SDTC Grants SomaDetect $3.9M

SomaDetect, a precision dairy technology company, and Sustainable Development Technology Canada announced a funding partnership to pilot SomaDetect’s technology, an automated, in-line sensor that provides dairy farmers with information from individual cows to help improve management decisions, milk quality, and health.

“We are thrilled to have SDTC join us and support the wild adventure that is SomaDetect. We are grateful to live at a time when everyone – our farmers, our government, our communities, our SDTC consortium partners, and technologists like us – care about creating the best possible food given the resources we have today,” said Bethany Deshpande, CEO of SomaDetect.

Throughout the global dairy industry, consumers, processors, and governmental regulators are demanding better product traceability, higher quality food, and more information about where milk comes from, the resources required to produce it, and assurances about the health and care provided to the cows.

Most dairy farmers do not currently receive data on the milk that they produce with the frequency they need. At most, they receive lab results from milk collected from individual cows once a month, or rely on manual veterinary checks, forcing many farmers to rely on averaged measurements from milk collection tanks and observational guesswork to make critical management decisions.

Founded in New Brunswick, Canada in 2016, SomaDetect has produced a sensor with the capacity to provide farmers with daily information from each cow so they can diagnose diseases, eliminate contamination, manage reproduction, and increase milk quality. In turn, cows can have longer, healthier, and more productive lives.

The company anticipates that better management decisions also means less GHG emissions on dairy farms. Since milk production per cow increases, less cows will be needed. It is estimated that this project will result in a 5-8% reduction in associated GHG emissions on dairy farms or the equivalent to the energy produced by 55.3 Wind Turbines running for one year.

“The projects announced today will bring about the kinds of innovative cleantech solutions that we need in the fight against climate change. Our investment in clean technology not only helps reduce Canada’s environmental impact but also supports innovative Canadian entrepreneurs in getting their clean technologies to global markets.” – The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development 

SomaDetect’s proprietary technology uses deep learning algorithms to process the information collected by their sensors and a user interface to communicate to farmers actionable data. This data helps to manage their operations, including several aspects of milk quality and herd health.

This project allows the company to scale its works with dairy farmers and industry partners across North America. The company will be installing their sensors and collecting data to build algorithms on dairy farmers first in North America and then globally.

SDTC will provide CAD $3.9 million to support this initiative. 

“Canadian cleantech entrepreneurs are tackling problems across Canada and in every sector. I have never been more positive about the future. SomaDetect has created a sensor that will measure dairy quality, ultimately resulting in a 5-8% reduction in associated GHG emissions in dairy farms. This is equivalent to burning over 280 million pounds of coal!” – Leah Lawrence, President and CEO, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) 

Story featured on SomaDetect’s site.

Posted in News

FIGR completes massive expansion at P.E.I. cannabis facility

Photo taken at Grand Opening (PEI BioAlliance)

Article reprinted from CBC PEI site – To view full article, click here. Take a video tour of expansion, click here

An expansion of Figr’s production facility on P.E.I. is almost complete, officials say. The Island cannabis company has added 210,000 square feet to its Charlottetown plant.

Edwin Jewell, the company’s president and CEO, said about 46,000 square feet of the added space will be dedicated to processing and 164,000 square feet will be dedicated to growing.

The indoor growing facility was built specifically for cannabis and includes computerized monitoring systems and climate control.

The company has invested heavily in the Charlottetown plant with the aim of ramping up production, Jewell said.

“Our processing building has been built to European GMP standards, which will allow us to ship product to Europe when the opportunity arises,” he said.

“That’s a huge deal and we’re very excited.”

35-times more cannabis

Jewell said the expansion will enable the company to produce 35-times more cannabis — which amounts to about 43,000 kilograms per year.

He said he expects the expansion will also mean more jobs.

Currently, the company has about 119 employees. Jewell said he expects that number to grow to 200 by the end of the year.

