TechTalk Blog
LifeSciences BC Announces Recipients of the 2010 LifeSciences British Columbia Awards

LifeSciences British Columbia today announced the recipients of the 2010 LifeSciences British Columbia Awards. They are:

Genome BC Award for Scientific Excellence:

– Drs. Marco Marra, Rob Holt, and Steven Jones – Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre

Innovation & Achievement:

– Dr. Andy Hoffer – Lungpacer Medical

Leadership Award:

– Mr. Don Avison

Medical Device Company of the Year:

– Neoteric

Life Sciences Company of the Year:

– Cardiome Pharma Corp.

These awards are presented annually by LifeSciences British Columbia to recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the development of British Columbia’s life sciences industry across all sub-sectors, from biopharmaceuticals and medical devices to bioproducts and bioenergy – sectors which are critical to the economic future of the province and country. (more…)

Olympic Gold Medal in Energy Efficiency

Vancouver scored highly as an Olympic venue despite weather concerns. Equally impressive, the Winter Games also scored well in terms of their energy efficiency.

According to Pulse Energy’s Venue Energy Tracker, the software technology that measured the 17 days of athletic contests, the games were the most energy efficient Olympics ever.

The total energy savings achieved at the games was 906 MWH, which is the equivalent of a 15 percent reduction in energy use. To put it in perspective, says a Pulse Energy spokesman, that is enough energy for Canadian Gold medalist Katie Weatherston to play 1.7 million full hockey games or for Canadian ski-cross member Julia Murray to race down the ski-cross course 100 million times.

IOC president Jacques Rogge has declared that the 2010 Winter Games could stand as a sustainability blueprint for all future Games. (more…)

President & CEO of BCTIA Weighs in on 2010 Provincial and Federal Budgets

On March 2, the British Columbia government introduced its 2010 budget, and the federal government tabled theirs two days later.  Given the economic backdrop and the debt aversion shared by both governments, their respective budgets share a common approach: spending will be contained; cuts will be modest; there will be no tax hikes or cuts; and, each predicts that revenues will eventually grow and bring back balanced budgets. Both levels of government are counting on revenue growth exceeding spending growth to balance the books.  In the medium term, this leaves little room for major spending initiatives. The following are some highlights from both budgets as they are relevant to BCs technology sector.

Clean Energy Sector
BC’s clean energy technology sector continues to benefit from the provincial government’s commitment to build a green economy.  This is demonstrated through the earmarking of $100M over three years.  These funds will support three priority areas: clean transportation infrastructure; wood-based bio fuels; and, new forms of electricity generation.  While a portion of these funds will replace the Innovative Clean Energy Fund (ICE Fund), which is scheduled to wind down over the next three years, the budget did include incremental dollars, and signifies the province’s commitment to support a key growth area for the technology sector. (more…)

Royal Mail Taps eBay Data for Direct Marketing Targeting Tool

UK— The Royal Mail has teamed up with eBay data analysis firm Advanced E-Commerce Research Systems (AERS) to launch a new service to help direct marketers target the households likeliest to buy their products.The new insight tool merges AERS’ eBay transaction data with Royal Mail’s delivery information. Data is anonymous and aggregated to a postcode level and aims to provide clients with an overview of the types of product a household buys on eBay and how much they spend. Information will be refreshed monthly.

Antony Miller, Royal Mail’s head of media development, said: “This kind of insight is invaluable to brands, helping them to boost their campaign return on investment by improving planning and reducing wastage through better targeting.


Vancouver Island Technology Park Speaker Series to Kick-off with Don Listwin

On March 4, 2010, Canary Foundation Founder Don Listwinwill speak to high-tech executives in Victoria, BC regarding current issues that face the technology sector and the incentive to adapt the industry as a whole. Mr. Listwin, one-time Executive Vice President of Cisco Systems and current member of the National Cancer Institute’s Board of Scientific Advisors, will specifically address how the lessons learned in the technology and business realms can improve the way we view life sciences and personalized medicine.

At Cisco during the rise of the Internet, Mr. Listwin now exercises many of the practices learned as a technology mogul to leverage the potential of early detection cancer research at Canary Foundation and on the External Advisory Board for the Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNE) at Stanford University. With an innovative approach, Mr. Listwin is fusing basic business concepts with medicine, creating new and different means of research that are independent of traditional government grants. Mr. Listwin seeks to build the foundation that connects the very best cancer researchers with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists so that their breakthroughs will have the best chance of saving lives. (more…)

EDS Advanced Solutions Becomes Advanced Solutions, An HP Company

EDS Advanced Solutions Inc (EAS), a subsidiary of Hewlett Packard (Canada) Co., announced a name change today, that EDS Advanced Solutions will become – Advanced Solutions, An HP Company.

Advanced Solutions helps government clients transform and improve their business operations through Information Technology, Business Processing and Application Services. Incorporated in 2004, the company has created a labour-friendly unionized working environment with more than 400 employees and industry-leading business partners.

“As part of HP Canada, we are a strong combination of excellent service delivery and leading IT technology,” said James Hamilton, president and CEO, Advanced Solutions, An HP Company. “Comprehensive solutions are what our clients need today to provide increasing levels of excellence to citizen-centered services. We’re now in a position to offer our clients our own award-winning services plus the offerings of HP Canada’s portfolio of technology.”

