TechTalk Blog
AURP Canada Applauds BC Budget

In today’s Budget, the Government of British Columbia announced a $14 billion investment in infrastructure projects. “I applaud the Government on its commitment to investing in infrastructure projects such as technology parks that create jobs and will contribute to the economic recovery of British Columbia,” said Dale Gann, President of the Canadian Association of University Research Parks (AURP Canada).

“AURP Canada will work in collaboration with the federal and provincial government to ensure that infrastructure investments are directed to projects that can be key drivers of the economy,” Gann said following the Budget speech.  “Many of these projects are already up and running and ready to take the next step.  These projects have proven records of return, which means that any new investment will start to show immediate and continuing impact to our economy.”

Of the twenty-three “shovel-ready” projects that exist across Canada, AURP Canada has identified five LEED-certified projects from three technology parks in British Columbia: Vancouver Island Technology Park, Discovery Parks, and Great Northern Way Campus.

Gann said he applauds the financial foresight of the British Columbia Government in investing in knowledge-based infrastructure like technology parks which can result in significant economic benefits for the province.

AURP Canada represents twenty-six research and technology parks across Canada and is part of the North American association that represents 155 research and technology parks in Canada and the United States.  AURP Canada is committed towards building awareness about science and technology infrastructure in Canada and its critical role it plays in future growth and sustainability of these knowledge-based communities.

 

About AURP Canada
The Association of University Research Parks (AURP) is a North American non-profit organization that represents the 155 university research parks across the United States and Canada. In 2007, Canadian members of AURP determined that Canada’s 26 research parks required a national organization to unite   the collective efforts of each park, and to establish an advocacy strategy with provincial and federal governments that would ultimately result in enhanced support of research and innovation within Canada. On August 1st of 2007 AURP Canada became the first official chapter of AURP.  AURP Canada is to act as the united voice of Canadian university research parks to build awareness in support of science and technology infrastructure enabling all stakeholders to achieve future growth and sustainability while nurturing the economic prosperity of these knowledge-based communities. www.aurpcanada.ca

Carmanah Partners With Shine Micro to Combine Solar-Powered Marine Lanterns With AIS Technology

Solar technology provider Carmanah Technologies Corporation (TSX: CMH) has partnered with Shine Micro Inc. to add an automatic identification system (AIS) capability to its line of stand-alone solar-powered LED (light emitting diode) marine lanterns.

Widely used by ships and vessel traffic services (VTS) to identify and locate vessels, AIS technology enables ships to automatically exchange a range of navigational data including position, course, speed and proximity to other nearby ships, VTS stations, and AIS-equipped navigational buoys. According to Ted Lattimore, CEO, Carmanah Technologies, this partnership presents a valuable opportunity for both businesses and their customers.

"As a manufacturer of solar-powered marine lanterns, Carmanah is well positioned to incorporate Shine Micro's AIS capability as part of an enhanced solar-powered solution," said Lattimore. "An integrated solar-LED lantern offers many benefits — it's compact, reliable, low maintenance, and built to endure some of the most challenging environments on Earth — there's no reason why we can't extend these benefits to accommodate Shine Micro's powerful AIS technology as well," added Lattimore. "We look forward to working with Shine Micro to develop some exciting new technology for the marine industry — something to help our customers increase safety and security more efficiently and affordably than ever before."

"It has always been of paramount importance at Shine Micro to produce rugged, high performance AIS equipment with the lowest power consumption in the industry," said Mark Johnson, President, Shine Micro Inc. "This makes the integration with Carmanah's solar LED light technology an excellent fit."

Carmanah solar LED marine lanterns provide a reliable lighting solution for coast guards, ports and harbour authorities around the world, including New York Harbor, the Port of London, the Suez Canal and Sydney Harbour.

 

About Shine Micro Inc.

