TechTalk Blog
WED Announces Funding for VITP

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.

"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.

An investment of $112,700 was granted to VITP.  This investment will allow VITP to further upgrade the Onference Centre by providing physical locations for VIATeC, NRC, IDC and UVic Co-op.  This centralization of VITP's partners will further assist VITP's ability to nurture SME's.  In addition, the funding will also finance the enhancement of VITP's security, the development of VITP's expansion brochure and contribute to the creation of the 2007 Economic Impact Study.

Previous funding in 2001 led to the initial establishment of the Conference Centre at VITP.

Centre of Drug Research and Development Receives $15 Million from Government of Canada

The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) is among 11 organizations to be named Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECRs). The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry, made the announcement on behalf of the Government of Canada. CDRD will receive $15 million over five years to accelerate the translation of health research into high value medicines.

"This is a great time for CDRD and we applaud the Government of Canada for recognizing and addressing the gap between great Canadian discoveries and new therapeutics that improve the health and economic well-being of Canadians," says Natalie Dakers, Chief Executive Officer for CDRD. "Our unique hybrid model that brings together academic researchers from BC's institutions and provides a path to commercialization, exactly addresses what the Government of Canada is hoping to achieve with these Centres of Excellence. This funding recognizes that we are well on our way to tackling this issue, builds on our existing foundation and significantly accelerates our progress and increases our capacity."

In addition to CDRD, three other Vancouver-based initiatives also received $15 million in funding through the program: Advanced Applied Physics Solutions, Inc., The Prostate Centre's Translational Research Initiative for Accelerated Discovery and Development and the CECR in the Prevention of Epidemic Organ Failure.

"The CDRD looks forward to working with these groups to accelerate the commercialization of Canadian research and innovation. The fact that BC- based initiatives have garnered 4 of the 11 Centres of Excellence designations speaks to the world- class calibre of our researchers, science and life sciences industry," Pieter Cullis, Scientific Director for CDRD commented.

The CECR competition and program are administered by the secretariat of the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE), successful research partnerships between universities, industry, not-for- profit organizations and government. The NCE program is an initiative of the three federal granting agencies-the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research-in partnership with Industry Canada.

"The NCE program is proud to be a part of the Government's vision for a more prosperous, advanced and competitive Canada," said Dr. Suzanne Fortier, Chair of the NCE Steering Committee and President of NSERC. "We welcome these 11 CECRs into the NCE family. We look forward to working with their directors, researchers and partners to help them achieve their maximum potential and impact."

About the Centre for Drug Research and Development

CDRD is a unique hybrid organization that brings together researchers, institutions and industry to bridge the gap between primary research and the successful development of new medicines. CDRD combines an academic research infrastructure that enables B.C. researchers in universities and hospitals throughout the province to focus and amplify their drug discovery and development efforts, with a commercialization arm that drives drug development projects and brings the technology to market either by creating companies or licensing to an existing company. The CDRD network includes more than 250 life sciences researchers across the province. 

BC's Next Generation Network: Information at the Speed of Light

In follow up to an invitation mailed a few weeks ago, a friendly reminder that BCNET in partnership with CANARIE is hosting a launch event on March 17, 2008 to announce a significant upgrade to BC’s only dedicated advanced high-speed network for research and higher education. 

British Columbians now have access to one of the world’s most advanced optical lightpath “Internet” networks. The upgraded next generation advanced network  has a record breaking capacity for 72-optical wavelengths that offers 10 gigabit per second communication capability on each wavelength. This network now provides an unprecedented bandwidth and network speed to meet the growing demands of collaboration in research and education in BC for the next 10 years to come.


Please join us for this special announcement to hear from the  featured guest speaker Honourable Murray Coell, Industry Canada,  BC’s University Presidents and CANARIE.


