Archive for the ‘Industry-Related News’ Category

Elevate TechFest Sets the Stage for Canadian AI – Powered Medicine

For the second year in a row, Elevate TechFest, Canada’s largest technology and innovation festival, took over downtown Toronto in September as over 10,000 members of the tech community, including investors, government, media, start-ups, talent and next generation innovators all gathered to “disrupt together, celebrate diversity and inclusiveness, and proudly showcase the best of Canadian innovation.”

As a community driven festival, Elevate provides a shared stage for Canada’s booming high tech startup ecosystem to showcase their work, and to learn and network through numerous events, educational presentations, award ceremonies, and social gatherings. The result is an exceptionally inclusive and collaborative entrepreneurial platform which highlights Canada’s greatest competitive advantage to attract talent and investment for the next generation of innovation.

This is particularly relevant in the fields of AI and health/medical technology, with Canada being uniquely poised to drive AI innovation in the healthcare field as a global leader in AI technology with its universal healthcare system. Canada’s strength in AI and medical technology was emphasized throughout the various Elevate events and tracks by the prevalence of growing companies developing machine learning and digital health solutions with the goal of democratizing AI powered medicine.

Industry leaders such as Al Gore, Eric Schmidt, Tobias Lutke, Minister Navdeep Bains, Whitney Wolfe Herd and Wyclef Jean, shared the main stage on September 25 to discuss the role of technology and collaboration in shaping the future.

Keynote: How Technology Drives Global Change with Al Gore

Keynote: How Technology Drives Global Change with Al Gore

In a fireside chat moderated by co-founder and CEO of Canada Learning Code, Melissa Sariffodeen, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains discussed the federal Economic Strategy Table interim report and ‘How Canada Wins’ with Tobias Lutke, Shopify CEO and the Chair of the Digital Industries group (that is advising the government on improving the digital economy). The Economic Strategy Tables are a new model for industry-government collaboration that were announced as part of the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan to support economic growth in six key sectors: advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology, digital industries, health/bio-sciences and resources of the future. According to Lutke, Canada needs more “anchor” or “freight train” companies which have “an outsized impact on the ecosystem.”

Top Canadian AI startups were invited to pitch their ideas for a chance to win $1,000,000 and the attention of international media, investors and global tech leaders at the ElevateR pitch competition taking place as part of the Main Stage events. Finalists Elucid labs and Aifred Health pitched live before Al Gore’s keynote address. Elucid Labs, a Waterloo based company that is developing a non-invasive digital biopsy device for detecting and diagnosing dermatological disease, was named the people’s choice winner. Aifred Health, the runner-up in the competition, is a Montreal based company using machine learning to increase treatment efficacy in mental health by creating a deep-learning based clinical decision tool for physicians to bring personalized medicine to psychiatry.

ElevateR 7

2018 ElevateR Pitch Competition – AI Edition

During the event, Toronto based Daisy Intelligence, an AI software-as-a-service company targeting the retail and insurance industries, announced that they had secured a $5M investment from Espresso Capital. Daisy Intelligence CEO, Gary Saarenvirta, acknowledged government funding programs such as SR&ED in supporting the company.

Aifred’s CEO, David Benrimoh spoke about ‘A new hope for personalized Mental Health’ as part of the Elevate Educate Health track on September 26, which provided a platform for discussions emphasizing the growth and impact of technology solutions in mental health. The track featured keynote discussions on topics such as ‘Democratizing access to mental health using technology’ by Sam Duboc, Chair and CEO of Beacon, and ‘Chat Bot solution for mental health’ by Lexi Kaplin and Alexandra Reeves of Conversation Health.

Using innovation for better access to mental healthcare with Alisa Simon, Hemai Parthasarathy, Sam Duboc, and Sean Kidd.

Adjoining the Health track at Elevate Educate, the Cannabis track featured keynote speakers from federal, academic and industry policy experts, thereby providing a shared stage for an open dialogue for patients, growers, innovators, and healthcare providers on pain management, cannabis legislature, and technology solutions.

Opioid Crisis and the Cannabis Opportunity with Kelly Narine of Aurora, Ed Sellers of the University of Toronto, Dr. Bernard Le Foll, Dr. Michel Verbora from Aleafia and moderator Ying Tam Managing Director, Health Ventures at MaRS

The strength of Canadian Medtech companies was particularly emphasized at the Elevate Educate AI track by several growing startups that are pushing the boundaries of AI powered medical technology. Various companies attended, such as Phenomic AI, which is developing deep learning solutions to automate and accelerate drug discovery; BenchSci, a reagent intelligence platform; Swift Medical, which is developing  the world’s most advanced and comprehensive wound care management software; tealbook, a platform providing centralized supplier  knowledge and discovery, and Cloud DX, a medically accurate, consumer/clinical vital sign platform.