Established in 1980, Shine Micro Inc. is a designer of microprocessor-based electronics for the marine VHF industry. Shine Micro products are praised by commercial, recreational, and military users alike as the most sensitive automatic identification system (AIS) receivers commercially available. For more information, visit www.shinemicro.com

About Carmanah Technologies Corporation

As one of the most trusted names in solar technology, Carmanah has earned a reputation for delivering strong and effective products for industrial applications worldwide. Industry proven to perform reliably in some of the world's harshest environments, Carmanah solar LED lights and solar power systems provide a durable, dependable and cost effective energy alternative. Carmanah is a publicly traded company, with common shares listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "CMH." For more information, visit www.carmanah.com

UVic Student finds dream job working for BMW in Germany

For many engineering graduates, the most memorable part of their degree is the time spent applying their skills through co-op work term placements. For mechanical engineering student Georg Tuchlinski who travelled to Munich, Germany to work for BMW this past fall, the memories will last a lifetime.

Working for the coveted car company was a long time dream of German born Tuchlinski, who is fluent in the language. But getting the job meant getting over the low salary.

“You don’t work in Europe for the money,” says Tuchlinski, “you go for the experience.”

In Germany, apprenticing an engineer is considered a great privilege, and many students there do it for little or no money. But there are many other incentives.

“They let students drive the cars, because they know we love that,” he explains. “I was in a 275 horsepower 1 Series BMW on the second week on the job.”

He also snagged one of the few available spots in BMW staff accommodations, where he could walk to work and not pay more than his monthly wage for rent, as he would have if he had lived elsewhere in the urban centre.

Tuchlinski also loved the work place mentality: “My boss just said, show up sometime in the morning and leave in the afternoon. There was a lot of flexibility.” That, and there was great food and, of course, good beer.

Perks aside, the work was challenging and well worth the trip. Tuchlinski’s main task was to assist with vibration tests done on inline 6 Otto-cycle engines to ensure that they would provide the quietest possible ride. “It was awesome because other people aren’t going to see these designs for years,” says Tuchlinski.

Now Tuchlinski has an impressive name on his résumé that he’s sure will pay off in the long run. “Not many people can say they’ve worked at BMW. I’m sure this is going to help me next time I’m looking for a job. It was a really, really great experience all around.”

UVic Co-op student supports BC Transit’s move towards sustainable fleet

When BC Transit’s first hydrogen-fueled bus hits the streets of Victoria this summer, Jeremy Wise will know it’s an environmentally sustainable choice for the province. Last fall the UVic mechanical engineering student spent a four-month co-op term performing a lifecycle analysis of BC Transit’s current fleet of diesel, bio-diesel and hybrid buses, to compare their lifecycles to the projected lifecycle data for the new zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell buses that will begin joining the BC Transit fleet this summer. Lifecycle analysis considers the environmental impact of a product from cradle to grave, including production, operation and disposal.

“There were a million different factors to consider,” says Wise. “The research involved a lot more than just looking at the best fuel to kilometre ratio.” For instance it’s often said that the only thing coming out of the tail pipe of a hydrogen-fueled vehicle is water. But as Wise explained, some forget to consider how the fuel was produced. “If they use coal or another fossil fuel to separate the hydrogen, then we have to add that to the equation,” said Wise, adding that in BC we use mostly hydro-electrical energy, which is renewable and doesn’t create emissions. Given this, Wise concluded that hydrogen-fueled buses will lower overall emissions and lessen the fleet’s environmental impact.

Wise’s attention to detail was part of what landed him the job. After meeting BC Transit Project Manager Bruce Rothwell at a conference on alternative energy last year, he worked with Rothwell to create his own co-op position. “Co-op is always a great resource for us to find help,” said Rothwell. “It was a really good experience that we both benefited from. We didn’t really have the people available to do this baseline research so it was definitely a good time to bring a co-op student on board to get it done.”

 

It was certainly a timely work term. The province recently committed to funding the world’s largest commercial hydrogen development with a fleet of 20 low-floor, hydrogen-powered busses and a series of fueling stations. The buses are scheduled to hit the roads across the province in time for the 2010 Olympics.

 

UVic Engineering Co-op Student Earns job with NASA

In Cambria Hanson’s first-year mechanical engineering class, a professor drew an inverted triangle on the board to represent everything students would learn and highlighted its tip to show what proportion they would actually use in the workplace. But while working on a project for NASA last fall, Hanson used everything in the triangle and more.