“We actually started the company with a team of just four. We got our licence, our initial business plan projected we would need between 15 and 20 people,” he said.

Figr is a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of global agriculture company Pyxus International.

Posted in Clients, News

Dosecann has multiple career opportunities

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Dosecann Finding Success Selling Cannabis Edibles

Reprinted from CBC Prince Edward Island Website – full article here. Take a tour of their facility here.

Dosecann (CBC PEI)

Cannabis edibles hit the P.E.I. market on Dec. 18 and a Charlottetown company that produces them says staff have been racing to keep up with demand.

Dosecann is busy producing cannabis gummies and chocolates to shell out to Islanders and the rest of Canada.

“This building has literally gone from first gear to sixth. We’re racing as if we’re a Formula One team,” said David Baranowski, director of technology, transfer and quality control.

Cannabis edibles are limited to a maximum of 10 milligrams of THC per retail pack.

Baranowski said the biggest challenge for the company is identifying its own capabilities, and what the interest is of the market in general.

“It’s very new. We are learning as we go, and we are very very good at learning, and very good at adapting,” said Baranowski.

Dosecann started down this track a couple of years ago by researching and developing its cannabis products, but it wasn’t until this past October the company could start producing the products legally.

‘Very stressful’

“It’s a very stressful time when you’re turning the equipment on for the first time, you’re making chocolate for the first time,” said Peter Crooks, chief product innovation officer.

He said no one knew how to operate that equipment initially. But the race was on to get products ready for market.

The company’s CEO Greg Boone said there was a short window to get products ready with production beginning in mid-October for the earliest shipping date on Dec. 17.

“It was a very condensed window of time to build inventory, manufacture products to get them out the door quickly,” Boone said.

Stores from coast to coast have been looking to acquire Dosecann’s products, Boone said. The pressure has been so high, he’s had to hire additional staff.

“We actually hired roughly 30 to 40 people in the last 30 to 45 days. People have easily been working 15-, 16-hour days happily,” Boone said.

Dosecann edibles have been selling out within days of reaching shelves, Boone said.

“There hasn’t been many other licensed processors that have shipped those products. So for us, it’s very challenging to keep up to the demand,” he said.

Keeping up a challenge

He said the demand for adult chewables and chocolates has been remarkable

“To try and fill that demand on an ongoing basis will be challenging,” Boone said. “Our understanding, in talking to our commercial group, is sort of, a 48-hour window and we’re sold out.”

Dosecann plans to double its production space by the summer and its staff by the end of the year to about 300.

Boone said there’s a need for more of just about everyone from packers to scientists.

He said the plan is to add new products like cannabis mints and hard candy.

Scientists working at Dosecann said the long hours put in developing products are worth it now, seeing how successful the company has been.

Jennifer Klaus, an analytical scientist with Dosecann, said the company’s success makes all those long hours worth it.

“Just hearing all over the news and whatnot that our products are sold out pretty much in every province, that’s awesome for us in here,” she said.

“Hard work pays off.”

A Look Inside Dosecann Facility

CBC PEI toured Dosecann’s facility to learn more about their production of edibles. View video here:

Posted in cannabis, Clients, News

CATC Announces Dr. Jason Cleaversmith is Joining their Team

Dr. Jason Cleaversmith

Emergence client Center for Aquaculture Technologies Canada (CATC) is pleased to announce that Dr. Jason Cleaversmith has accepted the position of Vice President leading the Health and Nutrition business unit and General Manager of Canadian Operations, effective January 1, 2020.

Dr. Cleaversmith brings more than 17 years of experience in aquaculture and comes to CATC from Nevis Marine where he provided consultancy services to the aquaculture industry, most notably as an industry expert with HATCH.Blue, an innovative aquaculture accelerator supporting a cohort of 13 technology companies on three different continents.

