New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant joined the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation in Grand Falls to announce a $1.3 million investment to help fund research and development activities across the province. 

Through the foundation’s Innovation Voucher Fund, Gallant says 23 small and medium-sized businesses have accessed funding for the scientific and engineering expertise they need to take the first step in developing a new or better product or technology.

NBIF

The fund aims to accelerate innovation within small and medium-sized businesses using the talent, capacity and facilities of New Brunswick’s research organizations.

Michel St-Armand/ Confection 4e Dimension

One example is Confection 4e Dimension in St. Léonard, New Brunswick. The company makes hundreds of thousands of pairs of uniform pants for companies like Tim Horton’s. Sewing elastic waistbands is very difficult for machines, and before engaging with NBIF, it had to be done manually, slowing down production.

The goal is to apply innovation in a way that improves the profitability and competitiveness of those businesses.

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Successful applicants are matched with the research professional that they need to carry out the project. The foundation will contribute up to $80,000 to cover 80 per cent of the cost of the research.

To be eligible, applicants are required to make a minimum cash investment equal to 20 per cent of the project’s cost. Intellectual property developed during the project remains the property of company.

Since the fund’s inception in 2014, the foundation has invested $2.8 million and companies more than $700,000.

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