The Honourable Gary Goodyear, PC, MP
Minister of State (Science and Technology)
July 6, 2012
Check Against Delivery
Thank you, Michelle, for the introduction, and my thanks to John Koch and SFN Biosystems for hosting this event. It brings us together for a very important presentation.
As Minister of State for Science and Technology, I know that Canada's innovative spirit and entrepreneurial drive are strong. Both are alive and well and flourishing in Calgary and across our great country.
SFN Biosystems is a perfect example of what our government wants to achieve with our innovation agenda. Innovation is about taking ideas to market and solving problems.
Founded in 2007, SFN Biosystems is engaged in clean-technology projects, which are improving the environment. With in-depth knowledge of the design, construction and operation of gas plants, the company is applying its expertise to capturing and converting the rejected heat and exhaust from natural gas–burning compressors into reusable energy and products.
The beauty of this technology is twofold. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions while creating eco-friendly products that can be commercialized. In the case of this facility: growing algal biomass for use in a variety of industrial applications. Those of you with fish tanks at home covered in algae might be surprised to learn just how versatile this organism is. SFN Biosystems is tapping into this versatility and taking advantage of its potential.
This firm's dedication to innovation is just one of the many reasons why the Harper Government supports SFN Biosystems through the National Research Council of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program, also known as NRC-IRAP.
The focus of NRC-IRAP is on small and medium-sized enterprises and on working with them to turn knowledge into innovation and innovation into strategic opportunities, jobs and prosperity for all Canadians. The program helps entrepreneurs take their ideas from concept to reality and move them into the marketplace and the hands of consumers.
Our country's prosperity is fundamentally linked to science and the innovative technologies that Canadian firms like SFN Biosystems bring to life.
Ultimately, our goal is to tie research more closely to results, both in terms of marketable products and more innovative and productive companies. SFN Biosystems is beginning to see the fruits of its labour and shows great promise in taking this technology to the next level.
And so, it is with great pleasure today that I present SFN Biosystems with a Canadian Innovation Leader Certificate. This certificate recognizes small and medium-sized enterprises that have successfully developed and applied innovative technologies linking scientific research to commercialization, jobs and economic growth. It also honours SFN Biosystems as a role model for entrepreneurs in communities across Canada.
Before asking John Koch, President and CEO of SFN, to come up to receive the certificate, I would like to take a few minutes to describe the Harper Government's strong commitment to increasing business innovation. We are creating value-added jobs by helping new ideas and partnerships thrive in our research and business communities.
The Harper Government is investing in science and technology to create good jobs, strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians. Canada's long-term economic competitiveness depends on supporting businesses that innovate and create jobs.
We have a long, successful track record of transforming ideas into world-leading products. But we can do better. We know that businesses need to devote more attention and resources to research and development (R&D). That is why our government asked an independent panel of experts to conduct a comprehensive review of federal support for R&D.
That panel, led by OpenText chair Tom Jenkins, made recommendations aimed at optimizing the effect of federal programs that contribute to innovation and create economic opportunities for business.
Through Economic Action Plan 2012, our government is acting on the panel's advice. We are promoting business innovation and the creation of high-value jobs through enhanced support for high-growth companies, research collaborations, applied research, procurement opportunities and risk financing. To this effect, Economic Action Plan 2012 provides substantial direct support for business innovation and makes available $500 million for venture capital.
NRC-IRAP is a cornerstone of Canada's innovation system and is regarded worldwide as one of the best programs of its kind. Through Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government of Canada is allocating an additional $110 million per year to IRAP, allowing the program to expand its reach and the services it offers small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada.
With a key enabling program such as IRAP in place, the Government of Canada and the NRC are fostering Canadian innovation and giving companies greater opportunities to succeed and contribute to our economy. Being able to speak to you at this wonderful event here at SFN Biosystems is proof that our investment in science and technology is hitting the mark.
Thank you very much for your time, and congratulations to a great organization. I hope that, within the next year, you will see great success in expanding this technology and bringing your product to market. John, please join me so I can officially award you and your company this certificate.