As Canadians begin to look toward economic recovery, Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) will be the backbone of economic growth in communities across the country.
These firms are already supporting more than 10 million jobs for Canadian workers, and many of them are making groundbreaking discoveries to improve Canadians’ lives and drive innovation and technology.
To achieve even greater success, these firms need funding, advice and connections to gain capital, increase expertise and scale up.
Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, visited Vancouver’s Aspect Biosystems, a company receiving support through the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), to highlight how the government is providing critical support to British Columbia’s innovative SMEs.
Among the notable B.C.-based projects to benefit from the program’s research and development funding assistance are:
Aspect Biosystems is receiving up to $1,122,127 to support two innovative projects: integrating unique 3D bioprinting technology to develop implantable cardiac and pancreatic therapeutic tissues; and developing novel 3D printing technologies enabling the fabrication of implantable tissues that can engraft and be vascularized in living organisms.
AbCellera is receiving up to $2,617,300 for the development, validation and integration of new technologies to create a platform for the discovery of antibodies for next-generation biotherapeutics.
MineSense is receiving up to $2,950,000 for the design, development and testing of a digitally connected bulk material sensing system for mining operations.
Semios is receiving up to $2,490,000 for the development of an accurate microclimate data and agronomic model–based service for acres within fruit and nut orchards that have few or no climate sensors. This will involve integration of new distributed wireless sensor technology and agronomic models calculated from real and predicted microclimate data.
Over the last two years, NRC IRAP has provided advisory services and over $115.2 million in research and development funding to B.C.-based SMEs, helping them grow, build their innovation capacity and successfully take ideas to market.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Innovation Assistance Program was put in place to help innovative firms keep their doors open, keep their employees on the payroll, and recover quickly. Over 400 innovative firms in British Columbia have received support of approximately $73 million under this program.