Brock University receives $750,000 to help develop local businesses

Brock University campus

Brock University is putting its research into action in the marketplace – boosting Niagara’s economy and competitiveness in the process – thanks to a $750,000 contribution from the federal government.

The funds support researchers working with small and medium local enterprises in areas that include product and process applied research, engineering design, technology development, product testing, and proof of concept, piloting, and problem solving.

The investment comes from the Applied Research and Commercialization initiative administered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, or FedDev Ontario.

“We’re very excited to be receiving this funding,” said Gary Libben, Vice-President of Research. “FedDev Ontario’s support strengthens Brock’s commitment to pursuing research excellence, creativity, and innovation, which, in turn transforms our community.

“Brock researchers and Niagara entrepreneurs combine their considerable skills and expertise to create initiatives that will lead to better career opportunities in Niagara and a higher quality of life here and beyond.”

Brock University has partnerships with a dynamic group of southern Ontario-based companies in the areas of biomanufacturing, applied health, and digital and interactive media:

Toronto Centre for Advanced Reproductive Therapy (TCART), whose core business is to manage male and female infertility, offering such services as clinical assessment and diagnosis, infertility testing, and appropriate treatment once a diagnosis is made. TCART is excited by the technology being developed by biological scientist Ping Liang and his group at Brock University. That technology would enable TCART to process samples “in house,” making it less expensive for TCART, and also giving results faster.

True Stride Inc. founded by retired NHL player Troy Crowder in 2010, is a start-up company dedicated to the design and development of skate boot components, with the proposed core of its business currently being the manufacturing, selling, and potential licensing of the 55Flex product. Conceptualized through Troy’s experiences in professional hockey, the 55Flex is a significant advancement in skate equipment technology and the only after-market, brand-agnostic component that delivers skaters with enhanced performance value. For proof of concept testing, True Stride has partnered with Kelly Lockwood, an Associate Professor and Applied Sport Scientist at Brock University, to validate the effect of 55Flex on skating performance.

Winehawk Inc. is dedicated to providing the most advanced, high-resolution aerial remote sensing tool to users who need fast, reliable, repeatable, and effective data over a variety of applications and field conditions with minimal training. Extending their expertise in viticulture and other tender fruit crops will be of significant value to Winehawk Inc. New imaging techniques and software for use in non-ideal conditions such as winter – coupled with the company’s existing technologies – is a novel approach and will open up new opportunities for the company within Canada’s agricultural sector.

Mori, the pilot project is designed to reduce greatly the cost of production of medicinally useful alkaloids from the Amarlyidaceae family of flowering plants. Some alkaloids from this flower family can be used in drug formulations to treat Alzheimer’s while others may be important precursors for anti-cancer drugs. Mori aims to expand cultivation and apply a unique extraction technology for commercial production of such drugs.

Chemquant Laboratories Ltd., is an innovative technology company in the field of laboratory instrumentation. The ColdBlock technology for rapid sample digestion will enable Chemquant to manufacture analytical instruments to be used in the mining sector.

Vetica Interactive has teamed up with a Brock University teacher education professor to develop a web and tablet-based application that would allow elementary teachers to better plan their lessons. The team will also be looking at creating other educational technologies that would assist teachers in the classroom.

Future Access Inc. an IT company specializing in the creation of custom website solutions and mobile applications development. This project aims to design Canada’s first mobile application and web-based database system for sport tourism management.

Learning Potentials provides services for adults with learning disabilities and attention disorders, as well as for those who work with them. The primary objective of this project is to transform components of a print-based literacy curriculum developed by Janet Johnston to an online format, making it an interactive learning experience for adult users. Learning Potentials has teamed up with Brock researchers who specialize in communication technologies used for teaching and learning programs and strategies for children and adults who experience literacy challenges.

Blademaster, a Division of Guspro Inc. is the global market leader in skate care equipment and supplies. Blademaster has entered into an industrial research partnership with Kelly Lockwood, associate professor at Brock University to investigate the interaction between selected skate sharpening characteristics and on-ice skating performance. In on-ice sport, skating is the ultimate performance factor; however the bottom line is the skate blades. Research outcomes will detail the science behind skate sharpening and how selected sharpening characteristics enhance performance and game play.

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