TechTalk Blog
Ocean Tech's Place in British Columbia's $12 Billion dollar Ocean Economy

Date
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Time
10:00 am PT – 5:00 pm PT

Location
Insititute of Ocean Science Auditorium
9860 West Saanich Road
North Saanich, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Canada

 

Preliminary Program Abstract

The Cooperative Ocean Innovation Network, COIN Pacific has established a record of bringing private, public and non-government communities of interest together to map out the operating context for the growth and development of the Ocean Technology Sector in British Columbia. The 2008 Forum comes at a time when there appears to be a lack of movement on the vast expanse of the Ocean  economy, while just below the surface, huge surges in energy are moving the goal posts for how we define sustainable growth of the industries that Ocean Tech supports.

We now know the scope of the extent of the Pacific Ocean Economy in terms of contributions to the Canadian and British Columbia economies, and some of the prospective potential for sectors that are emerging in the near term. Armed with this intelligence, COIN Pacific has assembled an unrivaled cadre of leaders to help paint the heads up display of the current environmental scan of this dynamic sector, account for new initiatives, and declare what can only be called a rallying point for an integrated approach to the Ocean communities of interest on the Pacific.

Join us for this fast paced working Forum where the financial proceeds will seed a new Ocean and Marine Scholarship forming part of a Legacy being leveraged and managed by British Columbia Innovation Council via the British Columbia Innovation Foundation. COIN Pacific acknowledges and appreciates the support of the British Columbia Innovation Council, Ocean Renewable Energy Group Canada and Ocean Industries BC and the Institute of Ocean Science, Fisheries and Oceans CANADA.

PROGRAM SESSIONS

 

9:00 – 10:15        Registration

10:15                  Welcome and Program Overview

10:45                  Ocean Tech’s Contribution to the $12B GDP Ocean Economy

11:15                  Growing the Ocean Economy by Focused Application of Ocean Technology

12:00                  Lunch Break

12:30                  Growing the Coastal Communities and their Economies

13:15                  Mobilizing the Necessary Enablers

14:00                  COIN Pacific Forum Focus Groups

15:00                  Nutrition Break

15:30                  Ocean and Marine Summit (June 2008 Oceans Week)

16:15                  Ocean Initiatives Onboard

16:45                  Declaration & Communications Plan

17:00                  COIN Pacific 2008 Forum Adjourns

 

 

 

 

 

For further program details or to register by phone, please contact Irene Phan, British Columbia Innovation Council at iphan@bcic.ca or (604) 602-5238 by 12:00 pm Thursday, April 24th, 2008.

Times Colonist Reports: UVic's Top Researchers Honoured

The University of Victoria honoured its "all-star" researchers at a celebration last evening at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

The five recipients of the annual Craigdarroch Research Awards are proof that UVic's researchers are world-class, said Howard Brunt, vice-president of research.

"All the individuals we are honouring today are accomplished leaders in their fields who are engaging in the wider community to apply new knowledge for the benefit of society," said Brunt in a press release issued prior to the ceremony.

Professor John McLaren, now retired, is considered the world's foremost legal historian. He received the Craigdarroch Gold Medal for his career achievement which in part examined the collision of religious belief and the common law.

Research and teaching do go together, said McLaren yesterday afternoon. "You have the opportunity to research things that interest you and will be helpful to get an understanding of what you teach," McLaren said.

Afzal Suleman was awarded the Craigdarroch Silver Medal for excellence in research after he set up a research program with applications in transportation, energy systems and bioengineering. Suleman was unavailable for an interview yesterday.

An award for societal contributions was bestowed on scientists representing the UVic faculty and the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis. The group contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, which won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

"We have a tremendous collection of climate science going on here at the University of Victoria," said Tom Pederson, dean of science, on behalf of physical and social climate scientists honoured last evening.

Mechanical engineer Peter Wild was recipient for an award of innovation and developmental corporation entrepreneurship. His work ushers new technology from the laboratory to the marketplace.

