Emergence client, Centre for Aquaculture Technologies (CATC), working to save farmed Atlantic salmon from climate change

Genome Atlantic reports that warming sea temperatures in the North Atlantic are a big concern for Atlantic Canada’s aquaculture industry.

“Rising summer water temperatures of even a few degrees, especially in combination with low water oxygen levels, can pose a number of challenges to salmon aquaculture including an increase in the incidence of disease and mortalities.”  

But help is on the way, thanks to a $4.4 million Atlantic regional research project called Mitigating the Impact of Climate-Related Challenges on Salmon Aquaculture (MICCSA). Read the full story here!

The project is using genomics and genetic sequencing to provide the east coast salmon aquaculture industry with tools and knowledge that can be used to adapt its production to rising ocean temperatures and to select more disease-resistant broodstock.

Announced last year in St. John’s, NL, MICCSA was enabled by Genome Atlantic and funded by $3 million from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)’s Atlantic Innovation Fund, $0.5 million from Innovate NL and another $0.5 million from industry and national academic partners. The project is co-led by researchers at Memorial University and the University of Prince Edward Island.  

Industry partner, Emergence client, the Centre for Aquaculture Technologies (CATC) based in Souris, Prince Edward Island, agrees that this research is critical to the aquaculture industry.  “The ability to predict what strains of Atlantic salmon perform better under elevated temperatures could soon become an urgent need for commercial breeding programs,” said Debbie Plouffe, the company’s executive vice president of research. 

Debbie Plouffe

Plouffe believes that aquaculture will play a key role in supplying economical, high-quality and sustainably produced protein for human consumption in the coming years.

“In order for the industry to reach its maximum potential, the application of state-of-the-art approaches to breeding are going to be essential.  CATC’s participation in this collaborative project is one of the many ways that our company is working with Genome Atlantic and Canadian public and private sector partners to drive innovation in the aquaculture sector.”

The Centre for Aquaculture Technologies Canada is a contract research organization (CRO) providing support for R&D and commercialization activities in the aquaculture industry, with particular expertise in GxP-compliant research.

Posted in Clients, News

“Seven fundamentals for tech companies – stay ahead of the CRA”

“Starting a technology company, setting up an R&D center in Canada or transitioning your technology company to new ownership all require dedication and substantive expertise,” says our friend Martha Oner, from Emergence Finance Partner, Grant Thornton.

“In addition to the expected business challenges that come with innovation and rapid growth, there are risks and potential pitfalls that await entrepreneurs and business leaders. In our work with tech companies, we decided to put together this list of common issues we see across the sector that apply to both small and large tech companies here in Canada.”

Drawn from hundreds of conversations, Grant Thornton has compiled seven practical considerations to tech innovators to grow their businesses in Canada.

Click here to read Martha’s article: “Seven fundamentals for tech companies – stay ahead of the CRA

Posted in Clients, News, Partner, Services

Emergence client, Advanced Extraction Systems, is hiring: Draftsperson

Emergence client, Advanced Extraction Systems is hiring…

AESI is actively seeking applications from qualified candidates for a draftsperson.

AESI offers customers the cleanest and most advanced semi and fully automated supercritical fluid CO2 botanical extraction systems for legal marijuana and hemp industries globally.

AESI offers clients an environmentally friendly, Sub- and Supercritical CO2 extraction system which allows for tuneable operating conditions for gentle and thorough extraction and fractionation of cannabis extracts.

They currently have an opportunity for a Draftsperson.

The Draftsperson is responsible for the preparation of mechanical designs and drawings using Solid Edge, and ensuring that design drawings conform to specifications provided. The role will create and coordinate Build of Materials for small to large assemblies and, using knowledge of mechanical process and applicable safety codes.

Click here to apply!

Posted in Clients, News

Open Innovation Call: Seeking Natural Antioxidant to Replace Ethoxyquin in Aqua Feeds

Our friends at Natural Products Canada (NPC) are working with a multinational corporation to identify a replacement for ethoxyquin, an antioxidant for use in aqua feeds.

Parties with technologies that address the requirements are invited to submit a non-proprietary overview of their solution to NPC by December 31, 2018.

