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Bluedrop Performance Learning Goes Public

30 January 2012


Bluedrop Performance Learning Awaits its First Day of Trading on the TSX Venture Exchange

St. John's, NL - Bluedrop Performance Learning will start a new era of business when the TSX Venture Exchange opens on Friday. A recently completed business transaction with Serebra Learning Corporation will see Bluedrop, long recognized as a pioneer and thought leader in eLearning, become Canada's largest full service eLearning company. It becomes one of the few technology companies from Atlantic Canada to cross over the Public trading threshold. 

Emad Rizkalla, President and CEO, said the timing for the business was just right. "Bluedrop and Serebra shared a similar vision. We were both interested in changing the world and determined to make a positive impact by combining innovation with a passion for accessible learning that helps individuals and companies suceed."

Bluedrop now has over 100 employees in five (5) different offices throughout Canada. This number is expected to increase dramatically over the next 18 months as new products are kicked off and opportunities are realized. 

"The combonation of technology, people, and experience that we now have around the table means great things for Bluedrop. We will reduce our product roadmap for CoursePark® by one year and gain immediate access to markets in South America," said Rizkalla. 

The company will keep the name Bluedrop Performance Learning and trade on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol TSX-V: BPL.

Minister MacKay Awards Contract For Experimental Radar Site

13 January 2012

DRDC NR 2012 - 01 - January 13, 2012

OTTAWA - The Honourable  Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, today announced the award of a $7 million contract to Raytheon Canada. These funds will be used to build and install a next-generation High Frequency Surface Wave Radar (HFSWR) system and to assess the performance of this technology in an operational environment.

"Our Government is committed to protecting Canadian sovereignty," said  Minister MacKay. "Undertaking research into surveillance technologies is vital to supporting the military's effort to monitor maritime approaches."

Traditional radars detect targets that are within the line of sight and cannot detect those which are over the horizon. Consequently, long-range detection of surface vessels currently requires patrols by aircraft, which are costly and do not always provide persistent coverage. Ground-based HFSWR has the potential to address this shortcoming by transmitting and receiving electromagnetic waves that travel along the curved ocean surface, allowing over-the horizon detection of vessels. Because Canadian industry has been involved in the development of HFSWR from the beginning, it is in a good position to capitalize on the technology and develop commercial products.

This contract is part of the Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) project entitled Persistent Active Surveillance of the Exclusive Economic Zone (PASE). PASE was initiated in 2007 and supports the surveillance by the Canadian Forces (CF) of Canada's maritime approaches by exploring the performance of commercially available and developmental sensor systems.

This final step of the project involves in-depth trials carried out jointly by DRDC and Raytheon Canada at Hartlen Point in Nova Scotia. Project results are anticipated to be presented to the CF early in 2014.

"This technology demonstration project is an excellent example of industry and government working together to meet military requirements by advancing science and technology and engaging the Canadian innovation system," said Dr. Marc Fortin, CEO DRDC. "In this dynamic technological climate, DRDC's programs ensure that the CF have the scientifically-based information needed to consider the technological options that will best serve their needs."

DRDC is Canada's leader in defence and security science and technology in an ever-evolving defence and security environment. An agency of the Canadian Department of National Defence, DRDC provides DND and the Government of Canada the knowledge and technologies needed for national defence and security.


Notes to editor / news director:

For more information about DRDC, please go to:

Media contact:

Marie-Helene Brisson

Defence Research and Development Canada, Public Affairs Officer

Tel: 613-992-2295


ClearRisk in CIX Top 20 Most Innovative Canadian Technology Companies

29 November 2011

Risk management applications provider, ClearRisk, has been named in the Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) Top 20 list which highlights Canada's most innovative technology companies.

ClearRisk received this honour just one month after being named HubSpot Inbound Marketing Success Story of the Year at the 2011 HubSpot User Group Summit (HUGS). ClearRisk CEO, Craig Rowe, and VP of Marketing, Chris Gardner, accepted the award which highlights marketing success stories achieved through the use of inbound marketing techniques.

Congratulations ClearRisk! For more information on either of these accomplishments visit the News section of ClearRisk's webpage.