One project involves developing a wave-energy convertor for a local company, Syncwave Energy. Another has to do with planning and developing a fibre-optic sensor for biomedical applications.

"Wherever there's a customer in the sense there's an ultimate application for the usefulness of the research, I'm very drawn to that," said Wild.

Cecilia Benoit was honoured for research communication, all done outside the lab and often in places like the streets of Vancouver's east side or downtown Victoria.

"A lot of the research I've done over the years has to do with community organizations," said Benoit. "I'm particularly interested in research of vulnerable populations, particularly those with a large number of women."

The annual Craigdarroch awards honour research excellence at UVic. They are named for Craigdarroch Castle, home to the university's predecessor institution, Victoria College.

LifeSciences BC Announces Recipients for 2008 Awards

Vancouver, British Columbia, March 14, 2008 – LifeSciences British Columbia today announced the recipients of the 2008 LifeSciences British Columbia Awards (previously known as the British Columbia Biotechnology Awards). They are:

• Dr. Don Riddle for Genome BC Award for Scientific Excellence Award
• Pyng Medical Corporation for Medical Device Company of the Year Award
• Bob Rieder for Executive of the Year Award
• Dr. Bernie Bressler and Roger Foxall for Lifetime Achievement Award
• Dr. Martin Taylor for Leadership Award
• Lignol Energy Corporation for Emerging Life Sciences Company of the Year Award

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, and to increase public awareness and understanding of life sciences in the province.

“The strength of the life sciences community in BC is exemplified by this slate of impressive award recipients, who represent the remarkable breadth of talent found across the many sectors in our province,” commented Karimah Es Sabar, President of LifeSciences British Columbia.  “We’re delighted to be making our 10th annual awards this year, and that the achievements being made here are so strong and reflective of our diversity in the life sciences.  We extend our warmest congratulations to this year’s winners.”

The awards will be presented at a gala ceremony April 10th in front of an audience of approximately 600 biotechnology, medical devices and greater life sciences and public policy leaders at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver (please visit www.lifesciencesbc.ca for full details).

The LifeSciences British Columbia Awards are presented by Ernst & Young; Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy, LLP; Genome British Columbia; Raymond James; and Rx&D (Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies). Media sponsor: Business in Vancouver Magazines.


About the Recipients:


Genome BC Award for Scientific Excellence
Dr. Don Riddle

Dr. Riddle, Professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories at UBC, is a pre-eminent life sciences scholar focused on C.elegans, a microscopic free-living worm (nematode) that possesses only 959 somatic cells, but shares many of the essential biological characteristics central to human biology.
Among his many accomplishments, he is internationally credited with being one of the founding scientists that established the preliminary framework of genetics tools that led to sequencing of the nematode. This early work in genetics and genomics sciences was the precursor and established the paradigm upon which the human genome was modeled.
In 2004 he was recruited to become Genome BC’s first Chief Scientific Officer where he developed a scientific strategy for the organization focusing on genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics within the larger scope of biotechnology and life sciences in the province.  In addition he fostered the development of a Canadian Proteomics Network and expanded collaborations to include scientists at the University of Northern British Columbia and the University of Victoria.  Today the UBC-based Riddle Laboratory is linked to dozens of others around the world including in Scotland, the Netherlands and the United States.


Medical Device Company of the Year Award
Pyng Medical Corporation
David Christie, President & CEO

Pyng Medical Corporation is the developer and manufacturer of the proprietary, award-winning FAST1™ Intraosseous Infusion System.  Pyng was selected in the "2007 TSX Venture 50" Top 10 companies in Life Sciences based on solid financial metrics for the year ending December 31, 2006.  With expanding markets in North America, Europe and Asia, the FAST1™ has worldwide application for use with hospitals, emergency medical services and military forces. Pyng has shipped over 120,000 FDA-cleared and CE-marked FAST1 systems to date.
As part of its on-going commitment to technology innovation, the Company is developing next generation intraosseous products and aggressively exploring acquisition and in-licensing opportunities to broaden its product portfolio with complimentary technologies.  Pyng recently received US FDA market clearance and commercially launched a new and improved FAST1 system with a re-engineered infusion tube that no longer requires the use of a removal tool.  Pyng also continues to expand its patent portfolio and has applied for trademark protection on Chest is Best™, reinforcing the benefits of rapid infusion through their unique FAST1 sternal line.

