Photo by Joseph Gonzalez on Unsplash

Fungal Research to benefit Nova Scotia Onion Growers

Fri, March 09, 2018

Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cepae (FOC), Fusarium basal rot has a big impact on onion growers in Nova Scotia. The disease, potentially affecting an onion crop at any stage of development, can lead to rotting onions from the inside out and is not immediately visible to the growers. In fact, growers often only see the evidence of the problem, once the stored onions are prepared for shipment, at which point they must be discarded.   

Each year about 20 percent of the onion crop is lost to Fusarium basal rot, representing a loss of $600,000 of the farm gate value (Nova Scotia’s annual onion production represents a farm gate value of ~ $3 million, production volume of 9,747 tonnes). Naturally, for Nova Scotia's four major commercial onion growers, this problem needs to be solved and Horticulture Nova Scotia has identified the disease as a serious threat to the province’s onion industry. The growers have reported that FOC is overwintering in the soil and spreading between fields and even a seven- to 10-year rotation doesn't fully kill the spores of FOC.

Bringing into play the work that Springboard Atlantic and its members do, Acadia Universities Industry Liaison Officers had already built a relationship with Horticulture Nova Scotia and at a Springboard sponsored Industry Engagement event in late 2014, the connection between Dr. Allison Walker, assistant professor in the Department of Biology, and the onion growers were made.

From this initial connection, and with continued support from Acadia's Industry Liaison Officers, a plan was hatched and funding was arranged, enabling Dr.Walker and master’s student Adèle Bunbury-Blanchette to work on investigating what could combat FOC and protect Annapolis Valley onions.

Dr. Walker and Ms. Bunbury-Blanchette, have narrowed down the pool of biocontrol options, and the one with the most promise for real-world use will emerge. The Acadia team is planning for at least one more year of work on the project. The team is also working on finding a molecular diagnostic tool to pick up evidence of the pathogen in soil samples based on its unique DNA sequence. This will allow growers to predict which fields are best for onions and which should be avoided.

The opportunity to work with local producers on an industry problem for researchers like Dr. Walker and students like Ms. Bunbury-Blanchette, as well as the six other students who have also been working on the project, is a unique one.

“They’ve been great to work with because they work really collaboratively,” said Walker, adding that the experience also lends an interesting and accessible narrative to the Acadia team’s academic work. “Applied research makes it easy to tell the story of why what you’re doing is important.”

We are delighted to see this project #springboarding forward and want to extend our warm congratulations to everyone involved.

To read the full article in Farm Focus, click here.

Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

SMU’s Research Expo a Great Success

Wed, March 07, 2018

Listening to the 3-minute pitches, given by Saint Mary's (SMU) researchers, it became clear very quickly to the large audience that a wealth of knowledge and expertise exist at the university.

The pitches were as exciting to listen to as they were informative. This impression was further enhanced, when we took a walk through the exhibition booths and talked to the researchers, students and technicians. Every discipline from natural sciences, business, social sciences and community sciences/engagement were on display, showcasing their research and great new connections between industry and the researchers were made.

Springboard is a long-standing supporter of SMU's annual Research Expo through our Innovation Mobilization Program Industry Engagement Fund and we attend each year to make new connections ourselves and to see the work SMU's Industry Liaison Officers (ILO) do first hand.

Besides working the room and ensuring that the introduction of the right people is being made, the ILO's are on hand once the conversation between the researcher and the potential industry partner progress to the stage of developing a research project, helping facilitate the potential funding applications and the research agreements.

From our experience, we see a number of new projects being formed each year at the Research Expo and we are thrilled to see our member, SMU, help and support their industry partner to solve their problem and to help them grow. 

Highlighted this year by The Chronicle Herald are two SMU researchers.

Dr. Clarissa Sit, a professor in the chemistry department, who is working on new ways to create solutions to fight infections and as her stage, she is using the petri dish and the natural instinct of all living things to fight for survival. 

Dr. Meg Ternes, an assistant professor in the department of psychology, is supporting the area of forensic psychology to arm lawyers with tools to tell when someone is lying and not telling the truth.

To read the full stories in the Chronicle Herald, click here and here.

UNB student team wins at the Venture Capital Investment Competition at St. Mary’s University

Mon, March 05, 2018

The Venture Capital Investment Competition held on March 2, 2018 at Saint Mary's University was the first of this competition to be held in Canada and six teams from Canadian universities, University of New Brunswick (UNB), Dalhousie University, Western University, Université Laval, Wilfrid Laurier, and the University of Toronto, took part.

This competition turns the tables on the students, where they have an imaginary $100 million of capital to invest in one of the startups that volunteered to pitch, therefore learning what it takes to be a Venture Capitalist. The team of four MBA students from UNB won first place.

“It was great seeing MBA students gaining an understanding of the venture capital by working through the investment decision-making with two real companies,” said Chris Moyer, Director at Pelorus Venture a seed-stage venture capital fund.

The winning UNB be, consisted of Senalda Rodrigues, Natasha Youssef, Seth Barkhouse and Grayson Beairsto, who took home the $1000 first-place prize. The team was coached by Raymond Fitzpatrick, a venture capital investment manager with New Brunswick Innovation Foundation.

Due to the rule that the host university cannot participate in the event, Saint Mary's team was invited to Boston in February to compete against Yale, Dartmouth and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for example and took home the second place.

To read the full article on Entrevestor, click here.

Highlighting Research at Cape Breton University during March

Sat, March 03, 2018

Ensuring that Cape Breton University (CBU) does justice to all the great research going on in its schools and due to its popularity, CBU is holding its 3rd annual research month.

During March, Research Month will offer:

• Featured events each day of the month

• Events will include presentations, panels, roundtable discussions, guest lectures, workshops

• Keynote address will take place March 22 by Imogen Coe, founding dean of the faculty of science at Ryerson University

Have a loo to see what is going on during Research Month.

Richard MacKinnon, interim vice-president academic and provost, said research is one of the fundamental reasons universities exist and it explores “culture, society, science, technology, the intersection with the community, the intersection with industry.” He noted this week’s federal budget set aside an additional $925 million for researchers across Canada, with additional support for research offices.

Tanya Brann-Barrett, dean of research, teaching and graduate studies said: “Our whole intention is to ensure that everybody on Cape Breton Island knows that they are part of CBU’s community and are more than welcome at any time to come and hear about the research that’s happening, and it’s also for our own faculty, staff, students to have an opportunity to step back from their incredibly hectic days and hear what each other are doing.

Research work taking place at CBU isn’t just being done by faculty but also by students, recent graduates, post-doctoral fellows and others, Brann-Barrett said. A key element of our mandate as a university is to engage in both fundamental and applied research that has an impact on citizens and communities locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Fundamental research leads to the creation of new knowledge and theories that help us better understand ourselves and our world, and all that encompasses. Applied research seeks to address issues, problems, challenges and opportunities that impact lives and quite frequently builds on —sometime many, many years later—the discoveries unearthed by fundamental researchers.

Research Month is an important opportunity for CBU to share and discuss with one another, and all of Cape Breton Island, the nature of the research taking place at CBU, the impact and significance it has and the new questions that emerge from our work.

To read the full articles in the Cape Breton Post, click here and here.

Stash Energy Enters the Canadian Technology Accelerator in Denver, Colorado

Mon, February 26, 2018

Stash Eneregy, a New Brunswick clean energy startup, which was spun out from the University of New Brunswick (UNB) is developing a cost-effective system that works with conventional heat pump technology to store energy.

The company is set to launch a few products in PEI in the fall and in New Brunswick, hopefully in the spring of 2019. Having been accepted in to the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) for clean-energy based in Denver, Colorado has helped Stash to overcome a lot of challenges with their growth. The purpose of CTA is to help selected high-growth, high-potential startups raise capital, do research and development, and also explore markets opportunities in the U.S.

Much of the work for the accelerator is done remotely, but CEO Jordan Kennie will be returning to Denver in May when the accelerator wraps up for an National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) Industry Growth Forum, which is one of the biggest renewable energy conferences in the world and where he will get to meet big companies and investors in clean-tech. 

How Stash Energy became connected to the CTA was through his participation in UNB’s Energia Accelerator. Stephen Davis, trade commissioner for CTA clean-energy said though Kennie and Stash itself are impressive, it was the support of programs like Energia and the Summer Institute that helped make him a good candidate for CTA.

To read the full article in Huddle, click here.

Photo by Axel Antas-Bergkvist on Unsplash

ABK receiving $3 Million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund

Mon, February 26, 2018

Seeing ABK Biomedical's continued growth, gives us great pleasure and we at Springboard are extending our congratulations.

Starting out with Dr. Boyd's innovation in the Department of Applied Oral Sciences and the School of Biomedical Engineering at Dalhousie University and with the ongoing support from the beginning by Dalhousie's Industry Liaison and Innovation Office (ILI) ABK received Springboard's Innovation Mobilization Proof of Concept Funding in 2010. To further support the company #springboarding forward, they received mentorship from Springboard's Board Director Brian Lowe.

ABK is working to improve a process used to kill some forms of tumour: tiny beads cling to tumours, depriving them of blood flow and thereby shrinking or killing them, and are now awaiting regulatory approval in the U.S. In August 2017 the company raised more than $9 million in an over-subscribed round of equity funding. The larger equity base has allowed the company to borrow $3 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

Once ABK has received regulatory approval they plan to use the funds to manufacture its products in Nova Scotia.  

To read the full story in Entrevestor, click here.

Photo by Ken Treloar on Unsplash

Stronger Culture of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Newfoundland

Wed, February 21, 2018

A new incubator and makerspace will be developed at the Navigate Entrepreneurship Centre in Corner Brook, NL, made possible with the funding from the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and the provincial departments of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, and Advanced Education, Skills and Labour.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is providing $874,162 in non-repayable funding, and the provincial departments of Tourism Culture, Industry and Innovation and Advanced Education, Skills and Labour will contribute $203,962 and $87,375 respectively, over two years, for a total of $1,425,320 over the two-year period.

Navigate is the ideal place to bring this initialtive to live, thanks to the partnership of Memorial's Grenfell Campus and the College of the North Atlantic-Corner Brook campus. This joint partnership in Navigate has enabled both institutions to gain expertise in assisting the Corner Brook region by providing entrepreneurship education, one-on-one business startup support, networking opportunities and business-related resources.

The makerspace will be housed at Grenfell Campus, while CNA’s Corner Brook campus will host the incubator. In the maker space the workspace is stocked with tools and materials for people in a collaborative, community-based environment to experiment and create new things. The incubator in turn will then nurture, support and expand business startups. Two full time employees will run the makerspace and the incubator and they will rely on students to assist in the operation of the two entities — a perfect experiential learning opportunity for students.

Congratulations to our members and Springboard looks forward to seeing what comes out of Navigate.

To read the full article in The Gazette, click here


StFX Receives Provincial Funding for Clean Technology Innovation

Tue, February 20, 2018

Dr. Geniece Hallett-Tapley, an early-stage researcher in the department of chemistry at Saint rancis Xavier University (StFX) aims her research to curb reliance on fossil fuels in the production of drugs and plastics, as well as reducing toxic waste products such as chromium.

Dr. Hallett-Tapley noted that this kind of funding, espcially early on in her career, is essential for buying cutting-edge laboratory equipment and for supporting student research roles. “Since we are undergraduate-centric here, especially in the chemistry department, we really aim to allow our students to be exposed to a whole host of different aspects of the chemistry background; allowing them to be well prepared to go into industry or further their education, whichever the case may be. It’s really important for them to have the exposure to state-of-the-art equipment so they can be on par with everyone else, especially in the province, and receive a more hands-on experience.”

