FedDev Ontario supports innovative lifesciences technology

News release

Over $2.5 million to help nanotechnology company scale up operations and create 29 highly-skilled jobs

May 3, 2019 — Kitchener, Ontario

Today, Raj Saini, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, announced a contribution of $2.57 million for Nicoya to scale up operations and accelerate growth into new markets.

Nicoya is a nanotechnology company specializing in the development of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) instruments—a laboratory device that measures the interactions between molecules. The company has created the world’s first desktop SPR, which serves as a more accurate, portable, cost-effective method for collecting data for research and development.

FedDev Ontario’s contribution will help Nicoya to develop and market a new version of its product, OpenSPR, to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. This project will also allow the company to meet increasing demand, expand into new export markets and create 29 highly-skilled jobs in the Kitchener–Waterloo Region.

This project aligns with the Government of Canada’s Economic Strategy Table on Health and Bio-Sciences to support investment and increase the number of high-growth firms in this sector.


“This FedDev Ontario investment in Nicoya is wonderful news for Waterloo Region. Twenty-nine good-paying, highly-skilled jobs will be added in our community, and our thriving biotechnology and health sciences cluster will be strengthened. Our government is committed to ensuring the competitiveness of our region both at home and abroad.”
- Raj Saini, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre

“Our government is laying the foundation for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy. Today’s investment in Nicoya builds on our competitive advantages and will result in the scale up of operations and expansion into new export markets, boosting economic growth and creating good, middle class jobs for Canadians.”
- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario

“Today's news is very exciting for Nicoya. Projects like this one will help to position this company as a global biotech leader and help to transform the lives of millions of people. This investment shows the Government of Canada’s commitment to growing the biotech industry in Canada and support for the Kitchener–Waterloo Region to remain a hub of successful start-up and scale-up companies.”
- Ryan Denomme, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Nicoya

Quick facts

  • Established in 2012 as a spin-off company from the University of Waterloo, Nicoya develops nanotechnology, biochemistry and optical sensor technologies used by medical researchers in both academic and private institutions in more than 25 countries.

  • Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) is a key technique used for research and development, such as helping to understand diseases and the development of new drugs and treatments.

  • Nicoya was nominated as a 2017 Company to Watch at the 2016 Life Science Industry Awards in San Diego, California.

  • FedDev Ontario’s repayable contribution will leverage $5.14 million in private sector and other investment.

  • This year marks 10 years of FedDev Ontario delivering funding and business services to support innovation and growth in southern Ontario. Since inception in 2009, FedDev Ontario has invested almost $2 billion in the region’s economy, with more than 31,000 jobs created and maintained over the past five years.

Associated links


Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

Toll Free: 1-866-593-5505
Website: www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca

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