Executive of the Year Award
Bob Rieder, Chairman and CEO, Cardiome Pharma Corporation

Mr. Rieder has led Cardiome Pharma Corp. since 1998 and has driven the development of multiple drug programs, including vernakalant, Cardiome’s lead product candidate for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.

 Cardiome Pharma Corp. is a product-focused cardiovascular drug development company with two late-stage clinical drug programs focused on atrial arrhythmia (intravenous and oral dosing), a Phase 1 program for GED-aPC, an engineered analog of recombinant human activated Protein C, and a pre-clinical program directed at improving cardiovascular function.

Bob Rieder is Cardiome’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  He joined Cardiome in April 1998 as President and Chief Executive Officer.  Prior to joining Cardiome he was Vice-President at MDS Ventures Pacific Inc., the Vancouver-based affiliate of MDS Capital Corp, and has served as a director for nine public and private technology companies. Mr. Rieder has also acted as Chief Operating Officer for DBA Telecom Inc., and CEO for Synapse Technologies Inc.  


Lifetime Achievement Award (two recipients)
Dr. Bernie Bressler & Dr. Roger Foxall

Dr. Bressler has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to life sciences research and has a passionate belief in the value of commercializing intellectual property from universities and research hospitals.  During his tenure as Vice President of Research at the University of British Columbia (1996-1999), he was actively involved in the growth of the University Industry Liaison Office, which has become a world leader in development and management of technology transfer and biotechnology spin-offs.  It is because of his foresight and leadership in this area that UBC scientists are amongst the nation’s leaders in translational medical research.  Since 1996, he has served as a Board member of Discovery Parks , and in 2007 was appointed Chair of the Board of Discovery Parks and Discovery Parks Foundation.

Dr. Foxall was instrumental in mobilizing the nascent genomics community leading to the establishment of Genome British Columbia, one of six centres across the country funded partly by Genome Canada through Industry Canada. In serving as its founding President and CEO through 2002 and subsequently as its Executive Vice President Research and Executive Vice President Corporate Development until 2005, he demonstrated leadership in initiating global and Canadian partnerships between universities, research centres, governments and the private sector. Dr. Foxall then established Life Science Strategies Inc. and has worked with numerous organizations across Canada specializing in strategic analysis and c
onsultation in genome sciences, marine biosciences and other areas of life sciences.


Leadership Award
Dr. Martin Taylor

Dr. Taylor began his career as an Assistant Professor in Geography at McMaster University in 1974 after completion of his Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia. His key career legacy is the demonstrated value of interdisciplinary inquiry which led to the creation of several institutes and departments demonstrating that philosophy. In 1994 and 1995, Dr. Taylor served as McMaster’s acting Vice-President Research and in that role established the Institute for Water, Environment, and Health.  It is the first and still sole branch of the United Nations University in Canada.
Dr. Taylor’s research leadership role was expanded when he was recruited to the University of Victoria in 1998 as its first Vice-President Research. During his tenure, until 2007, research programs experienced unprecedented growth from $20 million to $100 milllion. This expansion also saw the creation of major national research platforms including NEPTUNE Canada, the world’s first regional cabled deep ocean observatory and VENUS, its sister coastal observatory. Together they represent a $100 million investment. Dr. Taylor was also instrumental in the establishment of a national proteomics platform in partnership with Genome British Columbia and Genome Canada, which serves international clientele from the private sector, government and academia.


