September 2020
Fall Connections
With the autumn chill hitting Alberta we hope you are renewed and ready to take part in some great opportunities for virtual networking and connecting this month.

Have a look at a selection of opportunities, funding and news relating to the lifesciences sectors that were chosen just for you.

Remember to continue practicing safe distancing during day-to-day activities.

BioAlberta Team
Save the Date: Oct. 15th 
BioAlberta Annual General Meeting 2020
Calling all members: Learn more about what BioAlberta has accomplished in the past year at our annual general meeting being held virtually for the first time in our 21 year history on October 15th, 2020.

Meeting is open to all members in good standing (all dues are paid). Members are also invited to a special presentation by Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (AMii) CEO Cam Linke immediately following the formal AGM. Mr. Linke will share his perspectives with us about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Lifesciences.

Mr. Linke is a software entrepreneur and product manager. Before joining the Alberta Machine Learning Institute, he worked to help grow Edmonton's emerging creative and tech economy by connecting entrepreneurs, investors, developers and creative minds through Startup Edmonton. In 2008, he formed DemoCamp Edmonton as a forum to bring the Edmonton tech community together, and has continued that with his work at Startup Edmonton and Flightpath. Linke was named one of Avenue Magazine's 2011 Top 40 Under 40 in recognition of his work in Edmonton's tech and startup community. 

2:00 PM     Annual General Meeting (Members only)
2:30 PM     Keynote Speaker:CEO Cam Linke (open to public)

If you are not already a BioAlberta member contact Trish Filevich at trish@bioalberta.com to get access to listen in to Guest Speaker, AMii CEO Cam Linke’s Keynote Presentation.
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 allows 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. xt Link
In case you missed it...
Intelligent drug supply chain - Creating value from AI

Deloitte Health issued this report that examines how AI can help transform biopharma supply chains to make sure we continue to get access to lifesaving products. Its a thoughtful read and we thought you might like it as well. This report examines the rationale for transforming the supply chain and the role that AI can play in its digital transformation. See link here.
Shout Out – University of Alberta
Wearable garment for preventing deep vein thrombosis granted Patent

Fantastic news from the UofA SmartNetwork and University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry - Congrats to Dr. Vivian Mushahwar, University of Alberta's Smart Network Director, on receiving a #Patent for the SOCC which prevents deep vein thrombosis! Learn more about Dr. Mushahwar’s research here.
Alberta researchers among recipients of $800,000 dedicated to frailty and COVID-19 research

Congratulations to Principal Investigator: Rewa Oleksa, MD, Darryl Rolfson, MD, Sean Bagshaw, MD, FRCPC, Carmel Montgomery–University of Alberta on receiving $46,194 for "COVID-19 Associated Outcomes of Critical Illness in Patients with Frailty". This award was announced in late July by the Canadian Frailty Network and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research-Institute of Aging who provided $500,000 and $300,000 respectively to fund six projects focused on investigating the interaction between frailty and COVID-19 in older adults. To read more see link here.
Focal Point: BioTalent Canada
Biotech Experts Identify Challenges and Opportunities Facing the Canadian Bio-Economy

BioTalent Canada announced on September 8th preliminary findings from its most recent bio-economy Labour Market Information (LMI) study. The data in this new brief—Amplifying Success— was collected from a series of industry roundtable discussions, analysis of Statistics Canada data sources, and a systematic review of sector-based reports and articles.

Employers have long identified a skills and knowledge gap in the bio-economy. The purpose of the completed LMI study is to help close that gap and provide stakeholders with a clear picture of trends shaping the biotechnology industry.

“The most important resource in any industry—biotech included—is talent,” says Rob Henderson, President and CEO of BioTalent Canada. “For our industry to continue to thrive and innovate, it’s paramount that we solve the current labour supply issues that industry experts identify as a major challenge.”

More students graduate from Canadian post-secondary institutions with bio-economy-related degrees than ever. They’re also in higher demand from other industries than ever before. Because of this, the expert roundtables produced three key determinations.

  • There is a need for flexible initiatives to facilitate connections between graduates and industry.
  • A greater emphasis must be placed on transitioning international students to permanent Canadian residents.
  • Increased resources are required to assist employers navigate immigration issues for recruitment of new talent.

“We’re encouraged that the findings in this brief, specifically the piece about connecting graduates to industry, are consistent with Canada’s Economic Strategy Tables’ talent-based recommendations,” adds Henderson. “And this is where the positive impact of work-integrated learning programs—like those offered by BioTalent Canada—can really be felt. Wage subsidies like the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) give employers an advantage in forming relationships with job-ready talent and offer another way for the Canadian biotech industry to grow on a global scale.”

BioTalent Canada will publish five more research briefs in advance of the full LMI release in 2021. The organization plans to produce 11 more in-depth reports next year, including nine new LMI studies, a hot jobs report, and a talent supply report.

Any employers that wish to provide expertise in a future study should contact BioTalent Canada Project Manager Adriana Saenz.

