June 2020
We have collected a variety of news and stories to inspire you as we all move toward what this "new normal" looks like in the staggered re-launch period.

Though many are weary, we encourage you to connect with others, stay in touch with important people in your lives, and to continue to be open to doing things in a new way. 

We are truly in this together. Participate in something new this month.

BioAlberta Team
Bridge to Food's Virtual Event
Plant-Based Foods & Proteins Summit North America
June 22 - 26th, 2020
Join the only Virtual 15th Plant-Based Foods & Proteins Summit & Exhibition dedicated to connecting plant-based brands with the value chain including retailers, foodservice professionals, food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, and other service providers such as packaging, market, and brand agencies!

Unique Networking during the Virtual 15th Plant-Based Foods & Proteins Summit
  • 25 hours of Networking Breaks with live meeting chats with speakers, panel members, delegates, suppliers, customers, and exhibitors
  • 35 hours of Presentations & Panel Discussions with Live Video Chats

This fantastic Virtual Summit & Exhibition will enable you to:
  • Enjoy Thought Leading Expert Presentations
  • Be Inspired by Thought-Provoking Panel Discussions
  • Build your Network via 1-on-1 Business Networking via Live Video Chats

The Uniqueness of this Virtual 15th Plant-Based Foods & Proteins Summit & Exhibition is the easy, convenient, value for money solution to secure virtual networking meetings with a live chat with your (potential) supplier and customers. Book private meetings, video chat, do business, and enjoy for the first time in a relaxed digital experience an online format. Explore this opportunity here .
BIOTECanada: PMPRB Implementation Delay
BioTecCanada Statement -issued June 1, 2020

The industry welcomes and supports the delay in the implementation of the new regulatory framework for the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB). The delay is prudent at this time and is an acknowledgement of the complex dynamic of seeking solutions to address a global pandemic while also recognizing the longstanding calls from industry to frame workable solutions to secure access to vital new medicines for Canadian patients.

The past 30 years have seen many advances in biotechnology resulting in Canadians living longer, more productive and higher quality lives today. Now, stem cell, gene and cell therapies, immuno-oncology therapeutics, CRISPR editing and new vaccines hold the promise of cures for many more diseases. Canadian regulatory policies must enable and support Canadian patients' timely access to these state-of-the-art treatments. This is particularly true for therapies for rare diseases, where Canadian patients with rare diseases continue to endure long delays in access to medicines available in other countries. If anything, the current global pandemic has demonstrated the importance of a healthy and diverse domestic biotech industry built on innovation, entrepreneurship, great science and research. Indeed, since the onset of the COVID 19 crisis, the Canadian biotech ecosystem has been working very closely with the federal government throughout the health crisis to help identify potential therapeutic and vaccine candidates. Ultimately, it will in all likelihood be a biotech innovation in the form of a vaccine and an anti-viral that allows society and the economy to return to where it once was.

As we look forward there remains the very real probability of other COVID or COVID-like health challenges. Accordingly, it will be imperative Canada has the capacity to not only innovate and solve but deliver those innovations to Canadians. Canada’s regulatory policy environment plays a central role in establishing Canada‘s competitiveness in attracting the talent, investment and innovation needed to solve for future challenges. An approach to policy that focuses uniquely on pricing while ignoring the complexities and connectiveness of the entire ecosystem will significantly undermine Canada’s global competitiveness going forward and disadvantage Canadians in the long term. While the industry supports the delay in implementation it also strongly urges the government to use the delay to develop a more constructive and holistic approach to policy impacting the sector. In this context, BIOTECanada and its members will work with other stakeholders to develop and bring forward constructive recommendations to support the design of an effective and competitive policy framework which will support the growth of innovation and continued access to the vital new medicines Canadian patients need to ensure healthier outcomes for themselves and their families.
PMPRB Delay Welcomed

BioAlberta has long been an advocate for meaningful consultation on proposed PMPRB regulation changes to find a solution that addresses concerns raised by the innovation economy and pharmaceutical companies. We have been working with our members and life science organizations from across Canada to help Health Canada and elected officials understand the negative consequences of the proposed approach, and are pleased that Health Canada has announced a six month delay in implementation and will release a draft regulation next week for comment.