Emerging Life Sciences Company of the Year Award
Lignol Energy Corporation
Ross MacLachlan, President & CEO

Over the past three years Lignol Energy Corporation, of Burnaby, BC, has emerged from being a predominantly R&D organization into one that is approaching commercialization of its unique biorefinery technology. Lignol’s technology is now at the forefront of the highly visible and rapidly developing biofuels-from-cellulosic-biomass industry, which has the strong support and encouragement of governments and major corporations around the world.
The basis of Lignol’s process is an ethanol-based modified organosolv technology that separates and recovers the various components of wood (or agricultural fibers) into a series of useful and renewable fuels and chemical products. This technology is therefore important for both climate change reasons and also for renewable energy to supplement or replace fuels and chemicals presently produced from crude oil and natural gas.
Lignol has established a new Biorefining Technology Development Centre at the BCIT campus in Burnaby. At an approximate cost to Lignol of $15 million, the new technology centre will be one of the most advanced facilities for biorefining R&D in the world.

CEO Brings International Experience to Pacific Sport Institute

Victoria, BC – The Pacific Sport Institute Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of the Institute’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Michael Wright.

Wright is an accomplished leader in sport management and marketing across North America and comes to the PSI from Blue Equity in New York City where he was Senior Vice President.  Blue Equity is a private equity firm that invests in business enterprises and opportunities in media, financial services, real estate and sports and entertainment. 

“We are extremely pleased to have Michael leading the Pacific Sport Institute,” said PSI Board Chair Jim Reed.  “We were searching for someone who could lead our operations and create strategic revenue opportunities while at the same time cultivate essential, mutually-beneficial relationships with our primary partners, sport associations, schools, community agencies and provincial, national and international organizations.”

Previously, Wright worked for 20 years with IMG USA and IMG Canada, a worldwide sports and lifestyle management and marketing firm with an international staff of 2,000 and over 60 offices in 25 countries.  IMG represents hundreds of sports figures, artists, celebrities and prestigious organizations around the world.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to join such a dynamic organization,” said Wright.  “There is something fulfilling to me personally about helping young people develop not only their physical skills, but, by extension, their life skills.  I like the fact that the Institute is made up of an extremely diverse and talented group and I will work to bring all our stakeholders together and help tell our story locally, nationally and internationally.  Perhaps most importantly, we are poised to play a leadership role within the Canadian sport community in the area of research as it relates to athletic performance; allowing us to contribute to overall wellness and fitness while stoking the competitive spirit across our nation.”

The Toronto native most recently served as Senior Vice President for IMG USA in New York for 10 years, initially heading up the Corporate Consulting Division and Olympic Sales and Marketing, where he was involved in strategic consulting, program management and brand development.  Between 2001 and 2005, Wright was responsible for IMG’s Olympic New Business Development activities and worked on behalf of the US Olympic Committee and their Olympic teams for the Salt Lake, Athens, Torino and Beijing Games.

Wright got his start in sports marketing and event management with IMG Canada in 1986.  He is interested in other cultures and once took a year long sabbatical to travel and volunteer across Europe and North America.  He is active in many sports including cycling, basketball, tennis, squash, football and hockey and is currently training for the 2008 New York City Marathon.

Wright assumed his new role in late March and the media will be invited to meet him at a special event at 5:30 p.m. on May 14 at the site of the Institute on Camosun College’s Interurban campus, more details to follow.

The Pacific Sport Institute is a visionary partnership of Camosun College, the Canadian Sport Centre Pacific and PacificSport.  The Institute is a Canadian first and brings together excellence in sport and exercise education, world-class athlete performance services, community health and wellness and sport technology research and under one roof.

Phase I of the 117,570 square foot facility opens in September 2008.  It includes classrooms, fitness and strength training facilities, a double gymnasium, a lit all-weather multi-sport playing field, sport medicine and rehabilitation services, high performance sport services, sport technology research facilities, multi-purpose rooms, library and food services.

