March 5, 2010
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Reaction in the biotech and innovation community to the 2010 budget was generally positive, since they (we) got something in a year when most groups got nothing. As Rob Annan put it over at Researcher Forum:
“What a difference a year makes… Funding increases, though relatively small, are made more significant by the context of spending restraint evidenced elsewhere in the budget.”
There was also much celebration of the demise of Section 116, including from BIOTECanada (pdf), and the CVCA, both of which had recommended the change, and from Communitech, the organization that represents Waterloo Region tech companies. Mark McQueen over at Wellington Capital blasphemously refuses to hail the event as Our Salvation, pointing out that (1) there has been a lot of investment by U.S. VCs even with 116 in place, (2) U.S. VCs aren’t having a great year either, and (3) those that are may not be as excited as we hope about early-stage Canadian deals.
Directly funded organizations wrote prompt thank-you notes:
- TRIUMF, slated to receive $222 million over the next 5 years for its work on particle and nuclear physics, described the budget as a “firm commitment to science & technology.”
- The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), seeing its $10 million in funding, characterized the move as an “investment in young entrepreneurs.”
Others, perhaps encouraged by this year’s $75 million allocated to Genome Canada following last year’s kerfuffle, have been quick to point out other flaws they perceive in the budget as well:
March 19, 2009
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Ontario announced the $250 million Emerging Technologies Fund yesterday … pretty much exactly what Monday’s letter to McGuinty from the CVCA requested. That has got to be, by the way, either:
- the world’s first psychic government relations campaign, or
- the world’s fastest government stimulus.
Not to be out-done, the Québec budget today included an $825 million venture capital fund. The government is teaming up with the Fonds de solidarité FTQ (english), the investing arm of the province’s labour federation, and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (english).
It will be interesting to see whether VC funds who receive OVCF money will also be eligible for the ETF matching. The Ministry says that full guidelines will be posted on the MRI web site before the end of June 2009.
March 16, 2009
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A post on Capital Rants this morning says the Mayfield Fund will be the Ontario Venture Capital Fund’s first investment, that it will be in the range of US$5 – US$7.5 million, and that Mayfield will open a one-person office in Toronto. Mayfield’s investments page shows they invested in biotech and device plays in the past: Amgen, Genentech, Heartstream, Immunex, Intuitive Surgical, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Orquest, Radiant Research, Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Tularik, Velocity11 (and one cleantech company: PolyFuel).
However, the list is sortable by categories, all of which are IT focused, and tech investments account for 145 out of the 158 listed investments. As they say, though, past performance does not guarantee future results, so we’ll see what Mayfield does in Canada.
If Mayfield wants a glimpse at some of the Toronto community, they could check out the Entrepreneurship 101 lectures, which have recently included conversations about venture capital from the VC side and from the company side.
There’s also the recent CVCA Report (pdf), and a summary post at Capital Rants.
January 29, 2009
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Genome Canada is causing quite a stir this morning, picked up by ScienceInsider this afternoon. That, plus more budget reaction from a Research Canada press release and a thumbs-down from the CVCA below…
The CBC story on Genome Canada funding has some reaction from Tony Clement:
Minister of Industry Tony Clement, speaking to CBC Newsworld on Thursday morning, disputed that funding had been cut, saying Genome Canada was in the third year of a five-year budget rollout.
“It would not be surprising that they would not get an extra amount in this budget because that was taken care of in the last two budgets,” Clement told CBC News.
So what is the status?
Godbout said that while money from last year’s budget was allocated over the next four years to fund ongoing projects, there no indication that they would receive nothing this year for new initiatives.
He pointed to a project to sequence the genomes of 50 different types of cancer, led by Ontario Institute of Cancer Research scientific director Tom Hudson, as one project that would be $25 million short of funding without further federal support.
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January 16, 2009
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As various constituencies make their arguments for bailout funding, the supporting materials have a common, unsurprising, theme: Money = Jobs. How many jobs? A collection of the data we’ve found after the jump: