Research & Development Corporation Enhances Business R&D with Total Investments of $2.2 Million

ST. JOHN'S, NL, April 21 /CNW/ - The Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) today announced details on more than $2.2 million in funding to enhance business-led research and development (R&D) in the province. The funding supports 15 local businesses conducting R&D in key sectors including oil and gas, marine safety, fisheries, marine transportation and communications technologies.

RDC's investments include projects with the following companies: ATS Transport Systems Inc., Altera Newfoundland Technology Corporation (formerly Avalon Microelectronics Inc.), Root Four Imagination Inc., PanGeo Subsea Inc., Mad Rock Marine Solutions Inc., NewLab Clinical Research Inc., Beaufort Solutions, Ocean Choice International L.P., Q5 Systems Limited, Oceanex Inc., eSonar Inc., Instrumar Limited, Provincial Aerospace Ltd., and Cathexis Innovations Inc. (IDBLUE), and ICUS.

"Investments in Newfoundland and Labrador companies conducting leading-edge R&D are strengthening this province's economy," said the Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. "Today's funding announcement is allowing these local businesses to enhance technical and R&D capabilities, grow commercialization activity, and further develop world-class technologies."

The funding announced today is provided through two of RDC's industry programs: R&D Proof of Concept and R&D Vouchers, both of which are tailored to assist local companies with their R&D activities.

"RDC is actively working with commercial enterprises to grow their R&D capabilities and enhance competitiveness," said Glenn Janes, Chief Executive Officer, RDC. "The investments that are being highlighted today are aimed at enhancing the quality and quantity of business R&D in Newfoundland and Labrador, recognizing that R&D is a key driver behind innovation and business competitiveness."

R&D Proof of Concept helps companies strengthen their technical capacity, while reducing the financial risk of undertaking R&D activities through to Proof of Concept. The program's investments of up to $250,000 per project also enable companies to respond quickly to market opportunities by developing and testing new or improved products, services and processes.

R&D Vouchers help companies augment their R&D capabilities with greater access to the expertise and facilities needed to support their R&D needs. The program's investments of up to $15,000 per project support costs associated with access to specialized research personnel, research facilities and other R&D performers.

Both programs provide R&D funding to support companies as they increase their R&D expenditures and develop leading-edge technologies. They are open to applicants year round that meet the programs' criteria.

One of the companies supported today is Mad Rock Marine Solutions Inc. The company has developed and brought an innovative fail-closed lifeboat hook system to commercialization and is now working with international operators and manufacturers to advance its state-of-the-art technology.

RDC is investing $45,981 in the company to develop an offload release hook system for fast rescue crafts, complementing its lifeboat hook system.

"Advancing our RocLoc 4 Offload release hook prototype is a critical need in our company's future growth," said Dean Pelley, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Technical Officer and Vice-President of Sales with Mad Rock. "RDC's funding is allowing our company to remain competitive in an increasingly-global economy, while developing and advancing a significant piece of infrastructure for our maritime partners and customers."

RDC funding announced today is also facilitating a collaborative partnership between Provincial Aerospace Ltd. (PAL), a leading aerospace and defence company, and C-CORE, a separately incorporated R&D entity of Memorial University of Newfoundland that provides innovative engineering and technology solutions to national and international clients in industry and government.

RDC's R&D Vouchers program provided PAL access to specialized expertise and testing facilities at C-CORE to improve satellite transmitting and receiving equipment for communication in cold environments. With the modifications to the satellite equipment, it can now operate in temperatures as low as -50°C.

"The success of this test will open up markets for northern surveillance that require reliable transmission capabilities without impact from cold conditions. PAL is proud to partner with C-CORE and RDC on this R&D endeavour," said Keith Stoodley, Senior Vice President Government Relations and Business Development of PAL.

Additional information on the 15 companies receiving R&D funding is available in the backgrounder of this release.

About the Research & Development Corporation
The Research & Development Corporation (RDC) is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador's R&D performance. RDC works with R&D stakeholders including industry, academia and government agencies and departments. For more information about RDC, go to www.researchnl.com.

BACKGROUNDER
Industrial R&D projects

While RDC is investing a total of $2,240,739.87 in the following 15 Newfoundland and Labrador-based projects, the total project costs add up to more than $6.5 million. This overall R&D investment is supported by RDC and other partner organizations and each R&D project is also funded by its respective company.

