New initiatives launched to generate more business innovation in Newfoundland and Labrador
October 16, 2020 – St. John’s, NL: With support from the federal and provincial governments and sector partners, the Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Technology and Innovation (NATI) is launching three initiatives to help create a more innovative and digital economy in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The initiatives were highlighted today during an event with NATI CEO Paul Preston, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, and the Honourable Bernard Davis, provincial Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation, on behalf of the Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology.
At the event, NATI announced the second phase of Bounce Health Innovation (Bounce), a med-tech accelerator launched in St. John’s in 2018 as a pilot program. Bounce 2.0 will continue for the next three years under the guidance of NATI and other partners, with the goal of accelerating growth in the health innovation sector. The first Bounce phase emerged from the local Hacking Health initiative – a series of open innovation networking events that connect frontline healthcare workers with developers, designers, patients, and entrepreneurs. Bounce 2.0 is offering programs and services to support early stage entrepreneurs and startups and has established a network of experts to help aspiring companies grow.
Over the next three years, Bounce 2.0 is receiving support from the provincial and federal governments and private funding. The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), is contributing $799,872 towards this initiative, while the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is providing $454,476.
Today, NATI also announced its line-up of events and activities for Innovation Week, which will take place from October 19-22. Innovation Week 2020 – Opportunity in Uncertainty will offer virtual sessions to showcase the cutting-edge technology happening in Newfoundland and Labrador and the impressive global reach and significant impact the sector has on the economy. The week will kick off with a keynote address from Newfoundland and Labrador’s own Bethany Downer, the first scientist-astronaut candidate from Atlantic Canada. Other sessions will include a tech leadership advocacy panel, advice from experts on business resiliency, a career session bringing students and tech companies together, a Bounce Health Hackathon as well as a number of industry partner events.
Innovation Week is supported by industry and government partners, including a $36,948 contribution from the Government of Canada through ACOA, and $15,016 from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
This is in addition to the $1,371,813 NATI received from both the provincial and federal governments for its new Business Tech Solutions Program, which was officially announced on September 28. The program will help local companies adapt to offer online sales and services and develop new digital capabilities. Businesses can apply for assistance to purchase digital solutions and access expertise so they can create effective, efficient online sales systems to generate new revenue streams.
“These initiatives – Bounce Health Innovation, Innovation Week and the Business Tech Solutions Program – represent incredible opportunities to help entrepreneurs and tech companies identify and solve challenges, recharge their businesses and maximize new opportunities. NATI is proud to support economic development and growth in our province, and to help drive tech adoption across all sectors of our economy.”
“These investments in NATI are helping to build a diverse technology sector in our province, with strengths across sectors. The ingenuity of our people is helping us build back stronger.”
– The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA
“The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is proud to support the next phase of Bounce Health Innovation; an initiative that is helping our med tech entrepreneurs on their journey by offering support and providing the climate for success. This initiative is a prime example of what will be displayed during Innovation Week. I look forward to participating in the week’s events to help showcase the cutting edge technology our tech sector has to offer.”
– The Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology
About Bounce Health Innovation
Bounce Health Innovation (Bounce) is a medical technology cluster created by a unique partnership among the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology and Innovation (NATI), Memorial University, Eastern Health, Genesis Centre, the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information, and with the support of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The vision of Bounce is to help Newfoundland and Labrador become the testbed for medical technology innovation in North America. This will be accomplished by accelerating the growth of the health innovation sector in the province by continuing to align the health system with the principles of open innovation and entrepreneurship. Bounce hired a full time Director, Dr. Chandra Kavanagh, who has a PhD in Philosophy from McMaster University, where she studied biomedical ethics and feminist philosophy and most recently was the Ethics Officer for the Newfoundland and Labrador Health Research Ethics Authority. Bounce also hosts cutting-edge events such as the upcoming Health Innovation Summit and Health Hackathon, in partnership with Eastern Health, which will take place from October 20th to the 22nd, 2020. Bounce’s vision is to help the province become the testbed for medical technology innovation in North America by engaging with and supporting medical innovators and entrepreneurs within a unique health innovation ecosystem.
About Innovation Week
This is NATI’s seventh year hosting Innovation Week, which includes workshops, seminars and networking events targeting the business community, youth and other public and private partners. Events will promote Newfoundland and Labrador’s technology sector, enhance knowledge of available supports, increase opportunity awareness, enhance learning on commercialization and develop local networks. This week represents an opportunity to celebrate, demonstrate and showcase innovation advances in the province. It will also help youth to learn about career and business opportunities in the sector.
It will promote technology opportunities though applications in ocean technology, oil and gas, environment, health care and through social enterprise. Key sessions next week include: Out of This World Opportunities in the Tech Sector; Tech Leadership Interactive: Advocating for the Technology Sector with Federal and Provincial Government Representatives; Profoundly Pivoting: Resiliency in the Tech Sector During COVID-19 and; Tech Sector Mash Up – Connecting Students with Tech Companies.
About the Business Tech Solutions Program
Recognizing that COVID-19 has severely affected small businesses in the province, NATI is offering the Business Tech Solutions Program to help Newfoundland and Labrador companies pivot their operations. NATI will administer this new program to help businesses access support for digitalization tools and technology solutions. Companies are eligible for a 90 per cent non-repayable contribution (to a maximum of $15,000) for eligible costs to transition their businesses to online sales and services. Businesses can pre-register here to receive updates on the program.
Director of Innovation Programs
Director of Communications
Industry, Energy and Technology