Highlighted guests in attendance are:

  • ·         Minister Coell, Ministry of Advanced Education
  • ·         Deputy Minister Moura Quayle, Ministry of Advanced Education
  • ·         Mr. Kevin Lindsey, Acting Assistant Deputy Minister of Industry Canada
  • ·         Mr. Bruce Drake, Regional Executive Director, Industry Canada
  • ·         University Presidents of BC (Dr. Michael Stevenson, Dr. Stephen Toope, Dr. Don Cozzetto, Dr. Roger Barnsley, Dr. Roger Barnsley, Dr. Allan Cahoon)
  • ·         Dr. Andrew Bjerring, CEO & President of CANARIE
  • ·         Mr. Don Avison, President of The University Presidents’ Council


Event Information:

When: March 17th, 2008
Time: 10:00am to 12:00pm
Where: SFU Segal Graduate School of Business, 500 Granville St. (at Pender)

Lunch Reception at 11:30am

OncoGenex Reports Lead Drug Candidate Achieved Primary Endpoint in PhII Trial

OncoGenex Technologies Inc. announced today that the Company's lead cancer drug candidate, OGX-011, also referred to as custirsen, was well-tolerated in combination with either docetaxel or mitoxantrone administered as second-line chemotherapy in patients with hormone refractory prostate cancer. Additionally, patients treated with second-line chemotherapy plus OGX-011 showed ongoing survival durations better than results published with chemotherapy alone. Phase 2 data were presented today at the 2008 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. OncoGenex and Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISIS) are collaborating on development of OGX-011.

According to data presented by Dr. Fred Saad, Professor of Surgery/Urology at the
University of Montreal, the primary objectives of safety and tolerability were achieved in the 42 patients evaluated in the study. In addition, encouraging outcomes were observed with OGX-011 administered in combination with second-line chemotherapy.

§  More chemotherapy than expected was safely administered to and tolerated by patients when OGX-011 was combined with second-line chemotherapy: Patients received a median of 6 cycles of mitoxantrone or 7.5 cycles of docetaxel as second-line chemotherapy. These data compare favorably with published reports documenting a median of 3-4 cycles with second-line chemotherapy alone.

§  Survival was better than expected based on previously published reports: With a median follow-up of 13.3 months following second-line chemotherapy, approximately 30 percent of patients in both arms have not manifested disease progression and approximately 60 percent of patients remain alive in both arms. Median survival has not been reached in either arm. These data compare favorably with published results documenting median survivals of approximately 10 months.

§  Reduction in pain or analgesic use was achieved in 50 percent or more of patients entering the study with pain: Reductions in pain or analgesic use were seen in 50 percent of evaluable patients treated with mitoxantrone and in 67 percent of evaluable patients retreated with docetaxel. These data compare favorably to the 22-35 percent of patients receiving first-line chemotherapy who reported reduction in pain in the TAX 327 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on October 7, 2004.

This Phase 2 study was designed as an open-label, randomized, multicenter study evaluating weekly administration of OGX-011 in combination with second-line chemotherapy in patients with metastatic hormone refractory prostate cancer who were previously treated with a minimum of 2 cycles of docetaxel-based first-line chemotherapy. Patients in this study represented a poor prognostic population due to rapid disease progression after completing first-line docetaxel therapy with a median of 0.7 months in the mitoxantrone treated group or 2.1 months in the docetaxel retreated group. Because OGX-011 has been shown to enhance chemotherapy and reverse chemotherapy resistance in preclinical in vitro and in vivo models, the aim of this study was to assess the effect of OGX-011 in combination with either mitoxantrone or docetaxel retreatment as second-line chemotherapy. Phase 3 studies are planned utilizing chemotherapy plus OGX-011 as second-line therapy in patients progressing after a first-line docetaxel regimen.

"These data show that the combination of OGX-011 with docetaxel or mitoxantrone may improve treatment outcomes in second-line prostate cancer," said Dr. Fred Saad, who is also the primary investigator in the study. "The data also suggests that retreatment with docetaxel when combined with OGX-011 may reverse chemotherapy resistance in second-line docetaxel retreatment. We look forward to confirming these data in planned Phase 3 studies."

Government of Canada Announces 11 New Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research

The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry, today announced $163 million to establish 11 new Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECRs). These centres will share $163 million to pursue major discoveries and bring them to the marketplace over the next five years.