“It’s the modern age of chemistry, with everything switching from the way it used to be with harsh or carcinogenic processes moving towards the greener side of things,” said Bry Crabbe, Dr. Hallett-Tapley first Masters student, who joined Hallett-Tapley’s team as an undergraduate student three years ago and plans to begin his doctoral work at Dalhousie next year.

To read the full article in The Casket, click here.

To read the full article in the Chronicle Herald, click here.

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

Dalhousie Cleantech Project receives Funding Support for Wearable, Flexible Solar Cells

Tue, February 20, 2018

Dr. Ghada Koleilat at Dalhousie's faculty of engineering is at the cutting edge of her field, researching and innovating smart fabric technology. Her vision imagines an environment where the electronic world is integrated for example in your coat, giving you an update on the forecasted weather, or in your curtains in the living room, closing them, when you ask them to do so. 

Her research is incorporating carbon nanotube technology into fabrics and was one of three clean-tech projects highlighted in a $5-million funding announcement in February 2018 at the Dalhousie engineering school in Halifax.

“We can integrate them into fabric in your house, curtains, sofas, everything would be seamlessly integrated into whatever you want it to be,” Koleilat said after the announcement. “You can spray-coat them on any surface, you can print them, you can spin-coat them, you can deposit them in a million different ways to conform to any shape that you want.”

The provincial government’s Research Nova Scotia Trust contributed $2 million with the remaining $3 million leveraged from the federal government and private donors.The other funded Dalhousie project included 3D-printing research and St. Francis Xavier University was the third recipient.

Dr. Koleilat said that combined, the three projects are expected to create about 69 jobs for research graduates, interns, lab technicians and project managers.

Dal's 3D printing project, is led by Paul Bishop of Dalhousie’s mechanical engineering department, and will serve as a resource for Nova Scotia companies that want to develop this technology, which is also known as additive manufacturing. It transforms computer designs into physical products such as aerospace structures and custom biomedical implants.

To read the full article in The Chronicle Herald, click here.

Photo by on Unsplash

Atlantic Canada Wins Ocean Supercluster Bid

Thu, February 15, 2018

Congratulations to all the partners of the Ocean Supercluster who have been selected as one of the 5 winning bids for the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. We are very excited to see this announcement as it represents the next level of investment in Atlantic Canada’s ocean sector. Together 25 partners from across the region are contributing over 200 million over the next 5 years. The industry funds will be matched by up to 250 million from the program. The funding will be used to tackle challenges in the ocean economy in areas ranging from deep-sea fish farming and resource development to big data. 

We already have some great things happening here like: ocean monitoring in Newfoundland;  tidal energy testing in Nova Scotia, fish food innovation in Prince Edward Island; and industry-leading subsea imaging from rural Newfoundland. We are excited about the opportunities for our members and where we can go next.

Click here to read the full Press Release

“Merchants of Flavour” G.E. Barbour partner with CCNB for Atlantic Growth

Wed, February 07, 2018

G.E. Barbour has seen phenomenal growth in the last six years. As with most companies, the challenges to growth that they faced were complex and across multiple facets of the business. With strong leadership and strategic thinking, they were able to target the roadblocks to growth inside and outside of their business. Our member - the College Communautaire de Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) was able to play a role in solving one of their identified challenges.

G.E. Barbour’s processes are unique. They have equipment that is specifically designed for their needs. The team at CCNB were engaged to look at their production processes and evaluate good practices in their product line and areas for increased efficiencies. CCNB’s work led to an increase of 25% in production efficiency. This project was just the start of an ongoing relationship and CCNB continues to help this company with their processing, enabling their growth to continue.

Read on to learn more about the other challenges faced by G.E. Barbour and how they are tackling them. Click here. 

We are proud to work with companies and partners like these. It’s a prime example of how well our ecosystem can work together and the impact we can have in unexpected places to further Atlantic Growth.

Image credit: ACOA Canada

CBU: Renewable Energy could be the Next Big Industry in Cape Breton

Tue, February 06, 2018

Cape Breton is surrounded by natural beauty and resources, the ocean, the Bras d'Or Lakes and it has wind in abundance. The Verschuren Centre, an independent research arm of Cape Breton University is working on unlocking these natural resources sustainably and responsibly to see if renewable energy could be the next big industry in Cape Breton. 

Beth Mason, interim CEO thinks that it is a big possibility, “We’ve got that asset base . . . we could produce so much more than we require and that’s the principal of export. It’s being shown globally that renewables do enhance economic development. They do create jobs. It’s got to be one of the foundations we build on what we do here.”

The Verschuren Centre, which was opened in 2011 works together with Cape Breton University and shares resources at times and some CBU students use the labs in the building. Its team comprises of 22 scientists from around the world and renewable/clean energy is one of the four focus areas of the Centre. Originally conceived to continue the research on remediation, the focus has now shifted to find a greater value-add piece for the community of Cape Breton, for Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada as a whole and Dr. Mason believes that Cape Breton has the potential to fuel the Island and the rest of Nova Scotia with renewable energy.

The Verschuren Centre already shows the benefits renewables can have on a building. The hot water comes from solar collectors, a greywater system collects roof runoff for toilets and irrigation, geothermal heats and cools the rooms and a living wall improves air quality inside the building.

To read the full article in The Chronicle Herald, click here.

Photo by Cassie Boca on Unsplash

How Approaches to Care Shape the Pathways of Older Adult Home Care Clients

Tue, February 06, 2018

To better understand the journey through the home care system and how policy, practice and decision-making shape that journey, Dr. Janice Keefe, Mount Saint Vincent University, her team and her partners received more than $860,000 from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to conduct a new four-year research project “How approaches to care shape the pathways of older adult home care clients”.

The project has multiple partners and spans across Canada, it includes the Nova Scotia Health Authority, University of Manitoba, Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and other policy and practice stakeholders such as: Northwood, Nova Scotia Department of Health & Wellness, Manitoba Caregiver Coalition, Caregivers Nova Scotia, Canadian Home Care Association and Health Canada. The project is set to start in April 2018.

Over the last few year, more and more emphasis is being placed on supporting older adults to live at home for as long as possible. However, depending on where a senior lives the level of support and care that is received can vary greatly. The research will explore how the individual experience of clients and their caregivers is shaped by different models of care. Presently, there is a need for cross-jurisdictional knowledge on home care models for older adult clients and this study will help to fill that gap. 

The outcomes will be used to project home care utilization, inform strategic planning and decision making, and support changes in care practice. Nova Scotia and Manitoba have distinct geographic and cultural compositions but are similar in terms of population and rural-urban issues. Both provinces are experiencing population ageing and increased demand for home care services.

The project includes an established interdisciplinary team with several of Canada’s leading experts in home care and caregiving research. Service providers and senior-level administrators of Health Authorities and Provincial Ministries are also actively engaged in the research. Voices of home care users and caregivers are included through the representation of caregiver groups.

To read the full article in the Mount Saint Vincent News, click here.

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

Saint Mary’s University Student-led Team Places 2nd at Venture Capital Investment Competition in Boston

Mon, February 05, 2018

The Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) is a tri-continental event in which student teams are given an imaginary $100 million to invest in one of three pitching startups at the event and was held in Boston.

On March 2nd Saint Mary's University (SMU) will host its own VCIC event, becoming the first Canadian University to host the competition. For ethical reasons, the Venture Grade team from the Sobey' School of Business at SMU is not allowed to compete in its own competition and was invited to go to Boston.  

Beating out teams from Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Dartmouth, the SMU student team tied for first place with Rochester University and SMU took home the 2nd place after the tie-breaking round.

The competition featured twelve venture capital investors, who served as the panel of judges to assess which teams did the best job and three entrepreneurs pitched the teams to start the competition. The teams had one on one meetings with each entrepreneur and had to choose their investee and explain why they made that choice. In the finals between Rochester and SMU they tied with a 6 to 6 vote and the head of the organization was called to be the tiebreaker.

SMU's Venture Grade’s team was made up of six students from SMU: Findlay Hilchie; Stephanie Fitzner; David Hatcher; Avinast Chandrapati; Anu Gupta; and Stu Clow as a stand in. The team prepared for the competition with support from Build Ventures, Innovacorp and a representative of Progress Partners of Boston. 

To read the full story in Entrevestor, click here.

Mount Saint Vincent Researcher Receives Funding to Prevent Infant Death in Cambodia

Fri, January 26, 2018

Beriberi, a nutritional disorder caused by a lack of thiamine, and more commonly known as vitamin B1, is a deadly childhood disorder in Southeast Asia. According to the World Health Organization, the disorder affects the heart and the nerves. 

Dr. Kyly Whitfield, an assistant professor at Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) has been studying this problem in Cambodia over the last years, working on a solution to eradicate this disorder. The number one reason, why people in Cambodia suffer from beriberi is that white rice, the nations staple food, does not contain B vitamins.

To support her work, Dr. Whitfield has received over $1 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help determine if a table salt mixture containing thiamine will eradicate beriberi. The research will focus on exactly how much thiamine needs to be added to the table salt to achieve the right dosage amount of thiamine contained in the breast milk, preventing beriberi.

Dr. Whitfield's previous work on fortifying fish sauce did not prove to be easily adaptable in Cambodia, so using table salt emerged as the natural alternative to investigate. Worldwide salt producers already add iodine to table salt, so it will be easy to add thiamine.

To read the full article in, click here.

To read the full article in The Chronicle Herald, click here.

To read the full article in Halifax Today, click here.

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash

Non-toxic, Super-slippery Surface Material Offers a Wealth of Possible Marine Applications

Thu, January 25, 2018

Biofouling is a real problem for marine structures (including ships) that are immersed in ocean waters. Dr. Truis Smith-Palmer, a chemist at Saint Francis Xavier University (StFX) is a biofouling expert and has been working with a research team from Sydney, Australia to come up with a non-toxic, super-slippery surface material with a wealth of possible marine applications.

Taking their inspiration from nature, the pitcher plant, a carnivorous plant that traps and devours insects, served as the model. The lip of the plant’s deep pitcher has tiny structures on its surface that are 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. When a thin layer of water is present on the lip, the insects have nothing to hold on to and they slip into the pitcher and are digested inside.

To recreate this kind of slippery, wrinkly surface the research team uses polystyrene, Teflon and silicone oil. The material can be shaped and can also be transparent, and they could be used for example on underwater cameras or other applications where the surface needs light to pass through.

The team, led by University of Sydney’s Chiara Neto, field tested the invention and saw a significant reduction in biofouling on their test surfaces. Currently, due to the cost of the material and the smaller size, it can be produced in, the nanowrinkle surfaces technology are a better fit for industries like aquaculture and underwater sensors. However, solving fouling on ships would reduce drag and fuel costs and be highly desirable.

To read the full story in the Chronicle Herald, click here.

Photo: ERIC WYNNE / The Chronicle Herald Staff

Restoring your old Windows could be better than replacing them

Thu, January 18, 2018

It might no longer be necessary to replace your old windows for increased energy efficiency, but rather refurbish them.

Sydney MacDonald, a recent Holland College (HC) graduate has created the steam box to reduce the time it normally takes to take off the old paint, putty and calking in approximately half the time. The Window is placed into the steam box for 18 minutes and all the layers of material on the window gets softened, making it easy to take them off. 