BioTalent Canada™ is the HR partner of and catalyst for growth in Canada’s bio-economy. Our engagement with employers, associations, post-secondary institutions, immigrant serving agencies and service providers has built a dynamic network that is strengthening skills, connecting job-ready talent to industry and creating opportunities. Recently awarded a Great Place to Work® Certification, BioTalent Canada practices the same industry standards they recommend to their stakeholders. For more information visit biotalent.ca.
GreenSTEM -- Call for Advisors
Are you interested in supporting Alberta-based entrepreneurs?

GreenSTEM is a pilot entrepreneurial fellowship for recent Masters and PhD graduates from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs. The 2-year program supports new entrepreneurs to take technology concepts towards commercialization.

GreenSTEM has just kicked off the second cohort in the program and is looking for advisors to help support new entrepreneurs on their journey. To meet the fellows and learn more about their ventures, please visit this link here..

Advisor Traits
To support the GreenSTEM fellows, we are looking for professionals with experience in one or more of the following:
 as an entrepreneur or in a leadership capacity in a technology-based enterprise;
 scaling a company or bringing a technology to market;
 venture capital or start-up investments;
 with Alberta/Canada’s innovation ecosystem; and/or
 international start-up, scale-up or global business development experience.

We are in need of GreenSTEM advisors. To find out how you can help, please contact Shoma Sinha, Sr. Advisor, Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation by email at: shoma.sinha@gov.ab.ca
NCN-NPC Investor Meeting
Highlighting Canada’s top emerging nutrition and wellness companies
When: October 14-15

We are excited for our fourth year of partnering with Natural Products Canada for this annual Investor Meeting, an exclusive gathering for investors and emerging companies from the nutrition and wellness industry. This year, we are bringing you a highly customized virtual version of our annual flagship event, re-imagined and carefully designed to meet the needs of growth companies during these times.

Application deadline: Tuesday, September 8, 2020
This is your chance to get in front of our network of active, qualified investors.
• NCN will facilitate providing samples to all participating investors at no additional cost
• Receive expert input and mentorship to create :& hone your business plan and pitch
• Answer live questions from our investor audience
• Meet 1-on-1 with investors in private breakout groups
• Connect with sponsors and industry experts

Plus, when you're not pitching, enjoy the full event agenda including keynotes and panels from industry leaders, and personalized networking opportunities on our virtual platform.
The application is free and easy to fill out here.
About Nutrition Capital Network

Nutrition Capital Network helps active investors make purpose-driven connections with curated health and wellness brands.

Our participants represent all facets of the industry, including ingredients and technology, natural and organic foods, functional foods, supplements, personal care and household goods, and related technology solutions.
2021 THRIVE VII Accelerator Program Applications Open Now

They support new startups from all areas of the value chain whose technologies drive us towards a more efficient, sustainable & secure agriculture future. Apply now by using this link.

Connection Silicon Valley helps organizations build meaningful networks and provide access to the world-renowned Silicon Valley technology startup ecosystem. Want to learn more? See our website here.
Canada – Germany 2020-21 collaborative industrial research and development call for proposals (NRC IRAP-ZIM Call 8)
Calling all SMEs! Here is your chance to work with Flag of Germany on innovative collaborative #RD projects! Register for the 8th call for proposals before Sept. 18 and your project could be funded by #IRAP & #ZIM!

This call for proposals is offered through the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). NRC IRAP is responsible for delivering this call for proposals and for managing any resulting funding agreements.

Eligible Canadian SMEs may receive up to 50% reimbursement of eligible project costs up to a maximum total funding amount of $600,000 CAD over 12 to 24 months (an extension of 12 months may be considered if sufficiently justified and accepted by both countries).

For complete details and information on how to register, see this link here.
Business Link receives additional funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Government of Alberta to support COVID-19 recovery for small businesses

Business Link strives to support Alberta businesses with their unique needs at any stage of business, and in support of that, on August 4, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) and the Government of Alberta have provided Business Link with additional funding to support entrepreneurs and business owners through this challenging time.

Business Link will be launching three new programs with the funding received, including peer-to-peer group sessions with entrepreneurs and Business Link small business strategists, a business recovery coaching program, and the development of an online toolkit, which will include an interactive business plan writer for Business Link clients to utilize through the planning and growth stages of running a business. The remainder of the funding will be used to provide additional advisory support for small businesses and on marketing and awareness campaigns that will run across the province.

The new programs and resources will be launched over the next several months and entrepreneurs and small businesses are encouraged to apply or seek more information at www.businesslink.ca or by contacting Business Link directly at 1-800-272-9675.
Student Work Placement Program
Building Skills for Canada's bio-economy

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.

SWPP will support you to hire, train and retain employees in a variety of sectors, including healthcare. They will also provide funding to employ post secondary students within healthcare organizations, bioscience companies and research organizations.

The subsidy covers up to 75% of a student's work placement to a maximum of $7,500.

