Atlantic Canada’s Springboard for innovation


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

Collaboration among industry and post-secondary institutions in Atlantic Canada is creating growth opportunities throughout the region. The Government of Canada is renewing its investment in Springboard Atlantic by contributing $9,802,563 through ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program to help the organization continue to bolster key industries across Atlantic Canada.

This investment will help Springboard Atlantic deliver support, over a three-year period (2023-2026), to more than 40 Industry Engagement Professionals (IEPs), who work with post-secondary institutions across Atlantic Canada to help with commercializing research and develop marketable products and services. The investment will also support Springboard Atlantic’s Innovation Mobilization Program which helps startups speed up the development of new technologies, obtain early-stage investment, navigate the patent process, and conduct market research.

Some initiatives that have benefited from Springboard’s work include:

Nova Scotia

GIT Coatings, located in Dartmouth, is developing sustainable graphene-based hull and propeller coatings. With a commitment to delivering environmentally friendly, efficient and economically viable solutions, the company is helping ship owners achieve sustainability goals by enhancing vessel performance while reducing emissions to air and water. Springboard Atlantic helped GIT tap into the Mitacs Accelerate internship program through Dalhousie University’s Office of Commercialization and Industry Engagement, and used this support to hire ten additional graduate students to advance their research.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Dr. Michael Katz, working with Memorial University’s Research Innovation Office, used funding from Springboard Atlantic’s Innovation Mobilization program to patent a technology to separate environmental pollutants in the offshore oil and gas and shipping industries. Dr. Katz and his team also took part in the Lab2Market program which helped validate the concept, analyze their business model, and create strategic partnerships with key players in the sector.

Prince Edward Island

Dr. Yulin Hu is an assistant professor of engineering at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) who is conducting research on using green technologies to produce hydrogen fuel from local waste (e.g., potato waste) or water. The genesis of this research was a desire to find an alternative and clean route to produce clean energy as well as provide an additional income stream for local industries. Springboard Atlantic’s IEPs at UPEI connected Hu with AKA Energy Systems to hone this research, which is already delivering results. This includes a simulation published in Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering proving the viability of the technology and a review article published in the Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering.

New Brunswick

A partnership between the University of New Brunswick and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) is strengthening collaboration on research and training between UNB’s Centre for Nuclear Energy Research (CNER). Springboard Atlantic played a key role in building this partnership through its support for UNB’s IEPs, and has supported CNER more broadly in developing and protecting its technologies, including, patent, legal and market support considerations. 


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.

Patrick Wadden
Marketing Manager, GIT Coatings

Jackey Locke
Communications Advisor
Memorial University

Nicole Phillips
Director of Communications and University Relations
University of Prince Edward Island
902-566-0947 (Office); 902-388-1832 (Cell)

Tobia Isa
Market Development Manager
AKA Energy Systems
902-620-4882 (Ext. 1018)

Kathleen McLaughlin
Media Relations Strategist
University of New Brunswick

Gina Strati
Director, Science and Technology Academic Partnerships Program
Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

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