Government of Canada announces major support for innovation and commercialization in Atlantic Canada

ACOA commits to invest up to $12.6 million for six projects under the Atlantic Innovation Fund

February 11, 2016 – Moncton, NB – (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency – ACOA)

Joined by business, industry, and research and development (R&D) leaders from across Atlantic Canada, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for ACOA, joined by the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Government House Leader and Member of Parliament for Beauséjour, N.B., today announced a commitment to invest up to $12.6 million dollars in six innovative projects across Atlantic Canada.

These projects are funded under the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) component of ACOA’s innovation programming.

ACOA’s innovation programming, which includes the flagship Atlantic Innovation Fund, as well as the Business Development Program, responds to the evolving needs of Atlantic businesses and researchers. It is designed to help bring to market new products, technologies and services that will enable businesses to compete and succeed in the competitive global marketplace.

The programs also support SMEs across the region to acquire or adapt innovative technologies that can improve their productivity and competitiveness, while also enabling them to build the skills they need to innovate and compete in today’s global economy.

Quick Facts:

  • The Government of Canada is developing an Innovation Agenda that includes supporting companies to help them become more innovative, attract investments and become more export-oriented.
  • The Government of Canada is committed to working with partners –provinces, territories, municipalities, post-secondary insitutions, employers and labour – to improve the quality and impact of federal programs that support innovation, scientific research and entrepreneurship.
  • The Atlantic Innovation Fund continues to recognize the critical role that universities and other research institutions play in working with businesses throughout Atlantic Canada to develop and commercialize new products.
  • These projects will help create jobs in the Atlantic region and contribute to Atlantic Canada’s reputation as an innovation hub.


  • The Government of Canada, through ACOA, is making strategic investments in innovation that build on competitive regional advantages and support diversification of Atlantic communities. By investing in projects like those announced today, we will help Canadian businesses grow, innovate and export so that they can create good quality jobs and generate wealth for Canadians.”   

–       The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

  • “By listening to and working in partnership with our businesses, community leaders, and research and learning institutes, we will continue to build and promote an innovative economy that encourages new investments, exports and growth while creating well-paying jobs for Atlantic Canadians.”

–       The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Government House Leader and Member of Parliament for Beauséjour, NB

Newfoundland and Labrador

Centre for Cold Ocean Resources Engineering (C-CORE)

ACOA Assistance: $3,000,000 

C-CORE is a not-for-profit contract research organization with globally recognized expertise in geotechnical and ice engineering, and in remote sensing. C-CORE will receive up to $3 million in AIF funding to develop an Airborne Ice Thickness Measurement System. This radar-based system will help the oil and gas and shipping industries manage ice and mitigate risk, as well as support search and rescue operations, in arctic marine environments.

Working in collaboration with a number of partners, C‑CORE will develop and commercialize the new system, which gathers and integrates X‑band and ice-penetrating radar data to provide ice thickness maps over large areas in real time.

This project will advance the radar and remote sensing technical capability and competitiveness of the C-CORE team, and will advance science and knowledge of arctic regions that are strategically important to Canada’s economic, environmental, societal, sovereignty and defence interests.

Canatec Associates International Ltd. (St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador)

ACOA Assistance: $853,127

Canatec, with offices in St. John’s, Calgary, and The Hague, provides training, services and products for the management of ice, primarily for the offshore oil and gas and polar shipping industries, but also for government regulatory and research institutions. Through this project, Canatec will finalize the development of its search and rescue (SAR) personal locator beacon prototype system to support the offshore and marine transportation industries.

The new system will consist of improved alarm and location personnel beacons, biometrics to measure conditions of victims, two-way communications, and web-enabled situational awareness displays with almost real-time communications. The system will support victim alarm and location, search and rescue vehicle deployment, rescue operations on site, corporate incident management, and post-incident response aimed to improve helicopter transportation safety.