NATI congratulates Genesis Centre on being named Canadian Incubator of the Year

23 November 2011

Memorial University's incubator for technology businesses has been named 2011 Incubator of the Year by the Canadian Association for Business Incubation (CABI). The Genesis Centre is part of Genesis Group Inc., the university's technology commercialization arm.

Twenty-nine companies have graduated from the Genesis Centre. In total, they have raised $18.7 million in private equity, 65 per cent of which has come from outside Newfoundland and Labrador. The Centre's clients and graduates employ almost 400 people.

Click here for the News Release with more detail on the award and the Genesis Centre.

With Regret, NATI Announces the Passing of a Member

21 November 2011

It is with much regret that I announce the passing of Byron Dawe of Rutter Technologies Inc.

Byron was a pioneer in the Ocean Technology Sector in Newfoundland and Labrador, and was a valued member of NATI and Oceansadvance.

Byron passed away after a battle with cancer; he passed quietly with strength and peace as he was surrounded by his wife of 36 years, Margaret (Moriarty) and his beloved daughter, Maggie.

A memorial service was held at the Carnell Memorial Chapel on Monday, November 21st with interment to take place on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at the Roman Catholic Cemetery, Harbour Grace

In lieu of flowers, donations in Byron's memory may be made to the IEEE Scholarship Fund c/o Memorial University of Newfoundland.

He will be sadly missed by all.


Ron Taylor, NATI CEO

A DAIR to Canada's Digital Innovators: Is Time on Your Side?

17 November 2011

High-tech entrepreneurs are using the Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research (DAIR) Program to move their products to market quickly and gain that critical first mover advantage

 CANARIE and Cybera, partners in Canada's advanced network alliance, today launched a promotional video about DAIR - the Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research - that explores how Canada's digital innovators are using this powerful, cloud-enabled testbed. DAIR is a shared R&D environment where small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in the high-tech sector can design, prototype, validate and demonstrate pre-commercial technologies faster and cheaper than ever before. Selected Information and communications technologies (ICT) entrepreneurs can access DAIR free of charge until March 2012.

"DAIR is helping small and medium-sized Canadian companies to develop competency in cloud computing technologies," notes CANARIE's Senior Director, Technology Innovation Mark Wolff. "Users are testing applications that mine huge amounts of data, or validating how their products perform with multiple users - in the case of gaming and social media applications. Both kinds of users need the network and computing scale and scope available through DAIR."

DAIR is the result of strong partnerships between CANARIE, Cybera, Compute Canada, and other partners. DAIR users access the CANARIE national network, as well as networks in their home province, to use the cloud-enabled compute resources located at the University of Alberta and the University of Sherbrooke. Alberta's CyberaNet network, and Quebec's RISQ network, are critical partners in providing access to these resources. DAIR's advanced technical environment enables large-scale simulations that ordinarily are difficult - or even impossible - for SMEs to carry out.

 "DAIR is a plug-and-play environment for companies that either lack funds for infrastructure development, or who want to test multiple scenarios before making a significant investment," says Robin Winsor, President and CEO of Cybera. "This program is designed to give Canadian companies a boost in the global IT marketplace by providing a powerful testbed that can help reduce time to market."

 The DAIR program was launched in spring 2011 and currently hosts more than 20 users, who cite the speed, scalability and security of the program as its biggest benefits. For example, data created on the system remains in Canada, as opposed to residing on non-Canadian cloud services servers, thus increasing information privacy.

 The range of users testing their products and services on DAIR include such sectors as: 

  •  Gaming and video
  •  Construction
  • Simulations
  • Security
  • Insurance
  • Social media
  • Mobile development platforms
  • Mass messaging
  • Geo-navigation

 To benefit from DAIR, high-tech entrepreneurs need to act quickly. The current pilot phase of the DAIR Program is open until March 2012, at no charge to users. Funding for DAIR is provided by CANARIE, which receives its mandate and funding from the Government of Canada on a five-year basis. CANARIE is now working towards securing its next mandate, which will begin in April 2012.

 "The DAIR program is such an important asset for Canadian SMEs that we want to expand it to accommodate more users, and have included this in our proposal to the Government of Canada for our next mandate," said Jim Roche, CANARIE's President and CEO. "We believe DAIR is a powerful tool to strengthen Canada's digital economy and accelerate commercialization of innovative digital products and services."

Find out more:

  Watch a video about DAIR, including interviews with three current users.