BioAlberta’s Advocacy and Policy Committee will review the draft regulations and preparing another submission. If you have any feedback or comments, please let us know. We expect this next submission period will be only 30 days.
SR&ED for life science and biomedical companies
A Webinar presented by TSGI Corporation
We’ll cover the nuances of claiming SR&ED in the context of the life science, biomedical, environmental and agricultural biotech industries.

  • What makes a project eligible and what costs can be claimed?
  • What are best practices for documentation?
  • What financial considerations can increase the size of my claim?
  • How do I handle relationships with academic institutions and gov’t support?

This is an online webinar. Once you register, the administrator will send a confirmation email with the webinar link. Please reach out to elliot.cudmore@tsgi.ca with any questions.

Wed., June 17, 10 - 11 am MDT Register here now! Tex
Questions about raising capital in these challenging times?
Raising capital is one of the most important challenges for entrepreneurs of all stages, sometimes the most difficult and time-consuming tasks they face.
Register for @ OKR Financial virtual panel in partnership with @ Valhalla Private Capital and @ BDC .
Different fundraising experts that include Venture Capitalists, M&A
Advisors and Venture Debt Providers will guide you as you learn:
- The different types of funding options available
- The most adequate type of funding for you
- The amount you need to raise not just to survive the current pandemic
but to achieve the business goals
When: June 10, 2020 1 PM MDT. Registration link is here .
Shout Out – University of Calgary
Capstone Engineering Student Project Gets Renewed Interest
A Capstone engineering student project that led to a germ-fighting duffel bag is again in the news. This now California-based clean clothing technology got its humble start at the University of Calgary when a germ-killing capstone solution emerged from the Schulich School of Engineering in 2015.

Back then Aram Razouki, BSc (Eng), led his Capstone Design Fair team at the University of Calgary in building the first DRESSFRESH, an appliance with the goal of using “ionic refreshment” to quickly clean dirty clothes without the need for the usual water and detergent.

Razouki's answer to having no clean shirt for class even caught the attention of the Calgary Herald at the time when he told them, “There should be something that makes it easy for you to have your clothing be fresh and ready to go.”

Here, five years later, DRESSFRESH, now based in California, is about to launch an international Kickstarter campaign for a clothes-cleaning duffel bag that now is a benefit to anyone concerned about germs, in addition to its original market targetting the sports. For more information see the link here .

The Schulich School of Engineering is committed to support student entrepreneurship through several initiatives, including the capstone course, embedded entrepreneurial training, the Launchpad and entrepreneurial partnerships.
Focal Point: Innovative Medicines Canada
Canada’s Pharmaceutical Industry at the Forefront of Innovation
Innovative Medicines Canada’s 40 member companies are at the forefront of medical research, revolutionizing healthcare through the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. There are more than 500 new products currently in development in Canada, including therapies focused on cancer treatments, infectious diseases and vaccines. These products have the potential to help people all over the world live longer, healthier lives.

While the efforts of the innovative industry are focused on understanding the impact on specific disease mechanisms and developing medicines that provide therapeutic benefit, the investments also make a strong contribution to Canada’s economy. According to a 2017 EY study, Innovative Medicines Canada members generate $19 billion in economic activity, investing $1.2 billion annually into R&D to stimulate innovation. As one of Canada’s leading innovation sectors, our member companies support over 30,000 high-value jobs across the Canadian economy. In addition, we contribute directly and indirectly to employment through a network of supply chains and distribution activities.

Since the pandemic began, there has been unprecedented collaboration across government, academia, the private and philanthropic sectors to discover, develop and deliver new medicines and vaccines for COVID-19. Partnerships are key to speeding up the R&D process. In this regard, pharmaceutical and medical research often resembles a team sport. Companies, universities, scientists and governments increasingly come together to share research and ideas, and collaborate to tackle pressing health challenges. Research has been improved not just by technology, but by new commitments from a wide group of companies, institutions and organizations who recognize that in today’s economy, working together means better and faster results.
As of June 2, 123 potential novel coronavirus vaccines are being developed by research teams across the globe, according to the latest report this month from the World Health Organization (WHO). This is a demanding process - new medicines and vaccines usually take 10 years and billions of dollars to move from concept to marketplace. The race is also on for effective new treatments. There are 331 unique treatments currently being investigated globally, and Health Canada has approved several clinical trials led by IMC members to explore ways to effectively treat COVID-19.