R&D Proof of Concept:

ATS Transport Systems Inc., R&D Proof of Concept, $161,190 from RDC
ATS Transport Systems Inc. is a road transportation company, operating in St. John's, working with the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University and the Atlantic Veterinary College Lobster Science Centre in Prince Edward Island in developing and validating a live seafood transport system. The partnership is intended to result in a specially designed tractor trailer vehicle enabling large shipments of live seafood, specifically live Atlantic lobster, to be transported directly to lucrative markets in distant North American locations. RDC's investment is $161,190 of a total project cost of $464,812.

Altera Newfoundland Technology Corporation (formerly Avalon Microelectronics Inc.), R&D Proof of Concept, $115,192 from RDC
Altera Newfoundland Technology Corporation is located in Mount Pearl, and is a supplier of intellectual property (IP) telecommunications cores for the Optical Transport Network (OTN) marketplace. RDC's investment will assist the company in the verification and validation effort required to test the business model for proof of concept on Altera's existing 40 gigabytes OTN IP Solutions. This R&D project will enable Altera to provide more efficient and cost effective products and a fully tailored solution to customers based upon existing and proven technology. RDC's investment is $115,192 of a total project cost of $200,565. For additional information, visit www.altera.com.

Root Four Imagination Inc., R&D Proof of Concept, $225,375 from RDC
Root Four Imagination Inc. is a technology company, based out of Mount Pearl, focused on in-vehicle communication technology. This R&D project is proposed to produce a new vehicle sensing product offering to allow third party vendors and development companies to create custom applications. RDC's investment is $225,375 of a total project cost of $300,500. For additional information, visit www.rootfour.com.

PanGeo Subsea Inc., R&D Proof of Concept, $250,000 from RDC
PanGeo Subsea Inc., an acoustic imaging company based out of St. John's, has developed a unique three-dimensional, acoustic imaging technology for sub-bottom investigations, in support of offshore construction in the oil and gas and renewable energy industries. While this technology is currently integrated with Remotely Automated Vehicles, this project proposes to develop a means to incorporate the capability on an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle to open up applications and markets in emerging areas such as the Arctic and other harsh environments. RDC's investment is $250,000 of a total project cost of $587,597.  For additional information, visit www.pangeosubsea.com.

Mad Rock Marine Solutions Inc., R&D Proof of Concept, $45,981 from RDC
Mad Rock Marine Solutions Inc. is a St. John's-based company specializing in marine evacuation technology development. The company has developed and brought an innovative fail-closed lifeboat hook system to commercialization.  Under this project, Mad Rock will develop an offload release Fast Rescue Craft/Man Overboard hook system to compliment its lifeboat hook system. RDC's investment will assist Mad Rock in completing the Proof of Concept for this technology, enabling the construction and regulatory approval testing of a prototype. RDC's investment is $45,981 of a total project cost of $68,575. For additional information, visit www.madrock.ca.

NewLab Clinical Research Inc., R&D Proof of Concept, $250,000 from RDC
NewLab Clinical Research Inc., based out of St. John's, has embarked on a rational drug design project for the treatment of infectious and auto-immune diseases, particularly psoriasis and other inflammatory diseases. Scientific evidence supports the clinical utility of Peptide T, a small (8 amino acid) peptide drug, in infectious and auto-immune diseases. This R&D project enables NewLab to modify peptide T to increase its efficacy in the treatment of psoriasis. RDC's investment is $250,000 of a total project cost of $345,000. For additional information, visit www.newlabresearch.com.

Beaufort Solutions, R&D Proof of Concept, $248,465.33 from RDC
Beaufort Solutions Inc. is a software development company, based out of St. John's, focused on creating solutions for the digital imaging industry. The company is known for its photo kiosk software solution and photo software technologies. The overall objective of this project is to integrate these technologies to develop a single product, The Photo Commerce Server. RDC's investment is $248,465.33 of a total project cost of $354,498. For additional information, visit www.beaufortsolutions.com.