 To find out more about DAIR, including how to submit a proposal, visit

 For more information, please contact:

 Wynn Anne Sibbald, Communications Manager, CANARIE

 (613) 943-5432




NATI Bio-Partnering Forum a Success

31 October 2011

NATI hosted another successful Bio-Partnering Forum on Wednesday October 26th.

The half day event featured an agenda full of speakers from around the world. Presentations were punctuated with networking breaks to provide attendees with opportunity to connect with others in the Bio-Technology sector. These networking opportunities, combined with sessions from speakers whom represent the industry on a global level, made the 2011 Bio-Partnering Forum a huge success!

Mr. Steve Mercer of The Research and Development Corporation (RDC) delivered an information session on RDC and the Life Sciences Sector in the province. Following this, Dr. Shrilakshmi Desiraju of Triphase Pharmaceuticals, India, spoke about future trends for nutraceuticals. An update on Memorial University's School of Medicine was provided by the school's dean, Dr. James Rourke. Dr. Pavel Krasutsky, director of the Chemical Extractives program at University of Minnesota - Duluth, delivered information on natural products, and their industrial manufacturing and commercialization. Finally, Dr. Bruno Battistini of Nutraceutical/NDI Medical Food and Drug Product spoke on emerging markets in the natural health sector.

For a copy of any of the presentations delivered at the Forum follow the links below.

Dr. Shrilakshmi Desiraju - Future Trends for Nutraceuticals

Dr. James Rourke - Update from Memorial University's School of Medicine

Dr. Pavel Krasutsky - Natural Products and Industrial Manufacturing and Commercialization

Dr. Bruno Battistini - Emerging Markets in the Natural Health Sector

NATI submits letters to provincial leadership candidates

03 October 2011

NATI is a advocate of a strong IT sector in the province and during the election we want our members to know the view of candidates vying for the premiership. In that spirit, we have written each candidate with questions we think are pertinent to our membership. We invite you to view these, here:

Letter to Liberal Party [PDF]
Letter to New Democratic Party [PDF]
Letter to Progressive Conservative Party [PDF]

APEC releases business brochure on how to succeed globally

28 September 2011

The Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC) has released a 12 page brochure for small businesses to help them succeed in global markets: Succeeding Globally - The Importance of Global Value Chains for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses in Atlantic Canada. It highlights successful global business strategies used by Atlantic Canadian firms, includes helpful case studies and provides other information that can help companies develop their international markets.

The business brochure (along with an accompanying research report which includes additional corporate profiles) can be easily downloaded from the following site in either English or French:

Your company will also benefit by attending APEC'sOutlook 2012 conference(Let's Get Out of Here: How we're taking on the world) which is being held in St. John's on 10 November 2011. This morning  conference builds upon this theme and  will feature a number of successful Atlantic companies who will share their international business strategies:

Outlook 2012 Agenda - St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

November 10, 2011 - Delta St. John's

7:45 am

Registration, Networking & Continental Breakfast

8:30 am

Welcome & Opening Remarks

8:45 am

Keynote Address
François Langlois,Senior VP, Exploration and Production, Suncor Energy

9:15 am

Economists' Panel: Atlantic Canada's Economic Outlook
David Chaundy, Senior Economist, APEC
Fred Bergman,Senior Policy Analyst, APEC

10:15 am

Networking Break

10:45 am

Industry Panel

Fred Cahill,President, GJ Cahill Group

Don Hyma,VP Expansion, Iron Ore Company of Canada

Karl Kenny,President & CEO, Marport Deep Sea Technologies

Panel Moderator:Elizabeth Beale,President & CEO, APEC

12:00 pm

Conference Concludes

You can find full conference details and register online at


Upcoming INTRD Trade Development Missions

28 September 2011

The Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development is planning to lead multi-sector trade development missions to the following markets in the coming months. If you are interested, please contact the department's trade officers for more information. 

Boston, November 1-4 - The Boston multi-sector mission is scheduled for November 1-4.  For more information, please contact Rebecca Hefferton at (709) 729-1629.

Chicago, November 14 - 18 - The Chicago multi-sector mission is scheduled for November 14-18 to coincide with the Private Label Trade Show. For more information, please contact Gillian Chatman at (709) 729-3922.