"Today’s announcement marks a milestone in Canadian research history," said Minister Prentice. "The technologies, therapies, services and products generated by these new centres will help improve the well-being of all Canadians while positioning Canada at the forefront of priority research areas. As we stated in our Science and Technology Strategy, this Government is committed to encouraging these exciting, multidisciplinary partnerships between the private, academic and public sectors."

The 11 CECRs and their funding amounts are:

  • Advanced Applied Physics Solutions, Inc. (AAPS), Vancouver, BC – $14.95 million
  • Bioindustrial Innovation Centre (BIC), Sarnia, ON – $14.95 million
  • Centre for the Commercialization of Research (CCR), Ottawa, ON – $14.95 million
  • Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), Vancouver, BC – $14.95 million
  • Centre of Excellence in Personalized Medicine (CEPM), Montreal, QC – $13.8 million
  • Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC), Hamilton, ON – $14.95 million
  • Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer CECR in Therapeutics Discovery (IRICoR), Montreal, QC – $14.95 million
  • MaRS Innovation, Toronto, ON – $14.95 million
  • The Prostate Centre's Translational Research Initiative for Accelerated Discovery and Development (PC-TRIADD), Vancouver, BC – $14.95 million
  • Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise (PREVENT), Saskatoon, SK – $14.95 million
  • CECR in the Prevention of Epidemic Organ Failure (PROOF), Vancouver, BC – $14.95 million

More information on each Centre is provided in the backgrounder.

Budget 2007 set aside $195 million over the next two years to create new Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research in four priority areas: environmental science and technologies, natural resources and energy, health and life sciences, and information and communication technologies. The program will support the operating and commercialization costs of the centres.

These 11 CECRs join seven Centres of Excellence announced in Budget 2007. The Government invested $105 million in these seven centres, located in B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

The CECR program is a cornerstone of Canada's Science and Technology Strategy. One of the goals of the strategy, launched in May 2007, is to encourage more private sector investment in research and development. The strategy also emphasizes capitalizing on our people, knowledge and entrepreneurial advantages to build a stronger Canadian society and economy.

The CECR competition and program are administered by the secretariat of the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE), successful research partnerships between universities, industry, not-for-profit organizations and government. The NCE program is an initiative of the three federal granting agencies—the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research—in partnership with Industry Canada.

"The NCE program is proud to be a part of the Government's vision for a more prosperous, advanced and competitive Canada," said Dr. Suzanne Fortier, Chair of the NCE Steering Committee and President of NSERC. "We welcome these 11 CECRs into the NCE family. We look forward to working with their directors, researchers and partners to help them achieve their maximum potential and impact."

As part of today's event, Dr. Fortier also announced the members of the Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB). This group of respected industry leaders was established at the onset of the CECR competition to assess the economic and commercial benefits and opportunities of each proposal and to provide recommendations to the NCE Steering Committee, who determined the final selection. The PSAB members are:

  • The Honourable Perrin Beatty (Chair), President, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Sue Abu-Hakima, President/CEO, Amika Mobile Corporation
  • Mr. Alan Bernardi (alternate), Director, Bell University Laboratories
  • Mr. James E.C. Carter, former President, Syncrude Canada Ltd.
  • Mr. J. Haig deB. Farris, President, Fractal Capital Corp.
  • Dr. Kevin O’Brien Fehr, Director, Basic Research and Genetics, GlaxoSmithKline Inc.
  • Mr. Fred Hemphill (alternate), former Vice President, Technology Project Development and Research, Syncrude Canada Ltd.
  • Ms. Francine Laurent , former President, Innovatech Québec
  • Mr. Raymond Leduc, Director, IBM plant, Bromont, QC
  • Mr. Donald Lush, President, Environmental Bio-detection Products Inc.
  • Mr. Keith Stoodley, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Provincial Aerospace Group of Companies
  • Mr. Jeff Turner, CEO, Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics Inc.
Carmanah Provides Solar LED Aviation Lights for Airfield Upgrades in United Arab Emirates

Carmanah Technologies Corporation (TSX: CMH) has received an order through Dubai-based GESOLAR — the company's authorized aviation distributor in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — to supply solar-powered portable airfield lights for privately-owned airfield applications within the region. The order, valued at more than $600,000, provides the tools to enhance visibility and safety at remote airfields using energy-efficient LED (light emitting diode) beacons powered by clean, cost-effective solar energy.