"We're hoping we can educate a lot of people that aren't really aware that they could be saving their wooden windows instead of just going with the vinyl windows," she said.

During the research project, MacDonald refurbished all of the windows of a Charlottetown house and a green energy company measured the difference the changes made in the home's energy efficiency. The results showed quite a reduction in air leakage, which would result in a significant decrease in energy consumption.

Prince Edward Island has a lot of heritage and older homes that owners trying to make more energy efficient. The steam box could prove to be a game changer and just what is needed and the P.E.I. government is part of a pilot project using the new steam box, through the Home Energy Low-income Program (HELP). 

Holland College’s Applied Research department, a member of Springboard Atlantic played a role in connecting HC's Heritage Retrofit program to Efficiency PEI, and securing the funding through CICan’s Clean Tech Internship fund to cover the costs of the student. The office also secured internal grant funding to cover material costs.

To read the full article on CBC, click here.

Photo by Jian Xhin on Unsplash

Nautilus Biosciences Canada Inc is being aquired by Croda International

Tue, January 16, 2018

Nautilus Biosciences Canada Inc. (Nautilus) was founded in 2007 by Professor Russell Kerr via a spin-out from his research at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). Nautilus focuses on using marine microbial biodiversity to discover novel activities and materials. In a press release on January 11, 2018, Corda International announced the acquisition of Nautilus. Through this acquisition and the associated patents, Croda will utilise this innovative science for applications across all its market sectors.

Having worked together for the last six years, Nautilus and Croda have a proven history of successful collaboration, focusing on the development of specific applications for skin, hair and crop care. It is Croda's intend to establish Nautilus as a Croda Centre of Innovation for Marine Biotechnology at Nautilus’ existing base at UPEI. The location is ideal for biotechnology research and has attracted and facilitated partnerships with many other biotechnology-based companies. 

Springboard's member Synapse was pleased to support the acquisition process by shepherding discussions and helping coordinate the agreements between UPEI and Croda/Nautilus. Synapse, an independently-incorporated company was created to help transfer the expertise and knowledge housed in UPEI into products, processes, services, and insights that can provide practical social and economic benefit beyond the university environment.

We want to add our well-deserved congratulations to the well-wishes from UPEI and Synapse.

To read the full article in UPEI Marketing and Communications, click here.

UNB receives funding for the development of Arctic surveillance capabilities

Fri, January 12, 2018

A physics professor at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) is working on two projects that are developing the next generation of sensors and systems to enhance the surveillance and detection capabilities for continental defence. UNB uns the Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Network (CHAIN), which is one of the world’s largest networks for ionospheric monitoring and investigation and the two projects are part of the Department of National Defence (DND) All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) program, providing valuable information about the Canadian Arctic Upper Atmosphere.

CHAIN (the network) started its work in 2006 and has 25 global navigation satellite receiver systems and five high-frequency radars called ionosondes. The information/ data gathered satellite systems is transferred to UNB in near real-time for processing. 

The total funding of $2.9M will go towards adding three more high-frequency radars to the network and to develop more accurate and Arctic-specific ionospheric models.

These two projects will help to develop a next-generation surveillance system for the Arctic and will have broad impacts on communication and navigation technologies and the Canadian economy, says Dr. P. Thayyil Jayachandran, chair of the physics department at the University of New Brunswick and lead for CHAIN.

To read the full story on the UNB News, click here.

Photo by Jennifer Latuperisa-Andresen on Unsplash

BMM Testlabs selects Moncton to Create the Automation Center of Excellence

Thu, January 11, 2018

On January 8, 2018, BMM Testlabs announced that it has selected Moncton as the place for its worldwide Test Automation  Center of Excellence. Transforming the gaming industry BMM's automation services include automation strategy consulting, automation frameworks and tools, automation execution, reports, and metrics.

To meet the demand BMM has been working with the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) and has been investing, and will continue to do so, in educational programs to ensure training of qualified personnel for jobs in technology.

BMM has employed many graduates, keeping up with the industry's growth. The commitment to Moncton started in 2015 when BNN Testlabs announced that it will create 1,000 jobs over the next 5 years.

To read the full article on Huddle, click here.

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

New Generation of Social Entrepreneurs coming from MUN

Tue, January 09, 2018

Student teams at Memorial University (MUN) from business and other faculties have been extremely successful in the annual Enactus competitions for the last nine to ten years, taking second place in 2017 and first place in 2016 internationally. Enactus is an international non-profit organization, promoting student entrepreneurship for the social good.

The work in social entrepreneurship has been steadily growing at MUN, in 2013 the university established a partnership with Fogo Island-based Shorefast Foundation, enabling MUN faculty to engage in research and various university-community collaborations. In 2016 the Centre for Social Enterprise was established by three faculties, including business. The purpose of the centre is to promote social innovation across Newfoundland and serves as an on-campus complement to the Centre for Entrepreneurship, assisting students, staff or faculty interested in taking a startup idea to the next level.

To further MUN's influence in this field, the faculty of business administration has announced its plans to offer a master-level program in social enterprise and entrepreneurship in the fall of 2018, thereby joining a growing list of business schools that have created new options to study social entrepreneurship.

"The idea is that you are creating your own job, a startup or getting involved in social enterprise," says Isabelle Dostaler, dean of the faculty of business administration. "It is interesting there are so many initiatives in social enterprise everywhere across the province."

To read the full article in The Globe and Mail, click here.

To read the article in The Gazette, click here.

Photo by Ben Kolde on Unsplash

SmartICE - combining technology with traditional knowledge to save lives

Mon, January 08, 2018

With the changing climate, the conditions of the sea ice are changing in northern Canada. The land-fast ice is thinning, impacting the personal and food security of the Inuit people, during the hunt. 

Adapting to these changing conditions, the communities are using SmartICE, an innovative tool, blending modern technology with traditional knowledge. Dr. Trevor Bell, a professor at Memorial University (MUN) researched and developed the technology and founded SmartICE and is its director. 

SmartICE provides real-time information to the Inuit people who are traveling on the ice, by sensors that are frozen into the ice at the beginning of the season. The sensors relay information of the thickness of the ice and the depth of snow on it. Hired by SmartICE, Inuit people are also affixing sensors to the underside of their sleds gathering further information as they travel.

The maps that are created also include local and traditional knowledge to enhance them. Indigenous communities can assess the condition of the ice by its texture and its sounds and have asked that microphones are installed with the stationary sensors to be able to listen to the ice from their communities, leading to a successful melding of knowledge.

MUN's Technology Transfer and Commercialization office supports Dr. Bell and SmartICE during the process of transferring the research into the company.

To read the full article on CBC, click here.

SMU-Industry partnership allows students to look deeper into the Ground

Fri, January 05, 2018

Meet the Noggin 500, a ground-penetrating radar (GPR). The instrument added to the Department of Anthropology at Saint Mary's University will help students and faculty to see beneath the soil to explore some of Nova Scotia’s most important historic sites.

The remarkable fact about this acquisition is, that the purchase was made jointly by Boreas Heritage Consulting and Northeast Archaeological Research, two Halifax-based archaeological consulting companies. Sara Beanlands, an archaeologist with Boreas, a graduate of Saint Mary’s History program, and an adjunct professor in the Anthropology Department, says that it is critical for students to have access to this kind of technology. This kind of technology is standard in the archeological world, and now the students at SMU will have access to this technology as well.

The Noggin can see up to two meters into the soil and can map the subterranean environment in three dimensions. The Noggin GPR is especially good at spotting “discontinuities” in soil texture and type, such as those caused by unmarked graves.The Noggin compliments the Geonics EM38B, a device which measures soil magnetism and can put together a limited picture of what lies underneath. Now with this expanded toolkit, the research will more accurately tell the researchers what lies where, especially valuable when making the most of time in the field.

To read the full story in the Saint Mary's News, click here.

#Springboarding Forward - Island AquaTech Preps Prototype

Tue, January 02, 2018

In October we reported on the success of three engineering students from the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) who created a startup business, Island AquaTech, out of a class project. With the help from UPEI's Synapse (a Springboard member turning ideas into solutions) and Springboard's Innovation Mobilization Proof of Concept and Patent funding, Dylan MacIssac, Brett McDermott, and Jordan Sampson were able to file for patent protection in 2017 for their innovation that will greatly support the oyster farming industry. 

The team invented a machine enabling oyster farmers to flip their cages easily, reducing the manual labour and time needed, greatly improving the performance of this critical task. In oyster farming, the shellfish are grown in floating cages needing to be flipped often during growth to kill off parasites like barnacles, algae and mussels. When the cages are flipped, these parasites are exposed to the sun, which kills them.

The oyster industry is very important for PEI, producing roughly 30 per cent of the farmed oysters in Canada.

Besides Springboard's funding, Island AquaTech also received non-equity funding from Innovation P.E.I.’s Ignition Fund. The team has by now built their prototype and will finalize its boat attachment design. Just before the winter, they tested their latest prototype with good success and now have to work out the last kinks, but the concept is proven.

To learn the business side of their startup, the team enrolled in the Creative Destruction Lab in Halifax and completed the first session in November and will return this month to CDL for the next session. The team is very excited about the possibilities that 2018 holds for them and we are excited to see their dedication and success and seeing them #springboarding forward.

To read the full article in Entrevestor, click here.

Memorial names 1st Research Chair in Entrepreneurship

Thu, December 21, 2017

Memorial University's (MUN) new chair in entrepreneurship will build research capacity in the field of entrepreneurship, lead research aimed at better understanding and contributing to the health of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and provide academic leadership of entrepreneurship-related activities in the province. This position is filled by Dr. Alex Stewart, who is coming from Marquette University in Wisconsin, where he was the Coleman Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship.

The chair’s focus on research and on contributing to the entrepreneurial ecosystem was one of its appeals, says Dr. Stewart, as was the prospect of living in Newfoundland and Labrador. At the moment he is investigating possible research projects but expects to focus his attention on entrepreneurship, creative industries and the natural environment in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

The chair was funded by contributions from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, the faculties of Business and Engineering and Applied Science and private donations as part of the creation of the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship.

To read the full article in The Gazette, click here.

UNB awarded ACOA Atlantic Innovation Fund to develop Smart Grid Solutions

Wed, December 20, 2017

Thanks to funding from the Federal Government through Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF), the University of New Brunswick (UNB) will advance their existing smart grid expertise infrastructure as well as refine the technology. This will allow UNB to deliver solutions for renewable energy to meet Canada's and the world's future energy needs.

The work from this AIF will advance Canada's efforts for a cleaner economy and help realize Canada's climate change goals.

Project partner Emera Inc. is providing $1.4 million to the project, ACOA invests $2.8 million in the project and NSERC provides $82,100 towards the project for a total of ~$4.28 million.

The project goal is to distribute energy resource solutions for commercialization by industry and its implementation by utilities. This will be achieved through the designing, building, testing and demonstrating of a suite of distributed energy resource solutions. Emera will deploy and test the project results within its system network at Barbados Light and Power. After testing in a real-world environment, the results will be refined and validated by industry players, users, suppliers, regulators, and others.

“We’re excited to support innovation-focused research towards creating a 100 percent clean electricity supply. We believe the kind of technology being developed at UNB will play a critical role in making it possible for 100 percent renewable energy to be affordable and reliable to serve our customers in the future.”
– Chris Huskilson, president & CEO, Emera Inc.

To read the full article in UNB's Newsroom, click here.