‘I’m delighted to be joining the CATC team at such a pivotal moment in their growth. I look forward to working with the team, their customers, and stakeholders, in order to realise their ambitions to become a highly respected global player in the Health and Nutrition contract research space’ said Dr. Jason Cleaversmith

A graduate of Edinburgh University and the University of Glasgow, Dr. Cleaversmith’s extensive expertise in aquaculture management spans two continents. He has served as AKVA Group Scotland’s, Managing Director and was also the Operations and Business Development Director at the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Center.

No stranger to Prince Edward Island, Dr. Cleaversmith was the head of Novartis Aqua Health overseeing manufacturing and R&D in four facilities with a team of more than 125. Prior to joining Novartis, Dr. Cleaversmith led the Bioscience portfolio on behalf of the Province of Prince Edward Island as senior investment manager.

Among many other career achievements, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, the Chartered Management Institute, and a Member of the Institute of Directors. He currently sits on the Board of the University of Prince Edward Islands technology transfer office (Synapse) and on the Innovate UK Animal Sector Advisory Board.

“It is my pleasure to welcome Jason to our team and back to PEI” said CEO Dr. John Buchanan. “His extensive experience and leadership in global aquaculture will be invaluable as we grow our Health and Nutrition business unit providing contract and research services.”

Posted in Careers, News

Emergence delivers expanded Market Intelligence Service

Emergence offers an expanded Market Intelligence Service (MIS) to clients of our incubation program.

MIS is a core pillar of support offered to clients of the Emergence program. It is designed to provide access to critical market intelligence to innovative bioscience and food companies in order to help move their businesses forward.

MARSDDThrough this partnership with MaRS in Toronto, Emergence clients have access to thousands of reports covering key technology clusters from global research firms such as Frost & Sullivan, GlobalData, Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Lux Research.

Normally this type of data and research can cost tens of thousands of Dollars. As a client of Emergence, however, we are able to provide this Market Research to you for FREE!!

Taking advantage of the Market Intelligence Service means that Emergence clients have access to top tier research reports as well as expert analysts with industry knowledge of the Bioscience, Health, Cleantech and IT sectors.

The MIS is designed to help start-up and growing SMEs answer questions about market segmentation, size of market, growth rates, types of business models, purchasing habits, demographic data, customer segmentations, and industry trends. This information can be helpful in preparing investor presentations, a launch strategy, MVP planning, Business plan prep, and foreign market entry strategies.

Snapshot of the Market Intelligence Service:

  • Where is the research from: MaRS pulls market research reports published by vendors such as BCC Research, GlobalData, CB Insights, eMarketer Inc., Lux Research., and many more.
  • What’s included: Three market intelligence requests completed by the market research team at MaRS; an initial request to MaRS and then up to two follow-up requests for clarification and further questions.
  • How much does it cost: Normally this type of access to data and research can cost tens of thousands of Dollars. As a client of Emergence we are able to provide this Market Research process to you for FREE!!
  • Eligibility: To take advantage of this pillar of the Emergence program, clients must be a Canadian Startup with under $1M in revenue in the past fiscal year and have less than $5M raised in private investment.

For more information on how to take advantage of the MIS service, please CLICK HERE or contact Eddie Francis at or by phone at 902.367.4400.

Posted in Clients, News, Partner, Services

Dr. Mark Redmond appointed Director of Incubation Services

Dr. Mark Redmond

The Prince Edward Island BioAlliance has announced the appointment of Dr. Mark Redmond as Director of Incubation Services for the Emergence Incubator.

Mark will work to expand Emergence’s impact on new ventures, support entrepreneurs and cultivate strong networks across the region and across Canada.

Mark has a broad range of expertise that will enable him to excel in this role. With a PhD in Molecular Biology and Immunology, he has experience as a medical researcher, intellectual property manager, senior health system administrator, education leader and entrepreneur.