Carmanah's solar-powered LED airfield lights provide a wireless lighting alternative that is cost-effective, energy efficient, and easy to install wherever it's needed. With no trenching or cabling required, a two-person crew can install a temporary runway lighting system in less than an hour, or create a permanent installation in a single day. Free from any need for wiring, cables, generators, fuel or electrical grid access, Carmanah's remote-controlled airfield lights offer unparalleled convenience, reliability and performance.

For this upgrade, the order includes Carmanah's A704-5 runway edge lights, approach lights and threshold lights, as well as A601 taxiway lights. The order also includes the mounting hardware used to install the elevated runway edge lights, and wireless handheld radio remote control equipment for operating the lights through secure wireless communications from the ground or the air. For maximum versatility and reliability, the A704-5 lights include Carmanah's built-in energy management system that automatically aligns light levels with available energy resources to ensure the lights always have the power they need to operate effectively. A programmable interface allows the user to set on/off times, brightness levels, flash patterns, infrared or visible outputs and more.

According to Chris Zegger-Murphy, Business Development Manager for Carmanah's Aviation business unit, the order underscores an increased interest in solar aviation technology throughout the UAE and around the world. "Solar aviation lights offer significant advantages over traditional systems whether an airfield has access to grid power or not. But in remote locations where the nearest source of reliable grid-based electricity can be hundreds of miles away, it's really an attractive alternative," said Zegger-Murphy. "Solar aviation lights are automated, durable, reliable and very effective, and with the wireless capability of the new A704-5 light, they're more convenient than ever. It's a sound investment for all types of airfield applications."

Carmanah is one of the largest suppliers of self-contained solar LED airfield lights in the world. The company's advanced airfield lights have been field-proven to endure challenging environmental conditions including extreme temperatures, poor solar conditions, sandstorms, and flooding. With thousands of systems in operation, Carmanah provides the tools for a full range of airfield applications, including permanent primary lighting, temporary lighting during airfield construction or upgrades, emergency backup lighting, as well as expedited portable lighting during emergency or humanitarian aid operations.

Vigil Health Solutions Reports Third Quarter Results

February 12, 2008 (Victoria) – Vigil Health Solutions Inc. (“Vigil”) announces the results of operations for the quarter ending December 31, 2007.


Business highlights


·         Increased sales bookings by 132% from $547 thousand in the three-month period ended December 31, 2006 to $1.27 million in the current three-month period.


·         Grew revenue 93% from $382 thousand in the period ended December 31, 2006 to $737 thousand in the current quarter.  


·         Expanded order backlog from $1.58 million at December 31, 2006 to $3.06 million at December 31, 2007.


“Vigil closed over a million dollars in sales in the third quarter and recorded $737 thousand in revenue.  We are committed to continuing this growth and are focused on recruiting sales and operations personnel to achieve this end,” said Troy Griffiths, President & CEO, Vigil Health Solutions Inc.


Financial Results


Revenue for the three-months ended December 31, 2007 was $737 thousand compared to $382 thousand in the period ended December 31, 2006, an increase of 93%.  Revenue for the nine-months ended December 31, 2007 was $2.21 million compared to $1.06 million in the period ended December 31, 2006, an increase of 108%.  The number of projects completed in the quarter grew from 13 in the prior fiscal period to 25 in the period ending December 31, 2007.


Bookings for the quarter were $1.27 million up 132% compared to $547 thousand in the three-month period ended December 31, 2006.  Bookings for the nine-months ended December 31, 2007 were up 108% to $3.24 million compared to $1.56 million in the nine-month period ended December 31, 2006.


At December 31, 2007 Vigil had a sales backlog of approximately $3.06 million (including $1.04 million in deposits and progress billings, recorded as deferred revenue on the balance sheet) compared to $1.58 million (including $582 thousand in deferred revenue) at December 31, 2006. 


The gross margin percentage for the three-months ended December 31, 2007 was 42% compared to 46% for the three-months ended December 31, 2006.  The gross margin percentage for the nine-months ended December 31, 2007 was 47% compared to 46% for the nine-months ended December 31, 2006.


