This month was big for research and tech. With major investments from BlackBerry into research-based innovation, as well as discoveries in antenna technology and life sciences, things are moving quickly. We’re here to fill you in on the latest.
Here are the top business and investment stories of May 2021:
Canada is the third-most productive tech ecosystem on the planet
In a recent article published by The Globe and Mail, Chris Albinson, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist and the new CEO of Waterloo-based Communitech, described the growth of Canada’s tech scene. “The transformation during [the past 20 years] has been nothing short of spectacular.” he says, going so far as to say Canada is capable of shoving Silicon Valley off the global innovation podium. Why does he think this? Read his op-ed to find out.
For a companion piece, check out this fantastic editorial from Beta Kit’s editor-in-chief about the Canadian tech scene “having a moment.”
Waterloo tech funding up 107% over 2020
A new report from Hockeystick – a company that uses AI to match startups with funders – counts 36 investments with a total value of $689.6 million in Waterloo’s tech ecosystem last year. Read our coverage to learn more about the deal breakdown – stages, amounts, etc. – and find out which companies were involved.
Magnet Forensics closes $115M IPO
Magnet Forensics uses advanced technology to uncover digital evidence for investigations and is used by major corporations such as Scotland Yard and the FBI. The company recently offered an IPO – that raised $115M – and is the first Waterloo startup to do so in 15 years.
BlackBerry expands partnership with UWaterloo
In a new five-year, multi-million dollar innovation program aimed at fast-tracking the development of research and technology, BlackBerry and the University of Waterloo have expanded their partnership to focus on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and safety assurance technologies. On top of refining the company’s product ideas through prototyping and R&D, the agreement will also allow for new business partnerships for students who have invented intellectual property (IP).
Ottawa firm and UWaterloo Engineering research team make a breakthrough in antenna project
C-COM Satellite Systems, an Ottawa-based company founded by UWaterloo Engineering alumni, have announced that they have successfully tested an antenna system that can be electronically steered to maintain links with overhead satellites. This breakthrough was the result of a multi-million dollar research collaboration with a team at the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems (CIARS). This antenna, also known as the “phased ray antenna,” is a low-cost, modular technology capable of streaming videos, surfing the internet, performing speed tests and conducting uninterrupted video conferences on Webex. C-COM describes their successful tests as a significant development, giving their company confidence to move towards the development of commercial products based on their new technology.
Rapid Novor Inc. achieves a first for the life science industry
Rapid Novor Inc., a Kitchener-Waterloo based biotech company, has announced that they have reached a major milestone in the life science industry, as they are the first to sequence polyclonal antibodies directly from proteins without DNA sequencing data. This is a remarkable feat and the technology is already being used to develop new diagnostic tests to establish novel antibody therapies. Want to know more about Waterloo’s growing health innovation ecosystem? Download our Health Innovation Ecosystem Map.
A rundown of business immigration programs
Earlier this year, Canada was named the #1 destination for global talent. This reputation was built on the exceptional business-friendly immigration programs that help businesses to attract the world’s best international talent. We’ve put together a simplified business immigration decision tree to help you navigate through different programs available to businesses located in Canada.