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HARPER GOVERNMENT MAKES MAJOR INVESTMENTS TO SUPPORT INNOVATION IN NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

 

May 23, 2012 - St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

As part of the Harper Government’s Economic Action Plan 2012, Peter Penashue, Regional Minister for Newfoundland and Labrador, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen’s Privy Council, today announced major investments to support and promote innovation and research and development in Newfoundland and Labrador. This funding supports advancements in the province’s ocean technology cluster, IT industry and medical research fields.

“Our Government’s top priority is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. We recognize that innovation and research and development are crucial to a competitive economy and the creation of new, high-value jobs,” said Minister Penashue, on behalf of Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and La Francophonie. “The variety of projects being funded in Newfoundland and Labrador speaks to the diversity of talent and expertise living and working in our province.  From fraud detection software to advancements in oil spill detection and analysis, our private and public sector research community is creating game-changing technologies.”

The funding announced today is part of a total investment of close to $49 million being made in 21 innovative research and development (R&D) projects in Atlantic Canada under Competitive Round 2011 of the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF). In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Harper Government is investing close to $14 million in five new R&D projects under AIF.

The Request for Letters of Intent and Project Proposals for AIF Competitive Round 2012 is now underway. Private sector enterprises, universities, colleges and research organizations are invited to submit a letter of intent by 2:00 p.m. on June 28, 2012, followed by a project proposal by 2:00 p.m. on September 26, 2012, to apply for funding.
The Atlantic Innovation Fund encourages partnerships among private sector firms, universities, colleges and other research institutions to develop new or improved products and services. Hundreds of technologies, products, processes and services developed with the support of the AIF were successfully commercialized, resulting in millions of dollars in incremental sales.

For a complete list of AIF-funded projects, visit www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca.
 
FOR BROADCAST USE:

As part of the Harper Government’s Economic Action Plan 2012, Minister Peter Penashue today announced major investments to support and promote innovation and research and development in Newfoundland and Labrador. In the province, the Government is investing close to $14 million in five new R&D projects under the Atlantic Innovation Fund. This funding supports advancements in the province’s ocean technology cluster, IT industry and medical research fields.
Minister Penashue said that the government continues to invest in innovation and research and development because they are crucial for a competitive economy and the creation of new, high-value jobs.
The funding announced today is part of a total investment of close to $49 million being made in 21 innovative R&D projects in Atlantic Canada under Competitive Round 2011 of the Atlantic Innovation Fund.

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INFORMATION:
Cory Hann
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada
613-943-1838
613-790-3637

Doug Burgess
Director, Public Affairs
ACOA NL
709-772-2935

AIF-funded projects in Newfoundland and Labrador:

Bluedrop Inc. (St. John’s)
Project: Advanced Workplace Learning Verticals Mobile Performance Support for Industry and Military

Through this project, Bluedrop will develop M-EPSS, a mobile delivered product suite that will be fully integrated with CoursePark, Bluedrop’s social learning management platform that blends formal e-Learning with social media and informal learning.  M-EPPS will allow training to be delivered in the field on a just-in-time basis. The technologies to be developed include; mobile content delivery, bar code and geo code (GPS) recognition and communication and workplace task simulations. The product will be targeted at organizations that employ highly trained field workers deploying mobile technologies such as smart phones and tablets. This project, with total estimated costs of $5.5 million, will receive approximately $3 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund.

Contact Information:
Emad Rizkalla / Tim Brown
President and CEO / Chief Technology Officer
Bluedrop Inc.
(709) 682-4321 / (709) 693-0816


Verafin Inc. (St. John’s)
Project: Next Generation FRAMLTM Analytics to Combat Fraud and Money Laundering
 
With this project, Verafin will develop the next generation of anti-financial crime technology. Verafin’s advancement of its FRAMLTM (FRaud detection + Anti-Money Laundering) software will introduce cutting-edge advanced analytics to the banking industry to aid in the fight against money laundering and fraud. It will enable financial institutions across North America to protect against a new era of increasingly sophisticated and complex financial crimes. This project, with total estimated costs of $4.6 million, will receive approximately $3 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund.

Contact Information:
Colleen Dobbin
Verafin Inc.
(709) 752-3050 ext 3109

Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John’s)
Project: Dynamic Positioning Operations in Ice Environments

This five-year project aims to improve the safety and efficiency of oil and gas operations in ice environments through the development of dynamic positioning (DP) system technologies for ship operations in such environments. Existing DP systems do not adequately account for the forces and movements of ice, and it is these input variables that will be required by oil and gas operators to operate in ice and to extend the offshore drilling and production window. Ice tank testing will evaluate the design and operation of DP systems in ice and assess the limiting weather criteria for safe operations. A training simulator will be developed for prototype testing and for preliminary training of appropriate personnel. This will lead into the development of a commercial ‘DP in ice’ product for real time operations. This project, with total estimated costs of $8.6 million, will receive approximately $3 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund.

Contact Information:
Chris Hearn
Director, Centre for Marine Simulation
Fisheries and Marine Institute
(709) 778-0305

 

Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador (St. John’s)
Project: Microfluidic Sensor Technology

This project aims to develop microfluidic sensor technology to measure contaminants in harsh marine environments, especially oil-in-water. The core technology involved is molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) and accompanying sensing systems which can be deployed for oil spill monitoring and fate analysis, or incorporated into the on-line analysis of produced water composition. The primary advantage of the small MIP-based devices is their sensitivity and selectivity. When deployed into a marine environment, the MIPs will only detect targeted compounds while avoiding irrelevant compounds, ensuring accuracy. Since the sensors are small and simple, they can be used anywhere samples need to be collected, and they can function in cold temperatures and under ice cover. The long-term goal is to use the platform technology for the commercialization of new biosensor applications in medicine, biotechnology, and civil defense. This project, with a total estimated cost of $3 million, will receive approximately $2.1 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund.

Contact Information:
Dr. Christina Bottaro / Dr. Erika Merschrod / Dr. Kelly Hawboldt
Principal Investigators
MUN Department of Chemistry and Faculty of Engineering
(709) 864-8088 / (709) 864-8765 / (709) 864-8382

 

Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador (St. John’s)
Project: Diagnostic Devices for Effective Clinical Management of Common Debilitating Diseases

This project will develop and commercialize a genetic test for the enhanced detection of certain developmental disorders.  A secondary objective is to develop a database system combined with a genetic test to be used for research purposes to identify genetic markers that predispose individuals to develop common autoimmune disorders, particularly Ankylosing Spondylitis and Psoriatic Arthritis.  Early definitive diagnosis of Developmental Disorders such as Autism will have a benefit in the effective management of these conditions enabling timely initiation of appropriate health and social care supports, greatly improving the child and their family’s quality of life and decrease the health and social cost.  The database system will ensure the advancement of genetic research into complex diseases, bringing health care benefits on an international scale and placing Memorial on the world stage.  This project, with total estimated costs of $6 million, will receive approximately $2.9 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund.

Contact Information:
Dr. Darren O’Rielly
Faculty of Medicine
(709) 777-2416 / (709) 689-8537 / (709) 570-1088


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

 

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