About Advanced Solutions, an HP Company
Advanced Solutions, An HP Company, is a subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co. Incorporated in May 2004, the company is headquartered at the Vancouver Island Technology Park in Victoria, British Columbia. As HP Canada’s unionized service delivery company, Advanced Solutions delivers world class business process and information technology outsourcing services in a professional and labour-friendly environment. More information about Advanced Solutions is available at:
About HP
HP, the world’s largest technology company, simplifies the technology experience for consumers and businesses with a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at

Yaletown Street Lights Shine Green for 2010

Streetlight Intelligence Inc. ("SLQ", or "Company") is pleased to announce that the Company has received a purchase order from the City of Vancouver, British Columbia, for a Lumen IQ(TM) Adaptive Street Lighting System.

"We are particularly excited to participate in this project because our Lumen IQ(TM) monitoring and control technology will be integrated with LED-based fixtures," states Vince Krynski, CEO of SLQ. "To our knowledge, this will be the first adaptive LED street lighting installation in Canada. As we expect LEDs to play a more prevalent role in street lighting over the next 10 years, this project presents the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the performance of our Lumen IQ(TM) technology when integrated with LED fixtures."

Comprised of 40 lamp controllers, the system is scheduled for installation in the Yaletown district of Vancouver by the end of January 2010. "The location and timing are ideal," continues Krynski. "Yaletown is one of the more popular night-life areas of Vancouver and the system will be illuminating a busy pedestrian zone located between two venues that will be used during the 2010 Olympics."

This purchase order evolved from an Expression of Interest announced by the City of Vancouver in August of 2009, where the City of Vancouver indicated it wished to explore installing decorative adaptive lighting fixtures and LED light engines. Specifically, the City of Vancouver was seeking the following capabilities:

    –   the ability to be remotely controlled individually, in groups, or in any combination required from the kiosk or laptop to attain the specified lighting levels;

    –   the ability to have light level transition times set for the lamps on pre-defined schedules;

    –   the ability to have the lighting output levels adjusted to reduce energy consumption during non peak hours; and

    –   the ability to be triggered by dawn or dusk to accommodate for localized ambient lighting.

The City of Vancouver appointed PBA Consulting Engineers to review all responses to its Expression of Interest and to recommend the appropriate technology. SLQ's Lumen IQ(TM) Adaptive Street Lighting System was selected along with Philips' Lumec LED lighting fixtures (provided by Metrolume Lighting Systems Inc.) as the two technologies that best served the city's criteria.

Vancouver 2010: You Gotta Be Here – Super Natural British Columbia

Check out why Michael J. Fox, Kim Cattrall, Ryan Reynolds, Erick McCormack, Steve Nash and Sarah McLachlan say You Gotta Be Here in 2010.

BC Cancer Agency Lymphoma Discovery

Researchers at the BC Cancer Agency have identified a never before seen mutation (or DNA spelling mistake), in the two most common types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. No other types of lymphoma or other cancers have been found to contain this particular mutation.

What makes this discovery especially significant is the recurrence of this mutation at the same site in a gene called EZH2. Usually mutations are observed in different sites in individual tumours, rather than affecting exactly the same part of the gene. This means the mutation can be considered a marker for the sub-types of lymphoma studied and will aid in diagnosis and predicting treatment outcome.

Even more important, this could potentially lead to specifically targeted medications that treat the lymphoma cells but would be less likely to produce side effects because the patient’s normal cells would be unaffected.

Using the same high-throughput DNA sequencing techniques that were recently used to sequence a breast cancer genome, researchers studied cancer cells from more than 20 lymphoma patients. In total, the DNA sequence of thousands of genes in malignant cells from 31 patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma and the entire DNA in all the chromosomes of the malignant cells of one patient with follicular lymphoma. 

When the mutation was found at exactly the same position in many of these cases, further lymphoma patients’ malignant cells were examined and were found to be mutated in the same way in almost one quarter of the cases. This is one of the most frequently mutated single genes ever found in lymphomas.

About Lymphoma
Lymphoma is the fifth most common cancer in Canada, and there is an estimated 1,000 new cases diagnosed every year in B.C. It is the fastest growing cancer in North America with a three percent annual increase in incidence.

Lymphomas are cancers that originate from white blood cells known as B-lymphocytes that circulate in the lymph vessels throughout the body. A diagnosis of lymphoma is made when a small piece of the lymphoma (a biopsy) is surgically removed. The tissue can provide clues to what type of lymphoma is present and how the patient will respond to treatment.

This study focused on two of the most common types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma, which are named for their appearance under the microscope. Diffuse large B cell lymphoma is an aggressive cancer that can only be cured in about 65 percent of patients and requires strong doses of chemotherapy. Follicular lymphoma is a more slowly growing cancer that cannot be cured, but it can be kept in check for long periods of time with relatively mild chemotherapy.

Science Park Legislation Introduced in House Today

This afternoon U.S. Representatives Gabrielle Giffords and Martin Heinrich introduced legislation that would provide a strong boost to state and local economies by encouraging the construction and expansion of science parks. The House bill is a companion to S. 583, the Building a Stronger America Act, which was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas. The bill was approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and awaits action by the full Senate.


"This bill will spur innovation and help create the kind of high-paying, high-technology jobs we need to be competitive in the global economy," said Giffords, a member of the House Science and Technology Committee. "Seed money provided to science parks today represents a wise investment in our future." 


"When world-class scientists and entrepreneurs put their minds together, anything is possible," Heinrich said. "Science parks leverage a region's existing competitive strengths and are a key component to becoming a nation of sustainable growth and quality jobs." Read more–U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich