Archived — Government of Canada Supports Businesses in the Niagara Region

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For immediate release
September 30, 2011

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario – The Government of Canada is helping Niagara businesses to innovate, adapt and bring to market promising ideas that will drive economic growth in southern Ontario.

The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced a new investment for Ultimate Kiosk Inc. and the Niagara Angel Network. Minister Nicholson also celebrated agreements between Niagara College Canada and fourteen local small- and medium-sized businesses to work on collaborative research projects. FedDev Ontario's support will help accelerate commercialization, productivity and competitiveness and encourage private sector investment in innovation.

"The Government of Canada is committed to investing in innovation to create jobs and economic growth," said Minister Nicholson. "I am pleased that our government is working with Niagara College and the local business community to strengthen this region's competitiveness."

"We are delighted to be the first Niagara-based company to benefit from FedDev Ontario's Investing in Business Innovation initiative," said Terry Mactaggart, President and CEO, Ultimate Kiosk Inc. "It goes to the heart of the challenges that young growth companies typically face – the need to innovate constantly as new markets are identified and entered. Hopefully others will take advantage of this new opportunity and the local angel investor finance that drives it."

"Since its founding earlier this year, the Niagara Angel Network and the related Niagara Venture Forum have put down roots and begun to assist local start-up companies that have high potential for growth, profitability and job creation," said Nick DiPietro, Executive Director, Niagara Angel Network.

"We are grateful for the government's recognition of the important role that Niagara College plays in applied research," said Steve Hudson, acting President, Niagara College Canada. "Applied research is strengthening our economy by helping companies innovate and develop new products and processes that have tremendous commercial value. It is creating important opportunities for our students to gain hands-on experience through real world projects with local businesses."

Ultimate Kiosk and the Niagara Angel Network will receive up to $337,500 through FedDev Ontario's Investing in Business Innovation. The initiative is a direct result of feedback from business leaders, academics and community leaders from across southern Ontario, who suggested FedDev Ontario take a leadership role in encouraging entrepreneurs and investors to take the risks necessary to put southern Ontario businesses on the map.

Last year, Niagara College Canada received up to $750,000 through FedDev Ontario's Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative to partner with local small- and medium-sized businesses on activities such as applied research, engineering design, technology development, product testing, and certification.

For more information, please refer to the backgrounder.

FedDev Ontario was created as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan to support businesses and communities in southern Ontario. Now in its third year of operation, the Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to support businesses and other organizations through partnerships and investments in skills and training; innovation; research and development; and increased productivity. To learn more, please visit www.feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

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For more information, contact:

Gary Toft
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
613-943-7599

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
519-571-6879


Backgrounder

Investing in Business Innovation Initiative

FedDev Ontario's Investing in Business Innovation is designed to boost private sector investment in start-up businesses to accelerate the development of new products, processes and practices and help bring them to market. Funding under the initiative is also available for angel investor networks and their associations to attract new investment and support the growth of angel investment funds.

Applications for funding are being accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis. For more information and to apply, please refer to the program guidelines available on the FedDev Ontario web site at www.feddevontario.gc.ca.

Contribution to Ultimate Kiosk Inc.

Ultimate Kiosk Inc. is a new high growth company committed to becoming the hearing health screening and advertising platform of choice of leading mass pharmacies, family physicians and other health-care providers. The company has developed the Ultimate Kiosk, a hearing test station to place in pharmacies, clinics and other community venues to enable users to easily find out if they need to seek professional help for a hearing problem.

FedDev Ontario is providing Ultimate Kiosk Inc. with a repayable contribution of up to $287,500 to upgrade its kiosk software to operate on multiple operating systems; to add new features, such as incorporating advertisements; to demonstrate the capabilities of the kiosks to potential commercial partners and to complete international copyrighting and trade marking. The project will increase sales, enhance Ultimate Kiosk's competitiveness and is expected to create new jobs, as well as strategic partnerships in the Niagara region. For more information, visit www.ultimatekiosk.com

Contribution to the Niagara Angel Network

The Niagara Angel Network is a member of the National Angel Network Organization. FedDev Ontario is providing the Niagara Angel Network with a non-repayable contribution of up to $50,000 to expand its angel investor base through investment attraction activities. This support will lead to increased membership, an increased investment pool and economic growth in the Niagara region. For more information, visit www.niagaraventureforum.com.

Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative

The Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative addresses the unique research and innovation challenges faced by small- and medium-sized enterprises by helping post-secondary institutions to provide their applied R&D and pre-commercialization expertise to businesses that do not have the internal capacity to undertake those activities. FedDev Ontario is providing Niagara College Canada (Niagara Research) with up to $750,000 to partner with the following fourteen small- and medium-sized enterprises on the following projects.

Abatement Technologies Ltd. (Fort Erie)

Abatement Technologies is an industry leader in air filtration equipment, servicing industries like fire and water restoration, asbestos abatement, healthcare, air duct cleaning and HVAC Contractors.  Abatement is working with Niagara Research to improve efficiencies and noise levels with a current model from a line of negative-pressure-isolation room equipment. This equipment is used to isolate patients in healthcare facilities that are suffering from infectious airborne pathogens such as tuberculosis.

Calhoun Sportswear (St. Catharines)

Established in 1973, Calhoun Sportswear's product line includes licensed, screen-printed active sportswear, with a focus on beachwear. Currently, Calhoun Sportswear markets to mass merchant, independent retailers and universities. Calhoun is partnering with Niagara Research to examine various process improvement methods that will, enable it to solidify its competitiveness within both the Niagara Region as well as North America.

E.D. Products (St. Catharines)

For more than 25 years, E.D. Products has proudly serviced the interconnected requirements of more than 100 clients across North America. An ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004-certified facility, E.D. Products possesses a vast knowledge of the many aspects of contract electronics/electrical manufacturing. Expanding into new service markets, the company is partnering with Niagara Research's Mechanical Engineering Technician team to develop a more efficient and ergonomic test and assembly workstation.

Koppers Fishing and Tackle Corp. (Niagara-on-the-Lake)

Koppers was established in 2006 and started selling fishing lures in Canada in 2007. Presently, Koppers has 292 various SKUs, sold to 1900 dealers via Distributors, High Volume Dealers and Buying Groups within North America and international markets. Designed with great discipline, Koppers' fishing lures are the most accurate, life-like lures in the industry. Koppers is working closely with Niagara Research to develop a process for employing rapid prototyping techniques in the development of fishing lures, enabling the company to increase its competiveness and production efficiencies.

LineTech Design and Manufacturing Ltd. (St. Catharines)

LineTech Design and Manufacturing is Canada's leading manufacturer of road marking equipment, used across Canada, the United States and other parts of the world. Linetech also has a variety of proprietary electronic products developed for the road maintenance industry. Several years ago, LineTech developed a mobile monitoring device that gauges the thickness of existing road markings, while moving at speeds of 50-100 km/h. LineTech has partnered with Niagara Research to refine the product for a global market. Work includes redeveloping the product's software platform to be more generic, ultimately increasing the usability for the end user.

Norgen Biotek Corp. (Thorold)

Norgen Biotek Corp. is a Canadian biotechnology company focusing on sample preparation and preservation. Norgen has developed a unique platform technology based on a proprietary resin with many applications including the purification of DNA, RNA and proteins. The company is partnering with Niagara Research for the expert machining required for the automation and PLC programming of two major manufacturing systems to be implemented at Norgen.

OASYS Healthcare (Uxbridge)

OASYS Healthcare provides innovative control systems for the modern integrated Operating Room (OR). Its technology has revolutionized the design and implementation of these systems. Through the use of a patent pending design tool, OASYS Healthcare is bringing OR's, which were previously very costly and complex, into the mainstream. Niagara College is working with OASYS Healthcare to develop core technology that will enable the capture, storage and distribution of medical content. With a focus on emerging modalities, such as HD 3D video and mega-pixel imagery, this technology will be used in the next generation surgical content systems.