Hanson spent her final co-op work term as a research and development intern at the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)—the lab where NASA develops their Mars rovers. She tested a rock-sampling component called CHIMRA (Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis), which will be one of many new parts on the next rover to be shot up to the red planet.

“This one is far better then all the other rovers combined—it’s the size of a mini-cooper,” says Hanson, adding that NASA usually launches a rover or orbiter every 26 months to Mars, when it’s closest to Earth.

Hanson spent her days at JPL working in a vacuum chamber that mimics Mars’ gravity condition, which is three-eighths that of Earth’s. She was responsible for ensuring that the Martian rocks collected by CHIMRA could be successfully sorted and analyzed in that state.

“The experience was phenomenal. It was twice as interesting as all the other jobs I’ve had combined,” said Hanson. “I woke up every morning totally stoked to go to worksometimes even before my alarm.”

But it took some luck and persistence for her to find this ideal job. September co-op terms had already started when she emailed her résumé to a generic NASA address and received an automatic away-from-desk response. The email included a number to call for immediate assistance so she dialed it and convinced the woman on the other end to pass her résumé on to the division supervisors. By the next day Hanson had set up a phone interview and by the end of the week she was on her way south to replace somebody who’d just broken his ankle.

Like many employers, JPL keeps a constant flow of co-op students on staff. Hanson’s supervisor Kim Aaron often uses co-op placements as a way to test would-be employees: “Hiring co-op students puts us in a much better position to assess potential permanent employees’ skills, compared to the regular hiring system. It gives us a real reference point to decide if we want to make them a permanent offer when they graduate.

“It seems to me that co-op students, by virtue of their additional work experience, are more attractive as potential full-time hires than students who have followed a more traditional path by just working summers,” says Aaron.

Hanson proved herself as an employee worth keeping and has a contract lined up to work at JPL after she graduates in August 2008. “The engineers always said that once you get a job at JPL, you never leave,” she says.

Hanson’s success in finding permanent employment with her former co-op employer is not unusual. About one-third of co-op graduates are hired by their previous co-op employers after graduating from UVic. The Co-op Program gives students that extra boost by connecting them with excellent networking opportunities and real, proven experience.

While some co-op students find their own jobs by contacting co-op employers directly, the standard practice is for students to apply for jobs that have been posted by co-op employers on the co-op website. For details about the UVic Co-op Program visit www.uvic.ca/coop.

UVic Co-op and Career Offices Merger Leads to Increased Service

The University of Victoria’s Co-operative Education Program is known as one of the largest and most diverse co-op programs in Canada. On February 1, 2009, the UVic Co-op Program merged with the university’s Career Services office, to integrate the university’s two major career-centered programs and further expand UVic’s commitment to experiential learning and career development.

“We are excited at the opportunities and challenges ahead, as we work to equip our students with the very best options for their career development,” says Norah McRae, Executive Director of the newly named UVic Co-operative Education Program and Career Services.

“We are now better equipped to serve our mutual audiences—students will now have access to a one-stop shop for career planning and preparation, while employers, faculty and staff will be connected to a more diverse applicant pool, in terms of both skills and availability.”

This merger is a result of recent external reviews conducted by the UVic Co-op Program and Student and Ancillary Services, which both recommended closer alignment of the two units.

UVic’s Co-operative Education Program placed its first students in 1977 and in 2007/08, more than 2,700 students from 45 academic program areas completed a work term. The Career Services office provides career development expertise by facilitating connections between students, alumni, faculty, employers and other community members. For more information, please visit www.uvic.ca/coop or http://careerservices.uvic.ca.

Contacts:

Joy Poliquin (Co-op and Career Communications) at 250-721-6084 or poliquin@uvic.ca

Knowledge Park Launches First Long-Term Strategic Development Plan

Fredericton: Fredericton-based Knowledge Park is drawing a roadmap for the future with the launch of its first long-term strategic development plan this week. Today is an exciting time for Knowledge Park, the City of Fredericton and the Province of New Brunswick said Dr. Greg Kealey, President of the Knowledge Park Board of Directors. Across North America, Research and Technology Parks have proven themselves a powerful economic development tool. With this long term strategic approach, New Brunswick’s Knowledge Park is setting its sites on ensuring this development meets and even exceeds its economic impact goals.