Ocean Choice International L.P., R&D Proof of Concept, $163,146 from RDC
Ocean Choice International L.P. (OCI) operates a seafood processing plant located in Marystown. This project will involve the purchase of water-jet cutting machinery, to advance OCI's production capacity, also increasing its yield and continued growth in the province's fishery. RDC's investment will assist OCI with the design and development of a robotics system which will be integrated into the water-jet cutting machinery. RDC's investment is $163,146 of a total project cost of $2,856,405. For additional information, visit www.oceanchoice.com.

Q5 Systems Limited, R&D Proof of Concept, $97,574.38 from RDC
Q5 Systems Limited operates in St. John's, and is focused on the development of regulatory compliance software applications, particularly in the aviation industry. This Proof of Concept project will allow Q5 to expand its product offerings by incorporating a suite of safety and security management modules, also in accordance with international aviation standards. RDC's investment will assist in the development and testing of seven new components of a comprehensive suite of Safety Management and Security Management System products. RDC's investment is $97,574.38 of a total project cost of $208,323.13. For additional information, visit www.q5systems.com.

Oceanex Inc., R&D Proof of Concept, $160,687.50 from RDC
Oceanex Inc. operates in St. John's and Corner Brook, and provides vessel transportation services to and from Newfoundland and Labrador. Oceanex operates three ice-class vessels, two marine terminals, and a fleet of over 2,500 containers of varying types and sizes. RDC's investment will help Oceanex in the design, fabrication and testing of a new 53-foot flat rack container, used to transport construction materials, industrial project cargo and other specialized or over-dimensional freight. This development work will enhance the equipment alternatives available to Oceanex customers. RDC's investment is $160,687.50 of a total project cost of $357,609.58. For additional information, visit www.oceanex.com.

eSonar Inc., R&D Proof of Concept, $234,969 from RDC
eSonar Inc., operating in St. John's, services, develops, manufactures and markets electronic and acoustic products for the marine and ocean technology industries, including commercial fishing, research development, oil and gas, aquaculture and marine transportation. In this project, RDC's investment will support eSonar as they plan to develop versatile sonar technology that can be used in a variety of applications in marine industries. RDC's investment is $234,969 of a total project cost of $405,812. For additional information, visit www.e-sonar.ca.

Instrumar Limited, R&D Proof of Concept, $245,863.41 from RDC
Instrumar Limited, operating in St. John's, is a technology product company with two main lines of business in the aerospace and fiber industries. This project is for the Proof of Concept of Instrumar's Fiber System for testing in various fiber facilities around the world. RDC's investment is $245,863.41 of a total project cost of $378,476.82. For additional information, visit www.instrumar.com.

R&D Vouchers:

Provincial Aerospace Ltd., R&D Vouchers, $14,171.25 from RDC
Provincial Aerospace (PAL) is a leading aerospace and defence company, based in St. John's. RDC's investment will assist PAL in collaborating with C-CORE, a separately incorporated entity of Memorial, to improve satellite transmitting and receiving equipment to operate in temperatures as low as -50°C. RDC's investment is $14,171.25 of a total project cost of $18,895. For additional information, visit www.provincialaerospace.com.

Cathexis Innovations Inc. (IDBLUE), R&D Vouchers, $15,000 from RDC
Cathexis Innovations Inc. (doing business as IDBLUE) is a technology company, based out of St. John's, focused on delivering Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) based solutions that provide enhanced asset visibility and integrity. This project will enable the company to certify its wireless handheld RFID reader for compliance with safety and regulatory standards in the United States and Canada. RDC's investment is $15,000 of a total project cost of $21,500. For additional information, visit www.idblue.com.

ICUS, R&D Vouchers, $13,125 from RDC
ICUS is a biopesticide company based in St. John's. The company is developing bioinoculants and biofungicides (subgroups of biopesticides) to replace or reduce chemical inputs in agricultural crop production. The proposed testing and evaluation work will enable development of a biopesticide for controlling Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), which is a major fungal disease in wheat, and for reducing dangerous mycotoxins that end up in the food chain due to FHB infection. RDC's investment is $13,125 of a total project cost of $17,500.

 /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE RESEARCH

For further information:

Jeff Green
Manager, Communications & Marketing
Research & Development Corporation
709-758-0973, 691-8892
jeffsgreen@researchnl.com
Scott Barfoot Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Trade and
Rural Development
709-729-4570, 690-6290
scottbarfoot@gov.nl.ca

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