Pay 4 Performance (St. Catharines)

Pay 4 Performance was founded in 2007 and is a company that focuses on appointment setting for the moving and storage industry. Pay 4 Performance services the American market and handles everything until the truck arrives at the client's home. The United States housing industry continues to face huge challenges in the moving and storage sectors. Profits need to be maximized whenever trucks are on the road. One way to do this is to ensure trucks are loaded both on departure and return trips. To help reach this goal, Pay 4 Performance is partnering with Niagara Research to develop its Origin Agent software tool to help moving companies close long-distance deals by providing assistance and estimates on their behalf. Pay 4 Performance hopes to develop a software program that will manage networks of origin agents, providing a streamlined and standard method for communicating and provide performance metrics - all improving customer and client satisfaction. Pay 4 Performance is partnering with Niagara Research to develop the Origin Agent software.

The Green Cricket Inc. (Etobicoke)

The Green Cricket was formed in 2008 with a vision of bringing the best quality environmentally friendly products to a broad audience. Today, www.greencricket.ca provides homeowners and small business with over 900 products that have all been carefully screened against its five point quality criteria, and full disclosure of ingredients, packaging, production process, including certification and distance to market. In 2009, Green Cricket launched its own line of naturally formulated products with a view of improving the cost and quality of green products. Green Cricket is partnering with Niagara Research with the goal of bringing a new natural anti-bacterial, anti-microbial spray disinfectant to market in Canada by September 2011. The scope includes conducting market and scientific research on the appropriate standards for disinfectant and anti-bacterial claims, conducting product testing and comparative studies with user groups and doing a competitive analysis.

Ultimate Kiosk Inc. (Niagara-on-the-Lake)

Ultimate Kiosk is a Niagara-based growth company committed to becoming the hearing health screening and advertising platform of choice of leading mass pharmacies, family physicians and other health-care providers. The company's partnership with Niagara Research will help further develop its kiosk software, including optimizing data transfer capabilities, incorporating hearing-related product review and purchase fulfillment, providing better database operation, and incorporating additional capabilities previously developed by the company. This innovative kiosk will allow the general public to test their hearing confidentially and understand what their test results mean and what follow-up action should be taken.

Warren DAC Investments Ltd. (Niagara Falls)

Warren DAC is looking to introduce a revolutionary concept in the commercial application of wind energy. The design will provide maximum energy return to commercial and government installations, allowing for flexibility in site-specific configurations and ultimately lowering consumers' total carbon footprint. Warren DAC is partnering with Niagara Research to measure outputs and confirm electrical output superiority of a proof of concept model.

Water Superstore (St. Catharines)

Since 1996 Water Superstore has provided the Niagara Region with clean, fresh, purified water, as well as water treatment equipment. Operating two St. Catharines retail locations, Water Superstore's services target both residential and commercial customers, and include water filtration equipment, water conditioners, reverse osmosis drinking water systems and water-problem investigation. The Water Superstore is working with a cross disciplinary research team of Niagara College students and faculty in the areas of Mechanical Engineering, Electronics, Business & Marketing and New Media Web Design. to develop convenient and flexible solutions that will not only serve the needs of today's hurried consumers but also drive down operating costs and increase profits for retailers

WorkTech Inc. (Grimsby)

WorkTech Inc. is a Niagara-based company that develops, supports and implements robust work, asset and service management software for the public sector. WorkTech aims to unify software for its clients in areas such as service and asset management while ensuring the unique requirements of each business are met. WorkTech's current goal is to create a Form Builder engine for the web that allows users to define the forms for each business need– instead of creating several unique single purpose forms. Accomplishing this will make the software sellable into many more business areas. Partnering with Niagara Research will provide WorkTech with the required expertise to see this product to completion.

Yangaroo Inc. (Toronto)

Yangaroo is a leading technology company helping industries transition to more efficient and effective digital media workflows through its patented Digital Media Distribution System (DMDS). Yangaroo's DMDS sets the global standard for secure and user-friendly business-to-business (B2B) distribution of audio and video media via the internet. Yangaroo is working in collaboration with Niagara College and a local research team of computer programmers to create audio and video analysis tools that will make it faster and easier for industry to get files from production to broadcast.

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