Innovation, Research, Growth, Op-Ed
NOTE: The following is an op-ed piece from Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Paris.
This government is investing in people - education, training and skills for good jobs that are the foundation for a good future.
We have invested in companies to protect and create new jobs for Nova Scotians, creating opportunities, big and small, throughout the province.
And we are using one of our greatest assets, our educational institutions, to spur innovation and productivity that will prepare us for future economic opportunities.
This government is expanding leading-edge research infrastructure in the province through the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT). Our recent $1.1-million investment will fund 11 cutting-edge research projects that will broaden understanding of health-based studies, as well as clean technology and environmental developments. The projects are expected create about 375 jobs during the next five years.
Since 2001, the province, through NSRIT, has awarded more than $66 million to more than 340 research projects. These projects have directly leveraged more than $100 million in federal and secondary education institutional funding, and created even more indirect benefits.
For example, the province's investment in NSRIT allowed Jason Masuda at Saint Mary's University to purchase a highly sophisticated spectrometer. This equipment is vital to a team of researchers and students who are seeking environmentally friendly solutions to sustain natural resources for the green economy.
This is leading to cleaner fertilizers and solvents for the agriculture industry. It will also mean students with high-value skills, using the latest clean technologies, will soon be joining our workforce.
Through another provincial investment Jeff Dahn and Dalhousie University were able to pursue viable, world-class research to develop new high-performance, low-cost lithium batteries that have strong commercial potential.
And there is help for small businesses. The expanded Productivity and Innovation Voucher program, gives them access to research to become more productive and innovative.
Schoolhouse Gluten-Free Gourmet in Mahone Bay was able to gather product development research and complete an invaluable third-party evaluation with customers by partnering with Saint Mary's University through the voucher program.
The Early Stage Commercialization Fund is another great example of helping support commercially viable research. ABK BioMedical developed OccluRad, a treatment for uterine fibroids, and received support through the fund to continue commercialization of the technology.
For Nova Scotia, research and innovation is creating a foundation for the province to contribute, compete, and lead nationally and internationally. That is the reason we are investing in people and giving them the skills to be successful.