Engage
August 2020
Last rays of summer...
As the days of summer wane, we hope you had a chance to experience some rest and relaxation these past weeks!

Below is a selection of opportunities and new relating to the lifesciences sectors that were chosen just for you.

Please continue to practice safe distancing during leisure activities.

BioAlberta Team
Member Exclusive-Free Upgrade

BioTechGate Digital Partnering Aug 31-Sept 3

As your voice and champion for Alberta’s life sciences sector, BioAlberta is excited to yet again announce another unique opportunity for our BioAlberta members to participate in an upcoming Biotechgate Digital Partnering event, August 31 - September 3, to help you continue your business development efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. We have partnered with Biotechgate and other Biotech Associations and Economic development agencies to support life science companies by bringing this virtual event to life.

This is an opportunity for you to engage and connect with potential investors and partners from around the globe using Biotechgate’s HelloPartnering matchmaking software. Any company can register for the event free of charge, and we are excited to announce that BioAlberta members are eligible for a free upgrade to “Premier Partnering” which includes unrestricted meetings as well as access to partnering for 6 months. More information can be found at partnering.biotechgate.com

Biotechgate Digital Partnering
When: August 31 to September 3, 2020
Place: virtual, across all time zones
Theme: Business Development for Life Sciences
Participants: global, Biotechgate partner members/subscribers/companies listed in Biotechgate including BioAlberta members

All biotechnology companies are eligible to register please visit partnering.biotechgate.com/register/index/BDP0820.

BioAlberta members should contact Joshua Lee, Manager, Memberships, at Joshua@bioalberta.com to get the promotion code for the Premium upgrade.
THE Virtual MedTech Conference
September 8 to October 23, Plus Partnering October 5 - 7, 2020
AdvaMed is excited to introduce an all-virtual conference experience for 2020 - The Virtual MedTech Conference.

The Virtual MedTech Conference will feature a mix of live and on-demand content, available to all registrants right from their homes or offices. On-demand sessions will be available in early September, with live sessions streaming from October 5-7.

The MedTech Connect partnering platform opened in August and allow all participants to schedule virtual meetings. More updates and a program schedule is available on our website! Registration is open now here.

As the largest gathering of our industry's leaders, we believe our educational program and networking opportunities will shed light on how medtech companies have faced this challenge head-on, the lessons learned, and how the industry and the world will look moving forward. We hope you'll join us online this fall!

If you are planning on attending this event, please contact Joshua@bioalberta.com.
In case you missed it...
Update on newly announced Innovation Employment Grant

We had a great turnout for this webinar and wanted to share what we talked about regarding the preliminary framework announced by the Alberta government on the Innovation Employment Grant (IEG)--the presumed replacement of the previous Alberta SR&ED credit program.

To help everyone stay on top of this we have posted the recording of the webinar to our website for those of you who missed this informative session. To listen please click here. For more information kindly contact Elliot Cudmore by email. 
CELS Valley Ready Program 2020-21

CELS is now accepting applications for our Valley Ready (VR) virtual cohort program that connects Canadian Life Science startups with Silicon Valley investors, executives and mentors.
Open to Canadian-based Life Science companies from Pre-Seed to Series A that are planning for U.S. funding or market entry.

CELS VR program is structured around 3 components that leverages our collective resources and network: 
  • 4-month virtual cohort program beginning in September
  • Digital Deal Book featuring top Canadian Life Science startups
  • In person Startup Showcase in Silicon Valley in 2021

Applications are now open through August 21st - apply here. Contact info@cels-sfo.com with any questions.
Shout Out – NAIT
NAIT--New alliance to maximize innovation, reduce plastics waste in Alberta

A new collaboration between government, industry, and academia will help transform and innovate Alberta’s plastics sector by creating a plastics circular economy within the province. This alliance will be chaired by NAIT's Industry Solutions and co-chaired by @3RsAB.

The Plastics Alliance of Alberta will work to ensure that Alberta’s plastics sector creates plastics that can be reused and recycled, generates no waste or emissions, and restores ecosystems harmed by the manufacturing of hard-to-recycle or single-use products.

Alberta is already one of Canada’s largest manufacturing locations of plastics, and presents a huge opportunity for the province’s public and private sector organizations to advocate for innovation in the way plastics are designed, manufactured, and used and re-used in our economy. Read all about it here.
Focal Point: Shine Stone International
Over 26 years, Shine Stone has provided diversified one-stop support to Alberta businesses seeking to reach the Asia markets.