Market: The global aqua feed market is estimated to be valued at USD 107.82 Billion in 2017 and projected to reach USD 172.56 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 9.9% from 2017 to 2022. Growth in the market can be attributed to increased global fish consumption and is facilitated by the strong expansion of fish production and more efficient distribution channels.

Challenge: Many of the components of aqua feed (e.g. fishmeal, animal protein) are lipid based and subject to oxidation. Therefore, antioxidants are typically included in these raw materials as well as other components of aqua feed premixes. These antioxidants serve to not only protect the raw materials and premixes, but also provide stability during feed processing, storage stability of feed, and ultimately contribute to fish performance.

Ethoxyquin (ETQ) has been commonly used as an antioxidant in aqua feed components, premixes, and more for many years. It functions as a free radical terminator and has been a very efficient and reasonably priced antioxidant in these applications. In June 2017 the European Union decided not to re-authorize ETQ as an acceptable antioxidant. As a result, ETQ is scheduled to be phased out over 2019/2020 in EU feed materials, feed additives, and compound feed. Several countries in Latin America have followed the lead of the EU, and a few key countries have even moved up the phase out date into 2018.

Other synthetic antioxidants like butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) have been used in some aqua feed components, but they do not appear to be a viable long-term solution. Fish farmers are demanding more natural components in their feed products and are pushing for the inclusion of natural antioxidants. ETQ is also used in many other market applications, so a viable alternative may gain access to numerous lucrative markets.

Our client has already evaluated a range of natural tocopherols and found that relatively high use levels and insufficient performance have limited their utility. There is interest in evaluating other materials that address the considerations highlighted below, or formulation approaches that could enhance the performance of known natural antioxidants.

Requirements: NPC’s client is seeking a powerful and cost-efficient antioxidant of natural origin. The solution could be an individual component or an antioxidant system. Key considerations for evaluating solutions include:

  • Material(s) of natural origin, available in volume, that are sourced using sustainable processes. Please state whether the material is of GMO origin.
  • Oxidative stability performance comparable to ETQ (as measured in Oxitester).
  • Thermal stability up to least 180°C. This value could change depending on the point of application with some rapid manufacturing/additives.
  • Demonstrated pH range alone and in a water matrix.
  • Minimal impact on any product characteristics (e.g. smell, taste) that may negatively impact feed performance.
  • Cost-in-use estimate expressed in $X (USD) per kg of finished product. It is understood that cost information may not be finalized but data must be available to determine how a cost target can potentially be achieved.
  • Particle size between 100 – 600 microns if in powder form. (Both dry/powder or liquid soluble forms will be considered as both have pros and cons in commercial feed production.)
  • Product and/or its metabolites retained in the grown species must not be deemed as a potentially undesirable substance and must be below maximum residue level if present.
  • Product must be registered or have a path to registration* in the leading aquaculture-producing countries. Product must be compatible with regulatory bodies of high-producing countries, such as the Chilean Agricultural and Livestock Service.
  • Product must be tested for efficacy and stability in feed and/or any raw material for which it is intended.

Technology Readiness: Given the timeframe for implementing an effective solution there is strong interest in working with companies that have developed their product/solution beyond the bench scale and have at least begun pilot scale up.

*Regulatory Approval: Ideally any solution will have been through a regulatory approval process. However, the client is willing to support a regulatory submission with providers that have demonstrated sufficient technical performance and reasonable cost in use.


Parties with technologies that address the above requirements are invited to submit a non-proprietary overview (no more than 2 pages) of their solution to NPC by December 31, 2018.

Selected solutions will be forwarded to NPC’s client for review. Should NPC’s client be interested, an initial meeting will be arranged.

All interested parties should contact David Gauthier for more information.

David Gauthier, VP Investment, Natural Products Canada at: david@naturalproductscanada.com



Posted in Clients, News, Partner, Services

Emergence supports BioPort 2018 Conference: BioInnovation Challenge winner announced

BioPort 2018, Atlantic Canada’s largest health and life sciences industry conference, explored trends transforming the industry in Halifax, November 7 & 8, 2018.

BioPort_Logo_2018_eventThis year’s conference focused on The Future of Health, with sessions covering the impact of new technology on health and the value of the emerging medical cannabis market.

The annual Conference, hosted by our friends at BioNova, attracts health and life sciences innovators, industry leaders, and investors from across North America.