STFX signs Agreement with Cultivator Catalyst Coorporation

Tue, December 19, 2017

The three-year multi-disciplinary agreement between Cultivator Catalyst Corporation (CCC), THC Dispensiaries Inc (THC Inc) and St. Francis Xavier University (StFX) will focus on the development of proprietary solutions for the commercial cannabis industry, specifically on:

* The creation of unique cannabis genetics that may be used in clinical trials that CCC intends to undertake
* The development of new delivery methods and mechanisms for cannabis into the human body
* Research into new approaches for growing and cultivating cannabis at an industrial scale
* Assistance in sourcing human capital for CCC with a particular focus on StFX students and graduates
* Work with regional and provincial authorities to support these activities

Springboard's member, StFX Office of Industry Liaison and Technology Transfer, represented through its manager Andrew Kendall, will support CCC, THC Inc and StFx's researchers to ensure the research and innovations are #springboarding forward and are successfully commercialized.

To read the full article on the StFX website, click here.

New Pilot Program for UNB Graduates

Wed, December 13, 2017

The goal of this partnership and pilot program is to move young companies out of the idea stage. Accelerate Entrepreneur will work with all sectors, for example, manufacturing, technical innovation, business processes, IT, social sciences, and design. 

Mitacs is a nation-wide not-for-profit organization that bridges the gap between academia and industry and helps companies employ Masters, PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. Planet Hatch is New Brunswick's flagship business accelerator and entrepreneurial hub located in Fredericton.

“This pilot program will support university-based entrepreneurs who are solving research problems, which in turn, will have positive impacts on our economy and our society,” said Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director of Mitacs.

To find out if you are eligible for the program or are interested in attending, contact Mitacs local representative Valerie Bonnardel-Vacque at 

To read the full story on Entrevestor, click here.

Photo by Climate KIC on Unsplash

Staying Connected via Nature

Sat, December 09, 2017

Being able to get connected when exploring the great and wide outdoors is important for a number of reasons and Seaformatics Systems Inc is delivering the technology to do just that.

WaterLily, a hand-held microturbine was designed to harness wind and water power is the easiest to use tool out in the market. Recharge your phone, camera, GPS or portable battery bank by the power of nature.

The St. John's based start-up was spun out of Memorial University (MUN) and the technology that has lead to the launch of WaterLily was developed at MUN over the last decade with funding support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Atlantic Innovation Fund and Springboard Atlantic’s Innovation Mobilization Program. Springboard's funds provided support during the proof of concept, the patenting and the marketing stage and we are thrilled to see how our funds have been instrumental in #springboarding Seaformatics forward and seeing this technology commercialized. 

The company now holds one patent and another one is in progress and WaterLily is catching the attention of customers, curiosity seekers and mainstream media. Seaformatics is currently a client of the Genesis Centre, Memorial’s award-winning business incubator for technology startups.

To read the full article in The Gazette, click here.


Startups receive $10K from Acadia Award

Fri, December 08, 2017

In total, 16 teams participated in Acadia's Start It Up program via Launchbox. The winner a team of three environmental science students from Acadia University won first prize and $6,000 for their idea of a mobile food truck that serves healthy produce sourced from local farms, called Highway 101.

the 16 teams were given real industry problems and had 28 hours to come up with a viable solution. The participants learn to apply the Lean Canvas Model and at the end of the workshop, the teams present their ideas to a panel of judges. The second-place team won $3500 for its solution to connect students to retired seniors who want to stay in their homes and need help maintaining their property and third place ($500) was won by a team from Cultiv8, who designed an app to harmonize a work/life balance.

The workshop was coordinated by the Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre, which manages LaunchBox.

To read the full article on Entrevestor, click here.

Sparking new ideas and fostering entrepreneurship

Fri, December 08, 2017

Meet Western Newfoundland's entrepreneurship centre, Navigate at Memorial University's (MUN) Grenfell Campus. Since its opening in 2004 (formerly known as Gateway West) it has supported more than 80 businesses in Western Newfoundland and beyond and served almost 250 clients.

Navigate builds relationships with clients, partners and organizations, paving the way for tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, giving assistance in business and financial planning, market research as well as networking and mentoring opportunities.

Navigate also connects MUN's Grenfell campus and the College of the North Atlantic's (CNA) Corner Brook campus, its manager Sean St. George works out of both locations and both places offer office space for entrepreneurs for meetings, use office equipment and have access to mentors.

Going forward, thanks to the new partnership with the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship, Navigates student-clients now have the opportunity to access services through the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship and new entrepreneurs may be eligible for funding and subsidies. Navigate has also recently begun working with Futurpreneur Canada, a non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39.

The funding for Navigate comes from different partners, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Newfoundland's and Labrador's Departments of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation and Advanced Education, Skills and Labour and Grenfell Campus and the College of the North Atlantic-Corner Brook Campus.

To read the full article in The Gazette, click here.

UNB’s Energia and TME program propel startups forward

Thu, December 07, 2017


Three grads from the University of New Brunswick (UNB) are embracing the provinces Smart Grid Initiative and are working on a way to help utilities find outages on their grids more quickly, and eventually help to reduce power interruption via their Fredericton startup Trispectra.

It’s a little-known fact that utilities don’t have the ability to detect a power outage as soon as it occurs and about a year and a half ago the company came up with sensors that are placed on the powerlines, that tell the utility company when a power outage occurs and where.

“Our solution was to provide a sensor-based monitor system that would provide a map of the power lines and detect faults,” said CEO Emmanuel Albert in an interview. “We can alert the utility if there’s a fault – not just location but also the type of problem.”

With the help from the Energia accelerator at UNB, Trispectra has received $20,000 in non-dilutive funding and have been introduced to mentors such as Pierre Mullin of Siemens Canada.

The founders’ main focus now is to perfect certain components that will go into the sensor mechanism, and they are talking with potential manufacturers about ironing our sundry kinks in the design. 


Mbissa, a Fredericton startup develops micro homes that use 100 per cent renewable solar and wind energy in order to run basic electrical services. The original goal was to bring renewable energy solutions to communities off the grid in Cameroon, but now Mbissa wants New Brunswickers to know they can transform the lives of people here at home too.

The off-grid micro home will be showcased in Douglas and Caleb Grove, founder of Mbissa Energy is excited to show off the technology and business model, that they developed with the support of the Energia Accelerator and the Technology Management & Entrepreneurship (TME) program at UNB.

Mbissa has completed 40 renewable energy installations in homes, clinics, and businesses on and around the island Mbissa and Grove wants to return to Cameroon in January to train another team of technicians who he hopes can complete installations across the entire island of Mbissa within eight months.

To read the full article on Entrevestor click here.

To read the full article on Huddle, click here.

CarbonCure continues to accelerate

Wed, December 06, 2017

CarbonCure Technologies, a Dartmouth-based company that sequesters carobon dioxide in concrete is growing at a fast pace, adding its 80th client to their customer list. St. Louis-based Breckenridge Material Company and Eastern Missouri Concrete are 2 American companies that will now be able to recycle waste carbon dioxide and therefore increase their environmental performance and profile.

A neat side-effect of the sequestered coarbon dioxide in the concrete is the added compressive strength of the concrete.

CarbonCure is also one of 23 semi-finalists in the $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE challenge, which has been called the Nobel Prize for climate technologies.

To read the full articvle in Entrevestor, click here.

Investment Opportunities Program Announces First Cohort

Wed, December 06, 2017

On behalf of the Investment Opportunities Program (IOP) partners we are pleased to confirm the 12 companies selected to join our 1st cohort. A total of 16 preselected companies competed in a pitching session after an invite only weekend of workshops that focused on investment readiness, pitching and investor relations. The event was held Nov 17-19th at St Mary’s University. Workshops were facilitated by representatives from the First Angel Network, Springboard Atlantic and Invest Atlantic.

The 1st cohort welcomes the following company representatives:

  1. Sizwe Dhlamini, POWERHV, NL
  2. James Stewart, EhEye Inc, NB
  3. Trevor Forward, DuXion Motors, NL
  4. Issmat Al-Akhali, Black Sheep Project Management Inc, NS
  5. Dr Bill Smith, NeckTronics, NS
  6. Aris Economopoulos, Boombers Plus, NS
  7. Randy Campbell, Shoplaw, PE
  8. Joel Muise, Tranquility Online, NS
  9. Josh Ogden, AVSS- Aerial Vehicle Safety Solutions, NB
  10. Amir Akbari, WENTech Solutions, NB
  11. Eric Fisher, MyMem Technologies Inc, NS
  12. Mark Gauci, ABA Access, NL

The cohort including up to 4 mentors will be in Toronto from December 13-15th, 2017 to pitch their ideas to angel investors with the goal of raising capital. Angel Investors Ontario will be hosting the first pitch session for its members on Dec 14th and the National Angel Capital Organization is hosting a 2nd pitch session which is open to all investors on Dec 15th.

The IOP strives to identify the top startup companies from Atlantic Canada available today, and pairs them with identified investors in key target markets. The program was launched by Springboard Atlantic CEO Chris Mathis and Nova Scotia-based Jameson Group (organizers of Invest Atlantic) CEO Bob Williamson with support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

For further details please visit Springboard Atlantic’s website or email Bob Williamson at

Bees to be used to protect Wild Blueberry Crops

Mon, December 04, 2017

The Wild Blueberry Research Program at Dalhousie University conducted trials near Parrsborough, Nova Scotia to test Bee Vectoring's new and proprietary honey bee dispenser system. The trials were conducted by Dr. David Percival's team and the results showed a yield of wild blueberries that is 77% higher compared to the nontreated control, the number of marketable berries per stem is 50% higher than with chemical standard, and a reduction of Monilinia blight (mummy berry) by 21% occured.

Blueberries are a high-value crop in Canada and the United States with a total farm gate value of US $1.1 billion. Blueberry production in North America represents 54% of the worldwide crops with key growing regions including the Atlantic provinces and British Columbia in Canada, Washington, Oregon, Georgia, Michigan, California, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Florida in the US.

To read the full article on MarketWired, click here.

Photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash

Research is supporting Aqualitas for unique Business Advantage

Wed, November 29, 2017

Through the use of research from its subsidiary Finleaf Technologies, Aqualitas, a Liverpool cannabis producer, is setting itself apart from its other 73 competitors in Canada and the company is now close to raising $6.5-million with private investors next month.

If Health Canada approves its growing facility for medical cannabis, Aqualitas will be getting to market next year.

With support and initial research from Acadia University, Finleaf Technologies has developed proprietary aquaponics technology, that ensures that plants get enough nutrients and the fish are protected from toxic chemicals while preserving water and avoiding harmful runoffs. Aquaponics is especially important to areas in the world where fresh water is scarce. Finleafs' research lab is housed and fully staffed at Acadia University and the company has been accepted into Innovacorp’s Cleantech Accelerator Program and was a $25,000 winner of the Spark West competition.

While Cannabis is a hot sector, the company is looking forward to diversifying the company’s crop and using its technology to address food security and they want to develop more facilities in the provinces so that more food can be grown indoors with minimal environmental impact.

To read the full article on Entrevestor, click here.

NBCC creates New Brunswick’s first Cybersecurity Post-Grad Program

Tue, November 28, 2017

To be offered in September 2018, the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) is going to launch a new one-year post-graduate cybersecurity diploma program at its Saint John campus.

