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August 7, 2012
For immediate release

Six projects approved by the Innovation PEI Pilot and Discovery Fund peer review committee

Innovation PEI

Six projects have been awarded funding offered by Innovation PEI to support the early stage academic and industry research that will lead to the commercialization of new products or services in the sectors of bioscience, information technology, renewable energy or aerospace.

“In times of fiscal restraint, businesses and researchers have limited opportunities to obtain grants for projects at this stage,” said Minister Roach, Innovation and Advanced Learning. “The goal of this program is to fill this funding gap and allow our Island innovators to obtain the resources they need to begin beta stage or pilot production of their products.”

A peer review committee was established to evaluate and adjudicate the submitted projects. Based on the evaluation, and recommendations of the multi-disciplinary peer review committee, Innovation PEI offered support to six projects under the fifth round of the Pilot and Discovery Fund.

The recipients of this round, as listed in alphabetical order, are:

• Atlantic Veterinary College – Drs. Russ Kerr and Rick Cawthorn

• Atlantic Veterinary College – Drs. Sophie St-Hilaire, Jeff Davidson, Mary McNiven and Pedro Quijon

• Gentec Ltd.

• SpryPoint Solutions Inc.

• Thinking Big Information Technology Inc.

• University of Prince Edward Island – Dr. Dave LeBlanc

To date, Innovation PEI has supported 50 projects, with a total investment of over $1.2 million, through this program.

A look back at previous applicants:

Innovation PEI supported a collaborative project between Dr. Tarek Saleh of the Atlantic Veterinary College and Dr. Bobby Khan of Carmel Biosciences in Atlanta. Dr. Saleh developed a new compound (UPEI-100) that displayed anti-inflammatory properties. Funding from the Pilot and Discovery Fund allowed the principals to continue studying the compound, its mechanisms of action, and enter into a pre-clinical trial.

Due to the strong results of the pilot study, Drs. Saleh and Khan submitted an application to the Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency’s Atlantic Innovation Fund to begin Phase 2 clinical trials with this new chemical entity. This application was one of three successful projects announced on PEI last week.

“I want to extend my congratulations to all the recipients of the Atlantic Innovation Fund, especially the University of Prince Edward Island to continue their evaluation of UPEI-100,” said Minister Roach. “It is encouraging for us to see these projects, that we supported in their early stages, continue to develop and grow.”

For more information on the Pilot and Discovery Fund visit


Atlantic Veterinary College – Drs. Russ Kerr and Rick Cawthorn

Bitter Crab Disease (BCD) is a fatal disease of snow crabs and other economically important crustaceans which is caused by a parasitic dinoflagellate. Little is known about BCD and there are no specific tools to identify the health risks of consuming infected crabs. This project aims to identify the toxin (natural product) responsible for BCD. This will be used to assess the health effects of BCD and develop a sensitive test for the detection of the BCD toxin.

Atlantic Veterinary College - Drs. Sophie St-Hilaire, Jeff Davidson, Mary McNiven and Pedro Quijon

The European green crab is an invasive alien species that has been negatively affecting several commercial fisheries and ecosystems in PEI. This crab is high in protein and carotenoids, and is approved by the CFIA as an animal feed ingredient. The purpose of this project is to explore its potential as an feed ingredient for the aquaculture industry so a fishery can be proposed for this nuisance species.

Gentec Ltd.

Gentec will build and test a wireless intra-vaginal device to assist in estrus detection for the breeding of dairy cattle. The purpose of the device is to measure bio-impendence from inside the vagina and transmit the data to a base-station during the period of time for which the animal may enter estrus. The base station will collect this data and export a graphical interface to the producer through a Wi-Fi connection.

SpryPoint Solutions Inc.

This funding will cover the pilot stages of developing a backflow prevention monitoring service for the water utility industry. SpryPoint plans to develop a suite of software-as-service applications for the utility operations sector. SpryPoint's products are delivered through multiple channels such as browsers and tablets.

Thinking Big Information Technology Inc.

Thinking Big will develop an enterprise Quick Response (QR) metrics platform that will enable businesses to create campaign-specific QR codes attached to custom landing pages. This metrics platform will provide invaluable information to vendors such as: items scanned, type of marketing medium (flyer, in-store) and mobile device. It will allow for real time changes to campaigns to maximize their effectiveness.

University of Prince Edward Island – Dr. Dave LeBlanc

The proponent will develop a data capture system for the iPhone that can be used to test software for coding and design defects. The system will be able to capture all externally entered input through the app, including accelerator information. The system will also record the screen images in real time allowing for the replay of screen data as well as a history of the external inputs that generated the on-screen behavior.

Media Contact: Rebecca Bruce
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