Backgrounder Article from  Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

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

Project Descriptions

New Brunswick

Jiffy Products (N.B.) Ltd. (Shippagan, New Brunswick)

ACOA Assistance: $906,750 (Conditionally Repayable)

Jiffy Products (N.B.) Inc. was established in Shippagan, N.B., in 1976 to manufacture peat pots, peat pellets, plastic trays and other products related to the horticulture industry.

Through this project, Jiffy Products will conduct research and development aimed at improving the biophysical and chemical properties of peat, which will lead to the development of four new competitive products. This project will also create a working relationship with the Coastal Zone Research Institute and will result in the creation of three new research positions, incremental sales of up to $40 million and the eventual creation of up to 180 new jobs.

Nova Scotia

Mara Renewables Corporation (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia)

ACOA Assistance: $3,000,000 (Conditionally Repayable)

Mara Renewables uses innovative biology and fermentation methods to produce a biofuel and high-value oil from algae using a proprietary microorganism. This project intends to increase productivity and efficiencies of the microorganism in the fermentation process and look at different feedstocks for the process.

Mara Renewables has identified a number of other commercialization opportunities for both the biofuel and co-products, including strategic partnerships with multinational and national companies.

Short-term economic benefits include the creation of four full-time positions and the maintenance of 20 highly qualified positions. Additional positions are expected to be created in the areas of business development, finance and sales within two years.

Mara Renewables’ long-term objective is to establish the region as a hub for advanced biofuels utilizing the company’s networks and connections, which could lead to the creation of significant direct and indirect jobs.

GeoSpectrum Technologies Incorporated (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia)

ACOA Assistance: $1,900,000 (Conditionally Repayable)

Through this project, GeoSpectrum Technologies Incorporated will develop a new Coherent Seismic Source (CSS) for conducting marine geophysical surveys used by offshore oil and gas exploration companies. The objective of the new seismic source is to provide higher-quality images of subsea structures and reservoirs. These quality images will be particularly useful in deep water areas and those with complex geology. As well, due to the low acoustic frequencies employed, the product will also mitigate negative impacts on the marine environment.

This project will draw a foreign investment of $3.2 million into the region through a partnership with PGS Geophysical A.S. (Norway), create five full-time positions, and develop and grow the local supply chain.

Newfoundland and Labrador


(St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador)

ACOA Assistance: $3,000,000 (Non-Repayable)

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

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

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

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

ACOA Assistance: $853,127 (Conditionally Repayable)

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

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

Prince Edward Island

Aspin Kemp and Associates (Montague, Prince Edward Island)

ACOA assistance: $2,938,201 (Conditionally Repayable)

This project will help Aspin Kemp and Associates (AKA) develop and commercialize a “Power-Bridging System” solution. Consisting of four components, the Power Bridging Systems will have the capacity to integrate, store and discharge energy which regulates swings in power and offers a steady energy output (eliminating peaks and valleys of energy output, allowing for steady power in a cost-efficient manner to companies).

This support will allow AKA to develop this system which will improve its productivity and competiveness in the global marketplace.  AKA will work with three key collaborators on this project: Transocean (Texas), Zekatex Ltd. (Bulgaria), and Atlantic Advanced Power Technologies (PEI).

This project will create eight new full-time positions in research and development, engineering and manufacturing, building on the 125 positions already in place at AKA.

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Hon. Navdeep Singh Bains Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Economics and Industry

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