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In the News

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Pond, SNC-Lavalin partner on CO2 projects

Pond Technologies Inc., Markham ON, is partnering with global engineering and construction giant SNC-Lavalin to take its carbon dioxide conversion and recycling technology worldwide. Under the partnership, the two companies will design, propose and construct projects using Pond’s technology, creating new industrial business opportunities. Pond recently partnered with the National Research Council’s flagship algae carbon conversion program for a pilot project to convert the CO2 emissions from the St. Mary’s Cement plant in Ontario into algal biomass that could potentially be used in a wide range of products and processes.

CCRM and the Univ of Queensland partner on neutropenia treatment

The University of Toronto-hosted Centre for the Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) has struck a licensing deal with UniQuest, the commercialization arm of Brisbane AU-based University of Queensland (UQ) to commercialize a treatment for chemotherapy-induced neutropenia. The treatment, developed by researchers at UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, provides a thera-peutic dose of white blood cells to patients immediately after chemotherapy. The white blood cells are extracted from umbilical cord blood to produce a transfusion-ready dose to administer to patients. A member of the UQ research team — Dr. Nick Timmins — is now based at CCRM, which is a leader in commercializing regenera-tive medicine technologies and cell and gene therapies.

Microsoft acquires Waterloo-based AI start-up

Microsoft Corp has acquired Maluuba, a University of Waterloo spin-off that utilizes deep learning and artificial intelligence to create literate machines that can think, reason and communicate like humans. The acquisition, for an undisclosed amount, caps six years of development since Maluuba was established in 2010 by two U of W students — Sam Pasupalak and Kaheer Suleman — and incubated at the Communitech Hub as part of the U of W’s Velocity Program. As part of the agreement, Maluuba and the Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research group will be advised by Dr. Yoshua Bengio, a University of Montreal professor regarded as one of the godfathers of machine learning. Bengio recently announced the launch of a start-up incubator called Element AI, which received seed funding from Microsoft Ventures, the tech titan’s venture capital arm.

Versant boosts Canadian presence with key appointments

Versant Ventures has made key appointments in Canada, the U.S. and Switzerland in advance of the launch of its sixth fund, which is expected to reach US$400 million. The San Francisco-based venture fund has US$2.3 billion under management and has been increasingly active in Canada, most recently teaming with Bayer AG to invest US$225 in the Toronto-based life sciences start-up, Blue Rock Therapeutics. The Canadian venture partners are Dr. Mary Haak-Frendscho (Toronto), CEO of Blueline Bioscience located at the MaRS Disovery District, and Lloyd Segal (Montreal) who will lead a new Canada-based series ‘A’ oncology start-up backed by Versant.

Quebec and Massachusetts form research council

Quebec and the State of Massachusetts have formed the Quebec- Massachusetts Collaborative Research Council (QMCRC) to foster cooperation between the two jurisdictions. The council will also help to showcase Quebec’s research expertise from academia and business with potential collaborations in clean energy, electric transportation, biotechnology and the environment. The 12-member QMCRC is the result of work undertaken by the Quebec-Massachusetts Parliamentary Association and will facilitate new relationships through targeted networking. Membership is split equally between the two jurisdictions and between academia, industry and government. Quebec chief scientist Dr. Rémi Quirion is among the six Quebec members.

Multinationals launch national digital accelerator

Some of the world’s biggest tech companies have launched DXagents, a first-of-its-kind national digital transfor-mation accelerator comprised of business leaders and technologists from leading private, public and not-for-profit organizations in Canada. The year-long partnership between Deloitte, SAP, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Intel, SUSE, CIO Association of Canada (CIOCAN), Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada), TDWI and B2B News Network aims to help Canadian CIOs, CFOs and other decision makers take advantage of digital transformation opportunities. To nominate a project and see a public sector example, visit DXagents. com/Watchlist.

S&T to get boost under CETA deal

The European Union’s parliament approved a trade deal with Canada in February that could drive more joint research between the two partners. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement commits to enhanced cooperation in the area of science, technology, research, and innovation by all levels of government as well as by private sector, research, and civil society organizations. CETA is designed to enhance the 1996 Canada-EU Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement.

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