The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Tag Archives: Ontario Budget 2009

Ontario’s $250 million Emerging Technology Fund Launches!

Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund: Q&A From MRI Briefing

Ontario LogoThe questions and answers from last Friday’s MRI information session have been posted on MERX.  Here’s the link to the whole thing (if you have MERX access), but I’ll save you some time:

  • There are two parts to the bid — one for evaluating Qualified Investors and one for evaluating Qualified Investments.  The same bidder might be selected for both; but there will be a maximum of one bidder selected for each Part.
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest means …  still can’t tell, actually.  The only thing we can tell for sure is that if you win the bid, you can’t be a Qualified Investor or bring in a Qualified Investment.  Which leaves who, exactly?
  • Lots of “no”s for the bidders: no indemnification, no inflation-indexed fees, no upside participation…
  • Foreign funds can be Qualified Investors.
  • Investee companies will be required to have and maintain an “Ontario footprint.”  Shoe size TBD.

Here’s an interesting one:

Q105. How would the ministry deal with exit events that may go against Ontario’s interests? What triggers the assessment?
A105. As an investor, Ontario will decide on how to deal with exit events taking into consideration the recommendation of the Proponent, the interest of Ontario and the interest of all other stakeholders.

In other words, we have no idea.  Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.  Cheers!

Bookmark and Share

Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund RFP: Excerpts from MRI Presentation

A couple of weeks ago, Ontario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation put out an RFP for the new $250 million Emerging Technologies Fund, looking for a third party to evaluate co-investor and investment applications, and to administer and monitor investments for the fund.

Last Friday, they held a briefing for interested parties where they presented an overview of the ETF and of the RFP.  Here are the interesting bits:

Also, note that the deadline for addenda was extended. MRI can now publish addenda until June 18th, but bids are still due the 24th.

In order for your bid not to be disqualified, you have to get the RFP and apply through the tender system, MERX. It’s a ton of fun, plus you get access to the whole RFP and further updates, and can check out who’s been checking it out, too.

MRI RFP ISO for Emerging Technology Fun(d)

Ontario LogoOntario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation has put out an RFP for the new $250 million Emerging Technologies Fund.

They are looking for someone to evaluate co-investor and investment applications, and to administer and monitor investments for the fund.

Here’s the blurb from the RFP Abstract:

The OETF is a new $250 million program announced as part of Ontario’s 2009 Budget that would invest $250 million dollars over five years together with qualified venture capital funds and other private sector investors. This initiative is designed to help Ontario respond to the challenges emerging technology companies are experiencing in raising venture capital and other private equity. The Fund will focus on clean technologies, health and life sciences, and information and communication technologies, including digital media. The goal of the fund is to co-invest in high growth, innovative Ontario technology companies, with OETF as a co-investor. The RFP will enable MRI to retain the necessary external experts to support MRI in evaluating co-investors and co-investments, and in administering and monitoring these investments.

The final date for receiving written questions is June 10, 2009, 4:00 p.m.

Final Addenda will be issued by June 16, 2009, 4:00 p.m.

Optional Proponents Briefing will be held on June 12, 2009, 10:00 a.m.

Proposals must be received before 2:00 p.m. on June 24, 2009.

Read the full RFP at MERX.

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s Super Provincial Genomics Funding!!

You may remember Genome Canada’s reaction to the 2009 Canadian Federal budget.  Here’s one bit from ScienceInsider at the time:

Researchers funded by Genome Canada … are reacting with shock to news that the Canadian government is withdrawing funding from the 9-year-old organization.

Not true! Cried the Canadian government.

Well, this week Genome Canada’s Board decided  (unanimously) to withdraw funding from the International Regulome Consortium project.  Here’s the reaction from IRC:

Michael Rudnicki, the senior scientist and chair of the International Regulome Consortium, said he is devastated by the news.  He said Martin Godbout, president and CEO of Genome Canada, phoned him this week to say that the agency had to terminate its support because of the budget.

Not true!  Cried Genome Canada.  Well, there’s some support for that, with Godbout citing “significant scientific and management issues;” but more importantly, the recent Ontario Budget included $100 million in the Ontario Research Fund to support “genomics and gene-related research,” so I don’t think genomics research in Ontario is short the money right now.

