Archived — Government of Canada sparks innovation in 14 southern Ontario businesses

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For immediate release
January 26, 2012

Guelph, Ontario – Michael Chong, Member of Parliament for Wellington-Halton Hills, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), today announced innovative partnerships between the University of Guelph and 14 small and medium-sized businesses. These partnerships will bring growth and long-term economic benefits to southern Ontario in areas such as: air; water and wastewater monitoring and management; agriculture; health; tourism; and food processing and packaging.

"Our government is proud to support southern Ontario businesses as they become even more competitive in today's global economy," said MP Chong. "The partnerships being celebrated today will help spark innovation in small and medium-sized businesses, create jobs, and accelerate the launch of new products in the marketplace."

Since its launch in 2010, FedDev Ontario's Applied Research and Commercialization initiative has invested more than $14.5 million to support 24 colleges, universities and polytechnics across southern Ontario so they could work with the private sector to bring new products and innovative processes to the marketplace faster. In 2010, the University of Guelph was approved for up to $750,000 to partner with small and medium-sized businesses on activities such as applied research, engineering design, technology development, product testing, and certification.

"Moving research knowledge out of our classrooms and laboratories and putting it to use to benefit people's daily lives is our overarching goal," said Kevin Hall, Vice-President of Research at the University of Guelph. "Programs such as the Applied Research and Commercialization initiative are central to our mission of creating value for society. The collaborations that we are celebrating today will help us translate our innovations and discoveries into new technologies, products and services."

For more information on the Applied Research and Commercialization initiative and the University of Guelph's partners, please refer to the backgrounder.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. 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 encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region's businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, visit www.feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1–866–593–5505.

For more information, contact:

Stephanie Thomas
Special Assistant – Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
613-960-7728

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
519–571–6879


Backgrounder

Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative

The Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative helps small and medium-sized businesses in southern Ontario access applied research and development and pre-commercialization expertise found in post-secondary institutions.

Since its launch in 2010, $14.5 million has been invested through the initiative to support 24 colleges, universities and polytechnics across southern Ontario so they could work with the private sector to bring new products and innovative processes to the marketplace faster. In December 2011, FedDev Ontario announced the extension of the Applied Research and Commercialization initiative until March 31, 2013 with additional funding to further support initial efforts.

In 2010, as part of the original contribution, FedDev Ontario provided the University of Guelph with up to $750,000 to work with small and medium-sized businesses on applied research and commercialization projects. The University of Guelph has partnered with the following 14 businesses:

4iBIO (Pickering)

4iBIO develops and manufactures customized artificial joints for the treatment of arthritis. The company's new prostheses allow for early intervention of osteoarthritis, tissue preservation and joint healing. The partnership with University of Guelph will help the company develop its next phase of prostheses for the hip and knee joints. This will allow 4iBIO to capture more of the multi-billion dollar worldwide joint preservation market, while growing manufacturing jobs and sales opportunities at a high-tech facility in southwestern Ontario. More information is available at www.4ibio.com.

Biorem (Guelph)

Biorem specializes in biological air pollution control and manufactures treatment systems and purification technologies. Biological air pollutants, such as such as dust mites, pet dander and pollen, come from living organisms and are often invisible. The goal of this project is to develop a cost-effective, biological process that transforms oxides of nitrogen, which are a major source of smog and air pollution, into non-toxic liquid salts. Upon successful completion, Biorem will be able to commercialize the product in North America, China and other international markets. Local jobs in research, product development and sales will be created to meet market demand. More information is available at www.biorem.biz.

Clearford Industries Inc. (Ottawa)

Clearford Industries Inc. provides wastewater collection, treatment, and energy generation solutions. The partnership with the University of Guelph will help build a full-scale pilot biogas recovery system at the Ontario Rural Wastewater Centre's Onsite Wastewater Testing Facility located at the University of Guelph – Campus d'Alfred. This innovation would enable biogas to be collected automatically during the wastewater treatment process, reducing the harmful effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Successful implementation of this technology will develop markets around the world. In the near term, jobs will be created in design engineering, marketing and system installations. If the concept proves to be feasible, more positions could be created at Clearford, in addition to spin-off employment in partner firms. More information is available at www.clearford.com.

ENPAR Technologies (Guelph)

ENPAR Technologies is an environmental water treatment company that is partnering with the University of Guelph to develop an electrocoagulation technology for the treatment of metals found in mine waste. The removal of metal is currently not possible using only filtration or chemical treatment systems. The addition to ENPAR's product line is anticipated to grow the number of employees and also increase business opportunities for several Ontario-based manufacturing companies. More information is available at www.enpar-tech.com.

Heron Instruments Inc. (Burlington)

Heron Instruments Inc. designs and manufactures groundwater monitoring instrumentation. This project will help develop and test new monitoring equipment to enable better research on the movement and preservation of groundwater. A key piece of equipment being developed is an instrument that would be installed at the top of a well, instead of at the bottom, providing for sensitive, high-resolution measuring capabilities and allowing for use in more wells regardless of diameter or depth. Results of this partnership will create jobs and sales for Heron Instruments as the technology meets existing market needs in Ontario and internationally. More information is available at www.heroninstruments.com.

