Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Symbol of the Government of Canada



March 20, 2011 - Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Atlantic Canada will continue to grow as a leader in
innovation, thanks to new investments from the federal
government that help researchers and entrepreneurs move
their cutting-edge research and development (R&D) from the
lab to the marketplace. The announcement was made by the
Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and
Minister for Nova Scotia, on behalf of the Honourable Keith
Ashfield, Minister of National Revenue, Minister of the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Minister
for the Atlantic Gateway, at Acadia University.

“Supporting Nova Scotia’s science and technology sectors is
key to Canada’s future economic growth,” said Minister
MacKay. “Our Government is committed to helping businesses
and universities create and maintain research jobs and
attract and retain world-leading research talent, which
will lead to discoveries that improve our productivity,
competitiveness and overall quality of life.”

In Nova Scotia, the Government of Canada is investing over
$15 million in seven new research projects through the
Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF). These investments are part
of more than $61 million being invested in Atlantic Canada
in 26 innovative research and development projects.

“Our Government recognizes that innovation is vital to a
dynamic modern economy,” added Minister Ashfield. “The AIF
helps move the region’s cutting-edge R&D into the
marketplace, boosts business productivity and bottom lines,
increases exports, and creates good-paying jobs and overall
economic growth. It’s about good science, smart business
and a great investment in the future of Atlantic Canada.
That is why this government under the leadership of Prime
Minister Stephen Harper made the Atlantic Innovation Fund
permanent with ongoing, fixed annual funding.”

“Federal funding is an important factor in the quality of
research carried out at Acadia and other Atlantic
universities,” added Minister MacKay. “This government is
committed to expanding on Canadian excellence in research
and development.”

“The Atlantic Innovation Fund has been invaluable in moving
research out of the laboratory and into the marketplace,”
said Bob Youden, a partner with Savarin Consulting, and
First Vice-Chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “The
AIF is helping our businesses, including small and medium
enterprises, to become more competitive and productive. By
applying innovative ideas and approaches in developing new
products, processes and services, businesses in Canada –
and Atlantic Canada – will continue to grow their revenues
and create skilled, well paying jobs.”

The AIF plays an important role in enhancing Atlantic
Canada’s ability to carry out leading-edge R&D and in
bringing new knowledge, jobs and business opportunities to
the region. The fund has been an important catalyst for
many Atlantic Canadian businesses, universities and
research institutions, creating close to 760 partnerships
to help commercialize innovative ideas, products and

The six recipients selected for AIF funding in Nova Scotia
include: Capital Health, Halifax (two projects);
Immunovaccine Inc., Halifax; Dalhousie University, Halifax;
Acadia University, Wolfville; Seaforth Energy Inc.,
Dartmouth; and B.W. BioEnergy Incorporated, Sydney. The
projects will contribute to Nova Scotia’s long-term
economic growth by further developing its life sciences,
renewable energy, and agriculture and forestry sectors.

All projects are approved following a rigorous and
independent merit-review process by the AIF Advisory Board,
composed of experts from across Atlantic Canada with
knowledge of R&D, and business and economic policy.

For a complete list of AIF-funded projects, visit www.acoa-

The deadline for eligible proponents to submit letters of
intent and project proposals for the AIF’s next funding
round in 2012 was also announced. Eligible proponents –
which include private sector businesses, universities,
colleges and other research organizations – are required to
submit a mandatory letter of intent by May 4, 2011,
followed by a complete project proposal by August 17, 2011.
Detailed information is available on ACOA’s website:


Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay announced the
federal government is investing $15.2 million to support
seven Nova Scotia-based research and development (R&D)
projects. The projects include new clinical tools for high-
resolution imaging of the ear and the eye; the development
of pheromones for the management of forestry and
agriculture insect pests; the development of enhanced wind
turbines for residential markets; the development of a
vaccine delivery platform for certain cancers; the
development of minimally invasive systems for bone
augmentation; and the development of green energy fuels.

