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GOVERNMENT OF CANADA INVESTS IN SPRINGBOARD: FROM LAB TO MARKETPLACE - CREATING JOBS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN ATLANTIC CANADA

 

August 31, 2011 - Moncton, New Brunswick

Atlantic Canadian post-secondary institutions will receive
invaluable support in moving their cutting-edge research
and development (R&D) from the lab to the marketplace,
thanks to an $8.5 million federal investment in
Springboard, a regional commercialization and industry
network. The announcement was made today at the Université
de Moncton by the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of
State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
and La Francophonie.

"Our Government’s investments in the commercialization of
university and college-based research and development are
helping to build a stronger, more competitive and
sustainable economy in our region," said Minister
Valcourt. “This investment will help to support the
creation of new and improved products, streamline processes
and develop a skilled workforce that can compete
successfully in the global marketplace. Ultimately, it will
generate economic growth and jobs creation here, for
Atlantic Canadian workers and families, which is our
priority.”

“At Springboard, our fundamental belief is that research is
what binds and strengthens the elements of economic
development, giving ideas energy and new ventures
confidence,” said Springboard Executive Director, Chris
Mathis. “Bringing new ideas to the marketplace and
competing successfully in a global economy takes skill,
talent, and commitment, and this investment will enable
Springboard and its member institutions to ensure that
expertise is utilized and shared across Atlantic Canada’s
university and college network, while further promoting
commercialization and industry engagements across the
region.”

The funding will be used to increase industry engagement in
the commercialization of research through workshops and
networking events; increase member cooperation, including
inter-institutional technology transfers; enhance
institutional and central office accountability and
transparency, and; increase promotion of Springboard’s role
in the region. The funding will also enable the creation of
an Innovation Mobilization Program that will provide
funding to support technology development, the
implementation of marketing initiatives, the engagement of
community partners on projects, and the support of start-up
enterprises.

This federal investment is made under ACOA’s Atlantic
Innovation Fund. ACOA has committed close to $709 million
in AIF funding to 279 highly innovative R&D projects in
Atlantic Canada over the past 10 years, valued at over $1.5
billion. 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 services.
Since Springboard’s research-intensive businesses have been
established in Atlantic Canada, highly skilled personnel
have been attracted to and retained in our region.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

ACOA Minister Bernard Valcourt today announced a new $8.5
million investment under the Atlantic Innovation Fund to
advance the commercialization of research and development
in Atlantic Canada.

This investment will help to support the creation of new
and improved products, streamline processes and develop a
skilled workforce that can compete successfully in the
global marketplace. It will allow Springboard Atlantic Inc.
to continue its work to increase research commercialization
collaboration among Atlantic Canada’s 19 post-secondary
institutions – helping them to accelerate the transfer of
technology to the private sector.

Minister Valcourt said that the Government of Canada’s
strategic investments in research and development, along
with favourable federal policies that support business R&D,
have helped to make Canada a world leader in research
excellence. Over the past 10 years, ACOA has committed
close to $709 million in AIF funding to 279 highly
innovative R&D projects in Atlantic Canada, valued at over
$1.5 billion.

-30-

INFORMATION:

Andrea Richer
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Valcourt
613-790-3637

Dr. Chris Loomis
President
Springboard Atlantic Inc.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
902-494-6513

Greg Rogers
Communications
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Moncton, New Brunswick
506-851-7814

MEDIA BACKGROUNDER

Springboard Atlantic Inc.

Established seven years ago, Springboard Atlantic Inc. is a
not-for-profit organization that supports the
commercialization of research in Atlantic Canada. It
provides resources to 19 post-secondary institutions in
Atlantic Canada to encourage the transfer of knowledge to
the private sector. Springboard Atlantic builds upon the
existing commercialization efforts under way at post-
secondary institutions across Atlantic Canada by providing
overall coordination and by filling gaps in the current
array of activities.

The goal of the organization is to meet the needs of
researchers at smaller and larger post-secondary
institutions in Atlantic Canada that want to protect,
transfer and commercialize technology, but do not have the
necessary support services. It also provides specialized
staff services and funding programs that are often
available at large Canadian post-secondary institutions.

In addition to the 14 universities in Atlantic Canada,
Springboard Atlantic Inc. also includes the five provincial
networks of community colleges. The post-secondary
institutions involved in Springboard are:

Nova Scotia
Acadia University
Cape Breton University
Dalhousie University
Mount Saint Vincent University
Nova Scotia Agricultural College
Nova Scotia Community College
NSCAD University
St. Francis Xavier University
Saint Mary’s University

New Brunswick
Mount Allison University
New Brunswick Community College
St. Thomas University
Université de Moncton
University of New Brunswick
Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick

Prince Edward Island
Holland College
University of Prince Edward Island

Newfoundland and Labrador
College of the North Atlantic
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF)


• The Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) was launched 10 years
ago to raise the levels of R&D and innovation in Atlantic
Canada. In Budget 2010, the Government of Canada provided
permanent and ongoing funding to the AIF.


• Since 2001, 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.


• 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 commercialization.


• 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.