This one-year program was developed together with CyberNB and industry to address the anticipated growing demand for cybersecurity expertise in New Brunswick. The admission requirement for this program is a diploma or degree in network administration, computer science or equivalent experience in network administration. While the curriculum is still in development, NBCC says that the program will equip graduated with “the skills and knowledge that industry is seeking, and help expand the cybersecurity infrastructure in New Brunswick.”

According to a recent report from Cisco, in 2016, there are about one million jobs available worldwide in cybersecurity and many of them were not filled. By 2019, that’s expected to grow to six million.

To read the full article on Huddle, click here.

To read the full article on Entrevestor, click here.

Enjoying your Christmas Tree longer

Mon, November 27, 2017

Celebrating the SMART Christmas Tree success, Dalhousie's Truro Agricultural Campus welcomed the Honourable Navdeep Bains (below), Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Bill Casey, Member of Parliament for Cumberland-Colchester, James DeLong, President of the SMART Christmas Tree Research Cooperative Limited and Richard Florizone, president of Dalhousie University.

The National Christmas Tree Research Centre (CRC), funded in large part through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Atlantic Innovation Fund, has licensed three commercial products and technologies, the SMART Balsam Fir TEchnologies, to help sustain Atlantic Canada’s Christmas tree and greenery industry.

Developed in a true industry partnership by Raj Lada (Faculty of Agriculture professor and the CRC's director) and his team, the SMART-er trees boast a full, sturdy architecture; unique fragrance; blue-green needles; and the ability to retain its needles longer (up to three months when handled properly).

The research is being conducted at Dalhousie Agricultural campus in partnership with the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia, SMART Christmas Tree Research Cooperative, Christmas tree producers; NS Departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources, NB Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture; NL Department of Forestry and Agriculture; and University of New Brunswick, under the leadership and direction of Dr. Lada.

“This opportunity has already begun to enhance the economic growth of the balsam fir industry with market growth. I believe the true potential of the Cooperatives' success and all that has been achieved, will only be truly realized by generations to come.” said James DeLong, President of the SMART Christmas Tree Research Cooperative Limited.

The CRC has provided a great wealth of new and improved knowledge and technologies for the industry, including 13 disclosures to the university; three commercial products and technologies; over 20 published, peer-reviewed original scientific articles; over 40 conference abstracts, posters and presentations; and the training of trained undergraduate students, graduate students, PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants and research associates — a total of more than 50 totaling person-years of building human capacity for the region.

Congratulations to Dalhousie University and all of its partners.

To read the full article on Dal News, click here.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Halifax’s Discovery Centre Discovery Awards 2017

Fri, November 24, 2017

On November 23, 2017 Halifax’s Discovery Centre held their 15th annual Discovery Awards. This great annual event recognizes talented individuals and outstanding companies for their innovative contributions to science and technology. This year's awards were sponsored by Dalhousie University.

Award Recipients:

Professional of Distinction Award: Jason Clyburne, Saint Mary's University, Department of Chemistry

Dr. Clyburne is recognized as a leader in the study of green chemistry and his research is widely recognized for its potential to mitigate a wide range of environmental challenges, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. His focus lies on the application of simple chemical principles to identify designer chemicals for the removal of environmentally hazardous substances from industrial processes. 

Find out more about Dr. Clyburne's work, click here.  

Science Hall of Fame recipients: Peter Allen, Dalhousie University, Faculty of Engineering and William Howard Feindel

Dr. Allen is recognized for his contributions to the solar energy research and development community. He is CEO and founder of Thermo Dynamics Ltd, a Dartmouth company that carries out research, development and manufacture of solar thermal equipment for domestic and export markets.

Dr. Feindel (1918-2014), was a graduate of Dal's Faculty of Science. He was recognized posthumously for his outstanding contributions to neurosurgical research and development of medical diagnostic equipment.

Emerging Professional: Ghada Koleilat, Dalhousie University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Koleilat developed the world’s first functional colloidal quantum dot tandem solar cell employing a single quantum tuned material during her graduate studies at the University of Toronto. She also conceived a material processing that enabled prolonged stability and improved electrical properties in photovoltaic junctions based on colloidal quantum dots. Before joining Dalhousie University in 2016, Dr. Koleilat investigated the properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes and their potential in photovoltaics. Her work has frequently been highlighted in major media outlets for technology reporting. Notably, her first research publication in the American Chemical Society’s journal “ACS Nano” was one of the ten highest cited articles in the journal for four consecutive years.

See what Dr. Koleilat's group is working at the moment.

Science Champion: Matthew Lukeman, Acadia University, Department of Chemistry

Dr. Luekmans' passion for teaching chemistry has been recognized through winning the Student Union Teaching Recognition Award twice, along with the Faculty of Pure and Applied Science Teaching Award. He was instrumental in the development of a course for non-science majors entitled “Chemistry in Our World” which has become Acadia’s most highly registered class. The demonstrations Dr. Lukeman developed for his courses became the basis for a science education “show” featuring attention-grabbing and hands-on activities which has been presented now dozens of times to school and community groups – including regular interactions with the Acadia Sensory Motor Instructional Leadership Experience ( or “S.M.I.L.E.”) Program. Dr. Lukeman has also developed a series of public lectures on Pseudoscience and The Sky is Falling: Separating Fact from Fiction in Our Chemical World aimed at demystifying the media’s many conflicting messages about chemicals.

Innovation Award recipients: Densitas Inc.

An early stage medical software company, Densitas Inc., focuses on machine-learning solutions in the breast imaging enterprise and sees digital mammograms as “imaging fingerprints” that enable tailored patient care. Densitas was founded in 2011 by Mohamed (Mo) Abdolell, a biostatistician with 25 years’ experience in modeling data for clinical decision-making, and currently also an Associate Professor in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at Dalhousie University and an Affiliated Scientist at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. Densitas’ flagship technology is DM-Density, an automated breast density assessment tool which serves as the foundational product for a suite of technologies that complete a comprehensive imaging analytics platform targeting mammography quality and delivery of personalized care. 

Youth Award Recipients: Janani Venkat and Anisha Rajaselvam 

Congratulations to all recipients.

UNB’s TME 5.0? What is next?

Thu, November 23, 2017

The Technology, Management and Entrepreneurship (TME) at UNB has been in operation since 29 years to great success and its overseers are currently working on what will be next for the program, given its recent growth. Buzz words like “TME Next” or “TME 5.0” are floating around the Faculty of Engineering at UNB. Since 2014, TME has produced 65 startups, including Resson an agtech company. 

In an interview, Dhirendra Shukla said the options include a PhD program in entrepreneurship, a ramping up of its Energia accelerator, a program to help mature companies grow, or all of the above.

The current TME program has four pillars

  • Academic
  • Research 
  • Experiential 
  • Engagement 

and UNB is working out how to build on this success. A PhD in entrepreneurship would be the first of its kind in the region, and the university is one of several groups in Atlantic Canada wondering what it can do to help mature companies grow. 

To read the full article on Entrevestor, click here.

AFRED Database is enabling regional collaborations

Wed, November 22, 2017

To businesses relying on scientific discovery, it is important to have the hardware to realize their ideas and innovation. However, the expense of the instrumentation and the technical expertise often far exceeds what companies can afford, especially in the early stages.  

Thanks to AFRED (Atlantic Facilities and Research Equipment Database), housing this infrastructure within their company is no longer essential. AFRED is an open access, online, searchable database created by Science Atlantic. Launched earlier this year, AFRED now lists close to 500 pieces of equipment available in various colleges, universities, government, medical, and not-for-profit facilities throughout Atlantic Canada. 

A number of Springboard's members are part of AFRED, helping companies in the region address their research needs, #springboarding forward.

"AFRED has tremendous potential to showcase specialized research infrastructure in Atlantic Canada and provide researchers with opportunities for partnerships with colleagues in academia and industry," said Dr. Christian Lacroix, Chair-Elect, Science Atlantic and Biology Professor, University of Prince Edward Island.

"We regard AFRED as an invaluable tool to link applied research expertise that exists within our region to our industry partners who are seeking assistance in developing critical products and processes within their organizations," said Mike Long, Vice President of Applied Research and Innovation, College of the North Atlantic, St. John's, Newfoundland.

To read the full article in Atlantic Business, click here.

Springboard welcomes new President and CEO

Wed, November 15, 2017

Springboard Atlantic’s board of directors announced today, November 16, the appointment of Daryl Genge as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer.

Mr. Genge has been a leader in building innovative partnerships among academia, industry and government for the last 28 years. He comes to the organization most recently from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s former Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development where, in his role as Assistant Deputy Minister and Deputy Minister (acting), he championed public-private investment strategies to support commercialization, drive technology industry growth, and expand key trade networks. He will begin his new role December 1.

"After an extensive search which generated interest from across Canada, we are thrilled to have Daryl join us," said Brian Lowe, Springboard’s board chair. "Daryl is a strong leader, and his understanding of academia, industry and the public sector will be a significant asset to Springboard going forward.”

" I am very excited to take on the role of President and CEO of Springboard at such a pivotal time," said Mr. Genge. “I’m looking forward to working alongside our members and partners to make a real impact on our region’s future. Atlantic Canada is rapidly developing a reputation as one of country’s leading innovation hubs. With such a powerful network of universities and colleges, and strong relationships with government, industry and our entrepreneurial community, we have unparalleled talent and resources to turn great ideas into commercial success.” 

The Newfoundland native is a graduate of Memorial University and a Certified Management Consultant. Prior to joining the provincial government, he was the founding director of Memorial University’s Atlantic Canada Venture Gateway which prepared high-potential entrepreneurs to raise capital and brought promising technologies to international markets. Mr. Genge has held numerous board and committee positions including participating on the advisory boards of two venture capital funds.

Mr. Lowe extended the board's appreciation to Chris Mathis, who served as Springboard’s president and CEO since 2011.

“We’re grateful for Chris’ strong leadership over the last six years,” said Mr. Lowe. “He delivered on all of our strategic goals, and evolved the organization into a vehicle that drives academic and industry collaboration for the economic benefit of our region."

Springboard is Atlantic Canada’s commercialization network. It works to connect skilled professionals in academia with like-minded contacts in industry to drive new collaborations and support research commercialization in Atlantic Canada. With core support from its members, and from the Government of Canada (through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, or ACOA), Springboard is building economic advantages and #springboarding the Atlantic Region every day.

For more information, please contact:

Katie Kushner
Springboard Atlantic       

Saint Mary’s University will host the international Venture Capital Investment Competition

Mon, November 13, 2017

Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) is a tri-continental organization, hosting competitions at universities around the world. Holding competitions for a decade, so far no Canadian university has stepped up to host the event. Venture Grade, a student-run venture capital fund at St. Mary’s University (SMU) is changing that.

“It’s a pretty spectacular opportunity,” said Ellen Farrell, professor of venture capital and entrepreneurship at SMU. “The nation will now realize that the Atlantic region has a real specialization in the area of venture capital.”

SMU, as the host, cannot enter competing teams into the event held on March 2, 2018, but it has been invited to an American competition n Februar 2018 in Boston. Applications for the SMU event have been already submitted by Dalhousie, University of New Brunswick and Memorial University of Newfoundland.

At the event the student teams will be given an imaginary $100 million to invest, and they must pick one of the pitching startups to back. Real venture capital investors serve as the judges to assess which teams do the best job.

Venture Grade is the only program of its kind in North America because the students are responsible for making connections and raising funds themselves and it has been meeting all of its targets for 2017, raising almost $200,000 since its inception in 2016 and is set to meet its $250,000 target in 2018.

To read the full artilce on Entrevestor, click here.

