News release

Small Businesses Partner with Universities, Colleges to Innovate, Grow

NOTE: A list of the small businesses awarded productivity and innovation vouchers follows this release.

Fifty-one small businesses are getting help to get a new product or service closer or to market.

The businesses are receiving vouchers, or credit notes, for professional support and advice from Nova Scotia universities and colleges, as part of the province's Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program.

"With these vouchers, 51 small businesses from across Nova Scotia will benefit from the wealth of expertise available at our universities and colleges," said Michel Samson, Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. "These businesses are great examples of the entrepreneurial spirit that exists within our province and I am pleased we can support them."

Forty-one are first-time recipients of up to $15,000 vouchers for advice and services from academic experts in areas such as applied research, engineering services, field testing, prototyping, product design and feasibility studies to help move a new product or service to market.

SkySquirrel Technologies Inc., based in Cap Le Moine, Inverness Co., is one of the recipients. It develops technologies for small, unmanned aircraft. It will work with the Université Sainte-Anne on a feasibility study to identify potential markets for commercial drones, such as search and rescue missions and agricultural.

"Our unmanned aircraft technology has applications in many different market sectors, each with specific needs," said Richard van der Put, co-founder and research and development director, SkySquirrel Technologies Inc. "The voucher program is fantastic for a young company like ours as it allows us to expand our knowledge of future customers and develop the right product for the right application."
"Working with Université Saint-Anne has been a great experience so far, and we are excited to expand the collaboration through this program."

Ten businesses are getting vouchers of up to $25,000 to help build on work from a previous voucher. Schoolhouse Gluten-Free Gourmet Ltd., of Mahone Bay, will work with nutrition experts at Mount Saint Vincent University to expand their products by developing a gluten-free, easy-to-digest craft beer.

"We're hoping to change the way people think about gluten-free beer," said Jennifer Laughlin, co-owner of Schoolhouse. "Bottling our first batch for Nova Scotian consumers is still in the future -- but this voucher, and our partnership with Dr. Bohdan Luhovvy, brings us a big step closer to our goal of making a delicious, easy-to-digest beer."

More than 240 businesses have received vouchers since the program started in 2008.

"CBU is very pleased to be working with a dynamic group of voucher recipients again this year," said Dr. Dale Keefe, dean of research and graduate studies, Cape Breton University. "The voucher program has consistently proven to be a valuable award which helps our university strengthen existing partnerships and form new industry-university collaborations that enable our faculty and students to provide R and D expertise to industry."

Other participating universities and colleges are:

  • Acadia
  • Dalhousie, including its agricultural campus in Truro
  • Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
  • Nova Scotia Community College
  • Saint Mary's
  • St. Francis Xavier

To be eligible, businesses must be registered to operate in Nova Scotia and have less than 100 employees when they apply. For more information on the voucher program, visit www.gov.ns.ca/econ/pnivouchers .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Fifty one small businesses are getting help to get a new product closer or to market. They are receiving vouchers, or credit notes, for professional support and advice from Nova Scotia universities and colleges, as part of the province's Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program.

Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson says these small businesses from across the province will benefit from the wealth of expertise available at universities and colleges.

Forty one businesses are receiving vouchers of up to $15,000 for advice and services from academic experts in areas such as field testing, prototyping, product design and feasibility studies. Ten businesses are receiving vouchers of up to $25,000 to help build on work from a previous voucher.

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Media Contact:

Tina Thibeau
902-424-5836 E-mail:

TIER 1 VOUCHER RECIPIENTS

CAPE BRETON Health Outcomes Worldwide, New Waterford Kearns International Ltd., North Sydney Premium Choice Shrimp Ltd., Arichat SkySquirrel Technologies Inc., Cap Le Moine

NORTHERN NOVA SCOTIA

AgriBioFuels Ltd., Bible Hill ALL SAUCED UP, Truro Blue Water Sales and Service Ltd., Valley Cornect Family Farm, New Glasgow FiddleHop Farms, Truro Grapell Bioenergy Ltd., Truro Nature’s Natural Solutions Skin Care, Antigonish NRG Sports Inc., Antigonish Spicy Cravings, Harmony TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture Ltd., Bible Hill

HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY

Clear Picture Corp., Halifax Creative Kids Education Centre Inc., Hammonds Plains Design On Polymers Inc., Halifax Dyagen Technologies Inc., Dartmouth GeoSpectrum, Technologies Inc., Dartmouth Ion Biomedical, Halifax JCN Performance Consulting Ltd., Halifax Reno Sub-Systems Canada Inc., Halifax Scotia Weather Services Inc., Darmouth Seaforth Engineering/Seaforth Geosurveys, Dartmouth Stromline Technologies, Halifax Turbulent Research Inc., Dartmouth

ANNAPOLIS VALLEY, DIGBY BIKE Scientific Inc., Digby Charles Keddy Farms Ltd., Kentville D & M Lightfoot Farms Ltd., Wolfville Farm Girl Preserves, Canning Fiske’s Horse Care Products Ltd., Windsor Frostbyte Interactive Inc., Wolfville IEP – Integrated Energy Products, Annapolis Royal Meander River Farm, Newport Soluna Energy, Bridgetown Sustainable Blue, Burlington

SOUTH WESTERN NOVA SCOTIA

C.S. Elliot Trading Company Ltd., Yarmouth Joenickelle Aqua-culture Farms, Saulnierville Nova West Laboratory Ltd., Saulnierville Ocean Pride Fisheries Ltd., Wedgeport Sister Ann Fisheries, Yarmouth

TIER 2 VOUCHER RECIPIENTS

CAPE BRETON Bioenergy, Dominion J&K Scientific, Sydney Lobsters R Us, St. Peter's Stomp Labs, Sydney

HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY

CBWES, Hammonds Plains Chelation Partners, Halifax Lightsail Energy, Halifax Murphy’s Sailing Tours, Halifax

ANNAPOLIS VALLEY, DIGBY Pie R Squared, Wolfville

SOUTHWESTERN NOVA SCOTIA

Schoolhouse Gluten-free Gourmet, Mahone Bay