The development plan map distributed at the media conference illustrated existing and future building projects on the Knowledge Park's current land, now held under a land lease with the University of New Brunswick (UNB), the Hugh John Flemming Forestry Complex adjacent property and an expansion of the UNB lands along Knowledge Park Drive.

The Park Board, says Kealey, is actively exploring the potential for additional Knowledge Park partners, indicating that additional announcements could be expected in the near future. “Over the next six to eight weeks, we will provide more details regarding Knowledge Park projects, the impact the Park will have on our province long term and the development approach and policies that will help ensure the vision can be realised”.

Mayor Brad Woodside congratulates the Park in taking the initiative to develop a vision and a strategy that will benefit Fredericton. “Developments such as Knowledge Park further position Fredericton as the most intelligent community in the world.”

As the community economic development agency for the Greater Fredericton Region, Enterprise Fredericton supports Knowledge Park in its development initiatives. According to chairman of the Enterprise Fredericton board Mark Wies, "Knowledge Park is and will continue to be an integral component for the region's Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Strategy and the Investment Attraction Strategy." The BRE and Investment Attraction strategies are pillars of the Community Growth Strategy identified as essential to achieving growth and prosperity in the region.

Knowledge Park is a member of the Association of University Research Parks (AURP), a network of 26 research and technology parks across Canada. Dale Gann, President of AURP Canada, says he's impressed both with progress to date and the Park's aggressive long term plans. "In our world, the growth rate of New Brunswick's Knowledge Park is remarkable. The region and the province will enjoy significant benefits from an exciting and achievable vision for essential infrastructure in an economy in dire need of increased innovation and R&D."

Kealey says timing is a factor as well. "When the economy is on a slide, it's an opportune time to strategize and be prepared to take advantage of opportunities as they emerge. Our long term development and partnership strategy will help ensure the Park is well positioned to do just that."

Knowledge Park is an economic development initiative designed to support the knowledge industry in the province of New Brunswick. Its principle objective is to provide cluster opportunities to organizations engaged in research and the application of technologies in such sectors as information technology, biotechnology, engineering, healthcare, forestry, environmental and advanced earning to name a few. Knowledge Park was founded in 1997.

Knowledge Park Master Development Plan

Media Contact:
Laura O'Blenis
General Manager
Direct: (506) 462-5021
Laura.oblenis@knowledgepark.ca
www.knowledgepark.ca

Enquisite, Inc. Secures $8 Million in Series B Funding Led by Castile Ventures and Formative Ventures

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) February 10, 2009 — Enquisite, Inc., a leading provider of search marketing automation and monetization solutions, today announced that it has secured $8 million in Series B funding. Castile Ventures and Formative Ventures led the investment. Enquisite also announced that Skip Besthoff, general partner, Castile Ventures, and Dino Vendetti, general partner, Formative Ventures, have joined Enquisite's Board of Directors. 

Enquisite's disruptive solutions will bring unprecedented insights to the search marketplace and, with it, significant value to its customers

Given my prior success with (Enquisite CEO) Mark Hoffman, I am excited to work with him again and also now with Enquisite's founder, Richard Zwicky. Their joint vision and expertise makes them a winning combination.

Enquisite is well positioned to solve the problem facing advertisers and agencies hard pressed to prove the ROI of their online marketing investments

The combination of its innovative pay-for-performance model, solid leadership, deep domain expertise and leading-edge technology puts Enquisite in a unique position to realize the full potential of online marketing monetization

We are delighted to close a significant Series B round given the current economic climate

Investors have enthusiastically responded to Enquisite's innovative campaign optimization solution and pay-for-performance model, which deliver unprecedented value to customers, with the satisfaction of measurable returns.

Customers are rapidly embracing Enquisite's compelling value proposition

 

 

Other participants in the Series B round are investors from the Series A round, including lead Series A investor, The Entrepreneurs' Fund III, and Retro Ventures.