AI Spotlight: Automating Drug Discovery with Oren Kraus of Phenomic AI

AI Spotlight: Automating Drug Discovery with Oren Kraus of Phenomic AI

 

AI Spotlight: How AI Will Transform B2B with Stephany Lapierre of tealbook

AI Spotlight: How AI Will Transform B2B  with Stephany Lapierre of tealbook

The rapid growth of AI and  availability of data in the age of information also raised important ethical discussions on the Elevate AI stage in regards to ownership, trust, use of information, data breaches, questionable data practices, and privacy debates. And there could not be a better time or place for these discussions to occur than in the country that has produced some of the most well known experts in AI, such as deep Learning pioneers Geoffrey Hinton and Joshua Bengio. When discussing the role of Canada in the AI revolution at the 2017 Elevate AI track, Bengio noted that “we had the foresight to invest in something risky…and we built something in terms of critical mass.” As a global leader in disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, FinTech and Blockchain, which will radically transform how we live, work and interact, Canada is emerging as a lucrative and inclusive epicenter of the advanced technology revolution which is drawing global talent, ideas, and investment. In particular, the startup community in the Waterloo-Toronto tech Corridor has exploded over the past few years, especially in areas such as AI and Medtech, thereby attracting private and public investment. Speaking at the 2018 Elevate TechFest,  Layer 6 AI co-founder and chief AI office for TD Bank, noted that “We are at a unique moment time when this industry around artificial intelligence is first starting to grow and we need to jump on this opportunity… we have an opportunity to transform the world.”

The New Normal? Institutionalizing Ethics in the Age of Algorithm with Hessie Jones, Carolina Bessega,  Ann Cavoukian,and Carol Piovesan,

The New Normal? Institutionalizing Ethics in the Age of Algorithm with Hessie Jones, Carolina Bessega, Ann Cavoukian, and Carol Piovesan.

Trust as a Value Creator: The Georgian Impact Model with Jason Brenier of Georgian Partners
Trust as a Value Creator: The Georgian Impact Model with Jason Brenier of Georgian Partners

Elevate Main Stage, Co-founder and CEO Razor Suleman announced the festival’s 2019 theme, Moonshots, following the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Next year’s festival will welcome acclaimed Canadian astronaut and bestselling author Chris Hadfield as a keynote speaker on the Main Stage. Chris and Helene Hadfield will serve as 2019 Co-chairs of the Elevate Founders Board. “We couldn’t think of anyone better than Chris Hadfield to help us explore far-reaching ideas and the future of tech and innovation at Elevate,” said Suleman.

 

Elevate: Moonshots will run from September 23-27, 2019.

Get your tickets today!

Canadian Agricultural Partnership- Second Intake for Ontario Applications Opening Soon

The new Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), launched in April 2018, is a five-year, $3B federal-provincial-territorial agreement providing funding to agri-processors.

The second Ontario CAP application intake for producers, processors, and other Agri businesses will be opening from August 7 – 28, 2018.

Provincial CAP programs are being rolled out on a cost-shared (60:40) basis. Ontario’s CAP program offers various streams for agri-producers, processors and other businesses. For example, Ontario processors can apply for funding of up to:

  • $250K for integrating new or novel technological and equipment upgrades (defined as having been adopted by less than 20% of the sector in Ontario, to date) to improve labour productivity.
  • $100K for integrating Enterprise Resource Planning software.

Additional Ontario CAP streams are available to agri-processors to support other activities/initiatives, such as:

  • Food safety and traceability equipment.
  • Ingredient efficiency and waste reduction.
  • Marketing of products outside of Canada and internationally.
  • Monitoring plant pest and treat equipment and training.
  • Improving animal housing, and animal handling equipment with technology.

Is your company looking for funding to support innovation and business growth initiatives? Contact us today to find out how much funding your company could receive.

Bridging the Commercialization Gap- Funding Opportunities

Is your company investing heavily in R&D but struggling to commercialize your innovations?

Read our latest Excellence in Manufacturing blog series to learn about various non-dilutive financing options available to Canadian companies that can help close the gap between performing R&D to commercialization in the ICT, Manufacturing, and Agri-food sectors.