Through a combination of services, consulting and products, they tailor resources to each client, take away the worries, burdens and headaches, and guide them around challenges. They are in business to serve businesses, and follow the motto: our clients’ interests become ours.
Shine Stone started in 1994 primarily as a consulting company—connecting people and businesses with China—but has expanded to the supply chain field as a trading firm. Their clients range from small to large, from private to governments.

“When I arrived in Canada from China on August 6, 1989, I brought with me $50 Canadian dollars, and an undergraduate degree from Tsinghua University,” says Glenn Wang, President of Shine Stone International Ltd. “I set out and attained a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan and started my career in Calgary that spanned project, engineering, and business management before establishing Shine Stone as a business development consultancy firm.”

Since then Shine Stone International has gone on to achieve tremendous success by helping other businesses grow and expand into Asian markets. Glenn Wang credits this success to merging his understanding of the cultural and business practice differences overseas with the unique goals of each Canadian client.

In 2015, Glenn started ECPL Group Corporation, providing international E-commerce logistics, with subsidiaries in China and the USA. Over the past three years, ECPL has grown from two processing centers to six (four in China and two in the USA) with an estimated annual revenue of $200 million in the next three years.

Q: How does Shine Stone promote my brands and sell my products in China?

A: First of all, you have to have solid quality and good reputation behind your brands and have the determination to protect them. Lots of people overlook this but it is very important. Then we figure out what set your brands apart from the rest and market these specialties. Like us, Chinese people are looking for good and consistent quality that they can trust; the unique tastes, flavors, functions, ingredients, or something special they can count on, and the supports and services behind the brands. We must have a crystal-clear idea of what our brands are and what we are selling. Understanding what the market is looking for and understanding what we offer to meet the market demands are critical.

Then, we zero in the traits that we are proud of and let the market know about them and us. We do this by using all available and possible tools, including online and offline channels, social media and WeMedia, sponsorships and hard/soft commercials. In addition to WeMedia, Shine Stone also has professional photographers, play writers, and movie makers to produce the needed commercials and assist in branding.

Last but not least, our efforts will be comprehensive, precise and sustainable. And our actions will be highly sensitive to market conditions to optimize the selling process dynamically.

Q: What makes Shine Stone different from other consulting companies?

A: We have a heart and we stay focused on helping others. I know how hard it is to make a business survive and become successful. Personally, I worked in the food and pharmaceutical industry for ten years on the processing and equipment side. I understand a lot of the issues and like the industry.

As a small company, we have lots of resources internally and externally that we can tap on, such as English-speaking lawyers in China, offline chain supermarkets, in addition to online stores to sell our products, and more. We are very focused and tailor our resources to meet our clients’ needs. We go the extra mile so that our clients don’t have to deal with the anxiety, pain and worries associated with entering a new and foreign market.

Q: What kind of services can you provide to us?

A: We can help a company to set up online stores and even help them to operate these stores, get into superstores, market online using social media etc.. We can help with logistics, customs clearance, legal supports, and even investments. We can also help to source materials and equipment to our clients for Canadian productions. We can handle two-way traffics.

Q: What results/achievements can we expect from your consulting services?

A: Short term: To get online stores setup after proper evaluating and selecting the most suited platforms, get the necessary regulatory approvals and import permits, and start sales. If wanted, the products are put into a few superstores and health product stores. The WeMedia campaign starts drawing viewers and attraction. Outsourcing for materials and equipment produces results.

Long term: Sales growth. It may take some time to get the initial sales, but once started, the sales should go expeditiously. A warehouse or warehouse stocking will be set up and markets will expand. Marketing and sales channels may be expanded. For those who need investments for different growth stages, we may help them get investments.

Q: What kind resources do you have to better serve us?

A: We have people in Canada and in China for better communications and quick responses. We have resources to set up online stores in various platforms, online talents to run the businesses, put the products into grocery and health product stores, WeMedia resources, professional photographers, movie producers, artists, and reputable multinational and English-speaking law firms, and the basic translators and interpreters etc.

We also have resources to qualify, source, inspect and deliver the materials and equipment from China. This is our regular trading business line. I am a major shareholder of ECPL, an eCommerce logistic company in China that can take care of a lot of the logistic issues.

