Government of Canada Creating Jobs and Growth in Southern Ontario

For immediate release
April 17, 2012

St. Catharines, Ontario – Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, 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 Brock University and 13 local small- and medium-sized businesses. Thanks to these partnerships, businesses in southern Ontario will have an opportunity to bring innovative products to market faster and increase their productivity and competitiveness.

“Our Government is investing in innovation to create jobs and help our small businesses grow,” said MP Dykstra. “The partnerships between these companies and Brock University will allow them to work together on projects that will help bring growth and long-term prosperity to southern Ontario.”

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, Brock University 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.

“We are extremely pleased with the quality and variety of the applicants that have been selected for this initiative,” says Jack Lightstone, President of Brock University. “This program will help to facilitate partnerships and the exchange of ideas between our researchers and homegrown businesses here in Niagara. Initiatives like this are the key to building innovative and versatile regional and Canadian economies.”

For more information on the Applied Research and Commercialization initiative and Brock University’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.

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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 collaborative projects between the 24 participating colleges, universities and polytechnics across southern Ontario so they could work with businesses 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 innovation efforts in southern Ontario.

In 2010, as part of the original contribution, FedDev Ontario provided Brock University with 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. Brock University has partnered with the following 13 businesses:

ASECO Integrated Systems (Oakville)

ASECO Integrated Systems is a leading developer of advanced information systems for the manufacturing industry. The company is collaborating with Brock University to produce an emotionally-intelligent educational game that provides a fun learning environment for children. The game, which adapts to the individual child’s responses and actions, is the first of a number of products to use the emotionally-intelligent software platform. It is expected to go on sale in 2012. For more information, please visit www.aseco.net.

CRS Electronics (Welland)

CRS Electronics is a contract manufacturer for over 50 leading lighting companies. In collaboration with Brock University, the company is investigating a new technique that will convert cool, blue light-emitting diode (LED) lights into warm, white LED lights, to produce more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly lighting solutions. This project will provide CRS with a new range of products to help them better compete in this sector. For more information, please visit www.crselectronics.com.

Fourgrounds Media Inc. (St. Catharines)

Fourgrounds Media Inc. is a new interactive media production company offering video and web marketing services and solutions. The company is working with Brock University to create a functional online and offline web application to allow the customer to enter data that will generate a multimedia presentation for them. This project will allow Fourgrounds to market this software to businesses and corporate clients who will use it to create custom interactive marketing solutions. For more information, please visit www.fourgrounds.com.

Furi Enterprises Inc. (St. Catharines)

Furi Enterprises Inc. specializes in software development and information technology services. They are collaborating with Brock University to build the “Locationator”, a software development platform that will allow graphic and game designers to develop location-based applications for mobile devices. These applications currently use the same technology that is used for global positioning systems (GPS) in vehicles, but it often performs poorly and is not as effective in these applications. This project will allow Furi Enterprises to become more competitive in this market. For more information, please visit www.furi.ca.

Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery (St. Catharines)

Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery is a producer of premium wines made from Ontario-grown grapes. The winery is working with Brock University to improve the acid balance of a signature wine, Baco noir, by using a new process technology that could allow this wine to be better commercialized. Baco Noir has the potential to become a signature grape for Ontario, however, it is known to produce high levels of acid during the growing season. This project is expected to allow the winery to avoid using chemical de-acidification methods, which can take away from wine quality and cause instability issues. For more information, please visit www.henryofpelham.com.

Creekali International Inc. (Ottawa)

Creekali International Inc. (CII) develops new methodologies for large-scale production of hybrid soybean seeds and new soybean varieties for the agricultural industry. The goal of the project with Brock University is to allow CII to test and improve its proprietary production methods, which is expected to generate a more efficient production of hybrid soybean.

morro images Inc.(St. Catharines)

morro images Inc. specializes in visual effects, three-dimensional (3D) computer animation, motion capturing and product development. The company is collaborating with Brock University to develop a Virtual Camera Rig prototype, which will allow their studio team to virtually enter the 3D scene during the motion capture process. This will enhance the filming experience and rapidly reduce the overall motion capture time. This new virtual camera rig will be the first of its kind and will significantly optimize morro images’ in-house productivity and help them expand their clientele. It is scheduled to go on sale in 2012. For more information, please visit www.morroimages.com.

Niagara Prosthetics and Orthotics Corp. (St. Catharines)

Niagara Prosthetics and Orthotics Corp. (NPO) manufactures, fits and sizes orthotic devices, prosthetic limbs and braces for the treatment of a number of symptoms or disorders. Currently, all available braces for scoliosis are very rigid and limit motion in every direction. NPO is working with Brock University to create a unique back brace for the treatment of scoliosis, which will allow patients to move and exercise more comfortably while still providing the necessary support. This brace will be the first of its kind and will provide the patient with an improved treatment regime. For more information, please visit www.niagarapo.ca.

NorthernPharm Inc. (Niagara Falls)

NorthernPharm Inc. designs and synthesizes novel pharmaceuticals and the chemical processes for manufacturing these drugs. The company’s core expertise lies in the development of platinum complex and natural anticancer drugs candidates. The company is working with Brock University to develop the chemical process for manufacturing the generic equivalent of Singulair, an asthma medication. For more information, please visit www.northernpharm.com.

Perseis Partners Inc. (Toronto)

Perseis Partners Inc. designs and manufactures skate boot products, and focuses primarily on selling hockey boots. The company was interested in optimizing and integrating an adjustable hockey skate cuff and lacing system into its current boot design. The goal of the partnership with Brock University is to develop a flexible boot that also provides the support of the current rigid design. A prototype boot has been designed and the initial stages of validation are now complete. The new prototype boot will continue to undergo trials in 2012, and is expected to be commercialized in 2013. For more information, please visit www.perseispartners.com.

Proactive Dealer Solutions (PDS) (St. Catharines)

Proactive Dealer Solutions Canada (PDS) specializes in business development and software design. The company has expanded to include educational technology, and has partnered with Brock University to create interactive storybooks for children. These books include a groundbreaking voice recognition technology that evaluates the child’s reading performance, and offers help when words are pronounced incorrectly. The book provides encouragement and support as the child progresses, and makes learning to read a fun process. The first product is expected to go to market in spring 2012. For more information, please visit www.bdcexperts.com.

Sweet and Sticky Inc. (Niagara Falls)

Sweet and Sticky Inc. is a start-up company that produces Ice Syrup®, a novel and uniquely Canadian food product made from the juice of ice wine grapes. The company is working with Brock University to evaluate the syrup’s antioxidant content and determine potential health benefits. In addition, the product has the potential to further stimulate the agricultural sector in Ontario and to contribute to job creation for the syrup operation as demand for the product increases. For more information, please visit www.icesyrup.com.

Vanchem Performance Chemicals (Burlington)

Vanchem Performance Chemicals manufactures an extensive line of metal coating and wastewater pretreatment chemicals, with a strong focus on green technology. The goal of the project with Brock University is to develop a silicon-based anti-corrosion paint primarily for the automobile industry that not only inhibits corrosion of the underlying metal, but also promotes the adhesion of paint to the metal surface. In today’s current market, the only equivalent coatings typically contain toxic metals such as chromium or phosphates. Silicon compounds simply degrade to sand if released to soil or water, making them more environmentally friendly. For more information, please visit www.vanchem.com.