"Enquisite's disruptive solutions will bring unprecedented insights to the search marketplace and, with it, significant value to its customers," states Besthoff. "Given my prior success with (Enquisite CEO) Mark Hoffman, I am

excited to work with him again and also now with Enquisite's founder, Richard Zwicky. Their joint vision and expertise makes them a winning combination."

"Enquisite is well positioned to solve the problem facing advertisers and agencies hard pressed to prove the ROI of their online marketing investments," says Dino Vendetti, general partner, Formative Ventures. "The combination of its innovative pay-for-performance model, solid leadership, deep domain expertise and leading-edge technology puts Enquisite in a unique position to realize the full potential of online marketing monetization," he says. "We are delighted to close a significant Series B round given the current economic climate," says Mark Hoffman, Enquisite CEO. "Investors have enthusiastically responded to Enquisite's innovative campaign optimization solution and pay-for-performance model, which deliver unprecedented value to customers, with the satisfaction of measurable returns."

Hoffman says the Series B round will be used to further drive product innovation and market adoption for performance-based online marketing solutions.

"Customers are rapidly embracing Enquisite's compelling value proposition," says President and Founder Richard Zwicky. "Leading digital agencies have adopted Enquisite solutions to win new business and increase revenue opportunities." New customers include ZAAZ, Netconcepts, Bruce Clay and HSR Business to Business.

About Castile Ventures
Castile Ventures is a top-performing early-stage venture capital firm that provides financial backing and strategic guidance to help exceptional entrepreneurs build successful businesses. Distinguished by the deep business and technology experience of its partners, Castile brings a unique blend of sector expertise, investment know-how, operational insights, and connections to IT decision makers. Since our founding in 1998, the companies we have invested in have brought to market a broad range of products and services to serve the technology needs for enterprises, service providers and the mass market. These have ranged from disruptive enabling technologies through next-generation service infrastructure and delivery platforms to leading edge security solutions and innovation-enabled Internet services. More information is available at www.castileventures.com.

About Formative Ventures
Founded in 2000 and based in Menlo Park, CA, Formative Ventures is a leading early-stage venture capital firm that invests in the industry's next-generation emerging technologies leaders in areas such as communications, wireless, and next-generation Internet solutions. The founders of Formative Ventures believe that in today's tough environment, technology start-ups are looking for investors with "real-world" start-up experience, and in very specific areas such as sales and marketing processes, scaling an organization for revenue, or launching a product line. That's why they each have more than 20 years of "in the trenches" operational experience to complement their investment track records.    

About Enquisite Inc.
Founded in 2006, Enquisite, Inc. is the leading provider of search marketing automation and monetization solutions. Through its suite of applications and innovative business model, the company aims to bolster search marketing by providing marketers with vital insight into user behavior, intent, and actions, and a quick path to monetization.

Powered by Enquisite's leading-edge Data Collector, the Enquisite product family includes: Enquisite Campaign - a groundbreaking campaign monetization solution, Enquisite Pro - an award-winning analytics application, and PPC Assurance - an advanced click auditing service.

Enquisite has offices in San Francisco, CA, Victoria, BC and Seattle, WA.

CDRD Recieves Additional $2 Million in Funding from Pfizer

VANCOUVER, BC, February 9, 2009 – Pfizer Canada has increased its initial commitment of $1 million by an additional $2 million to the "Pfizer-CDRD Innovation Fund" at the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) to fast-track the commercialization of some of B.C.’s most promising research. The Innovation Fund, now totaling $3 million, is already supporting six unique scientific opportunities with promising commercialization potential in the areas of cancer and diabetic ulcer healing.

The Pfizer-CDRD Innovation Fund, launched last year, represents a unique public-private partnership and Pfizer is the first international research–based pharmaceutical company to establish an innovation fund at the CDRD. The Fund’s purpose is to advance commercialization opportunities that could result in high-value medicines to create new companies or licensing opportunities.