See Shine Stone International for more information or contact Glenn at glenn.wang@shinestoneltd.com In fact, ask him about “WeMedia” -- you will be intrigued!
ERIN Coaching Program
Any business, whether a freshly-launched start-up or a midsize firm scaling up its offerings, depends on the wisdom and counsel of peers to reach the next level – including high-quality business coaches and mentors. ERIN is growing the coaching capacity in Edmonton.

ERIN, through TEC Edmonton (TEC), is seeking visionary business coaches to help guide promising growth-stage companies to the next milestones in their development.

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL?
The Edmonton Regional Innovation Network (ERIN) seeks innovation-based companies with market traction that exhibit a strong desire to grow and scale, and would like to bring on a senior executive or business advisor.

ERIN’s newly launched Coach program will pair you with an experienced entrepreneur or seasoned business executive. The selected coach will work with you individually to address your unique challenges and operational gaps.

The Coach - contracted through business accelerator TEC Edmonton, a member of the ERIN network - will spend up to two days per week with your company, at no charge, for up to 100 hours outlined in a service contract, addressing operational needs.

For more information see this link here.
Funding
2020 Exploration Competition

The #NFRF 2020 Exploration competition is now open to fund high-risk, high-reward & interdisciplinary research projects that delve into exciting new directions. Grants up to $250K.

Notice of intent to apply deadline: Aug. 18, 2020, 6 PM
Full application deadline: Oct.20, 2020, 6 PM
Value: Up to $125,000 per year, includes indirect costs
Duration: Up to two years
Competition budget: Minimum $25 million over 2 years
Number of grants: Minimum of 100
A proportion of awards equal to the proportion of applications received from early career researchers will be reserved for them.

Results announced by March 31, 2021. Grant start date is March 31, 2021.

How to apply: Applicants must complete the notice of intent to apply and submit a full application. See the Notice of Intent to Apply Guide and the Full Application Guide for more information. Other useful resources to assist in the completion of your application include Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research and the evaluation matrices.

For more information See Frequently Asked Questions or email NFRF-FNFR@chairs-chaires.gc.ca or link here.
Food, Farming, and Forestry Challenge

$40 million to accelerate innovation for long-term sustainable growth in Alberta. 

Submission Deadline: August 27, 2020 at 5 PM MDT
Emissions Reduction Alberta’s new $40 million Food, Farming, and Forestry Challenge is now accepting applications. This funding opportunity will accelerate innovation in support of long-term competitiveness and stimulate growth in the critically important agriculture, agri-food, fibre, and forestry sectors. It provides near-term capital to innovators in these critical Alberta industries, while also identifying opportunities and solutions for longer term economic recovery, investment attraction, job creation, and emissions reduction.

ERA will fund up to $5 million per project and up to 50 per cent of total project costs. ERA may consider reducing this requirement for projects where strong justification is provided. Funding is being sourced from the carbon price paid by Large Final Emitters (LFE’s) in Alberta through Alberta’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund. Proponents must match ERA’s investment with private funds.

Innovators with pilot, demonstration, scale-up, and first-of-kind deployment projects are invited to apply. Proposals may be submitted by farmers, ranchers, innovators, technology developers, Indigenous communities, industry, industrial associations, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research and development (R&D) organizations, universities, municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, government research labs, and individuals. Partnerships and collaborations between multiple organizations are encouraged.

ERA’s $40 million Food, Farming, and Forestry Challenge is well-aligned with current and future funding programs through the Agriculture Funding Consortium (AFC) and the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN). ERA will work with AFC, CAAIN, and other related programs to explore co-funding opportunities and reduce the administrative burden for applicants. ERA will also work to align with the research priorities and project opportunities identified by the new Results Driven Agricultural Research (RDAR) initiative. For more information see link here.
ALBERTA ENTERPRISE CORPORATION LAUNCHES
$10 MILLION ACCELERATE FUND III
There are more investable early-stage companies than ever in Alberta according to the Alberta Enterprise Corporation (AEC).

Accelerate III is AEC's third early-stage angel co-investment fund and it has $10 million available. The aim of Accelerate III fund is to provide capital to early-stage Alberta tech startups to help them expand revenues and their teams, and to help get their products to market and secure early customers. Accelerate Fund III will be managed by Yaletown Partners with the support of The A100, the same investment team that oversaw Fund II.