“I think one of my greatest strengths is as a systems thinker—someone who sees the opportunity behind issues and challenges,” said Mark Redmond. “I’m looking forward to working with our innovators and partners to help us achieve our respective goals and further grow the bio-economy in Atlantic Canada, seizing the opportunities for today and for our future.”

Born in Liverpool, England, Mark brings to our community a portfolio of technical experience ranging from human health and veterinary medicine to biochemicals, from botanical and marine sources to sensors and devices, and from remote application monitoring to manufacturing and systems’ simulation.

Mark developed his own research into global business success: launched more than 20 new, patent-protected products, including pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and medical devices, in Canadian, American, European, Australian and Japanese markets. In recognition of this work, he received the Frost & Sullivan Product Innovation Award, the BioAlberta Entrepreneur of the Year title, and a nomination as Ernst & Young Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year.

To support talented entrepreneurs and enterprise, Mark co-founded The A100, a self-funding community of seasoned founders and executives who led technology companies. The A100 focuses on having the entrepreneur develop the full potential of the businessperson, not just the business.

Rory Francis, BioAlliance CEO said, “I am pleased to welcome Mark to Emergence. Mark’s impressive scientific background, private sector experience with startups, capital formation and IPOs, along with his experience in the academic world, will be very valuable to us and our partners as we continue our mission of incubating early stage bio-based companies across Atlantic Canada and growing the bioscience cluster.”

Posted in News, Team

Founder Dr. Ann Gordon wins $50,000 Spark Nova Scotia Award

Emergence client & founder Dr. Ann Gordon of Dr. Gordon’s Bum Cream recently won $50,000 Spark Nova Scotia Award. SPARK is a province-wide competition for early stage technology companies across Nova Scotia. Dr. Ann Gordon’s cream treats a painful skin rash, Intertrigo, which affects many long-term care patients.

More about Spark Awards:

SPARK winners receive up to $50,000 and guidance from seasoned business professionals to put their ideas into action. The goal of SPARK is to find and support high potential, early stage knowledge-based companies, and encourage entrepreneurial activity across the province.

SPARK 2019 covered three geographic regions covering greater Nova Scotia — Cape Breton, NS North and NS South West, with three competitions running simultaneously. Each region operates independently, with its own applicant pool, judging committee and award funding.

Spark Nova Scotia focuses on startups in grassroots communities that are doing amazing things, but aren’t always noticed.

Posted in Clients, News

Torigen Founder Ashley Kalinauskas makes Forbes List

Emergence client Torigen’s Founder Ashley Kalinauskas makes Forbes List “The 2020 Science – 30 under 30”.

Kalinauskas’ company, Torigen Pharmaceuticals, has developed an affordable veterinary cancer treatment, VetiVax, and make it available commercially. The treatment is a personalized immunotherapy, where cells from a tumor in an animal can be combined with an extracellular matrix that enables the animal’s own immune system to attack the cancer. Nearly 700 animals have been treated by VetiVax to date.” Photo and excerpt from Forbes Magazine

Read about the Torigen story here.

Check out the list of all 30 under 30 in Science 2020 here.

Posted in Clients, News

Companies can access up to $7000 in Co-op Wage Subsidies

BioTalent Canada’s Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) is an initiative to increase the job-readiness of students registered in STEM or business and all other programs at Canadian post-secondary institutions.

The program gives employers the freedom to:

  • Gain access to funds to hire co-op students
  • Leverage a pool of workers eager to enhance their skills
  • Develop new talent for future recruitment needs

Program description

The program’s co-op wage subsidies help knock down that cost barrier, by covering the cost of a co-op student’s salary by 50% up to a maximum of $5,000 and 70% up to a maximum of $7,000 for first-year students and under-represented groups including:

  • Women in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)
  • Indigenous students
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Newcomers

The program enables you to bring on an eager-to-learn student for a special project – and at the end of the placement end up with a skilled candidate already oriented to your company who could meet your future recruiting needs.

Spots Available Apply Now! @

Posted in Careers, Jobs