A proposal has been made to the Federal Government under the Building Canada Infrastructure Program to fund Phase II of the building which will include a third gymnasium (to allow for national and international competitions), additional classrooms, an outdoor training track and additional equipment and fittings.

Times Colonist Reports: UVic Team Drives into Future of Cars

The work of several University of Victoria engineering students could represent the
future of personal transportation — but you won't be seeing anything like the H2Drive on
Canadian roads any time soon.
The three-wheeled, fuel-cell-powered, single-person vehicle is an entry in the second
annual Shell Eco-marathon, which is a challenge to create a fuel-efficient vehicle with
minimal emissions. The UVic team expects the H2Drive to be go more than 10 times
farther on gallon of gas than today's most efficient vehicles.
The UVic entry will compete with 37 other teams for the $10,000 top prize. It will cost
about $20,000 to build the car and participate, using money raised through corporate and
institutional donations from backers like Shell Canada and the Natural Science and
Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Work on the 50-kilogram vehicle, which began last spring, is a chance for students to
learn more about engineering while exploring the concept of sustainability — a valuable
lesson these days. We need to know more about leading-edge ideas in automobiles,
especially ideas that challenge the basic beliefs that we have held since the days of the
Model T.
The internal combustion engine might soon face competition from fuel cells, which
convert hydrogen from an onboard tank and oxygen from outside into electricity. The
vehicle's exhaust is, in basic terms, a small amount of water.
Some of the discoveries being made in competitions such as this might someday appear
in passenger vehicles, although laws and consumer tastes would have to change before a
kayak-shaped vehicle like the H2Drive could be used on public roads.
That might be a tough sell. Just ask the people at Dynasty Electric Car Corp., which has
built more than 1,000 short-range urban vehicles in B.C. since 2001.
Dynasty tried to crack the California market, but when anti-pollution laws there were
eased, sales died. Dynasty regrouped and tried again, and ended up losing $4,000 on
every vehicle sold.
Dynasty has just been sold to a Pakistani company, and the factory will be moved there.
Dynasty's general manager says the major reason to abandon the project was the federal
government's regulation barring the electric cars from major highways.
If our government is serious about fighting climate change, it will need to rethink its
rules. The old road won't take us where we need to go.

LifeSciences BC Names Recipients of 2008 Awards

Vancouver, BC – LifeSciences British Columbia has announced the recipients of the 2008 LifeSciences British Columbia Awards (previously known as the British Columbia Biotechnology Awards).

The recipients include:

Dr Don Riddle Genome BC Award for Scientific Excellence. Dr Riddle, professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories at UBC, is a pre-eminent life sciences scholar focused on C.elegans, a microscopic free-living worm (nematode) that possesses only 959 somatic cells, but shares many of the essential biological characteristics central to human biology.

Pyng Medical Corporation, David Christie, President & CEO. Medical Device Company of the Year Award. Pyng Medical Corporation is the developer and manufacturer of the proprietary, award-winning FAST1™ Intraosseous Infusion System. With expanding markets in North America, Europe and Asia, the product has worldwide application for use with hospitals, emergency medical services and military forces.

Bob Rieder, Chairman and CEO, Cardiome Pharma, Executive of the Year Award. Mr Rieder has led Cardiome Pharma since 1998 and has driven the development of multiple drug programs, including vernakalant, Cardiome's lead product candidate for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.

The company is a product-focused cardiovascular drug development company with two late-stage clinical drug programs focused on atrial arrhythmia (intravenous and oral dosing), a Phase 1 program for GED-aPC, an engineered analog of recombinant human activated Protein C, and a pre-clinical program directed at improving cardiovascular function.

Dr Bernie Bressler & Dr Roger Foxall, Lifetime Achievement Awards. Dr Bressler has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to life sciences research and has a passionate belief in the value of commercializing intellectual property from universities and research hospitals. During his tenure as vice president of research at the University of British Columbia (1996-1999), he was actively involved in the growth of the University Industry Liaison Office, which has become a world leader in development and management of technology transfer and biotechnology spin-offs. It is because of his foresight and leadership in this area that UBC scientists are amongst the nation's leaders in translational medical research. Since 1996, he has served as a board member of Discovery Parks , and in 2007 was appointed chair of the Board of Discovery Parks and Discovery Parks Foundation.

Dr Foxall was instrumental in mobilizing the nascent genomics community leading to the establishment of Genome British Columbia, one of six centres across the country funded partly by Genome Canada through Industry Canada. In serving as its founding president and CEO through 2002 and subsequently as its executive vice president research and executive vice president corporate development until 2005, he demonstrated leadership in initiating global and Canadian partnerships between universities, research centres, governments and the private sector. Dr Foxall then established Life Science Strategies and has worked with numerous organizations across Canada specializing in strategic analysis and consultation in genome sciences, marine biosciences and other areas of life sciences.

Dr Martin Taylor, Leadership Award. Dr Taylor began his career as an assistant professor in geography at McMaster University in 1974 after completion of his PhD at the University of British Columbia. His key career legacy is the demonstrated value of interdisciplinary inquiry which led to the creation of several institutes and departments demonstrating that philosophy. In 1994 and 1995, Dr Taylor served as McMaster's acting vice-president research and in that role established the Institute for Water, Environment, and Health. He was then recruited to the University of Victoria in 1998 as its first vice-president research. During his tenure, until 2007, research programs experienced growth from $20 million to $100 million. This expansion also saw the creation of major national research platforms including NEPTUNE Canada, the world's first regional cabled deep ocean observatory and VENUS, its sister coastal observatory.

Lignol Energy Corporation, Ross MacLachlan, president and CEO, Emerging Life Sciences Company of the Year Award. Over the past three years Lignol Energy, of Burnaby, BC, has emerged from being a predominantly R&D organization into one that is approaching commercialization of its unique biorefinery technology. Lignol's technology is now at the forefront of the highly visible and rapidly developing biofuels-from-cellulosic-biomass industry, which has the strong support and encouragement of governments and major corporations around the world. Lignol has established a new Biorefining Technology Development Centre at the BCIT campus in Burnaby.

 

Globe and Mail Reports: UVIC Business – Start Me Up

Many of today's young Canadian risk-takers are mobile, Internet-savvy and bubbling with ideas to start their own ventures, but lack the business skills to launch a successful company. To serve this emerging niche market, Canadian business schools are rethinking the delivery of their MBA-level programs. Some now offer special streams for entrepreneurship or embed it as a core subject, while others tailor their programs to sectors known for their concentration of small business and start-up enterprises, such as retail, technology and tourism.

The programs share a common goal to teach students how to transform ideas into profit. "Entrepreneurial education has become legitimized as a very serious academic pursuit, whereas 10 years ago universities could not spell the word," says Steve Farlow, executive director of Wilfrid Laurier University's Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship in Waterloo, Ont. WHY The changing economy and a new generation's outlook on work are fueling a growth of interest in entrepreneur-focused MBAs. Last year, the number of corporate establishments in Canada grew to 2.4 million, with 58.4 per cent of them firms of fewer than five employees. Significant engines of growth and employment, these small enterprises accounted for 34.5 per cent of Canada's GDP in the third quarter of 2007, according to Industry Canada. Meanwhile, independent-minded young people are redefining notions of work and career, with less inclination than their parents to define success as joining a big company for life. "Students are saying 'I don't know that I want to be in a big, hierarchical organization,' " says Larry Wynant, associate dean of programs at the University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ont.

WHO IS THIS FOR?
The student profile ranges from mid-career professionals retooling their careers to undergraduates with only a couple of years of work experience and little background in finance, marketing or product development. Enrolments range between 20 and 60 students a year, depending on the institution. The University of Waterloo does not have a graduate business school but offers a Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) as an alternative to the traditional MBA. Over the past five years, the class profile has changed dramatically, says Paul Doherty, director of the Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology. From an initial focus on engineers, his centre's intake has broadened to include students, mostly in their mid-20s, from computer science, life sciences and commerce. "We can't keep up with the growth," he says, with a class of 60 students expected this fall, triple the number five years ago.

