RDC Announces Over $1.6 Million in R&D Funding to 18 Newfoundland and Labrador Companies

RDC today announced more than $1.6 million for 18 Newfoundland and Labrador-based companies doing innovative R&D including Blue Oceans Satellite Systems of St. John's. Paul Anderson, the company's president and CEO, spoke during the announcement. (CNW Group/Research & Development Corporation)

ST. JOHN'S, NL, Nov. 20, 2012 /CNW/ - Making working conditions safer for offshore employees, developing production efficiencies for the lumber industry and advancing healthcare technology are among the 18 business-led projects receiving more than $1.6 million in funding from the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC).

RDC today announced investment support that will assist several provincial companies with research and development (R&D) projects in Newfoundland and Labrador's priority sectors such as natural resources, ocean technology, aquaculture, advanced manufacturing and information communications technology.

"Newfoundland and Labrador's support for R&D is assisting these businesses to conduct leading-edge research that's attracting international attention," said the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister Responsible for Research & Development Corporation. "These companies are directly contributing to our economy, creating jobs and wealth, and further establishing Newfoundland and Labrador as a leader in R&D and innovation."

Today's investment is advancing projects led by companies throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, including:

ACAN Windows Inc.
Blue Oceans Satellite Systems Inc.
ClearRisk Inc.
EMSAT Corporation
FFT Labs Inc.
Industrial Engineering and Automation Solutions Ltd.
NL Research Technologies Inc.
Quinlan Brothers Limited
St. Anthony Cold Storage Limited
  AKAC Inc.
Burton's Cove Logging and Lumber Limited
Eastern Analytical Limited
ExtremeOcean Innovations Inc.
Hyflodraulic Limited
Integrated Informatics Inc.
Newfoundland Cod Broodstock Company Inc.
Sedna Nutraceuticals Inc.
Uncle Phil's Think Tank Inc.
     

"By making strategic investments in R&D projects and capabilities, the Research & Development Corporation is helping businesses pursue new ideas, innovative technologies and opportunities that enhance Newfoundland and Labrador's competitive advantage," said Glenn Janes, CEO of RDC. "Supporting business-led R&D is a priority area for RDC investment."

Today's funding comes from two RDC programs designed to improve business-led R&D in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Both RDC programs provide funding to support companies as they increase their R&D expenditures and develop leading-edge technologies. Programs details are available online at www.rdc.org.

An overview of the projects receiving funding from RDC is contained in the backgrounder of this release, while more detailed project descriptions are also available online at www.rdc.org.

The Research & Development Corporation is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador's R&D performance. RDC works with R&D stakeholders including business, academia and government agencies and departments. In Budget 2012: People and Prosperity - Responsible Investments for a Secure Future, RDC was allocated $19 million to make strategic research and development related investments in people, research opportunities and infrastructure. For more information about RDC, go to www.rdc.org.

BACKGROUNDER
Investments in Business-Led Research and Development

While RDC is investing a total of $1,669,699 in the following 18 Newfoundland and Labrador-based projects, the total project costs are $3,467,295, co-funded by the business and other partner organizations.

R&D Vouchers

ACAN Windows Inc.
ACAN Windows is a local manufacturer of windows, specializing in the extrusion, manufacturing, and distribution of vinyl windows, sliding patio doors and entrance doors. Through this project, ACAN, which is located in Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador, will collaborate with the College of the North Atlantic's (CNA) Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), which has the only injection molding machine in the province. Injection molding is a manufacturing process for producing parts from plastic materials. The project will serve to improve CNA's capacity in injection molding, which is a new field of applied research for CNA, and seek to improve ACAN's existing manufacturing process. RDC's investment is $11,250 of a total project cost of $15,000.

Eastern Analytical Limited
Eastern Analytical Ltd. is a privately owned Springdale-based, Newfoundland and Labrador company that provides sample preparation and assay techniques to the mining industry. The company has been in operation since 1987. Through this project, the company will develop proficiency in lab testing and research in methods of platinum, palladium and gold fire assay, as well as uranium testing in rock, soil, and biological material. The development of proficiency testing is required for method validation and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 17025 certification, which the company hopes to obtain. Eastern Analytical will access the expertise of Dr. Gary Thompson of Technetium Consulting Ltd. to enhance its research and testing capabilities. RDC's investment is $15,000 of a total project cost of $25,000.

FFT Labs Inc.
FFT Labs Inc. has developed a plastic mechanism for attaching a smart phone to the inside of a purse. To improve the design, the company is studying the industrial design currently applied to the functionality and ergonomics of the plastic mechanism and the mechanics behind how a purse will be attached to the mechanism. Through this project, the company, which has offices in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, will employ the technical services of Ross + Doell and the College of the North Atlantic. RDC's investment is $15,000 of a total project cost of $20,000.