In fact, according to Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation John Wilkinson’s comments at a BIO2009 preparation meeting last week, that $100 million is targeted to rebut any suggestion of a weakening of support for genomics research in Ontari0.

And, right at the other end of the Ontario-Quebec Corridor, a $5 million donation plus a $6.6 million construction investment, plus recruitment of internationally renowned scientists, has added up to over $80 million in funding attracted from various sources to advance pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine research at the new Centre de pharmacogénomique Beaulieu-Saucier de l’Université de Montréal (Beaulieu-Saucier Centre for Pharmacogenomics at the University of Montréal).

Bookmark and Share

Ontario Budget 2009: Initial Reactions are “Encouraging”

Generally positive reviews of Ontario’s 2009 budget are coming in from the innovation community:

TBI gives a shout-out to the Emerging Technologies Fund:

The Biotechnology Initiative (TBI) would like to credit Premier Dalton McGunity and Minister of Research and Innovation John Wilkinson for their quick response to the looming economic uncertainty by the creation of the Emerging Technologies Fund… The life sciences community in Ontario is greatly encouraged as a result of the creation of this Fund.

Rx&D is also “encouraged”:

Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) is encouraged by initiatives in the Ontario Government’s 2009 budget designed to fuel innovation and growth in Ontario’s biopharmaceutical and life sciences industry…

“The support in the budget for research infrastructure, genomics, tax incentives for innovation and the increased funding for the Ministry of Research and Innovation demonstrate that the McGuinty Government is strengthening its commitment to make science and innovation a priority.” 

So is the Retail Venture Funds Association:

The McGuinty government has made encouraging policy initiatives that help bring innovative high-tech applications to market more efficiently…  The Ontario Budget released today contained far-reaching initiatives that will help the province’s entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers develop and market new technology here instead of other jurisdictions.

The Ontario Medical Association is…

encouraged that the government is investing $2-billion into eHealth, which is playing an increasingly important role in improving patient safety and efficiency of our health care system. Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) have had a tremendous impact on patient safety, continuity of care, and quality of care. To date, over 3,000 physicians have made the transition to EMRs and by the end of 2009, over 4 million patients will have an electronic health record.

Did I miss any?  Are you encouraged too?  Let us know in the comments

Other: 

Bookmark and Share

2009 Ontario Budget Innovation Highlights

Quick dose of info from the Ministry’s Highlights doc below.  More to come…

  • $300 million in capital funds over six years for research infrastructure, which will be available to leverage funding from the federal Canada Foundation for Innovation
  • $250 million over five years for a new Emerging Technologies Fund that will focus on clean technologies, health and life sciences, and information and communication technologies, including digital media
  • $100 million over four years in operating funds for research performed in the biomedical field, focusing on genomics and gene-related research; this funding, as well as funding for research infrastructure, will be delivered through the Ontario Research Fund
  • $50 million over four years to enhance the successful Innovation Demonstration Fund, through which the government will continue to partner with innovative companies to develop emerging technologies, with a preference toward bio-based, environmental and alternative energy technologies
  • $10 million over three years to the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation to assist small and medium-sized enterprises with hands-on applied research, technology transfer and commercialization
  • $5 million to support the Ontario Genomics Institute, an important partner in fostering genomics research in Ontario
  • $2 million annually in proposed tax relief to extend the 10 per cent refundable Ontario Innovation Tax Credit to more small and medium-sized corporations that perform Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) in Ontario
  • $110 million of tax relief in 2009-10 from paralleling the proposed federal temporary 100 per cent accelerated CCA rate for eligible computers and software acquired after January 27, 2009 and before February 2011.

Bookmark and Share

Ontario Budget Today

Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan will deliver the 2009 Ontario Budget around 4 pm today.

The Finance Budget page is here, and will contain links to the full budget, highlights and press releases following the release this afternoon.

You can watch the Budget presentation live on a webcast here.

Bookmark and Share

$250 million Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund Seen, Raised by $825 million Quebec Venture Capital Fund

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:

  1. the world’s first psychic government relations campaign, or
  2. 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.

Bookmark and Share

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 130 other followers