Operating expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2007 were $508 thousand, down 3% from $525 thousand in the same quarter of the prior year.  Operating expenses for the nine-months ended December 31, 2007 were $1.56 million, up 5% from $1.49 million in the nine-month period ended December 31, 2006. The rise in costs resulted primarily from increases in research and development expenditures and professional fees in the nine-month period ended December 31, 2007.


Losses for the three-month period ended December 31, 2007 were $245 thousand, or $0.003 per share, a decrease of 29% compared to $343 thousand, or $0.004 per share, for the previous year.  Losses for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2007 were $642 thousand, or $0.007 per share, a decrease of 36% compared to $1.0 million, or $0.011 per share, for the previous year.  The decrease in losses can be primarily attributed to the increase in revenue and gross profit.

Federal Liberal Leader visits Vancouver Island Technology Park

The federal Liberal leader Stephane Dion was in Victoria Saturday meeting with environmentalists and technology experts at the Vancouver Island Technology Park.

Photo Image:  (Left to right)  Dick Melville, VITP Chief of Security; Stephane Dion, Liberal Leader; Dale Gann, Vice President VITP; Don Campbell, VITP Security Officer)  

New Trades & Technology Centre Opens its Doors at UCFV

CHILLIWACK – B.C.’s largest recycled training facility – the $21.6-million Trades and Technology Centre at the University College of the Fraser Valley’s new campus in Chilliwack – officially opened today. Advanced Education Minister Murray Coell, Environment Minister and Chilliwack-Kent MLA Barry Penner, and Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General and Chilliwack-Sumas MLA John Les were on hand to open the centre.

“Our booming economy means we need more skilled workers than ever before, which is why increasing trades training in B.C. is a high priority for our government,” said Coell. “Every time we invest in skilled workers, it keeps our economy competitive and benefits everyone in the province.”

The 2.5-acre Trades and Technology Centre is part of the Canada Education Park, a collaborative initiative between local, provincial and international schools. The centre offers students a wide variety of high-quality programs, including architectural drafting, heavy duty commercial transport, automotive services, hospitality and event planning, electronics, professional cooking, carpentry, welding, joinery, and electrical work.

“This new building is part of our master plan for the new campus, which will ultimately allow us to double the number of students we service in Chilliwack,” said UCFV president Skip Bassford. “This is great news for our local economy since Chilliwack’s business-friendly environment is attracting a lot of new companies that all require skilled workers.”

UCFV is aiming to have 1,800 students on the new Canada Education Park campus by 2010, meeting the needs of both employers and students.

The building has a number of state-of-the-art features, including a professional dining room, a highly automated computer numerical control machine used for delicate woodworking in the carpentry/joinery shop, a heavy-duty hoist capable of lifting a city bus and the first programmable robotic welding arm to be used in a training facility in Western Canada.

“As a former UCFV student, I'm very proud of the new campus and I’m especially impressed by UCFV’s commitment to ensuring the building has a low carbon footprint,” said Penner. “Our government’s actions to reduce British Columbia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020 include making our public post-secondary buildings carbon neutral by 2010.” 

The centre was built within the shell of an existing building, using large portions of recycled material. UCFV also used some Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards in the design of the building. Electrical and mechanical systems were also designed to be energy efficient. 

In addition to the Trades and Technology Centre building, the Province is funding 1,700 new student spaces at UCFV as part of its seat expansion plan. 

Since 2001, the Province has provided more than $1 billion in new funding for 904 capital projects on campuses throughout B.C. and has allocated almost $700 million in capital funding over the next three years to accommodate further growth. To date, the Province has also funded almost 16,000 new seats at B.C.’s universities, colleges, and university colleges.


BC Innovation Council Appoints 5 New Board Members

Five new board members join BC Innovation Council’s (BCIC) Board of Directors to advance awareness and commercialization of science and technology in B.C., announced Hector MacKay-Dunn, QC, and Chair of BCIC. These individuals were appointed on the basis of their expertise and exceptional contributions and will serve on the Council’s Board of Directors for a three year term.