Ireland, November 21-25 - The Ireland multi-sector mission is scheduled for November 21 - 25. For more information, please contact Tonya Norman at (709) 729-3641.

CANARIE'S "Digital Highway" a Critical Enabler Supporting Canada's Patient-Oriented Research Strategy

21 September 2011

Ottawa, Ontario - CANARIE, Canada's Advanced Research and Innovation Network, will play a critical support role in Canada's Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research ( This Strategy, developed by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in collaboration with provinces and territories, health charities, academic healthcare organizations, and industry representatives, focuses on better integration of research evidence and clinical practice, with a goal of improving health outcomes.

CANARIE operates Canada's ultra-high speed network, thousands of times faster than the Internet, which enables world-class research and discovery at universities, colleges, research hospitals, government labs and private sector research facilities across the country.

CANARIE enables the rapid sharing of massive research data sets among medical researchers nationwide. The ultra high-speed network can support the transmission of data-intensive research that could not be transmitted over a commercial Internet connection. Last year, 28,833 Terabytes of research data were transmitted over the CANARIE network, more than twenty times the annual residential Internet traffic in Canada.

"The CANARIE network will be an important foundational element of the infrastructure needed to support greater collaboration and sharing of information between clinical researchers in high performance centres across the country," says Dr. Jean Rouleau, Scientific Director lead for CIHR's work related to Canada's Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research. "The speed and capacity of the CANARIE network will accelerate the translation of research results into improved health outcomes."

"This is another example of how the CANARIE network supports and enables a wide range of government policies and priorities," says Mark Roman, President and CEO of CANARIE. "Although CANARIE is not well-known among the general public, it is critical digital infrastructure supporting today's data-intensive science and discovery. It's as important today to fostering Canadian innovation and growth as railways were a century ago."

CANARIE supports world-class research at research hospitals and health centres across the country, as well as two key Health Canada research labs: the Centre for Biologics Research in Ottawa and the Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

The Government of Canada provides CANARIE with successive five-year mandates and funding to achieve its objectives. The current mandate expires in March 2012. For more information on CANARIE's mandate renewal proposal, visit the renewal section on the CANARIE website at

For more information, please contact:

Kathryn Anthonisen
Director of Communications
(613) 943-5374

Inviting Applications for Innovation Programs

15 September 2011

Recently, the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development announced three calls for applications for programs that support business development and innovative learning in Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition, three programs: Innovation Enhancement Program, Commercialization Program and Global Travel Program; have been revised and we are continuing to accept applications.  

Click here to view a PDF with information about each program.

If you require further information or have any questions, please visit

Marport Named One of Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies

01 June 2011

ST. JOHN'S-NL June 1, 2011 - For the second year in a row, Marport Deep Sea Technologies Inc. has been named one of Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies by PROFIT Magazine. Marport again ranked 5th on the list and was selected based on the company's 5,016% compound revenue growth since 2005.

Ranking Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies by five-year revenue growth, the PROFIT 200 profiles the country's most successful growth companies. Published in the Summer issue of PROFIT and online at, the PROFIT 200 is Canada's largest annual celebration of entrepreneurial achievement.

"This recognition is a testament to our determination to succeed despite fierce competition and rigorous challenges. The Marport team continues to prove that success is a result of constant innovation, focus, strategy, and total belief in what we do," says Karl Kenny, Marport's President & CEO.

"The PROFIT 200 companies are the innovative, high-growth enterprises Canada needs to compete on the global stage," says Ian Portsmouth, Editor-in-Chief of PROFIT Magazine. "PROFIT is proud to celebrate their achievements and ambitions, and we encourage all businesspeople to learn more about the many ways they've come so far, so fast."

