AKSO Marine Creates Innovative Product from Sea Cucumbers

News release

Company develops value-added dietary supplement and creates jobs

September 3, 2019 – Hacketts Cove, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Connecting businesses with the tools they need to commercialize innovative products, scale up, and export to global markets will help build on Atlantic Canada’s advantage in the ocean sector and grow the local economy. That is why the Government of Canada is supporting ASKO Marine Biotech Inc. as it develops its first value-added product out of raw materials from sea cucumbers.

Using discarded sea cucumber materials from its affiliated company, Atlantic Sea Cucumber Ltd., AKSO has created a new dietary supplement, Nova Sea Atlantic™ Sea Cucumber Capsules, for the health and wellness market. Sea cucumbers are rich in valuable nutrients such as proteins, minerals and vitamins and contain antioxidants that help fight and protect cells against a vast number of diseases. The capsules will be distributed across Canada and exported to Asia, where sea cucumber products are in high demand. The project will result in the creation of six full-time positions.

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for South Shore – St. Margarets, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), made the announcement today.

Economic growth and the creation of good jobs for Atlantic Canadians require innovation and diversification. Support for this project is one way the Government of Canada is working to help businesses scale-up, increase productivity and participate in the innovation economy. Projects like this also contribute to the Innovation and Skills Plan’s efforts to make Canada a world-leading centre for innovation.

Quotes

“Supporting and developing Atlantic Canada’s ocean-based business activity and research capacity is critical to growing the region’s ‘ocean economy.’ Companies like AKSO Marine help drive business growth and create export opportunities, making our country stronger.”

     - The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister         responsible for ACOA

“AKSO Marine is a great example of a company capitalizing on Atlantic Canada’s expertise and reputation as a global leader in the ocean sector. Today’s investment will enable this company to develop new innovative products that will help grow the business and set it apart from other competitors in the global market.”

     - The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for         South Shore – St. Margarets

“We are excited for the recognition and support we have received from ACOA for our work in creating new innovative and cutting edge natural products that will bring health benefits and jobs to Canadians. Developing quality products for the Canadian market brings credibility to the AKSO brand and greater opportunities to drive strong export sales.”

     - Sam Gao, President, AKSO Marine Biotech Inc.

Quick facts

  • Since 2016, AKSO has focused on the research and development of bioactive ingredients and natural health products derived from Atlantic sea cucumbers and other marine materials.

  • AKSO’s products are created using first-class raw materials, which are obtained and processed in a natural, sustainable manner.

  • Atlantic Sea Cucumber Ltd. makes its’ products using only the body wall of the sea cucumber, leaving 85% of the materials unused.

  • The Government of Canada is investing a total of $308,129 in the project:

            o    $209,047 through ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program, and

            o    Up to $99,082 in research and development funding from the National Research Council of Canada                        Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP).

  • The funding will enable AKSO to continue its research and develop more products for the dietary supplement market in the future, creating well-paying jobs for Canadians.

  • The Business Scale-up and Productivity stream of the REGI program supports businesses at various stages of development, including high-growth firms, to accelerate their growth, help them scale up and enhance their productivity and competitiveness in both domestic and global markets.

  • The REGI program continues to build on the objectives of the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan.

Contacts

Lori Selig
A/Director, Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-266-7477 (cell)
lori.selig@canada.ca

Sam Gao
President
AKSO Marine Biotech Inc.
(902) 414-3210
sam@atlanticseacucumber.ca


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