Acadia and NSCC receive Offshore Energy Research Association funding

Fri, November 10, 2017

A total of $1.25 million in funding support was announced by the Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA). $1 million comes from Natural Resources Canada and $125,000 each come from the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and OERA. 

OERA issued a research call in support of the Canadian In-stream Tidal Energy Sector to address the “fundamental knowledge gaps impacting the Canadian tidal energy sector”  in environmental effects, monitoring, marine operations and cost reduction technologies.


Acadia University received funding for 2 projects:

1) Using acoustic fish tracking technology to study fish distributions and movements in the Minas Passage, and

2) Using mobile measurement devices and modeling techniques to complete a comprehensive characterization of turbulence in the passage.

The Nova Scotia Community College received funding for: Conducting field trials to augment ROV operational capacity and efficiency to enhance marine operations in high-flow tidal environments.

“Our investment in innovative research and development creates new opportunities for Nova Scotia’s growing ocean technology sector,” said Stephen Dempsey, OERA executive director. “These collaborative research projects will contribute significantly to the development of a commercial tidal industry here in Nova Scotia – one that will see export opportunities around the globe.”

To read the full article on, click here.

Photo by Dan Grinwis on Unsplash

StFX Collaboration to drive material discovery in Canada

Fri, November 10, 2017

In order to speed up the process of new materials discovery, urgently needed for better solar and battery materials, lighter but stronger alloys and more efficient catalysts, St. Francis Xavier University’s (StFX) physicists and chemists are collaborating with Lumiant Corporation, a Canadian materials science company.

The tried and tested method of discovering new materials takes to long and is too costly and risky and Lumiant’s Xaedra™ platform offers a solution by combining AI and quantum physics into a system that predicts material properties from atomic structure information. To test this new artificial intelligence (AI) computing platform that is expected to revolutionize how materials are discovered, the Luminant Corporation is collaborating with StFX, so that the university’s researchers can test Xaedra before its release by using the platform in their research. Other academic researchers across Canada are also participating in this beta testing program.

“Through our collaboration with Lumiant, StFX researchers and students have a great opportunity to be at the forefront of new material research with a technology that promises to fundamentally alter how materials are discovered,” says Dr. Kevin B. Wamsley, StFX Academic Vice-President and Provost. “This work will enable our science students to gain valuable insights into the rapidly evolving world of material science.”

StFX physics professor Dr. Brandon van Zyl, a lead investigator bringing this state-of-the-art collaboration, along with StFX Industry Liaison Manager Andrew Kendall and Lumiant Business Development Manager Charles Robison, agrees. “My physics students are excited about using this quantum mechanics-based computing platform to solve real-world problems – to possibly discover new materials." 

To read the full article on the StFX website, click here.

Photo taken by Saint Francis Xavier University. L-r, Dr. Gurpreet Matharoo, research consultant at ACENET; StFX Industry Liaison Manager Andrew Kendall; StFX physics professor Dr. Brandon van Zyl, a lead investigator bringing this state-of-the-art collaboration; Greg Lukeman, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer, ACENET; and StFX chemistry professor Dr. Shah Gulam Razul.

Developing biopesticides and biofertilizers for agricultural and horticultural needs

Wed, November 08, 2017

As the medical marijuana industry grows into the mainstream for recreational use, so is the need for technology that ensures a viable crop. Like all cultivated plants, cannabis needs fertilizers to grow and pesticides to protect itself from diseases and death, and if Dr. Martin Filion has anything to do with it, they will not be the chemical kind.

A microbiologist and a precision agriculturalist at the university’s Moncton campus, Dr. Filion studies the beneficial organisms that live in soil on and near the roots of plants. Since it is the place they call home, many of those beneficial microbes have evolved mechanisms that help protect their host plant from diseases and/or promote plant growth and yield. Dr. Filion’s laboratory studies these mechanisms at the genetics and molecular level to ensure choosing the right microorganism for the right job!

“Right now there are more and more issues with pesticides. The more we look at chemical ones, the more we want to remove them from the shelf,” says Dr. Filion. “Organic is the big thing today, and developing biopesticides from natural beneficial microorganisms is economically viable as many of the organisms we work with are easy to grow, and cost of production is low. We also study microorganisms to be used as biofertilizers to boost plant productivity and yield, again compatible with organic production,” he went on to say.

For marijuana grown inside, many diseases may affect the plant, as well as stresses that may alter plant growth and therefore reduce yield. This can be disastrous for producers, and finding ways of treating these, ideally environmentally friendly ones, is important.  

“By keeping the soil or soil substrate enriched with targeted beneficial microbes, it is now possible to protect the plant from disease development and promote health and productivity. Dr. Filion’s laboratory works on developing biopesticides and biofertilizers to be commercialized for agricultural and horticultural needs. A patent pending number has recently been obtained for one of the microbial strains isolated and characterized by Dr. Filion’s group to be used as a biofertilizer.

Dr. Filion’s research on plant‑protecting and growth promoting microbes is much farther reaching than marijuana. The methods he is developing can be used to discover similarly functioning microorganisms for all types of crop, indoors and out, that are already naturally there. Dr. Filion’s team also works in close collaboration with two other researchers at the Université de Moncton interested in cannabis research: Dr. David Joly who works on the genetics of the plant, and Dr. Étienne Hébert-Châtelain who works on cannabinoids and their beneficial impact on human diseases.

Article was written by Chet Wesley (writer for the Atlantic Business Magazine)

Dalhousie is #springboarding 3D-Bolus to improve cancer patients lives

Wed, November 08, 2017

Undergoing radiation therapy is incredibly stressful for many cancer patients and also time-consuming and Dr. James Robar, director of Dalhousie University's Medical Physics programs and professor of the departments of Radiation Oncology and Physics & Atmospheric Science, and his team set out to change that, working on a tool for health practitioners that improves the accuracy and efficiency of this treatment, while making it a more comfortable experience for the patient.

With access to high tech equipment, state-of-the-art software and linear accelerators radiation oncologists and medical physicists are able to deliver treatment in a highly automated way, but there are key steps of the process that remain very manual. These include using a device called a bolus, a layer of tissue-equivalent material placed on the patient's skin during treatment that assists in providing the optimal dose of radiation.

Producing a bolus that works perfectly and needs to be custom made for each patient, leads to inaccuracy and is very time-consuming. However, with the increased availability of 3D-printers, Dr. Robar saw an opportunity and in 2012 he started working on finding a better way to produce the bolus.

With the support of Springboard Atlantic's Innovation Mobilization Proof-Of-Concept (POC) grant, Dr. Robar and his team purchased their first 3-D printer, and began creating four different devices:

Electron Beam Therapy

Photon Beam Therapy

Immobilization Device

Brachy therapy

Springboard was thrilled to learn that all of these applications have been shown to greatly enhance the accuracy and efficiency of the radiation treatment process and the next step was to put it in the hands of clinicians.

With the support of Dalhousie's Industry Liaison and Innovation the 3-D printing technology was licensed over 18 months ago, and from there a start-up company called 3-D Bolus was formed to begin developing the product. The product includes the software that will enable practitioners to create photon and electron boluses, low-density immobilization and brachytherapy surface applicators. The application is bundled with a 3-D printer.

Currently, version one of the product has been developed and has secured CE Mark clearance. The technology has been deployed in clinics in Dublin, Ireland and Tel-Aviv, with research versions in Chicago, San Francisco and Halifax.

Going forward, the company's approach will be to bring in 10 founding clients who will be the first in the world to use the technology in the clinic and to assist with testing and further development. Once they receive Food and Drug Association (FDA) clearance, slated for early 2018, they will begin sales in the US.

To read the full article on Medical Express, click here.

Memorial receives three new Canada Research Chairs

Tue, November 07, 2017

The appointments are for tier 2 chairs, which are five-year positions worth $100,000 each year with the possibility of one five-year renewal, which represents a total investments (including the CFI fuding ) of more than $1.6 million in federal funding.

The recipients are:

Dr. Rachel Sipler, Surf and Turf: How Changes on Land Impact the Ocean, Department of Ocean Sciences, Faculty of Science, is the Canada Research Chair in Ocean Biogeochemistry.

Dr. Julia Christensen, Finding Home in an Urbanizing Arctic, Canada Research Chair in Northern Governance and Public Policy, joins the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in December.

Dr. Baiyu (Helen) Zhang, Controlling Oil Pollution, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, is the Canada Research Chair in Coastal Environmental Engineering.

Created in 2000, the Canada Research Chairs program has helped attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds to post-secondary institutions in the country.

Since its creation in 1997, CFI has ensured Canadian researchers have the tools — the cutting-edge labs, facilities and equipment — they need to push the frontiers of knowledge in all disciplines.

CFI and the Canada Research Chairs program partner through JELF to provide top-notch infrastructure for research institutions across Canada.

To read the full article in The Gazette, click here.

Memorial receives a $1.1M donation from the Woodward Family

Mon, November 06, 2017

The donated $1.1 million will flow into the now newly created Mel Woodward Cup which will be awarded to student entrepreneurs through an annual business competition. The competition, which is a program of the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship, will award more than $40,000 in cash prizes and offer mentorship and support opportunities for student innovators and entrepreneurs. 

Woodward’s children, Peter, Melvin, and Tana, made the donation in memory of their father, who died in 2015. 

“This generous donation from the Woodward family shows incredible support for, and belief in, our students and their capacity as potential entrepreneurs," said Isabelle Dostaler, the dean of Memorial’s business faculty. “Through this donation and the Mel Woodward Cup, we will be able to provide a tangible investment in our students and support them on their journeys towards becoming the next generation of business leaders.”

To read the full article on Entrevestor, click here.

Fostering Innovation - Government investment into building AI research at Memorial

Mon, November 06, 2017

The Government of Canada and the Newfoudland and Labrador government are investing in groundbreaking research in fields such as artificial intelligence (AI) to create a more robust, innovative Atlantic economy. Memorial University, the recipient is collaborating with businesses to help address technology challenges using AI.

Nick Whalen, member of Parliament, St. John’s East, on behalf of Navdeep Bains, federal minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), announced on Nov. 3 an investment of $67,000 from ACOA’s Business Development Program for this initiative. Christopher Mitchelmore, provincial minister, Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, announced a contribution of $60,000 through InnovateNL.

These investments will enable Memorial to conduct a three-year research initiative in the areas of real-time search and planning used in systems like Google Maps and robot navigation; reinforcement learning - teaching  AI systems how to make decisions based on past experience and; deep neural networks focused on learning about large data sets by creating AI based on the human brain.

Researchers at Memorial’s Faculty of Science will use computer games and simulations for developing and testing new AI techniques. Their work will have business applications across a variety of sectors.

To read the full article in The Gazette, click here.

Envenio Inc. sells to the government via the Built in Canada Innovation Program

Fri, November 03, 2017

The Build in Canada Innovation Program is designed to buy new products and services from Canadian startup companies to test and validate the technology and to act as their important first sale. This is especially important for Atlantic Canada where there are fewer big businesses to serve as B2B clients.

Envenio Inc. was formed in 2015 as a spinoff company from The University oif New Brunswick and has now signed a $492,000 contract with the government. 

Envenio produces air- and fluid-flow simulation software, EXN/Aero, which allows engineers to simulate air or fluid movement around objects. The company’s algorithms allow basic computers to simulate the flow of these substances. Like a virtual wind tunnel, it can chart the interactions of liquids and gases in specific conditions and with certain solid shapes.

