ew Brunswick’s provincial government announced that it is making significant investments into two innovation agencies and contributing money to the Innovation Voucher Fund, according to a report from Entrevestor.
In the first of the two announcements, New Brunswick’s government said it is investing $63.6 million in the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation over four years. These investments are part of the province’s larger commitment to invest $160 million in innovation over the next four years.
With these investments, the Health Research Foundation’s funding of $4.5 million per year is being renewed, and NBIF will receive $11.4 million each year.
“Both foundations foster innovation and research in New Brunswick,” said Gallant, who is also the minister responsible for innovation. “This is important, as encouraging innovation will help our businesses and industries compete on the international stage. We must also innovate to strengthen education for our children and improve health care for our families.”
“Encouraging innovation will help our businesses and industries compete on the international stage.”
NBIF will invest the funds through its Venture Capital Fund, Startup Investment Fund, and Innovation Voucher Fund to support businesses, and through its Research Innovation Fund, Graduate Scholarship Program, and Research Assistantships and Technicians initiatives to support publicly funded universities and colleges in New Brunswick.
The Health Research Foundation will use the funding to match and leverage federal agencies, national organizations, and the private sector to support its three main programs: the health research program, health research initiatives, and strategic investment in health research innovation.
In a second announcement, Gallant and NBIF jointly announced an investment of over $1 million to the Innovation Voucher Fund to increase research and development activities across the province.
The fund is meant to accelerate innovation within small and medium-sized businesses using the talent, capacity, and facilities of New Brunswick’s various research organizations. NBIF said the goal is to apply innovation in a way that helps the province’s businesses improve profitability and competitiveness.
“The innovation voucher is used to connect businesses to researchers to either solve a problem or develop an idea through research and development, ideas that are making New Brunswick businesses more profitable and competitive,” said Calvin Milbury, president and chief executive officer of the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation. “The vouchers enable businesses from across the province to access specialized expertise and equipment available within our research institutions to help them turn their ideas into reality.”
With the voucher, selected applicants are matched with an appropriate research professional to help them carry out their project. While applicants have to make a minimum cash investment of 20 percent of the project’s cost, the foundation said it will provide up to $80,000 to cover 80 percent of the cost of research.
In the past, 23 small and medium-sized businesses have received funding and gained access to research organizations to help them scale through NFIB’s Innovation Voucher Fund. Among these companies was Remsoft, which asset management and asset optimization solutions for the forestry and natural resources sectors.