By contrast, the University of Guelph's MBA program caters to an older crowd who already own and operate a business but want to step it up to the next level. "In our experience, there are a lot of successful small businesses who want to be better at what they do, so they are willing to give up some time and money to go back to school and enhance their skills," says Dave Sparling, associate dean of research and graduate studies at Guelph, which accepts between 20 and 30 students a year for its on-line MBA in agri-business, hospitality and tourism. At Ivey, which caters to the development of top corporate managers, a revamped MBA program now integrates entrepreneurship into the core curriculum. Since the redesigned format in 2006, student interest in starting new ventures has jumped sharply, says Ivey's Dr. Wynant. Last year, about a dozen students out of a class of 75 launched their own business after graduation, about one-third more than two years ago.

CAN IT BE TAUGHT?
A debate still simmers over whether an entrepreneur is born or made, but students and professors seem to agree that academic training and an appetite for risk go hand-in-hand. "You can learn all these things, but if you are not tolerant of risk you are not going to start a business," says Nathan Weathington, 34, a graduate of University of Victoria, with an MBA that includes a concentrated three-month stream in entrepreneurship and innovation. "The program gets you away from dreaming about doing it to the how-do-you-do-it," he adds. Based in Victoria, Mr. Weathington has helped launch two new ventures: a high-fashion baby-sling business (momodesignhouse.com) and a fast-growing free classified Internet site (usedeverywhere.com) since graduating. WHAT THEY TEACH Beyond the fundamentals of finance, marketing and managerial skills, entrepreneurship-focused MBAs (or their equivalent) offer a mix of theory and practice in how to start a business venture and bring it to commercial success. The programs vary widely – several offer students a chance to launch a business while still in school – but all cover the natural progression of a venture from the initial search for an idea to an assessment of its chance of success (risk management), the mechanics of start-up (product development, marketing, intellectual property, access to capital) and on-going operations (finance, management, human resources). At the University of Victoria, for example, students were given 48 hours to trade a paper clip for something of more value (one student bartered for a TV/DVD) to teach them how to make a deal. Increasingly, business schools are recruiting successful entrepreneurs as course advisers and student mentors.

WHAT STUDENTS GAIN
They learn the theory and practice of how to launch a new business. Martin Vaz-Jones, of Markham, Ont., started his own lawn-cutting service at age 12 but did not seriously consider a business career until after graduating from Queen's University in 2005 in life sciences. "I always enjoyed the entrepreneurial aspect but did not have any formal education in that direction," says Mr. Vaz-Jones, 25, who will graduate later this year from Wilfrid Laurier University's Schlegel School of Business. He chose WLU for its location in the "technology triangle" of Waterloo, Ont., and the course content. The school offers a specialty stream in entrepreneurship and innovation and, for a select few like Mr. Vaz-Jones, entry into an "accelerator" program for students to launch their own businesses before graduation. Over two semesters, students receive coaching from professors and successful innovators on how to take an idea – in his case a 24-hour professional editing service – to the stage of product launch.

VITP Bulletin: New Stop Signs Installed

This is to advise all VITP employees that STOP signs have been placed at the rear of VITP at the entrance to the Delivery/Loading Dock and the BC Ambulance parking lot. Due to heavy usage for deliveries and the BC Ambulance parking lot, the road must be controlled, therefore STOP signs have been strategically placed to provide safety for pedestrians as well as control cars using the road as a through route.

As with any new measure, it is important to communicate this important safety measure as widely as possible before taking stricter measures.  Your attention to this area while driving will be greatly appreciated.