About Marport

Marport is a world leader in the design and development of Software Defined Sonar® technology and systems for commercial fisheries, underwater defence, offshore energy and ocean science. Visit Marport online at

About PROFIT Magazine

PROFIT: Your  Guide to Business Success is Canada's preeminent publication dedicated to the management issues and opportunities facing small and mid-sized businesses. For 29 years, Canadian entrepreneurs and senior managers across a vast array of economic sectors have remained loyal to PROFIT because it's a timely and reliable source of actionable information that helps them achieve business success and get the recognition they deserve for generating positive economic and social change. Visit PROFIT online at

For more information about this media release, please contact:

Marport Deep Sea Technologies Inc.
Glenda Leyte
Marketing Manager
+1.709.757.5757, extension 242

NATI Elects New Board

01 June 2011

ST.JOHN'S, NL  - NATI held its Annual General Meeting May 25 at the Bowering Park Bungalow in St. John's, NL. The AGM was an opportunity for members to have their say on issues such as NATI's financial health and the future direction of the organization. Most importantly, members participated in the election process for one position on the Board of Directors. Suzanne Kenny, of Deloitte Consulting, was elected and assumes her position effective immediately.

The overall size of the Board of Directors has been reduced from the current structure of fourteen (14) to seven (7). During the first official meeting of the new board, there will be an election of a Vice Chair who will automatically succeed to Chair at the 2012 AGM.

"Ultimately, what helps drive NATI's success is the insight and vision of the NATI Board of Directors," said Mr. Ron Taylor, NATI CEO. "Our 2011 - 2012 Board has members from some of the most prominent technology companies in the province and I am confident they will contribute to NATI's future growth and success."

Mr. Paul Dubé, NATI Chair, says the new Board will be an active one. "Our continued efforts from last year will be concentrated on building a new strategic plan that puts effective policy development and advocacy initiatives at the very heart of the association."

NATI currently has plans underway to launch a new website, logo and communications plan for this fall. "Continuing NATI's success will require further dedication and support from the Board, staff, membership and our partners," declared Mr. Dubé. "It's a challenge I am more than ready for this year as NATI's Chair."

2011-2012 NATI Board of Directors:

  • Chair - Mr. Paul Dubé
  • Director - Mr. Gary Lovell
  • Director - Mr. Gerard Duggan
  • Director - Mr. Chris Spurvey
  • Director - Mr. Cliff Roberts
  • Director - Mr. Geoff Davis
  • Director - Suzanne Kenny (newly elected)

About NATI

The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology Industries (NATI) is a not,for,profit industry association representing the province's advanced technology sector.  A leader in Atlantic Canada's industry association community, NATI thinks like a business, pursuing opportunities that offer the most growth potential for our sector. Member,focused and driven, NATI delivers a wide range of tailored services to our members depending on their needs, assisting each of them with a common goal , that member's success.

For information contact:

Jennifer Kelly, Marketing Coordinator, NATI

Special Announcement regarding NATI Board of Directors

08 April 2011

Dear NATI Members,

On Thursday April 7, 2011, NATI held a Special Meeting to bring the membership together to discuss the recommendations from our recent Board of Directors strategic planning activities and governance review. The following items were tabled and approved unanimously:

  • Directors of the Board will be those from the regular membership that represent a holistic view of the challenges and issues that face the broader membership regardless of the sector they operate within. The Board will be the custodian of the strategic plan, and build upon the premise of being a strong representative of the advanced technology sectors through effective policy and advocacy management.
  • Directors of the Board will be involved in all decision making processes that would go to the Board therefore removing the need of an Executive Committee.
  • The Board will continue to require leadership, which will remain with the position of Chair. A defined succession plan is now instituted whereby a Vice Chair will be elected from within the Board of Directors at the first Board meeting after an Annual General Meeting (AGM) for a one year term. The Vice Chair will then assume the role of Chair.
  • Overall size of the Board of Directors will be reduced from the current structure of fourteen (14) to seven (7), effective at the next AGM. · Sector development and representation will follow a cluster model whereby all interested stakeholders will work together for the betterment of the sector and will have a channel of communication back to the Board of Directors. 

There is recognition that these changes will require a period of transition for the Association. The following recommendations were approved unanimously for the incoming Board of Directors at the next AGM:

  • Paul Dubé will remain as Chair for a one (1) year term.
  • Gerard Duggan, Cliff Roberts and Gary Lovell will remain with the Board to fulfill the remaining year of their current term.
  • Chris Spurvey and Geoff Davis will return as Directors, each for a two (2) year term.
  • An election will be held at the next AGM for one (1) Director for a two (2) year term.

I'd like to thank all those that were able to attend and actively participate at the Special Meeting last week. NATI is well positioned for future success. Details of the election and the date of the AGM will be forthcoming in the next week.


Paul Dubé
NATI Chair