Synapse News: Q&A With Chris Mathis – What Does The Atlantic Growth Strategy Mean To You?
January 17th, 2017
Q: What was your reaction to the Government of Canada and all four Atlantic provinces joining forces to launch the Atlantic Growth Strategy?
A: We are very excited about seeing this type of collaboration from the provincial and federal governments. It bodes well for the future. The Atlantic Growth Strategy shows us that the government is listening. Not only to trends internationally but to local stakeholders, industry and the public about what we need to grow Atlantic Canada and ensure it’s a place of prosperity for generations to come. We’re also very excited about the role we believe Springboard can play in helping to make the Atlantic Growth Strategy a success.
Q: What aspects of this strategy do you believe will strengthen the region’s competitiveness and make the most difference for industry and researchers?
A: It’s hard to choose but we are especially keen on the opportunities we see for technology transfer, researcher commercialization and the immigration and international student retention initiatives. We also feel that the universities and colleges are uniquely placed to contribute to cleantech and clean energy. Whether it be the new Ocean Frontier Institute at Dalhousie in collaboration with UPEI and Memorial, the Smart Grid research at UNB or the tidal energy research that Acadia and several of our institutions are engaged in, 100% of our institutions have something to contribute to the growth of this sector in the immediate future.
Q: Does the strategy favour particular fields?
A: Absolutely, as previously mentioned the strategy has singled out clean energy as a key growth opportunity and we wholeheartedly agree that we have a large role to play here. The Atlantic institutions are strong in the country in biology and chemistry, environmental sciences and engineering. These disciplines are the building blocks of this sector going forward. Clean energy projects can help every sector in the region, from fisheries, agriculture, food and beverage production, manufacturing and mining.
Q: Which Springboard programs align best with the Atlantic Growth Strategy?
A: The Springboard FTE program, which provides funding for “man power” at each of the institutions is well aligned to the Growth Strategy. Frankly it’s the business development booster for our universities and colleges and this team of people is uniquely placed to understand both the challenges and opportunities for growth in Atlantic Canada.
Q: What steps would you encourage researchers and entrepreneurs to take relative to the strategy?
A: Come talk to us. By accessing the knowledge and expertise across the Springboard Network, we can help you figure out what initiatives from the strategy will help you grow your company or your research program.
To find out more about the Atlantic Growth Strategy click here: http://www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca/ags-sca/Eng/actionplan-en.html