LuxAdvance Corporation (Toronto)

LuxAdvance develops patent-protected technologies to rapidly and reliably test water and food for the presence of pathogenic microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi. The University of Guelph will assist LuxAdvance with proof of concept, engineering design and product testing as they develop a new fast, simple, inexpensive and highly sensitive test. Bringing this test to market will benefit Ontario's economy and also lead to more jobs, as this product will be manufactured and assembled locally. With ongoing research and development, LuxAdvance also expects to increase its product portfolio. More information is available at www.luxadvance.com.

Lystek International Inc. (Cambridge)

Lystek International Inc. develops treatment technologies for biosolids - human waste that has been treated through the municipal wastewater treatment process and is suitable for land application. The company's patented process breaks down the biological material found in biosolids to create a nutrient-rich fertilizer product for farm lands, which in turn makes the wastewater treatment plant more effective. The focus of this project is to evaluate Lystek's Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) registered fertilizer in comparison to conventional fertilizer in sweet corn. As a result of this work, Lystek will strengthen its application to CFIA to help bring this technology to market. More information is available at www.lystek.com/en.

Meridian Reservation Systems (Niagara Falls)

Meridian Reservation Systems provides reservation and ticketing software to destination marketing organizations, major attractions, travel marketers, and accommodation providers. This project will allow Meridian to provide smaller tourist operators with new analytical software so they can conduct their own market research, discover trends in their own business and develop strategic marketing plans for greater success in a competitive marketplace. This partnership with the University of Guelph will lead to the commercialization of unique software to support Ontario's tourism industry. It will also enable Meridian to grow its staff, and hire highly qualified software engineers, web developers, business development and sales professionals. More information is available at www.reservationsystems.com.

MicroSintesis Inc. (Oakville)

MicroSintesis is an Ontario-based company dedicated to the commercialization of microbial technologies, which are microorganisms used in baking, brewing, food preservation, antibiotic production, environmental rehabilitation and more. The goal of this collaboration is to develop a simple probiotic product that can protect children and other vulnerable populations, as well as livestock from food or water borne illnesses, such as E. Coli. The project will provide supporting information to assist MicroSintesis in designing products that are appropriate for the human and veterinary probiotic health markets, which could prevent harmful infections and reduce dependency on antibiotics.

Novus Environmental Inc. (Guelph)

Novus Environmental Inc. specializes in atmospheric science, acoustics, and human health and offers a range of solutions to address air quality, climate and meteorological issues. The partnership between Novus and the University of Guelph will examine how pollutants are released into the air along transportation routes and what impact they have on human health. The goal of the research is to develop a technology to reduce pollution levels, which will benefit the health of Ontarians. More information is available at www.novusenv.com.

O2i Ltd. (Uxbridge)

O2i Ltd. designs, develops and commercializes packaging and processing technologies to improve the quality of food products. O2i Ltd. is looking to create a one-way valve to allow for the degassing of carbon dioxide in packaged roasted coffee that is both reliable and biodegradable. This would enable the company to tap into the $70 billion worldwide coffee market. To commercialize this patented valve, O2i will work with the University of Guelph to develop proof of concept and product testing. This project will help food producers reduce energy consumption and improve the quality and shelf-life of their products, which will strengthen Ontario's food industry and help to make it more competitive. More information is available at www.o2i-ltd.com.

Root Rescue Environmental Products Inc. (Toronto)

Root Rescue Environmental Products Inc. develops and markets biologically-based products that help enhance plant growth in Ontario's nursery industry. These products improve the uptake of plant nutrients and water, which reduces the need for fertilizer and water. This partnership with the University of Guelph will provide a state-of-the-art transplant system for high-value, profitable perennials, such as Japanese Maple trees. Successful completion of this project will help Root Rescue achieve significant growth, including creating jobs in sales, manufacturing, and administration, and developing new products and services for Ontario's horticultural sector. More information is available at www.rootrescue.com.

SiREM (Guelph)

SiREM provides specialized testing services and products to assess and enhance processes used to clean-up groundwater contamination. This project will help SiREM further develop and test a bacterial culture that will help decompose chloroform, a toxic contaminant commonly found in groundwater. The company expects that the commercialization of this culture will rapidly fulfill market needs for this type of product, help grow their highly qualified workforce, and provide a remediation solution for the clean-up of drinking water supplies. More information is available at www.siremlab.com.

Turfbot (Niagara)

Turfbot™ Corporation develops and commercializes intelligent, all-electric turf care robots to address the $6 billion North American market for riding mower equipment. The partnership with the University of Guelph will involve the design and construction of an autonomous turf care robot called the "Turfbot™". This device will autonomously cut grass and transport a turf care device such as a sprayer, cutting reel or aerator. The successful development of a "Turfbot™" will move the technology toward commercialization, which will create a new manufacturing opportunity in southwestern Ontario. More information is available at www.turfbot.ca.

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