The Build in Canada contract will allow Defence Research and Development Canada, National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces to test Envenio’s simulation software.

To read the full article on Entrevestor, click here.

Mount Allison University researches the impact of Microplastics in freshwater

Wed, November 01, 2017

Microplastics are very small pieces of plastics, less than five millimetres in size that are invisible to the eye but show up under the microscope. These microplastics are showing up in New Brunswick's' freshwater system and it is currently unclear what effect the material will have on aquaculture and humans. Research to study just that is underway at Mount Allison University (MtA).

The small particles can come from synthetic clothing, beauty products and essentially anything made of plastic. "They can be long stringy fibre bits, they can be small angular plastics, or they can be small micro beads," said Joshua Kurek, assistant professor of geography and environment at Mount Allison University.

To Dr Kurek's knowledge, this is the first time this study is being conducted on freshwater in New Brunswick. In keeping with similar work done in other provinces — for example, around the Great Lakes — Kurek said samples are taken near sewage treatment areas because they are thought to be a main source of microplastics.

The study is expected to be finished in April 2018. 

To read the full article on, click here.

UPEI receives funding to better prepare students for the workforce

Wed, November 01, 2017

The University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) has developed a new model, work integrated learning (WIL), that aims to prepare students for careers after they graduate. This model builds on knowledge gained through traditional academic education combined with experiential learning, co-op and clinical placements, internships, research and teaching practice to name a few. This approach will help graduates transfer that knowledge into practice in workplace settings.

The fuding to support this UPEI programming was announced by the governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island.  ACOA is providing a non-repayable contribution of $114,660 through its business development program and the provincial government is providing a grant of $17,640.

“The University of Prince Edward Island has long played a central role in building our community, attracting talented staff and students from P.E.I. and around the world, and developing expertise that focuses on the strengths of our region,” said Charlottetown MP Sean Casey in making the announcement.

To read the full article in The Guardian, click here.

To read the full article on, click here.

College of the North Atlantic technology is #springboarding forward

Wed, November 01, 2017

Picture this - a 10 foot-wide buoy is anchored 1,600 feet off the coast of Newfoundland by a small fishing vessel in high ice-free waves. The buoy holds an integrated cylinder, which is attached to a piston rod, which moves with the rise and fall of the waves, collecting and pumping water back to shore. All done without an external energy source.

Combining technology developed by College of the Atlantic (CNA)' Wave Environment Research Centre (WERC)   with Atmocean technology, the collaboration started testing the prototype in September of the coast of Newfoundland. While harnessing wave energy isn't a new idea, most efforts so far have focused on generating electricity from the swells of the ocean. The application of this clean technology does not end there, Atmocean also wants to use the pressurized seawater arriving on shore, for use at a desalination facility without the need for grid-tied electricity or costly fossil fuels to run generators, in the hope that this system could drive down the high costs of desalination, some of which arise simply from pumping water to the plant in the first place.

Michael Graham of WERC also sees its uses in places without reliable power or water. Agriculture, potable water sources, and hygiene all stand to benefit from efficient desalination if it can be brought to remote communities, and the technology can be used as a safeguard against drought all over the world.

CNA's technology was supported by Springboard Atlantic's Innovation Mobilization Fund and Springboard is looking forward to seeing its development and progression into the marketplace. Currently, in its fifth round of sea trials, Atmocean is hopeful the system will be up and running by the end of next year, bringing with it the potential to transform an industry that, so far, has failed to come to shore.

To read the full article in Popular Mechanics, click here.

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

Zecken Laboratories Working on Easy and Accurate Diagnosis Method for Lyme Disease

Thu, October 26, 2017

Kami Harris is currently working on transforming her PhD work at Mount A in Sackville, NB into a company to provide the public, government and eventually medical practitioners with reliable diagnostic tools for Lyme Disease. Ms Harris is the Founder and CEO of Zecken Laboratories and is known as the "tick girl".

With the growing awareness of the spread of Lyme Disease in Atlantic Canada and the need for more accurate and affordable diagnostic tools, Ms Harris has received about 1,000 ticks annually to develop Zeckens products and she hopes that she will continue to receive them. She says that there are actually 21 types of Lyme disease but current diagnostic tests only identify one type, meaning that about 90 per cent of the instances of Lyme disease go undetected. Zecken's products can identify markers in the other types of Lyme disease to improve diagnosis and therefore generate more treatment.

At BioPort 2017, Zecken Laboratories was one of the three finalists in the BioInnovation Challenge and earlier in the year, Zecken Laboratories was a semifinalist in Breakthru. Soon it will be ready to start bringing in revenue. Up until now, the company’s research has been financed through Harris’ research funding, but Zecken recognizes that a structured finance model is needed and they will probably aim for a $250,000 funding round in their first year.

To read the full article in Entrevestor, click here.

Mount Allison University to join the SHAD program

Fri, October 20, 2017

In July 2018 Mount Allison University (MtA) will host its first Shad cohort, therefore be joining the University of New Brunswick offering Shad programs in New Brunswick.

Shad is known as the number one incubator for innovation and entrepreneurship with high school students who have a passion for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) and Entrepreneurship. Students from grades 10, 11 and 12 can apply to the program. Applications for summer 2018 are due November 20.

MtA is one of the smallest campuses and communities participating in the Shad program. The program will allow students to connect with academic and business leaders and support the growing culture of innovation there.  The students will see how big change can originate from a small place.

Shad recently also announced that it would bring its program to the University of Prince Edward Island. 

To read the full article in Entrevestor, click here.

To read the full article in Huddle, click here.

Canadian Foundation for Innovation awards Infrastructure Funding to Acadia, Dalhousie and Memorial

Tue, October 17, 2017

The Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Infrastructure Funding will support work on reusing composite materials to build and repair equipment in the aerospace industry, detecting and studying dark matter, working toward the next breakthrough in non-invasive brain surgery to treat diseases such as Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis, environmental monitoring, modelling and forecasting infrastructure for instream tidal energy in the Bay of Fundy, the development of autonomous marine observation systems (DAMOS), and the Harsh Environment Research Facility (HERF), one of the most advanced icing wind tunnel and wave tank integrated laboratories in the world.

The funding for the Atlantic Canadian universities is part of the more than $554 million announced by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan yesterday. The CFI funding will support 117 new infrastructure projects at 61 universities, colleges and research hospitals across Canada.


"Our government understands that scientists need to have the best labs and tools if they're going to make discoveries that will pave the way to a brighter future for all people. That's why this funding announcement is so important; it gives scientists and their students the opportunity to further their research in areas where Canada has a competitive advantage. The discoveries, innovations and skills developed in these new, state-of-the-art labs will go a long way in improving our lives, our economy and our future prosperity." 
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

To read the full article in Market Insider, click here.

To read the full article in Dal News, click here.

To read the full article in Cision, click here.

To read the full article in the Hants Journal, click here.

To read the two articles in the Gazette, click here and here.

Atlantic Facilities and Research Equipment Database (AFRED) received ACOA funding

Mon, October 16, 2017

Science Atlantic will receive $280,000 from ACOA to support the development and implementation of the Atlantic Facilities and Research Equipment Database (AFRED). AFRED was launched in March 2017 and helps businesses access publicly funded research and development tools. The database provides quick and affordable access to 400 sophisticated technical instruments from more than 80 research facilities from across Atlantic Canada that can be contracted by companies in need of specialized testing.

If a search in the AFRED database for a research and development tool comes up empty, an email request for this equipment is sent to Springboard Atlantic. Springboard will then reach out to our members and network to see if anyone in our ecosystem is able to help. This mechanism serves two purposes, it extends AFRED's reach and it also helps researchers becoming aware of AFRED and to consider if they have research and development tools that they are willing to enter into the AFRED database.

“AFRED has tremendous potential to showcase specialized research infrastructure in Atlantic Canada and provide researchers with opportunities for partnerships with colleagues in academia and industry,” said Christian Lacroix, Chair-Elect of Science Atlantic and Biology Professor, University of Prince Edward Island.

First Angel Network will receive a grant of $948,000 over three years and Venn Innovation will receive ~$177,000 from ACOA. The goal for the First Angel Network is to develop the angel investor community in Atlantic Canada and to improve access to private capital for early-stage companies in the region. Venn Innovation will provide 60 Atlantic Canadian startups with access to MaRS market intelligence services over the next year, including access to industry-leading research reports and expert analysts.

To read the full Entrevestor article, click here.

Looking into the hearts of galaxies - Halifax researchers are working on deep space telescope

Fri, October 13, 2017

A $13-million project involving eight Canadian universities and the National Research Council will allow researchers to look into the heart of galaxies billions of light-years away. The Halifax researchers involved, Marcin Sawicki, Canada research chair in astronomy at Saint Mary’s University and Scott Chapman, a professor in Dalhousie’s faculty of science (co-leader of GIRMOS with faculty at the University of Toronto) will help build the instrument, the GIRMOS spectrograph. It will combine existing technologies into a powerful and efficient galactic probe.

Saint Mary’s scientists will create data-processing and simulation software that will be crucial to the operation of the Gemini InfraRed Multi-Object Spectrograph. GIRMOS will be a souped-up infrared spectrograph with “adaptive optics” technology, which compensates for distortions in the Earth’s atmosphere to create a sharper image. This component of the spectrograph, will be developed by scientists at Dalhousie.

The software to be developed at Saint Mary’s will be able to answer questions about what astronomers will see before they actually use the spectrograph, which will be attached to the eight-metre Gemini telescope in Chile. The data streaming through the spectrograph and telescopic optical system ends up on a detector similar to the one in cellphone cameras. Collected in the form of binary data — zeros and ones — it must be translated into a visible image and Saint Mary’s researchers will create data-processing software to perform that crucial task.

Currently, in the planning stages, the work on the project will begin in early 2018 and over the next five years, the various sites will work on their part of the project, collaborating through video conferences and annual face-to-face meetings. Saint Mary’s will dedicate one full-time researcher to the work, who will be supported by graduate and undergraduate students. The university will receive $300,000, shared by the federal government and the Nova Scotia government.

To read the full article in the Chronicle Herald, click here

Pilot Program works to address Investment Challenges in Atlantic Canada

Fri, October 13, 2017

Over the last few years, we have seen significant changes in the funding landscape.  Early stage start-ups and small SMEs who make up the bulk of the industry in the region, are subjected to changes in programs and investment behaviors which impact their ability to grow a business. The issue of increasing investment attraction in Atlantic Canada has been on our radar for a while

 Meanwhile, our companies have a global economy to compete with and need to let policy work its process – which means using the programs as they exist, and increasing access to private capital.

The challenge is that regional private capital rarely engages early enough compared to some of the above example programs. So our private sector capital gap just gets bigger.  Enter The Investment Opportunities Program (IOP) stage left. The goal of this program is to help offset this gap.

This pilot, which is funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) aims to select an initial group of 16 of our most promising early-stage companies, provide training and mentorship and groom with up to 12 companies being selected to attend an to attend an investment attraction mission to Toronto, where they will have the opportunity to meet with angels and early-stage investors looking for new opportunities. 

This pilot program aims to show that putting processes in place that facilitate matches between investors and investable companies can yield great results and help bridge the private sector capital gap. 

To learn more about the details of the program you can check out our FAQs. The deadline to apply is October 26th, get your application in NOW, to be part of this great opportunity. 