“Building science and technology-based economic development is a key focus for the Province of British Columbia,” said Advanced Education Minister Murray Coell. “I welcome the Council’s newest board members to their new role in advancing British Columbia’s position as a top technology centre in the world.”

As leaders in B.C.’s booming knowledge economy, BCIC’s Board of Directors is instrumental in defining how the Council’s mandate is realized. The Board of Directors’ newest members are:

Mr. Jonathan Burke, Vice President,
   Corporate Development, Westport Innovations Inc.
Mr. Gurval Caer, President and CEO,
   Blast Radius
Dr. Don Cozzetto, President,
   University of Northern British Columbia
Mr. Doug Horswill, Senior Vice President,
   Environment and Corporate Affairs, Teck Cominco Ltd.
Ms. Jill Leversage, Managing Director,
   Investment Banking, TD Securities Inc.

They will join Council board members Mr. Hector MacKay-Dunn, Mr. Greg Aasen, Mr. Jock Finlayson, Mr. Richard Glickman, Dr. Ken Higginbotham, Mr. Greg Kerfoot, Dr. Alan Winter, and Dr. Don Rix in providing direction and leadership to the Council.

“Our newest appointees to the Board of Directors bring invaluable experience across multiple sectors,” said Mr. MacKay-Dunn. “Their contributions will be essential to drive continuous progress in commercializing applied technology.”

The foundation of BCIC’s vision is to build top-tier innovation and commercialization in the province. Working with key players in government, research and industry strengthens B.C.’s international positioning as both competitive and sustainable.


Mr. Jonathan Burke is Vice President; Corporate Development at Westport Innovations Inc. Westport is a BC-based global supplier of proprietary solutions that allow engines to operate on clean-burning fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), hydrogen and biofuels such as landfill gas. He has over 10 years experience in corporate and investor communications and business development for both private and public technology companies.

“The Council has a crucial role in developing B.C.'s place as a global leader in science and technology innovation and commercialization,” said Mr. Burke. “I look forward to working with BCIC as it capitalizes on the many opportunities available for British Columbia.”


Mr. Gurval Caer is President and CEO of Blast Radius. As one of the original founders of Blast Radius, he has led the company to numerous awards including two consecutive Interactive Gold Clio Awards for Brand Building (2000-2001) and recognition as one of Canada’s 50 best privately managed companies. His leadership was also instrumental in establishing Blast Radius’ long-term relationships with companies such as Nike, Nintendo, Electronic Arts, BMW, Philips and Whirlpool.

“The creation of new ideas and new companies is important to the future of British Columbia,” said Caer. “I am looking forward to working with such a distinguished Board to help turn B.C. into one of the top 10 destinations of technology talent and capital in the world.”


Dr. Don Cozzetto is President of the University of Northern British Columbia. He received his PhD in Public Policy and Public Administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and has held a number of academic and administrative posts at universities in North Dakota, Florida and South Dakota. He is a specialist in public administration, human resource management, and aboriginal government.

“As President of one of the province’s four research universities, I am particularly interested in working with BCIC to promote the research and innovation agenda that is critical to our ability to be leaders in a knowledge-based society,” said Dr. Cozzetto.


Mr. Doug Horswill is Senior Vice President, Environment and Corporate Affairs at Teck Cominco Ltd. Prior positions include Deputy Minister of Finance and Corporate Relations and Deputy Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources in the Government of British Columbia. Before entering government he was employed at Utah International (BHP) and at INCO.

"Innovation is the key to B.C.’s economic future,” said Mr. Horswill. “We need to create the foundation for an innovative and competitive economy and BCIC is an important player in this pursuit."


Ms. Jill Leversage is Managing Director, Investment Banking at TD Securities Inc. She has over 20 years experience in the securities industries including nine years at RBC Capital Markets and seven years with Burns Fry Limited. She has successfully executed numerous debt and equity financings, and merger and acquisition advisory assignments for many large BC-based companies.

"BCIC's role as a catalyst for technology based economic development is critical to the Province's long term well being,” said Ms. Leversage. “I look forward to working with the Council to facilitate the connection between innovative technologies and successful commercialization."