Minister MacKay said investments in innovation and R&D will
help fuel Canada’s future economic growth, thereby creating
jobs, increasing business productivity and competitiveness,
and improving the overall quality of life of Atlantic

In total, 26 R&D projects in Atlantic Canada will receive
more than $61 million in AIF funding this year. The AIF is
helping Atlantic Canadian researchers and entrepreneurs
carry out leading-edge R&D, bringing new knowledge, jobs
and business opportunities to the region.


Photographs from the news conference and details on all new
AIF projects, including the selected Nova Scotia-based
projects, are available on ACOA’s website at: www.acoa-


Erin Filliter
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Keith Ashfield

Alex Smith
Director, Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-426-9417/902-830-3839 (cell)


Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF)

• The Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) was launched in
2001 and is directed to raise the levels of R&D and
innovation in Atlantic Canada.

• In Budget 2010, the Government of Canada provided
permanent and on-going funding to the AIF.

• Since 2001, including this current round, the AIF
has committed close to $709 million in assistance to 279
highly innovative R&D projects across Atlantic Canada,
valued at over $1.5 billion.

• Under the current round of funding, 26 projects
throughout Atlantic Canada will receive more than $61
million in AIF funding.

• As a result of AIF and private sector investments,
R&D spending in Atlantic Canada rose by an annual average
of 7.5 per cent between 2002 and 2007, exceeding the
national increase of 4.4 per cent.

• Every AIF dollar invested has leveraged $1.15 in
funding from other public and private-sector sources, for a
total of more than $813 million.

• Between 2002 and 2011, the AIF supported the
creation of close to 760 partnerships and collaborations
between businesses, universities and other research
organizations for technology development and

• The Organization for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD) has stated that the AIF is a proven
catalyst for encouraging partnerships among business and
the research community.

• Between 2002 and 2007, the AIF enabled the creation
of more than 1,250 full-time jobs for highly skilled
innovators, researchers and scientists, as well as training
opportunities for nearly 1,000 students in research

• Between 2002 and 2011, more than 250 technologies,
products, processes and services developed through the AIF
were successfully commercialized, resulting in just under
$250 million in incremental sales.
2011 AIF Projects – Nova Scotia

Immunovaccine Inc., Halifax, Nova Scotia
Project: Development of DepoVax-based Cancer Immunotherapies
Immunovaccine Inc. (TSX-V: IMV) is a Halifax-based
biotechnology company focused on the development of human
health vaccines. The company employs 22 people at its
headquarters, and has been named one of Canada’s Top 10
Life Sciences Companies. Immunovaccine Inc. is currently
developing two therapeutic cancer vaccines to be delivered
using its vaccine delivery platform, DepoVaxTM. The
proposed project will allow the company to develop
diagnostic tools to identify a cancer patient population to
receive the vaccines, build disease models, and measure
treatment outcomes. This project, with total estimated
costs of $4.9 million, will receive approximately $2.9
million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund over a 3-year

Contact Information: Dr. Randal Chase, President & CEO,
Immunovaccine Inc. (TSX-V: IMV), 1819 Granville Street,
Suite 303, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 902-492-1819, Email:

Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Project: Development of Pheromones for Management of Insect
Acadia University in Wolfville is one of the largest
organizations and employers in the Annapolis Valley region
of Nova Scotia with over 3,000 full time students and more
than 500 employees. It is known internationally as a centre
for research excellence with a strong program at the
Masters level in a number of disciplines including Biology.
This AIF project is focused on the development, testing and
commercialization of effective and environmentally-
responsible pheromone-based products targeting forestry and
agriculture insect pests such as the Brown Spruce Longhorn
Beetle and Spruce Budworm. This project, with total
estimated costs of $6.9 million, will receive approximately
$2.8 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund over a 5-
year period.