Saanich News: VITP Group Could Hold Answer to Organ Health

Written by:  Roszan Holmen, Saanich News

Heart, lung and kidney failure cost the Canadian health care system $35 billion each year, but proteins may hold a piece of the puzzle in prevention.

The Proteomics Centre at the Vancouver Island Technology Park has teamed up with other scientists, health care organizations and private sector partners to study the Prevention of Epidemic Organ Failure (PROOF). The project was recently awarded $15 million dollars from the federal Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research.

Proteomics is the study of proteins on the “omics” level, meaning on a wide scope, rather than on an individual basis.

“If you’re going to hear the symphony, you don’t go to hear only one instrument,” said Christoph Borchers, director of UVic’s Proteomics Centre. To understand the music, you need to hear them all together. “This happens in the body as well.”

The goal of PROOF is to develop and commercialize a product that can analyze a blood sample to find biomarkers, or select proteins, genes and metabolites that signal problems in the organs.

“Blood is very complex,” said Borchers. It contains thousands of different proteins, all at different concentrations. Finding ones of interest can be like spotting a frog on a leaf from the moon, he said.

To study proteins in concert, a blood sample is analyzed in a mass spectrometer, which identifies each protein based on its molecular weight. Genes and metabolites will be analyzed in similar ways at other Canadian centres. Together with clinical, demographic and environmental data, the PROOF team will track organ disease as it progresses.

The project is riding on the coat tails of another involving the same team. Now three years in, the first project studies immune rejection of organ transplants, said Bruce McManus, PROOF director at UBC.

From transplant management to transplant prevention, “PROOF is moving way upstream,” McManus said.

The economic burden of heart, kidney and lung failure surpasses any other group of diseases by a wide margin, he said.

“The economic costs come from us not being able to intervene or know that people are at risk soon enough. Our whole program is aimed at identifying people earlier and with great precision.”

Times Colonist Reports: UVic Recieves $1 Million for Tech Projects

By Jeff Bell

Times Colonist

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rona Ambrose gave her alma mater a million-dollar boost yesterday.

Ambrose, visiting the University of Victoria in her role as federal minister of western economic diversification, announced funding of $1,036,400 for technology-related projects organized through the Gordon Head campus. The funds will provide equipment for the chemistry and physics/astronomy departments, enhancements for the renowned VENUS undersea project, and an upgrade for the conference centre at the UVic-owned Vancouver Island Technology Park.

"Strengthening UVic's world-class research capacity is important to British Columbia, but it's also important to the rest of the country," said Ambrose, who graduated from UVic in 1995 with a degree in psychology before moving on to the University of Alberta and eventually a career in politics.

Ambrose, a former environment minister, lauded the VENUS (Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea) project as an example of "leading-edge science and technology." The $353,700 in funding it receives will purchase specialized equipment to be used near the mouth of the Fraser River.

"For the first time, we will be able to monitor in real time the behaviour of the muds and sands that the Fraser annually deposits on the foreslope of the delta," said Tom Pedersen, UVic's dean of science.

One remarkable new piece of equipment coming to the campus is a $130,000 Raman microscope, he said.

"It's the first such instrument to be installed on Vancouver Island."

Pedersen likened the use of the microscope to working with "micro-Lego."

"Every component that you're putting together is much, much smaller than the width of a human hair."

The diagnosis of ovarian cancer and the development of micro-scale fuel cells are two of the diverse areas of research in which the new microscope will be used, Pedersen said.

Ongoing research will also benefit from a $150,000 nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer coming to the department of chemistry, he said. Studies that will benefit range from breast cancer therapy to the harvesting of solar energy.

The $112,700 investment in the Vancouver Island Technology Park supports an important and growing facility, Ambrose said.

"With 30 companies employing some 1,300 people, the tech park truly is a major economic asset to the region."

Dale Gann, vice-president of the technology park, said the funding infusion is an example of continuing support from the federal government. Previous funding in 2001 led to the initial establishment of the business centre, giving executives and young entrepreneurs a place to meet, he said.