Newfoundland Cod Broodstock Company Inc.
The Newfoundland Cod Broodstock Company is attempting to position itself to be a leading supplier of selected cod genetic material (eggs and larvae) for domestic, national and international markets. The company, which is based in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, is developing and optimizing best protocols for the shipment of live cod eggs to markets around the world. The research will be conducted at the Joe Brown Aquatic Research Building of Memorial University of Newfoundland and will allow for the evaluation of numerous optimization processes which can lead to increased survival, hatch rates and eventual growth and performance of cod larvae from selective cod broodstock. RDC's investment is $15,000 of a total project cost of $21,060.

Sedna Nutraceuticals Inc.
Based in Whitbourne, Newfoundland and Labrador, Sedna Nutraceuticals Inc., is involved in the research and development of nutraceutical products of the highest quality and purity. Through this project, the Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development at the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland's will conduct a shelf-life study on three dried berry products currently produced by the company. The study will document the microbial, chemical and sensory changes in the products over a 12-month period. The results of this research will assist in determining a shelf-life for each product. RDC's investment is $12,010 for a total project cost of $18,247.

St. Anthony Cold Storage Limited
The iceberg harvesting industry currently operates using very basic technologies. St. Anthony Cold Storage Limited, located in St. Anthony, Newfoundland and Labrador, is proposing a revolutionary way to make this process more cost-effective and safer. Through this project, the company will identify, secure and tow a full iceberg (maximum of 2,000 tonnes) to a processing site where it will cut up and harvest the entire iceberg. The ice would then be stored in the company's 5,000 tonne cold storage facility and sold to customers as ice or as water. The company will collaborate with C-CORE, a separately incorporated entity of Memorial University of Newfoundland. RDC's investment is $15,000 for a total project cost of $181,553.

Uncle Phil's Think Tank Inc.
Located in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, Uncle Phil's Think Tank Inc. (UPTT) was formed and incorporated in 2010 with a focus on the research and development of the One Pass Ostomy Draining Device (OPODD), a device used to assist with the draining of ostomy pouches. Through this project, the company will collaborate with the Industrial Outreach Group in Memorial University of Newfoundland's Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science to design, develop and test a plastic prototype of its OPODD. RDC's investment is $9,750 for a total project cost of $13,000.

R&D Proof of Concept

AKAC Inc.
This project involves the development of an icebreaker performance simulation tool.  The project scope includes the planning, programming, calibration/validation and documentation of a time-based tool.  The simulation techniques will expand the company's current methods for estimating level ice performance, and will combine these techniques with other methods found in literature and adapt each to fit into a time-based model. The simulator will then be calibrated using full-scale data belonging to AKAC. RDC's investment is $11,212 of a total project cost of $29,612.

Blue Oceans Satellite Systems Inc.
Blue Oceans Satellite Systems Inc. plans to develop an innovative satellite solution called SkyHawk Next, which will allow user-friendly, two-way real time satellite communication. This new product will be designed and tested to allow for real time communications in remote or isolated areas. Blue Oceans Satellite Systems Inc., is a St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador-based company, incorporated in 2003, that provides satellite electronic data communications systems to industrial markets. RDC's investment is $241,959 for a total project cost of $457,109.

Burton's Cove Logging and Lumber Limited
Through the use of mathematical models and 3D laser scanners, Burton's Cove Logging and Lumber Limited, located in Hampden, Newfoundland and Labrador, plan to develop an automated scaling system that will allow the company to measure the volume of wood that can be used for lumber.  The company currently uses a manual system to scale sawlogs and if they are successful in completing this project, they would become the first sawmill in Canada to introduce this type of innovative laser-assisted system. RDC's investment is $122,100 for a total project cost of $190,309.

ClearRisk Inc.
ClearRisk is based in St. John's Newfoundland and Labrador, and is a leading provider of web-based software solutions to the North American insurance industry. The purpose of this project is to migrate ClearRisk's Manager platform from the ASP.Net platform and rebuild it as a custom Force.com application. The decision to move ClearRisk Manager from ASP.Net to Force.com is the result of more than a year of research and evaluation of development platforms. The decision was due to market opportunity as well as the increasing need for application flexibility and cross-product integration with ClearRisk's Tracker and Underwriter products, which are ClearRisk's claims administration and underwriting tools, respectively. RDC's investment is $156,663 of a total project cost of $385,663.

