Today, David Dingwall, President & Vice Chancellor of Cape Breton University, announced the incorporation of the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment (Verschuren Centre Inc.) into a not-for-profit, stand-alone research and technology centre for commercialization of cutting-edge technologies and businesses. As a result of this new versatile, and responsive business model, the Verschuren Centre Inc. will rapidly expand its capacity to address key sustainable development goals that drive today’s innovation. This move positions the Verschuren Centre Inc. as a key asset in the Nova Scotia and Atlantic ecosystems and key aspects of the global bioeconomy.
“The Verschuren Centre is an asset on Cape Breton Island and assets need to be supported in order to grow. The speed of technology acceleration that the Verschuren Centre can provide with this new business model is incredibly valuable for graduates of CBU, community businesses and new economic growth in Atlantic Canada, and we are proud to be a partner in this,” says Dingwall. “Increased research, innovation and development activity at the Verschuren Centre is good for CBU, it is good for Cape Breton Island, and it is good the Province of Nova Scotia.”
The Verschuren Centre is attracting new businesses from across Canada, the United States and Europe to come to Cape Breton to pilot their innovations amidst a first class technical and business ecosystem, by partnering with development agencies in the Province. “The VC provides a unique-in-Canada experience, enabling start-ups to de-risk their technology in a cutting-edge research and manufacturing facility while being capital efficient at the same time,” says Vik Pandit, CEO Phycus Biotechnologies.
Corporate, community and SME growth brings sustainable jobs built around our large natural resource advantage, connecting new and existing key industry sectors. This not only enhances the economic viability and sustainability of existing businesses but brings much needed highly technical skills and job creation to Cape Breton in sectors of the new bioeconomy. Some exciting examples include synthetic biology and machine learning in disease detection with Kracken Sense, bio-fermentation with Phycus, and advanced materials transformation with Arduro and Alterbiota. Companies in the Verschuren Centre target a range of global market applications from right here in Cape Breton, including advanced agriculture, secure food production, natural products, manufacturing and cosmetics.
“The Verschuren Centre provides world-class materials testing facilities paired with deep domain knowledge and advisory services to create a turn-key solution for businesses focused on solving the world’s sustainability issues,” says Ian Lowe, CEO of Arduro.
Additionally, the Verschuren Centre is working directly with community, government, commercial, industrial and institutional partners across the Province to engage in energy transformation toward moving the needle on the unified Municipal, Provincial and Federal commitments to decarbonize and reduce our GHG emissions to zero by 2050. Cape Breton University has, in the past, been at the forefront of these efforts and will partner with the Verschuren Centre to advance these goals internally and share in expanding this capacity. These efforts provide opportunities for companies with new technologies in thermal capture and storage to immediately scale and integrate into large scale commercial projects.
“With this move, the Verschuren Centre is rapidly filling the gap in scale to commercialization that presents the biggest challenge to companies across Canada. We have a vibrant and rapidly growing bioeconomy in Nova Scotia, and by partnering with our Provincial business development colleagues, together, we are creating an incredible landing pad for business growth here in Cape Breton. Together, the Verschuren Centre and CBU see this partnership as a vital component to positioning our respective institutions at the forefront of the global green recovery,” says Dr. Beth Mason, Chief Executive Officer, Verschuren Centre Inc.
For more information about the Verschuren Centre visit www.verschurencentre.ca