Atlantic Canada’s Springboard for innovation and growth

News release

Government of Canada investing to help commercialize research across the region

May 3, 2024 · Halifax, Nova Scotia · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Atlantic Canada is home to 19 post-secondary institutions, full of students and researchers doing cutting-edge work and entrepreneurs with startup ideas. The region’s success depends on their success.

To secure Atlantic Canada’s competitive edge, we must support these problem solvers and make sure they reach their full potential. That’s why Budget 2024 proposes to invest heavily in cutting-edge research – to create more good jobs, including in innovation and technology.

Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA, announced a contribution of over $9.8 million to help Springboard Atlantic and its partners bring researchers and industry together, and take homegrown, world-class ideas to market. Springboard’s 19 member institutions are contributing an additional $5.2 million.

Minister Hutchings was joined by Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax. Before the announcement, Minister Hutchings and Mr. Fillmore toured NovaResp Technologies and 3DBioFibR to learn more about these companies and their connection to Springboard Atlantic. 

Springboard Atlantic is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. It exists to drive growth in key sectors, including advanced manufacturing, ocean sustainability and clean energy. For examples of how Springboard Atlantic and its network are helping these sectors, please see the backgrounder.

Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to ensuring Atlantic Canadian businesses can access and benefit from research developed in the region’s world-class learning institutions, so they can compete in a global economy and accelerate the region’s economic momentum.


“The world-class research taking place at Atlantic Canada’s post-secondary institutions is fueling innovation in every sector of the economy and giving our businesses a real leg up against the competition. And Springboard is right at the heart of it - bringing together the right partners to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing industry today and helping lay the groundwork for the success stories of tomorrow.”
-   The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

Atlantic Canada’s economy thrives when universities and industry work together. Thanks to this support, more Atlantic Canadian researchers and entrepreneurs will be able to transform their ideas and innovations into successful businesses.”
 - Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax

“Knowledge transfer drives economic growth. As a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Science and Research, I’ve heard from stakeholders that we need to do more to support commercialization in Canada. Today’s announcement confirms that we understand the social and economic value of leveraging the expertise of our researchers and post-secondary institutions.”
The Honourable Lena Metlege Diab, Member of Parliament for Halifax West

“We are delighted with the support that Springboard Atlantic is receiving from ACOA. This funding extends Springboard’s ability to support our network of experts across our 19 member institutions who are working individually and together to accelerate commercialization opportunities and partnerships with industry. We are excited that our organization is helping many of the region’s most innovative entrepreneurs build upon the talent and intellectual property created within our universities and colleges.” 
– Daryl Genge, président et chef de la direction de Springboard Atlantic Inc.

“Twelve years ago, as a PhD student in the School of Biomedical Engineering, I benefited from the support of the Springboard Atlantic and the Industry Liaison office at Dalhousie to file my first patent. Today as the founder of NovaResp and an adjunct professor at Dalhousie University, I see NovaResp and companies like it that have deep roots in the university get to protect their IP and bring world-class state-of-the-art technologies to market with the support of ACOA and Springboard Atlantic.”
- Hamed Hanafi, Founder and CEO, NovaResp Technologies

Quick facts

  • The non-repayable funding announced today is over a three-year period (2023-2026) and is provided through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program, which works to create the right conditions to start and grow businesses in Atlantic Canada. 

  • Springboard Atlantic provides strategically positioned resources to Atlantic Canadian universities and colleges, helping them transfer knowledge and technology to the private sector. The Springboard network is comprised of members from 19 Atlantic Canadian universities and community colleges.

  • Springboard Atlantic is marking its 20th anniversary with a network meeting May 7-8 and a showcase from 2-4 p.m. on May 8 at Venn Innovation in Moncton. 

  • Established by the Association of Atlantic Universities in 2004 with assistance from ACOA's Atlantic Innovation Fund program, the organization was incorporated as a not-for-profit in July 2005. 

  • Springboard Atlantic’s collaborative relationships with post-secondary institutions have resulted in the creation of 945 companies, which has generated $6.8 billion in research funds. 

  • NovaResp Technologies Inc. is a Nova Scotia-based medical device design and development company who has worked with Springboard Atlantic. The company’s mission is to provide the gold standard algorithm for CPAP therapy acceptance and compliance by creating the most comfortable breathing experience for patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

  • 3DBioFibR Inc., a Springboard Atlantic partner, is an advanced biomaterials start-up company that produces high-value collagen fibers at commercial scales for a variety of tissue engineering and medical applications.

Related products

Associated links


Connor Burton
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Media Relations  
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Daryl Genge
President and CEO
Springboard Atlantic Inc.

Hamed Hanafi
Founder and CEO
NovaResp Technologies

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