EMSAT Corporation
EMSAT is a technology integration software company that focuses on environmental data collection, analysis and display. The company is developing an Environmental Monitoring System (EMS) package combining environmental sensors technology, remote satellite communication, advanced environmental management software and value-added information services tied together with a global software solution. Through this project, the prototype will be taken to a customer in their target market to ascertain the level of support for the technology and to gather requirements to implement a full version of the software.  The company, which is based in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, has identified a number of industries that can benefit from this type of system, such as mining, manufacturing and pharmaceutical, but they will be initially targeting the oil and gas industry. RDC's investment is $96,902 of a total project cost of $313,841.

ExtremeOcean Innovations Inc.
ExtremeOcean Innovation Inc. is a marine technology start-up company established in June 2010 and is located in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. With next generation wind farms moving increasingly further from shore, the United Kingdom Based Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) competition was organized to stimulate the design of a next generation wind turbine service craft capable of safely and efficiently transporting maintenance crew 160 kilometres offshore and offloading to wind turbines in three metre wave heights. With RDC's financial support, the company's design proposal was selected as one of the winners of the competition, which received more than 450 entrants from around the world. Selection as a successful design in the OWA competition has resulted in approximately $100,000 in funding to develop and test the concept at the small scale prototype stage. RDC's investment is $111,800 of a total project cost of $172,000.

Hyflodraulic Limited
Hyflodraulic Limited was incorporated in July 1983 and offers specialized hydraulic services and solutions to the commercial, industrial and marine related industries throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. The company, located in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, has designed a winch system with a constant tension device to assist oil and gas operators with the offloading of crude oil from offshore oil platforms. This project will involve the fabrication, testing and certification of the winch system. The company is collaborating with a number of industry partners to assist with the welding, inspection, testing and certification requirements needed throughout the project. RDC's investment is $123,437 of a total project cost of $176,850.

Industrial Engineering and Automation Solutions Ltd.
Industrial Engineering and Automation Solutions Limited was established in January 2007 as an engineering services company specializing in electrical, instrumentation, controls and systems integration. Based in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, the company also offers research and development services for the offshore oil and gas, petroleum, mining, power generation and industrial markets. The company has developed an industrial and commercial grade product for eliminating or preventing rodent problems. RodentBloc generates a pulsating high-frequency sound barrier that irritates the super sensitive auditory nerves of mice and rats, eliminating them from the general vicinity of the pest control device.  RDC's investment is $202,815 for a total project cost of $341,681.

Integrated Informatics Inc.
Integrated Informatics Inc. is a leading consultancy for Geographic Information System (GIS) implementation and development, providing spatial data management and automated mapping solutions to clients throughout North America. It has offices in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as Calgary, Alberta, and Houston, Texas. Through this project, the company is developing an advanced environmental data management system that will consolidate archived environmental effects monitoring information into a standard database environment and interactive interface for the offshore oil and gas industry. The data model and associated data loading tools will facilitate input for current and future environmental effects monitoring and environmental assessment programs providing a standard format and a user-friendly interface. RDC's investment is $249,500 for a total project cost of $450,750.

NL Research Technologies Inc.
NL Research Technologies Inc. was incorporated in 2010 to commercialize discoveries made through clinical observation and research at its sister company, Nexus Clinical Research, including investigator-initiated studies. Through this project with RDC, the company, which is located in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, will develop a health information technology-based platform to facilitate medical disorder screening, health care management and interaction between patients and doctors. RDC's investment is $249,081 for a total project cost of $640,620.

Quinlan Brothers Limited
Incorporated in 1972, Quinlan Brothers Limited is a third generation, family-owned and operated business and is one of the largest processors of snow crab and shrimp in Newfoundland and Labrador. Through this project, the company will partner with an Icelandic manufacturer, seafood processor and laboratory to conduct research and testing on existing technology currently being used in the groundfish industry. Quinlan Brothers Limited is conducting this research to determine if the technology can be adapted to its shrimp maturation process. This project will assist the company with accessing outside facilities, equipment and technical support required to complete testing of this proprietary technology. RDC's investment is $11,250 for a total project cost of $15,000.

Image with caption: "RDC today announced more than $1.6 million for 18 Newfoundland and Labrador-based companies doing innovative R&D including Blue Oceans Satellite Systems of St. John's. Paul Anderson, the company's president and CEO, spoke during the announcement. (CNW Group/Research & Development Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121120_C9840_PHOTO_EN_20970.jpg

SOURCE: Research & Development Corporation

For further information:

Media contacts:

Jeff Green
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Research & Development Corporation
709-758-0973, 691-8892
jeffsgreen@rdc.org

Scott Barfoot
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Business and Rural
Development
709-729-4570, 690-6290
scottbarfoot@gov.nl.ca