Contact Information: Dr. Kirk Hillier, Department of
Biology, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia
902-585-1314, Email:

Capital Health, Halifax, Nova Scotia (2 projects)
Projects: New Clinical Tools for High-Resolution Imaging of
the Ear and the Eye
Capital Health provides core health services to about 40
per cent of Nova Scotia’s population and tertiary care
services to the residents of Atlantic Canada. Two AIF
projects will focus on the development of new high-
resolution diagnostic imaging devices to improve the
understanding of, the diagnosis, and treatment of hearing
disorders and conduct research into imaging neurons in the
retina. One imaging device will replace conventional tests
such as MRI and CT Scans. The other would improve the way
ophthalmologists assess and treat major eye diseases.
These projects, with total estimated costs of $6.4 million,
will receive approximately $4.2 million from the Atlantic
Innovation fund over a 5-year period.

Contract Information: (Imaging of the Ear) Dr. Jeremy
Brown, Principal Investigator, Capital Health, Halifax,
Nova Scotia, 902-473-1515, Email:

(Imaging of the Eye) Dr. Balwantray Chauhan, Professor,
Research Director and Chair in Vision Research, Department
of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia, 902-473-3202,

Seaforth Energy Inc., Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Project: New Wind Turbine Development
Seaforth Energy Inc. of Dartmouth is a wind turbine
manufacturer and renewable energy systems integrator
serving commercial, industrial, off-grid and agricultural
clients. It manufactures a turbine which has the world’s
largest installed base and most operating hours in its 50kW
size class. This AIF project involves the development of
new and enhanced turbines. These turbines would provide
greater output in lower wind speed environments and provide
global leading cost per kWh metrics. The existing AOC
turbine will be redesigned to improve performance, output
and reliability. This project, with total estimated costs
of $2.9 million, will receive approximately $1.9 million
from the Atlantic Innovation Fund over a 3-year period.

Contact Information: Jonathan Barry, President, Seaforth
Energy Inc., Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 902-406-4400, Email:

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Project: Minimally Invasive Systems for Bone Augmentation
Dalhousie University in Halifax and its affiliated
hospitals make up the largest, most comprehensive, research-
intensive, academic organization in Atlantic Canada. It is
one of the largest employers in Halifax with 1,100 full-
time faculty and more than 1,400 full-time staff. This AIF
project team of biomaterials researchers and clinicians
will develop minimally invasive systems for bone
augmentation through the development of new biomaterials.
Combined with new surgical devices and protocols, these
procedures will lead to reduced recovery times and risk of
infection. This project, with estimated costs of $2.5
million, will receive approximately $1.7 million from the
Atlantic Innovation Fund over a 5-year period.

Contact Information: Dr. Daniel Boyd, Assistant Professor
Department of Applied Oral Sciences, Biomaterials and Oral
Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 902-
494 6347, Email:

B.W. Bioenergy Incorporated, Sydney, Nova Scotia
Project: Development of Green Carbons
B.W. Bioenergy Incorporated is a newly-established company
located in Sydney that is focused on the advancement of
sustainable energy technologies and environmental
management. The AIF project proposes the development,
evaluation and commercialization of green energy fuels. The
company plans to design, construct, commission and test a
pilot torrefaction plus carbon activation process for the
manufacture of activated carbon and torrefied wood fuels
from waste renewable resources including forestry and
lumber industry residues, municipal woody waste and organic
waste materials. During torrefaction the biomass properties
are changed to obtain a much better fuel quality for
combustion and gasification applications. The main
objective of the company’s research program is to develop
cost-effective, integrated supply chain approaches from
biomass collection to production. The prototype development
of a production technology will also be a key part of the
project. This project, with total estimated costs of $2.3
million, will receive approximately $1.7 million from the
Atlantic Innovation Fund over a 3-year period.

Contact Information: Barrie Fiolek, President, B.W.
Bioenergy Incorporated, Sydney, Nova Scotia, 902-564-9229,
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