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June 21, 2012
For immediate release
Innovation PEI’s Development and Commercialization Fund Peer Review Committee recommends support for six projects
Six Prince Edward Island companies will receive provincial assistance through Innovation PEI’s Development and Commercialization Fund as they move innovative ideas and products toward the marketplace, says Innovation and Advanced Learning Minister Allan Roach.
“In order to grow the provincial economy, we must invest in pre-commercial projects,” said Minister Roach, Innovation and Advanced Learning. “These projects will eventually scale up and require additional personnel and the services of other Island companies.”
A peer review committee with individuals from varying disciplines evaluated the proposed projects, and the top six ranking projects were offered funding. The recipients of this round, in no particular order:
• Novartis Animal Health Canada Inc.
• 101470 PEI Inc.
• ViTrak Systems Inc.
• Thinking Big Information Technology Inc.
• Prince Edward Island Bag Company Ltd.
• Elevator Software Corporation
The Development and Commercialization Fund is offered by Innovation PEI to support the commercialization of new products and services across P.E.I.’s strategic sectors. Projects considered for funding must have completed a significant portion of their research and development and are conducting final stage trials, refinements or testing. The applicants must plan to release their product or service to market in the near term.
This is the fourth call for applications that has been issued by Innovation PEI under this program. To date, the program has supported thirty-five projects with a total investment of over $3.3 million.
A look back at previous applicants
Charlottetown Metal Products received support under both the Pilot and Discovery Fund and the Development and Commercialization Fund. Pilot support was provided to assist the company (which manufactures food processing products) with a product evaluation and competitive analysis on their prototype Continuous Flow High Pressure Steam Processor. Due to the strong market opportunity, CMP decided to pursue commercial development and testing of their steam processor. They successfully applied for funding through the Development and Commercialization Fund and the Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency’s Atlantic Innovation Fund.
“I want to congratulate both Charlottetown Metal Products and Novartis Animal Health for their success in securing funding through the Atlantic Innovation Fund,” said Minister Roach. “These investments will help to ensure that our local businesses continue to innovate in an ever-changing market environment and maintain highly qualified positions for Islanders.”
For more information on the Development and Commercialization Fund visit www.innovationpei.com.
Novartis Animal Health Canada Inc.
Novartis will undertake the TREAT2 project with the assistance of this program and recently awarded support under the Atlantic Innovation Fund. Tools to Resolve Environmental impacts And Treatment resistance in sea lice-2 (TREAT2) will bring together world experts in sea lice biology, genomics, and therapeutic development to address the problems of integrating aquaculture with environmental stewardship and developing new approaches that can be applied to provide sustainable sea lice control.
101470 PEI Inc.
101470 will develop and commercialize an innovative portable blueberry harvester intended for small and medium scale farms. Large harvesters have been developed for large operations and flat landscape, however 90% of berry farms fall into the small and medium size category. Since many farmers are not able to afford the purchase of a large machine, they are limited in their ability to harvest crops at the right time to achieve the best possible berry quality. A smaller sized harvester will open new opportunities for farmers and help to further decentralize and diversify this industrial sector.
ViTrak Systems Inc.
ViTrak has developed an advanced prototype Sensor Floor Gait Analysis System for the study of human biomechanics and animal locomotion. The system is comprised of various configurations of electronically interactive tiles similar in size and thickness to simple flooring tiles. These tiles are embedded with numerous sensors which perform various measurement functions and capture and analyze underfoot pressure distribution, spatial, and temporal parameters of gait. This project will assist in the development of a fully manufacturable unit.
Thinking Big Information Technology Inc.
Thinking Big has developed a pilot (beta) mobile and web application, Gone Fishing, which was tested by Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development (FARD) during the 2011 fall lobster fishery. This application enabled lobster landings to be recorded at the point of sale through a mobile device and transmitted (3G, Wi-Fi) to a central database for accurate and timely reporting. Thinking Big will further develop the Gone Fishing platform to meet future regulatory requirements in Canadian and Foreign markets.
Prince Edward Island Bag Company Ltd.
The intent of this project is to commercialize a prototype automatic bagger which opens paper potato bags, feeds the bags to be weighed and filled, and finally to the sewing equipment. During this process, gussets are controlled and the equipment produces a package that is consistently attractive. The equipment will meet the needs of both large and medium potato packers through affordability, improved finished product, packaging flexibility, and a reduction in labour costs.
Elevator Software Corporation
Elevator Software has been developing a novel system for data storage. The proposed project will develop a cloud file system that is not comparable to anything currently available on the market by overcoming the key barriers to cloud adoption: interoperability, security, availability and transparency. This ensures that all data stored in the cloud is secured before it is transferred into the hands of third-party providers.