“In these challenging economic times, the importance of enhancing Canada's scientific research community is critical, and advancing R&D is the best way to bolster our country’s competitiveness," said Paul Lévesque, President and CEO, Pfizer Canada. “CDRD builds on the strength of hundreds of researchers and applies business discipline and scientific rigor to select promising technologies for development, giving Canada and British Columbia a leading edge towards a prosperous knowledge-based economy."

To obtain funding from the Pfizer-CDRD Innovation Fund, CDRD projects undergo rigorous review by an expert committee and are evaluated on the following criteria:

§  The overall value of the project;

§  The incremental benefit/value added to the project by the fund;

§  The quality of the plan and the achievability of the milestones; and

§  The potential return on the investment.

“We believe that this unique collaboration with Pfizer serves as a model for the future of early drug development work in Canada and beyond," said Natalie Dakers, President and CEO at CDRD. “Multi-national companies like Pfizer are looking to CDRD as a gateway to top notch research from BC’s academic and health research organizations. Not only do we identify commercially promising research, we also provide the expertise and infrastructure that enables researchers to focus on developing promising discoveries."   

 

About Pfizer Canada

Pfizer Inc. is the world’s leading pharmaceutical company. Pfizer invests more than $7 billion annually to discover and develop life-saving and life-enhancing medications for humans and animals. The company’s Canadian operation, Pfizer Canada Inc., is one of the largest private contributors to health research in Canada and also donates more than $20 million annually to support community initiatives.  

Headquartered in Kirkland, Quebec, Pfizer Canada and its cross-Canada team of 1,200 employees are working together for a healthier world.  Pfizer  Canada's commitment to helping Canadians live happier, healthier and longer lives extends beyond medication. To learn more about Pfizer Canada's more than medication philosophy and programs, visit www.morethanmedication.ca 

About CDRD

The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) guides and supports early-stage drug development from BC’s top academic and health research institutions to increase the successful commercialization of new therapeutics. CDRD provides drug development expertise and infrastructure to enable researchers throughout BC to develop promising drug candidates. A commercial arm licenses technologies from affiliated institutions and advances projects, leveraging CDRD’s expertise and infrastructure. The goal is to bring drugs to commercialization with strategic partners or through new company creation. For more information, visit www.cdrd.ca  

Times Colonist: Technology park seeks building cash from federal coffers

By: Andrew Duffy
Times Colonist

 

A new $21-million building for the Vancouver Island Technology Park and the first ocean technology park in North America are two shovel-ready projects Dale Gann is hoping will be funded as part of the federal government's $40-billion stimulus package.

Gann, vice-president of the Vancouver Island Technology Park and president of the Association of University Research Parks in Canada, just returned from meetings in Ottawa, and said the two buildings would create jobs for hundreds of construction workers and provide an ongoing benefit to the country.

Gann said he met with Gary Goodyear, minister of state for science and technology, and Marc Garneau, Liberal critic for science and technology. "Both recognize and realize that as Canada looks for infrastructure investments that will continue to give back and enable the economy to grow, that the research parks in Canada have an opportunity to assist in that regard," he said.

Gann said the technology park, located on the former Glendale hospital site off West Saanich Road, adjacent to Camosun College's Interurban campus, has long been planning a new 88,000-square-foot building that could house 500 high-tech employees.

He is also part of the development team putting together a master plan for the ocean engineering and energy centre that would be housed across the street from the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney. As it's still early in the planning stages, there is no estimated cost attached to it, though Gann said it will be well in excess of $20 million.

But there could be a slew of projects from the country's research parks looking for funding over the next two years.

Gann said the board of the Association of University Research Parks in Canada will return to Ottawa to discuss the projects, which could be ready within the next few years.

 

"The research parks have a solution and it's not just one project in one corner but projects coast to coast in Canada," said Gann, noting the total cost could exceed $450 million.

 

Whether enough money is available remains to be seen. Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said about $2 billion would be available for university infrastructure as part of his spending package.

Gann applauded the investment and was hopeful the government would broaden the definition of infrastructure.

 

"We refer to knowledge-based infrastructure as an investment with proven return," said Gann, noting the annual economic impact of Canadian research parks is over $3 billion, with approximately 18 per cent in the form of direct taxation to government.

 

aduffy@tc.canwest.com