THUNDER BAY – Business – Tony Clement, Minister for FedNor has announced an investment of more than $2.9 million by the Government of Canada to support infrastructure, small business development, and innovation in the Thunder Bay region. MaRS Innovation, the Thunder Bay International Airport, and the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre will share in the FedNor bounty.
FedNor Investment in Thunder Bay
“The Harper Government recognizes the importance of investing in infrastructure and innovation that will lay the groundwork for business expansion and industrial land development, as well as enhance business productivity and competitiveness,” said Minister Tony Clement. “Our Government’s support for these initiatives will help businesses prosper, create jobs, and diversify the regional economy.”
MaRS Innovation – Funds will save lives
“XLV Diagnostics is a remarkable example of a great partnership among engineers and scientists in Thunder Bay and Toronto,” said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation.
Over 600 million women living in developing countries have inadequate access to breast screening for early cancer detection. In the developed world, many radiology departments are replacing traditional film and screen systems with digital technologies. In both cases, better digital mammography technology promises to solve logistical challenges and save money.
“It also validates our members institutions’ commitment to taking exciting technologies to market by collaboratively creating dynamic start-up companies. We are pleased to have the Canadian government partner with us in creating the seed funding framework that will allow XLV to complete prototype development and begin working toward clinical validation.”
XLV’s solution has the potential to provide image quality that equals or surpasses that which is currently in use, making images easy to analyze, manipulate and transfer much like digital photographs. It will also substantially decrease the cost of digital mammography machines.
Four FedNor funding recipients will receive more than $2.9 million to support five local initiatives.
Thunder Bay International Airport
The Thunder Bay Airport will use $1.5 million to expand its industrial park.
“Today’s announcement will not only address the need for more serviced industrial land, it will also help the Thunder Bay International Airports Authority attract further investment from aviation sector businesses,” stated Scott McFadden, President and Chief Executive Officer, Thunder Bay International Airports Authority. “I look forward to the positive results this funding will deliver for the Thunder Bay area.”
The Thunder Bay International Airport is a major economic benefit to the Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario region.
Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre Supported
With an investment of $739,000, the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre will establish an advanced manufacturing lab, as well as an information and communications technology network. The remaining $680,000 will help two innovative small businesses with the development of a digital mammography device and management software system.
The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program, which supports projects that strengthen community economic development, enhance business growth, and facilitate innovation throughout the region.
Qwan Technologies Inc. $180,000
This private sector business will benefit from a conditionally repayable FedNor contribution of $180,000 to develop a management software system that will enable caseworkers to better analyse and view data, speed up client evaluations, and develop individualized treatment strategies for children with autism.