Atlantic Canadian Universities involved in two short-listed Superclusters

Tue, October 10, 2017

The Canadian government received 50 proposals, involving more than 1,000 companies and 350 participants and has now announced the shortlist for a piece of the $950-million supercluster program to nine projects invited to submit a full application. The government anticipates that it will announce the five projects that will be chosen at the end of the fiscal year in March 20018.

The government defines superclusters as collaborations between companies and universities, colleges or not-for-profit organizations "to turn ideas into solutions that can be brought to market."

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, was at Dal’s Steele Ocean Sciences Building to make the announcement, his first stop in a cross-country tour announcing the nine finalists.

Supercluster short list:

  • From the Atlantic region: an oceans supercluster to invest in digital ocean technologies for industries such as aquaculture, the fishery, offshore oil and gas, and clean energy. Proponents include Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador, Emera Inc., Clearwater and several regional universities including Dalhousie, MUN, UNB, UPEI to name a few – Canada’s Ocean Supercluster.
  • From Quebec: an artificial intelligence supercluster to bolster Canadian leadership in AI and data science. Proponents are led by Optel Group and include more than other 80 firms, including AgroPur, Aldo and Polytechnique de Montreal - The AI-powered Supply Chains Supercluster. 
  • MOST21 - A mobility supercluster focused on innovation and commercialization in the aerospace, ground transportation, and advanced manufacturing. Proponents include CAE Inc., Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. and Polytechnique Montreal and institutions and companies from the Atlantic region.
  • Ontario supercluster looking at transforming Canada's mining sector and focusing on clean resources, clean technology and responsible sourcing of metals. Proponents include Canada Mining Innovation Council, Barrick Gold Corp. and the University of British Columbia – CLEER Supercluster.
  • Ontario supercluster promises to speed up Canada's manufacturing competitiveness. Proponents include Communitech Corp. and MaRS Discovery District, Maple Leaf Foods and the University of Waterloo. 
  • From the Prairies: A protein supercluster to capture the export market opportunity for safe, nutritious plant-based food. Proponents include Ag-West Bio Inc., AGT Food and Ingredients and the University of Saskatchewan – Protein Innovations Canada supercluster. 
  • A supercluster to invest in technologies related to Canada's crop, livestock and agri-food processing sectors. Proponents: Agrium, Telus, and Olds College - Smart Agri-Food Super Cluster. 
  • An infrastructure supercluster promising to change how Canada's infrastructure is designed, built and operated using advanced digital communications, cutting-edge tools and interconnected applications and services. Proponents include Stantec Consulting Ltd., PCL Construction Management Inc., Athabasca University and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. 
  • From British Columbia: a digital technology supercluster dedicated to making Canada better at inventing, developing and applying health and manufacturing. Proponents include Telus, Microsoft Canada Development Centre and six post-secondary institutions. 

To read the full article on CBC, click here.

To read the full article on Dal News, click here.

To read the full article on Entrevestor, click here.

To read the full article on Huddle, click here.

Saint Mary’s University students are working on a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy

Mon, October 09, 2017

Matt Triff, Sunil Udhayakumar, and Raj Sonani, Saint Mary’s Master of Science in Computing and Data Analytics (CDA) students together with their Graduate Program Manager Keith Bain, participated in a National Poverty Conference in Ottawa.

The team was invited as guest speakers at the “Working Towards a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy” event by Employment and Social Development Canada. The students had the opportunity to share their experiences developing, organizing, and participating in Hackathon events. Using real-life examples, the team discussed how data from multiple sources could be used to find innovative solutions to social challenges, and they shared their experiences using advanced computing and data analytics techniques and tools to lead to creative solutions for the government and private sector.

Federal ministers attending included: 

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development;

Louise Levonian, Deputy Minister, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC);

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture;

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; and

Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

To read the full article in Saint Mary's News, click here.

UPEI engineering students are #springboarding the oyster industry

Thu, October 05, 2017

Jordan Sampson, Brett McDermott and Dylan MacIsaac, UPEI engineering students are working to flip over the oyster industry in Atlantic Canada, while opening up a new business opportunity for themselves. The three students designed specialized equipment that gently guides oyster cages in a rollercoaster-like flip.

The business opportunity is huge. Farmed oysters grow over 5 years in cages which can weigh up to 200 pounds each. During the maturation process, the cages need to be turned once or twice a week to discourage mussel, barnacle and algae build-up. Turning the cages improves the appearance and the size of the matured oysters. Currently, this process involves manual labour of up to 10 hours a day (depending on the size of the farm) and requires employees to be strong enough to do that work.

During their second year of their studies, the students were given the task to work with an industrial client to come up with an automated solution to the oyster cage flipping. Fast forward a year later and the student team applied under their own company name Island AquaTech for the provincial government award for students and received a $25,000 Ignition Fund grant for their entrepreneurial spirit.

This entrepreneurial team also sought help from UPEI's Synapse (a Springboard member turning ideas into solutions) to work on their technology and to file for a patent and in the summer Springboard Atlantic came behind their technology by providing Proof of Concept and patent funding from our Innovation Mobilization program. 

We are excited to not only see this project #springboarding forward but also to keep track of this entrepreneurial team and Island AquaTech in the years to come. 

The students anticipate that a full-sized prototype will be used in November and with the money the students received from the Ignition Fund they will build a production model that the industry can use.

To read the full article in The Gazette, click here.

UPEI receives funding for high-tech science equipment

Wed, October 04, 2017

Providing support to the biosciences, the ACOA funding will be used to purchase equipment to look into the chemical makeup of materials for natural health products and the other equipment piece will be used by the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC).

AVC will be able to provide detailed toxicology testing on fish and mammals to detect pesticides, toxins and antibiotics that could be harmful for human consumption.

The total price tag of the equipment is estimated at $820,000 and UPEI and AVC will be covering the remaining $200,000.

To read the full CBC article, click here.

Boosting Innovation Success

Tue, October 03, 2017

Having passion is a key ingredient of business innovation and success, but it can also be a quality needing to be mitigated to successfully launch new products, says Michelle Jones, executive vice-president of Stage-Gate International, a management consulting firm based in Burlington, Ont.

On December 7, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Michelle Jones will be sharing the Stage-Gate process, being used by successful companies like High Liner Food and Starbucks to name a few. This one day workshop is organized and co-hosted by Acadia University, NSCC and Université Sainte-Anne and will be held in Wolfville at the K.C. Irving Centre, Acadia University.

Stage-Gate provides a roadmap and it is not a program participants have to buy with money, it is an internal business process and risk model companies are encouraged to adopt in order to accelerate innovation and success.

“What will be truly innovative about this session, is that Michelle has agreed to develop a customized workshop format that integrates both researcher expertise and local company (new product development) experiences into the day,” said Leigh Huestis, Director of Acadia’s Office of Industry and Community Engagement, or ICE. Researchers from all three institutions (who are members of Springboard) with specialized skill-sets will also present at the workshop and the presentations will highlight how to leverage available resources to support product development and getting it to market.

Collaboration and the approach taken are key to success and ICE’s has doubled Acadia’s research collaborations over the past few years over a broad range of areas from value-added food and beverage products to software, fulfilling its mandate to connect researchers with companies, government, and community groups.

Early-bird registration by November 15, 2017, is recommended.

To read the full article in The Chronicle Herald, click here.

Cybersecurity Centre created in Fredericton

Mon, October 02, 2017

To address the growing concern of the cybersecurity of industrial control systems, especially in the nuclear industry, establishing a cybersecurity research facility by the Canadian Nuclear Laboratory (CNL) in Fredericton, NB is essential. The research facility can leverage the cybersecurity expertise available in Fredericton and is going to partner with UNB's Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity (CIC) and UNB's faculties of Engineering and Computer Sciences.

Tha lab will be located at Knowledge Park and the facilities will be ready in 2018.

With this facility and their research, CNL will be well positioned to fill the void that exists in the cybersecurity of industrial control systems and is looking to expand its capabilities into more conventional industries.

To read the full story on Huddle, click here.

Moving Nova Scotian and Atlantic Canadian Agriculture Forward

Fri, September 29, 2017

Food security and food sovereignty is an important field of research and conversation in Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada. The use of Controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) as a technology based approach in agriculture could be the means to achieve just that with more year-round local food production.  

To further this goal the Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture is partnering with the Government of the Netherlands and a group of Dutch agri-food companies, Greenhouse industries and organizations, are teaming up to explore the possibilities of supporting more local food production and related R&D using innovative CEA in Atlantic Canada.

On September 28, 2017 AIM to Grow — an initiative of the Dutch Government and partner organizations — was launched in collaboration with the Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture. The potential for improvements to the Canadian Agri-food sector by expanding production through modern local greenhouses is attractive by lengthening the growing season and providing new opportunities to produce more locally grown, year-round, pesticide-free food.

Further advantages of this approach are the benefits to the economy with the creation of local jobs and decreased pollution with shorter transport distances. Currently nearly 86 per cent of all fresh fruits and 39 per cent of vegetables consumed in Canada are imported and in 2015, prices for imported fresh produce increased approximately 12 per cent due to the drop in the value of the Canadian dollar. Further, due to the high costs of imported produce, Atlantic Canada’s ‘end of the line’ transportation and distribution challenges and costs pose an extra burden for ensuring fresh produce in the region.

A world leader in greenhouse produced food, the Dutch Agri-food greenhouse sector and its representatives are eager to collaborate with the Faculty of Agriculture, seeing it as an ideal partner for the AIM to Grow initiative for research and development, education and training and outreach.

To read the full article in the Dal News, click here.

Celebration September: Agile Technologies - Soaring to New Heights

Thu, September 28, 2017

Click on the link below to read the full article.

Highlights from this story include: 

  • Agile Sensor Technologies is a start-up out of Memorial University (MUN) focused on the commercialization of robotics technologies. 
  • The company and the underlying tech came out of a multi-year Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) project with Dr. Nick Krouglicof who is now Agile's Chief Technology Officer.
  • Its first technology - a motor control system for drones was released onto the market in 2015. 
  • A partnership with Solace Power (another NL startup), and a strategic partnership with Gaitech International Ltd. of Shanghai, China is enabling new growth. The partnership with Gaitech includes a strategic investment in Agile and an agreement to co-develop new products for distribution in the global robotics market. Their first joint project is to produce a plug-and-play development platform for robot makers. 
  • Memorial's Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office aided Agile in protecting its intellectual property portfolio, which now consists of over five issued patents.
  • Key stats: 1 new company, 1 license, 9 new jobs. 

We are very proud of the ways that Memorial is #springboarding Atlantic growth. This type of support is available to you and your business too. Contact us to start #springboarding. 

Research Cluster is Budding in Fredericton

Wed, September 27, 2017

The two cannabis research chairs created at St. Thomas University (STU) and the University of New Brunswick (UNB) are the first two such chairs in Canada. The creation of these two chairs is supported by the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (NBHRF), who is providing $500,000 over five years for each chair. Private industry, via Shoppers Drug Mart at St. Thomas and the pharmaceutical company Tetra Bio-Pharma at UNB. are also each providing $500,000 each over five years.

STU's strength lies in the social sciences and the humanities and the STU research chair's work will help inform government policy on a complex moral and legal issue.

The UNB the research chair will focus on the biochemistry, medicinal use, and pharmacology of cannabis.

This is a great opportunity for both Springboard members to collaborate on this important project and to potentially combine their expertise with other players in the industry.  

To read the full article on University Affairs, click here.

To read our previous coverage of this topic, click here.

  • Supported By:
  • Canada
  • ACOA
  • Springboard Members