According to Kristina Williams, CEO of Alberta Enterprise Corporation: "Accelerate Fund III is a great early-stage capital resource for the rapidly-growing Alberta tech sector, and with this capital we are inviting early-stage tech companies to not only stay and grow here, but to expand Alberta’s technology jobs and local innovation.”

Need capital for growth but not VC-round ready? Accelerate Fund III $10 million angel matching fund for #AlbertaStartups. If you have 50% of employees & your HQ here, and generating revenue, the folks at Accelerate Fund want to hear from you. For more information see the link here. xt Link
Canada Foundation for Innovation announces $5 million
The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) just announced nearly $5 million in funding for research facilities and equipment at colleges across Canada to support business innovation.

Funding was awarded to seven projects at six colleges through the CFI’s College-Industry Innovation Fund in partnership with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)’s College and Community Innovation Program. “This partnership ensures that Canadian colleges, CÉGEPs and polytechnics have the tools, research spaces, equipment and expertise they need to help organizations and businesses stay competitive,” says Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO of the CFI.

One project receiving funding will help researchers work to meet the needs of Western Canada’s growing agriculture technology sector by providing access to a one-stop-shop of agronomic, mechanical, communication, and data expertise. This will help businesses bring new agricultural automation tools to market, create more jobs and grow the region’s economy.

Olds College was awarded $945,867.00 for its Smart Agriculture Applied Research Program, and Red Deer College was awarded $191,840.00 for its Integration of Alternative Energy. BioAlberta wishes both institutions and the researchers who will work on these worthy projects success in the month's ahead. To read more see the link here.
Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative
The Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative will focus on making non-controlling equity investments in clinical-stage public companies, with a primary focus on companies with small- to medium-sized market capitalizations across a range of therapeutic categories that are consistent with Pfizer’s core areas of focus: Internal Medicine, Inflammation & Immunology, Oncology, Rare Disease, Vaccines and Hospital. Partner companies may also have the opportunity to access Pfizer’s significant expertise and resources in research, clinical development and manufacturing.

In addition to our core therapeutic areas of focus, companies developing treatments or vaccines for COVID-19 will be considered as potential partners.

While the launch of this new initiative is not specifically tied to the pandemic, the resulting uncertainty in the future financial markets may increase the need for many companies in the biotech community to seek alternative funding sources in order to help execute their long-term strategic plans.

As with all of our partnering activities, we seek to collaborate with companies that are working on breakthrough science, no matter where the company is located.

Biotechnology companies interested in learning more may contact pbgi@pfizer.com
GoC Request for Information - Sustainable and Renewable Aviation and Marine Fuels 
Of interest to our Bioindustrial members, this Government of Canada RFI seeks to engage industry, through consultation, on its interest, capacity and ability to supply and deliver the requirements of providing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable marine fuel with low-carbon-intensity liquid fuels from renewable feedstocks for the Government of Canada’s air and marine fleets.
Fuel suppliers and renewable fuels producers are encouraged to visit the Buy and Sell website to access the RFI as well as for more information on the RFI process and how you can share your expertise. The closing date is Aug 12, 2020 for the first round of comments.

For more information, contact Susan Carlisle, Clean Energy Manager, Alberta Innovates Susan.Carlisle@albertainnovates.ca
GOC: Student Employment - Still Open
Temporary Flexibilities for Employers to Feb 2021
For those members who would look to this mechanism for student summer employment, be advised of the following changes GOC has made to the program in response to the COVID-19 situation.

Temporary flexibilities for Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) 2020

Wage subsidies: All funded employers will be eligible to receive a wage subsidy reimbursement of up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage. Previously, private and public sector employers were only eligible to receive up to 50% of the provincial or territorial minimum wage.

Part-time employment: All funded employers may offer part-time placements (for example, fewer than 30 hours per week). Previously, all CSJ-funded employment had to be full time (a minimum of 30 hours per week for at least 6 weeks).

Employment period: All funded employers may offer job placements from now until February 28, 2021. Employers can offer part-time employment to youth who want to work during the academic year. Previously, all CSJ-funded positions had to be completed no later than August 28, 2020.

Changes to project and job activities: All funded employers will be provided the flexibility to amend project and job activities to support the delivery of critical services.