Apply today at biotalent.ca/Co-opFunds to grow your talent pool and provide upcoming graduates with the foundational experience they need to start careers.

Want to learn more? See Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) and contact Colleen at chayes@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

Apply 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…
Canada's Vitafiber® IMO - Named Finalist as Europe’s top sports ingredient
Judges impressed with Canadian developed sugar alternative that improves sports performance. 

A Canadian developed natural healthy sugar alternative has been chosen a finalist as the top sports ingredient in Europe. The jury composed of a panel of experts assembled by NutraIngredients – a leading European e-magazine - recognized VitaFiber® IMO for its ability to improve sports performance, endurance and help with recovery and muscle soreness. VitaFiber® IMO, developed by BioNeutra North America (“BioNeutra”), is a low-calorie, plant-based natural sweetener, prebiotic and dietary fibre used to replace sugar and increase fibre in yogurts, protein bars, ice cream, beverages and confectionaries and is sold to manufacturers on four continents. To read the full news release see link here.
Bioenterprise Launches Canada's Food & Agri-Tech Engine

Bioenterprise is pleased to announce the launch of Canada’s Food& Agri-Tech Engine. The Engine is a national and global partnership/membership network focused on helping businesses connect, innovate and grow. Our membership program brings research institutions, academia, industry mentors, various levels of government, incubators, accelerators and specific service providers to help members scale their business

The Food & Agri-Tech Engine partner network offers intellectual property, regulatory, legal, talent, sales, marketing and other expert services and mentorship. A highly experienced team of professionals can provide feedback and coaching on acquiring public and private funding and investment from a wide variety of sources. In addition, the Engine will provide services such as marketing, human resource management, accounting and many others to help members scale their business

Funding partners, such as Farm Credit Canada and IBM Canada, open doors into innovative new technologies and platforms to further support our members' growth. Bioenterprise officially invites businesses to connect, innovate and grow with our growing network of partners and members. To read more see this link here.
Trial results validate Botaneco's Canola Protein Concentrate as a highly effective aquaculture feed protein ingredient

As part of a co-invested project announced last year, Botaneco has completed its key trials in the development of its new plant-based protein ingredient for aquaculture feed.

The new ingredient uses canola protein, a large-scale, sustainable and nutritious choice for the global aquaculture sector. Tested at the Centre for Aquaculture Technologies in Prince Edward Island, the canola-based ingredient has a 75 per cent protein content and showed excellent feed acceptance, salmon growth and weight gain. The product tested as one of the most effective plant-based proteins for aquaculture.

The test results are a positive step forward in Canada's plant-protein ecosystem. Botaneco's ingredient was developed as part of a co-investment project announced by Protein Industries Canada in June 2019. Along with Corteva Agrisciences Canada and Rowland Farms, Botaneco is commercializing novel processing technology that will be used to develop new value-added plant-based ingredients for the food, feed and personal care markets. To read more about this announcement see link here.
FunnelAI Announces Global Expansion and AI Business Development Strategy Through a Partnership with Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute

Announced on August 6, the industry’s leading real-time artificial intelligence (AI) semantic search platform provider, FunnelAI, located in Texas, USA, has partnered with the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii), in Edmonton, Canada to expedite FunnelAI’s high-tech innovation and growth to fuel their complex AI solutions for global expansion.

This partnership was a strategic initiative for FunnelAI, championed by one of the co-founders, Suja Kamma, who is a Canadian and an alumni of University of Alberta. Her experience in healthcare and strategy, and her experience understanding, developing, and implementing AI business tools was critical for FunnelAI in solidifying such a strategic partnership. This collaboration expedites FunnelAI’s global expansion to Canada and other countries.

“I couldn’t be more excited to partner with Amii, a leader in machine learning, to build a thriving global business with a machine learning ecosystem. Our AI platform will initially benefit the automotive industry, both dealerships and OEMs, with strategic plans to expand in to other industries,” said Sri Kamma, co-founder and CEO of FunnelAI.

The COVID-19 pandemic, has shown a need for automated and intelligent, yet simple solutions. FunnelAI, supported by Amii, will work to accelerate the development of state-of-the-art technologies for the automotive industry and will later expand to real estate, financial sectors, and other industries. To read more about this announcement see here.
Gilead and Tango Therapeutics Expand Strategic Oncology Collaboration

On August 17, Gilead Sciences and Tango Therapeutics agreed to expand their strategic oncology collaboration focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative targeted immune evasion therapies for patients with cancer.

“Since we signed the original agreement two years ago, we have been very pleased with the productivity of the collaboration and with the quality of scientific discovery that has come from this partnership,” said William A. Lee, PhD, Executive Vice President of Research at Gilead Sciences. “We are looking forward to working with Tango to run additional cancer context dependent screens to identify a broader set of targets based on our immuno-oncology strategy.”

To read all about this expanded multi-year collaboration see this link here.
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