By bringing together such a wide range of assets, resources, and expertise to identify effective and scalable solutions to combat the virus, together we can eradicate COVID-19.
AGE-WELL Epic Conference
Runs Tuesday and Thursdays June 2020

AGE-WELL, Canada’s AgeTech network is here to help older Canadians maintain their independence, health and quality of life through technologies and services that increase their safety and security, support their independent living, and enhance their social participation.

Through extensive public consultation, AGE-WELL has identified 8 Challenge Areas – difficult and complex problem areas – that demand innovation and deployment of real-world solutions.

The EPIC Conference (2020) is an opportunity for AGE-WELL HQP to share their research, highlight their potential impact, and connect with colleagues.

It will comprise of 8 virtual sessions, each dedicated to one of the identified challenge areas. Each session will involve 2 streams of presentations – a traditional oral presentation and a Twitter conference presentation. Additional sessions will include interactive design workshops, a roundtable on pivoting your research during COVID, and a hybrid career presentation and workshop.

Oral Presentation Stream: These sessions will be hosted on Crowdcast and comprise of an introduction to the challenge area presented by the session chair, 3 oral presentations, and a follow up comment by a stakeholder that places these presentations into the larger discourse and addresses potential research impact.

Please note that presenters are required to accompany their 10 minute talks with a PowerPoint presentation of no more than 10 slides (inclusive of title slide and bibliography). Each presenter will get 5 minutes for Q&A after their presentations.

For more information see this 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.

Steve MacDonald, ERA’s CEO, and Mark Summers, ERA’s Executive Director of Technology and Innovation, will host an informational webinar on Monday, June 29 at 1 p.m. (MT). They will provide an overview of the funding opportunity, including scope and eligibility of the call, the submission process, and timelines for decisions. Participants will have the chance to ask specific questions to help prepare an application. For more information see link here.
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
Canadian Chambers of Commerce: Small Business Grant $$
Apply before June 12
Small businesses are the heart of our communities and the backbone of Canada’s economy. Canadians everywhere have been supporting local businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, from ordering take-out to buying gift cards. Civic-minded organizations with the resources and means are also pitching in.

As part of its Canadian Business Resilience Network campaign, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, through the generosity of Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), will provide 62 small Canadian businesses from coast to coast to coast with $10,000 grants to help their recovery efforts during these unprecedented times.

CBRN Small Business Relief Fund will help 62 small Canadian businesses recover and support their resilience, for a total of $620,000 in funds.

For details or to apply click this link and make sure to apply before Friiday, June 12.
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
MITACs funding for Canadian #SMEs

Mitacs expands its support for #SMEs to help companies get on with the important innovations that are vital to their business and to Canada’s economic recovery.

Until July 1, #SMEs contribute only 25% for the first four months of an innovation project done in collaboration with a post-secondary institution ( some restrictions may apply).

Mitacs knows businesses are facing challenges right now, but no matter your field it’s important to push ahead with research and innovation. Together we can get on with the important innovations that are vital to your business and to Canada’s economic recovery.

Proposals can be submitted any time up to July 1. There is a limited window for your project to begin, so see here for details.
Students: 80 paid work opportunities

Mitacs works with industry and not-for-profit partners who need academic research expertise to help solve their toughest challenges. These partners come from all industry sectors and are located across Canada and abroad.

We are seeking graduate students, postdocs and college students for the collaborative projects with industry or not-for-profit partners listed here.

If we determine there is a match, we will connect you and your academic supervisor with the partner to discuss and develop the Mitacs research proposal.

If you are a company or not-for-profit needing academic expertise for an upcoming project fill in this form , or if you are a faculty member at an academic institution in Canada and are interested in one of the projects, please contact a member of our business development team.
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…

Sponsor Merck, one of the largest vaccine makers in the world, is entering the Covid-19 arena by developing two different vaccines for Covid-19, and is also licensing an oral drug that might treat the virus.