To learn more about various funding options that can help your company to innovate and grow, contact us today to arrange for a free, no obligation consultation with one of our government funding experts.

Vancouver Agri-food EUREKA! Event About International R&D Collaboration

Join Dutch EUREKA! expert Arnold Meijer and learn about how Eureka! can help you collaborate with 40 countries worldwide.

EUREKA! - International collaboration in R&D and Product Development.

EUREKA! / Eurostars is a program that supports Canadian small & medium enterprises (SMEs) wanting to collaborate with partners in around 40 other countries, in Europe and worldwide, to conduct R&D and develop technologies for new products or processes.

Arnold Meijer, coordinator Eurostars and subject-matter expert from The Netherlands Enterprise Agency, will be in Vancouver next week, and has kindly agreed to join us at The Profile to clarify how EUREKA! / Eurostars can help Canadian businesses, and to answer any questions.

Arnold will also take this opportunity to specifically discuss the recently announced call for R&D Proposals in Agri-Food. The objective of this call by Canada, The Netherlands, France, Hungary, Spain and Israel is to support the competitiveness of the agri-food sector.

Where: The Profile, 535 Thurlow Street, Vancouver (Map)

When: Tuesday, May 15, 4 – 5 PM

Get your free tickets here

Organized by:

Jaap Siekman, Regional Manager at NorthBridge Consultants.

NorthBridge is an expert consultancy firm assisting businesses throughout Canada with Government Funding that supports R&D, Innovation and Growth, such as SR&ED, IRAP, Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP), Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC), Canada Agricultural Partnership (CAP), SDTC/ICE Fund and CanExport.

In cooperation with the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Vancouver.

This event is sponsored by and takes place at the fabulous event space of The Profile

LoungeDowntownApples

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New Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP)- Ontario Provincial Stream

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) administered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has replaced the previous Growing Forward 2 program, and provides cost-sharing funding for processors and other agri-related businesses.

The current Application intake round for producers, processors, and other businesses will conclude on May 8, 2018  and comprises multiple streams for each category.  Additional application intake rounds will be announced in the future.

Processors can apply for CAP Ontario if:

  • They are transforming Agri products;
  • They have a valid Ontario Premises ID for where the project will take place;
  • They have filed 2 years of tax returns (new entrant processor exception applies);
  • They have all permits and approvals required for the project;
  • They have not incurred expenditures yet (any cost already incurred, aside from downpayments on equipment, may be excluded from eligibility).

EMPT-PR-F Stream: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Description: Processors seeking to make an improvement at a facility that has fewer than 200 employees to put in place software systems that will integrate business applications, contributing to improving results.

Funding Details: Maximum available cost-share per project is capped at $100K, covering 35% of eligible costs.

Eligible Expenditures:

  • Development and customization of new Enterprise Resource Planning including advisory services, software and hardware involved with installation and customization.
  • One-time costs such as contract salaries, benefits and per diem fees.
  • Product shipping, distribution or routing across different transportation modes.

Eligibility Requirements:

Applications will be assessed by:

  • Resultant labor productivity and efficiencies
  • Increased sales and revenue
  • Increased profitability

EMPT-PR-C Stream: Technology and Equipment to Improve Labour Productivity

Description: Processors seeking to make an improvement to enhance labour productivity with employee count fewer than 200. New or novel technological/equipment upgrades that are adopted by less than 20% of the sector in Ontario to date OR technological upgrades made in Northern Ontario or Indigenous Partner businesses.

Funding Details: Maximum available cost-share per project is capped at $250K, covering 25% of eligible costs.

Eligible Expenditures:

  • Capital expenses relating to new processing equipment, retrofitting existing equipment, technology and software systems.
  • One-time costs relating to training key personnel on project-related new equipment, technology and software systems.

Eligibility Requirements:

Applications will be assessed by:

  • Novelty of upgrades to Ontario
  • Increased sales and revenues

Additional Streams for Processors

There are further streams that are available to agri-processors to support other activities/initiatives, such as (values capped):

  • Food safety and traceability equipment ($10k, each).
  • Ingredient efficiency and waste reduction ($75K).
  • Marketing of products outside of Canada ($50K) and internationally ($75K).
  • Monitoring plant pest and treat equipment ($25K) and training ($5K).
  • Improving animal housing ($50K), and animal handling equipment ($50K) with technology.

NorthBridge Consultants has been assisting companies access government funding for over 25 years. As one of the largest independent government funding consulting firms in Canada, our objective is to maximize the government funding potential for your company. Contact us today to find out how much funding your company could receive.

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