BioInnovation Challenge Finalists: Gabrielle Masone, Coloursmith Labs; Stephen Graham, Picomole; Matthew Kay, TalemHealth Analytic – with Martin Yuill, Emergence director, at BioPort in Halifax.

BioPort 2018 also showcased Atlantic Canada’s best health and life science innovators in the BioInnovation Challenge (BIC) business pitch competition, which is supported by Emergence.

Picomole from Moncton, New Brunswick was named the winner of this year’s BioInnovation Challenge. Picomole is an innovative medical technology company with the goal of developing their patented and patent-pending technologies for breath analytics into the standard of care for non-invasive clinical diagnostics and personalized medicine.

Stephen Graham of Picomole told us: “This experience has been invaluable. The mentorship and training we’ve received through this process has helped take Picomole to the next level, and we know the funding and the advisory services will help to elevate us even more.”

Picomole will receive a prize package that includes $25,000 in seed funding and an advisory services package worth more than $30,000. Picomole was up against Matthew Kay, CEO of TalemHealth Analytics and Gabrielle Masone, CEO of Coloursmith Labs.


BioInnovation Challenge Junior: having fun judging were Martin Yuill, Emergence; Doris Grant, Dalhousie University; Jessie Jollymore, Hope Blooms; Wayne Crawley, Venor.

New to this year’s program was BIC Junior, a pitch competition for students that aims to cultivate the next generation of health and life sciences innovators. Emergence director, Martin Yuill, was a judge for the BIC Junior pitch competition.

This year’s conference featured two keynote speakers. Dr. Corinna Lathan, ranked as one of the ‘Top 100 World Innovators’ by MIT Technology Review, delivered the evening keynote on the impact of technology on health.

Jeremie Saunders, host of highly-acclaimed Sickboy delivered the luncheon keynote on the need for continued health innovation and MC’d the BioInnovation Junior pitch competition.


BioInnovation Junior Finalists and Judges



Posted in Clients, Conferences, News, Partner, Services

Emergence client, BioTraceIT, is hiring: Engineer

Emergence client, BioTraceIT™ is hiring…

BioTraceIT is actively seeking applications from qualified candidates for an entry level engineering support employee.

BioTraceITBioTraceIT values the capacity to improve medical care and interventions by quantifying pain ultimately impacting quality of life and wellness.

BioTraceIT focuses on novel technologies at the cutting edge of wearable health care. We deem new solutions as paramount to new paradigms. By measuring pain, we quantify wellness.

BioTraceIT is currently seeking applications for an Engineer 1: Assembly, Test and Technical Support.

This individual will work with our engineering team to assemble, test, calibrate, and develop existing and new hardware, firmware and software for the company’s proprietary product. Dependent on the experience and skills responsibilities will include: bench top electrical circuit design, software coding, troubleshooting and testing, firmware development of embedded systems, experimental design and implementation, data analysis, study reports, quality systems and documentation, and customer and technical support.

Click here tp apply!

Posted in Clients, News

Emergence client, Canada’s Island Garden, is hiring: Quality Assurance Manager

Charlottetown-based Emergence client, Canada’s Island Garden is hiring…

CIG-logo-227X160Canada’s Island Garden, now operating under FIGR, is a pre-licence medical marihuana production, processing and distribution company located in the BioCommons Research Park, Charlottetown, PEI.  The facility is comprised of 24,000 square feet with two floors dedicated to growing and processing medical marihuana – with more expansions currently in the works.

The company is looking to add a new member to our team. This individual will have the opportunity to bring their skills to a company that is capitalizing on one of the world’s fastest growing industries.

We are currently looking for an experienced Quality Assurance Manager who will work with and grow with the FIGR team.

This individual would oversee our overall quality system by developing and updating our standard operating procedures; reviewing and improving our internal processes; managing staff within the Quality Assurance department along with performing a diverse variety of other duties as required. Our expansion is currently being built to obtain GMP certification, therefore experience in operating under a GMP environment is viewed as a very strong asset. The candidate must also be willing to adapt to an industry that is constantly evolving, and have a keen eye in locating ways to improve the efficiency of day-to-day operations.

Apply by clicking here!

Posted in Clients, News