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April 15, 2005
For immediate release

New Fund Encourages Research and Development

Development and Technology

A new fund has been created to assist and encourage research and development in Prince Edward Island. The series of programs is designed to build capacity in research and development innovation by supporting the transformation of ideas into products. The fund is structured to promote research, business and commercial collaborations that result in the development of commercially viable, technically innovative, and exportable products and services.

An initial amount of $500,000 will be available for disbursement.

“This fund will encourage research that will lead to the development of new products and new economic growth for the province,” said Development and Technology Minister Mike Currie. “It will be used to support researchers who are working in collaboration with business on work that could have significant commercial potential.”

The fund will give special consideration to those projects which involve the province’s key economic sectors: Life Sciences / Biotech, Information Technology, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, Environmental Technologies and Aerospace.

Preference will be given to those applications that have a good potential for long-term growth and that encourage partnerships between academic or research organizations and private sector organizations.

“The new Institute for Nutriscience and Health has as its mandate to work co-operatively with business and we want to further encourage that kind of collaboration,” said Minister Currie. “We already see this kind of partnership taking place at the bio-resource extraction plant at the Food Technology Centre and with this fund, we expect to see more research with the potential for commercialization.”

The Institutional Research Fund will be available to academic and research organizations in PEI who are working on projects that show a potential for commercialization.

The Human Resources Research Fund will help to build a core of scientists and researchers by making project support available to academic institutions and companies who have students, research associates and trainees.

The Product Development Fund will encourage partnerships between academic institutions and private businesses who are seeking to commercialize an innovative export oriented service, product, technology or process.

The Technical Development Fund will be available to all applicants whose projects involve the creation of platform technology or who hire skilled people or train workers where the skill to operate the platform technology did not previously exist.

“We are taking an approach to research and development which includes, not only the development of products, but the development of people who can work in what are and will continue to be, key sectors for the province,” said Minister Currie.

Product innovation is also being encouraged through the new Progressive Tax Rebate Program. The program will provide tax incentives to companies and individuals who invest in innovation, growth and development of targeted sectors across the province.

BACKGROUNDER

Research and Development Fund

Introduction:

This initiative is a series of programs designed to build capacity in research and development innovation by supporting the transformation of ideas into products. The fund is structured to promote research, business and commercial collaborations that complement a growing PEI knowledge-based economy and result in the development of commercially viable, technically innovative, and exportable products and services.

Preference will be given to those applications that have a good potential for long-term growth and that encourage partnerships between academic or research organizations and private sector organizations.

Monies granted to successful applications are based on a per project basis with timeframes as determined by the applicant. If required, extensions of these projects will be considered by applying for further funding in subsequent calls for proposals.

All disciplines will be considered and categorized within:

Enabling Technologies; including Life Sciences / Biotech, Information Technology, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing Environmental Technologies Aerospace

Programs Overview:

Institutional Research Fund

Eligible applicants will be academic and research organizations and individuals, associated with these organizations, in the province of PEI that have an innovative project showing potential for commercialization. Assistance of up to a maximum of $50,000 is available to applications based on the following selection criteria:

-Scientific and technical merit of the proposal

-Expertise, experience and skills of the people involved in the initiative

-Capacity to execute the initiative

-Availability of other Funding and infrastructure available for the initiative

-Quality of partnerships

-Potential for economic impact and innovation in the Province of Prince Edward Island

Human Resources Research Fund

Eligible applicants will be research institutes and private industries with students, research associates and trainees that are enrolled / affiliated with a post-secondary institute. This innovative project should show promise for commercial application and have an educational / business history that will assist in building the capacity of the research cluster. Assistance of up to a maximum of $40,000 is available to applications that meet the following selection criteria:

-Scientific and technical merit of the proposal

-Expertise, experience and skills of the people involved in the initiative

-Capacity to execute the initiative

-Quality of partnerships, if applicable

-Potential for economic impact and innovation in the Province of Prince Edward Island

Product Development Fund

Eligible applicants will be newly established, existing Prince Edward Island businesses, or collaborative partnerships between academic institutes and private industry, seeking to commercialize an innovative export oriented product, service, technology or process. Assistance of up to a maximum of $75,000 is available to applicants in exchange for a Royalty Interest based on future revenues of the product. Selection criteria and royalty rates will be based on the following elements:

-Commercial viability of the service, echnology or process

-Expertise, experience and skills of the people involved in the initiative, including the management and business skills to commercialize the idea

-Capacity to execute the initiative

-Funding and infrastructure available for the initiative

-Financial structure of the initiative

-Potential for economic impact in the Province of Prince Edward Island

Technical Development Fund

All applicants demonstrating either the development of a platform technology or acquisition / training of an individual where unskilled labour exists in Prince Edward Island to generate new cutting edge applications will be eligible to receive up to an extra $25,000 toward the total costs of the project. The technical contribution to the overall project will be a determining factor for selecting projects.

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Media Contact: Ann Thurlow
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