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August 31, 2010
For immediate release
Bell Aliant and Innovation PEI Announce First and Second Round Recipients of the Rural Broadband Fund
Innovation and Advanced Learning
Innovation PEI and Bell Aliant will offer support worth $331,000 to six rural information technology projects, through the Rural Broadband Fund, Innovation and Advanced Learning Minister Allan Campbell says.
“Through the Island Prosperity Strategy and the Rural Action Plan, we have committed this government to developing Information Technology and to using this technology to help support development in all areas of this province,” said Minister Campbell. “Our partnership with Bell Aliant in this program supports the advancement of Information Technology across Prince Edward Island through the Island-wide broadband network.”
Innovation PEI and Bell Aliant have offered funding to a total of six projects. One project was supported under the first round of funding and another five were supported through the second round.
Thinking Big Information Technology Inc.
This Charlottetown IT company is partnering with the PEI Seafood Processors Association to create a lobster tracking system using smart-phone technology.
Gorman Controls Inc.
A South Melville based company, Gorman Controls, will develop a storage controller aimed at the agricultural industry for monitoring environmental factors in storage facilities.
University of Prince Edward Island
UPEI, in collaboration with local cultural sites across West Prince, will use the open source Islandora software to develop a multimedia community archive portal containing a wealth of historical and cultural data on the region. The project will also develop an iPad version of the portal.
SiteValet is an innovative, web-based tool for inns and B&Bs to easily build and manage better websites for their business. With proceeds from the Rural Broadband Fund, SiteValet will offer a series of special offers and programs to help more of Prince Edward Island’s rural tourism operators improve their websites and their overall web presence.
The IT faculty at Holland College will develop an interactive telepresent education program, enabling rural Islanders to access distance training in IT. The enriched telepresence in this project will provide added value to media-rich learning environments, while pioneering innovation in distance learning for rural Islanders.
PEI Monitoring Inc.
PEI Monitoring Inc. will make an Island-based ULC certified monitoring centre available to any security company and will provide a wide variety of security services such as cameras, home security and remote data storage services. Island-based security companies requiring ULC certification currently outsource their monitoring services off-Island.
Innovation PEI is in the final stages of contract negotiations with the Rural Broadband Fund recipients. Projects are expected to begin this fall.
“Bell Aliant is pleased to be able to help stimulate innovation and support information technology development across PEI through this Fund,” says Bruce Howatt, VP, PEI, Bell Aliant. “Our significant investment in the Fund – along with our continued support in communities across PEI – is testament to our overall commitment to Islanders now and into the future.”
The Rural Broadband Fund was launched in December 2009 with the mandate to stimulate PEI’s rural economy through the use of the Island-wide broadband network.
“Prince Edward Island is using Information Technology to enhance our rural industries and our primary sectors, promoting future growth and sustainability,” said Minister Campbell.
One project was funded out of the seven applications submitted to the first call for applications. A second call was issued in April 2010 with a total of ten submitted applications and five offered funding. Applications were evaluated by a peer review committee consisting of representatives from the Province and Bell Aliant.
The next call for applications to the Rural Broadband Fund is expected to be released in the summer of 2011. Three more rounds of funding are expected in order to fulfill the province’s commitment of $1 million over five years.
For more information visit the Innovation PEI website www.innovationpei.com.