Merck is buying Vienna-based Themis, which is developing an experimental Covid-19 vaccine based on a measles vaccine that could begin human studies soon. It is also partnering with the nonprofit IAVI on the development of a vaccine related to Merck’s existing Ebola vaccine that could enter human studies later this year. They are also licensing an experimental drug from a company called Ridgeback.

To learn all about these activities see this link here .
Natural Products Canada invests in Bast Fibre Technologies Inc
NPC is proud to announce its investment in Bast Fibre Technologies Inc (BFTi) whose innovative treatment of natural fibres such as hemp is creating unprecedented potential for highly absorbant compostable and flushable wipes and other products in the nonwovens industry.
"With the demand for disinfecting wipes at an all-time high, BFTi presents an incredible opportunity to address the need for vigilance in cleaning and hygiene with products that are safe for the planet," says Shelley King, CEO of Natural Products Canada. Want more? See link here .
Platform Calgary, an organization that offers access to space, programming, and advocacy for startups based in that city, has received a $30,000 investment from the federal government for its student-focused summer incubator program.

The funding, delivered through the government’s Western Economic Diversification Regional Development Agency (RDA), will be used to add 10 additional students to the program, bringing the total headcount of this year’s cohort to 22. Platform Calgary’s summer incubator program is aimed to provide student entrepreneurs with resources to launch and grow an innovative startup.

This year’s cohort includes 22 students from the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and includes six companies participating in an artificial intelligence stream. In addition to Platform Calgary, the Royal Bank of Canada and the University of Calgary are also supporters of the summer incubator program. For more information see link here.

At the end of the summer, students will present to a panel. Students will need to demonstrate what they have learned and how it has changed their businesses, traction they have achieved in moving forward their startup idea, and their next steps.
Please join us in wishing BioNeutra success in this competition!

On June 4, 2020, an American judging panel chose a Canadian fibre product as a finalist for the 2020 U.S ‘Prebiotic Ingredient of the Year’ award. NutraIngredients-USA, a world leading digital trade publication, announced that VitaFiber™ IMO is a finalist for the coveted award which recognizes an ingredient that helps improve gut health and digestion by promoting the growth of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

VitaFiber™ IMO is a low-calorie 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 more than 200 manufacturers on four continents. VitaFiber™ IMO was developed by BioNeutra North America, and was approved for sale by the world’s top three health regulatory bodies – the US FDA, Health Canada and the European Food Safety Authority. For more information see link here.

Now working together... and we wish success to Alberta’s Entos Pharmaceuticals and Cytiva (formerly GE Healthcare Lifesciences), to optimize a clinical manufacturing solution for the company's Covigenix COVID-19 s DNA vaccine candidate.

Read about it here .
Congratulations to Member Medtronic's Omar Ishrak on being ranked #5 among the top 50 Healthcare Technology CEO's of 2020 by The Healthcare Technology Report.

In 2011, Omar Ishrak was hired away from GE Healthcare to effect a turnaround at Medtronic. As the Chief Executive Officer, Ishrak doubled the company's annual revenue and its market capitalization has increased by more than $100 billion during his tenure. His forward-thinking led to one of the company's most significant mergers when Medtronic acquired Irish tech company Covidien in 2015. At $49.9 billion it is the largest medtech merger in the history of the industry. Ishrak established Medtronic's Diversity Networks and the company is for driving global change by building workplaces that prioritize women. He currently serves as Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board at Medtronic and Chairman of the Board at Intel.. Read more here .
BioAlberta member Pacylex presents as Medical and Investment Conferences go Virtual

Pacylex Pharmaceuticals Inc., a pre-IND-stage pharmaceutical company targeting cancers with a new first-in-class therapeutic, announced May 27 that its chief executive officer, Michael Weickert, would participate in the BIO 2020 conference being held virtually June 8-12, 2020. The company's chief medical officer, John Mackey MD will present a poster describing the Phase 1 program set to launch later this year at the ASCO 2020 conference to be held virtually May 29-31, 2020. Additionally, Dr. Mackey and the company's chief science officer and principal founder, Luc Berthiaume, Ph.D., will present posters describing the therapeutic potential in breast cancer and lymphoma respectively at the AACR 2020 conference being held virtually June 22-24, 2020. For more information, see the link here .
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