To be eligible to receive funding under the CSJ program, employers must be able to provide youth a job placement in a safe work environment. In the current context of COVID-19, employers are responsible to stay informed of provincial guidance on essential services and Municipal, Provincial and Federal public health information.

BioTalent Student Work Placement Program
Canadian universities and colleges are placing highly-educated students in the bio-economy. If you are looking to hire young and eager talent, BioTalent Canada’s Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) can help.

Past positions include everything from Drug Formulation & Delivery to Sustainable Agriculture Intern.

Want to learn more? See Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) and contact Benita at buruhisho@biotalent.ca; Hannah at hwalhad@biotalent.ca; Colleen at chayes@biotalent.ca; Sue, in BC at scallaghan@biotalent.ca.
Canada's Technology and Aging Network's - AGE-WELL - is receiving $21.9 over three years from GoC to provide Canadians with technology-based solutions to improve quality of life for older adults and caregivers.

They are looking for projects. Now is the time to investiaget and apply for these exceptional funding opportunities. Check it out at: http://ow.ly/fgsL50zE3oO Y
Life Sciences Fellowship - Cohort 3

Applications Open Now!


The Life Sciences Fellowship is a full-time, two-year program that provides experiential learning in research and development (R&D) commercialization/startup creation for life sciences entrepreneurs.

Fellows are expected to:
  • Develop executive-level experience by launching and growing a Digital Health or Life Sciences startup; and 
  • Learn how to translate R&D into a commercially viable product or service.

Funding and support
  • Up to $200,000 in startup funding, including a $55,000/year stipend for the Fellow.
  • Professional Development programming to rapidly upskill Fellows on how to navigate the commercialization process and attract more investment.
  • Mentorship from Expert Advisors.
  • Access to equipped life sciences laboratory space in the Life Sciences Innovation Hub.

To find out more about the Cohort 3 process, see link here.
Western Economic Diversification Canada: $304 million for western Canadian businesses

Businesses across Western Canada unable to access existing relief measures can now apply to Western Economic Diversification Canada's Regional Relief and Recovery Fund.

The new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) is being delivered by regional development agencies (RDAs) to help more businesses and organizations, that are key to the regions and local economies. A total of $304 million will be available for western Canadian businesses.

To learn more or apply see Western Economic Diversification Canada
In the news…
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT TECHNOLOGY CANADA INVESTS IN 17 CLEANTECH STARTUPS THROUGH SEED FUND

Seventeen Canadian cleantech startups have received funding from the federal government through Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s (SDTC) seed fund.

“I am encouraged by the leading-edge innovation we are seeing in applications to the SDTC seed fund.” – Leah Lawrence, SDTC

SDTC’s seed fund, piloted in 2019, was expanded in August to support up to 100 startups each year. Businesses selected for investment receive between $50,000 to $100,000 from SDTC. The seed fund’s model calls on business accelerators and incubators across Canada to partner with STDC in identifying startups for investment. These organizations nominate companies in their portfolios that meet the government’s funding criteria.

“As Canada and the world struggle with the economic and public health challenges of COVID-19, I am encouraged by the leading-edge innovation we are seeing in applications to the SDTC seed fund,” said Leah Lawrence, president and CEO of SDTC. “Canada can lead the world in finding the solutions that will enable us to build back better. The entrepreneurs we are funding through this program are leading the way.”

Two Alberta companies based in Calgary received seed funding from SDTC:
SeeO2 Energy
This startup is constructing high-temperature electrolyzers that convert carbon dioxide and water into valuable fuels. The carbon process can be used in green plastics, chemical and metal processing industries. Innovate Calgary nominated SeeO2 Energy.

Summit Nanotech
Summit Nanotech is using nanotechnology to isolate lithium ions from solutions, providing sustainably sourced lithium to the electric vehicle sector. The process uses no fresh water, produces less waste, and doubles the lithium yield. This startup was nominated by MaRS.
Health Canada makes Gilead’s remidisivir drug first approved COVID-19 treatment

Health Canada approved Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir drug as the first to treat COVID-19 patients in the country on July 28, 2020.

The drug, which goes by Gilead’s brand name Veklury, will be used to treat patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19, who have pneumonia and require extra oxygen to breathe, Health Canada said in a press release on Tuesday.

Adults and children older than 12 who weigh at least 40 kilograms will be allowed to use the drug. The approval comes following an expedited six-week review by Health Canada. To read the full press release click this link here.
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