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Government of Canada announces first-of-its-kind biomanufacturing facility in British Columbia

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Opening of cutting-edge biomanufacturing facility creates more than 1,000 Canadian jobs, boosting the domestic life sciences sector

BURNABY, BC, July 9, 2024 /CNW/ – The Government of Canada is investing in a robust, dynamic and resilient life sciences ecosystem capable of responding to current and future health emergencies. Since March 2020, over $2.2 billion has been invested to strengthen our country’s domestic biomanufacturing and life sciences capabilities to ensure Canadians have access to the most cutting-edge medical technologies.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, is pleased to announce the opening of STEMCELL Technologies‘ state-of-the-art facility, in Burnaby, British Columbia, which has been supported through a $22.5 million investment by the Government of Canada, matched by the Government of British Columbia. This investment has contributed to the construction of a brand new good manufacturing practices (GMP) biomanufacturing facility where STEMCELL Technologies can now manufacture products at the higher regulatory compliance standard required to support clinical trials for cell therapy, tissue engineering, immunotherapy, gene therapy and regenerative medicine, with the ultimate aim of curing cancer and other serious diseases. With the completion of this project, STEMCELL Technologies created more than 1,000 new full-time jobs in British Columbia, far exceeding the project’s target of 675.

The expansion of STEMCELL Technologies’ presence in British Columbia strengthens the province’s status as a biomanufacturing and life sciences hub and will generate more research and development (R&D) and more collaboration with academia. It will also ensure new intellectual property being developed remains in Canada.

This investment is made possible through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a program to attract and support high-quality business investments across all sectors of the economy by encouraging R&D that will accelerate technology transfer and commercialization of innovative products, processes and services.

Quotes

“Our government is committed to supporting innovation in the life sciences sector to ensure Canadians have access to the most cutting-edge medical technologies to keep them safe. The opening of STEMCELL Technologies’ state-of-the-art facility is another important milestone in achieving a robust domestic life sciences sector in Canada. Through investments such as this, we are securing domestic supply chains and ensuring new intellectual property remains in Canada, while supporting the creation of hundreds of great-paying jobs for Canadian workers.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Supporting research and development expansion, as well as job growth in diverse and dynamic fields, all across Canada is essential to creating stronger local economies. Leaps in progress often happen because of many smaller steps, on many roads leading to the same destination.”
– The Honourable Terry Beech, Minister of Citizens’ Services

“B.C. is home to the fastest growing life sciences and biomanufacturing sector in Canada. Supporting companies like STEMCELL is helping the ecosystem in B.C. continue to grow and thrive, meaning more good jobs for British Columbians and better access to cutting edge research and therapeutics.”
 – Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation  

“The opening of this new facility is the culmination of a massive multi-year project unprecedented in STEMCELL’s 31-year history that enables us to meet the needs of scientists advancing medical discoveries globally. This biomanufacturing facility strengthens STEMCELL’s positioning as a Canadian anchor company and will allow us to contribute to the life sciences ecosystem for decades to come.”
– Dr. Allen Eaves, Founder, President and CEO, STEMCELL Technologies

Quick facts

Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy presents a long-term vision to protect Canadians against future pandemics and other health emergencies and to grow an innovative, competitive domestic life sciences sector.STEMCELL Technologies was founded in 1993 by CEO Dr. Allen Eaves. The company has since grown into a global biotechnology enterprise, producing high-quality cell culture media, cell separation technologies, instruments, accessory products, educational resources, and contract assay services that are used by scientists performing cancer, stem cell, immunology, regenerative medicine, and cellular therapy research globally.Stem cells were discovered in the early 1960s through the work of Canadian scientists Dr. James Till and Dr. Ernest McCulloch at the University of Toronto.

Associated links

Biomanufacturing: Advancing health sciences industry in CanadaStrategic Innovation FundSTEMCELL Technologies

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tKash Celebrates 1st Anniversary with Major Milestones and Exciting Promotions

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Achieving 100,000 Registrations, International Reach, and Celebratory Promotions Highlight tKash’s Remarkable First Year

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, July 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — tKash, a pioneering financial services app, is celebrating its first anniversary with notable achievements and exciting promotions. Launched with a vision to simplify financial transactions, tKash has reached impressive milestones, including 100,000 registrations and up to 10,000 daily active users.

Since its inception, tKash has been dedicated to providing seamless and secure financial services. The app has enabled users to transfer up to RM 1 million across borders, offering peace of mind with its reliable and efficient service. In addition to money transfers, tKash provides convenient currency exchange services for up to 10 countries’ currencies, including Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Pakistan, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar.

One of the standout features of tKash is its Live FC (foreign currency) Rates, which allows users to track currency fluctuations in real time, ensuring they make informed decisions when exchanging currencies.

The company’s growth and success have not gone unnoticed. tKash proudly featured its video on the iconic New York Times Square billboard and displayed billboards in Kuala Lumpur, enhancing its brand visibility on an international scale. Influencers from countries such as Thailand have shared positive reviews on social media, further boosting tKash’s presence on social media.

To celebrate its first anniversary, tKash is running a special promotion where users who refer their friends have the chance to share in a RM100,000 prize pool, making it even more rewarding to engage with the app. The company continues to innovate, with regular updates to its app, which are available for download on both the PlayStore and AppStore. In January 2024, tKash launched its official website, providing users another platform to access its services.

In just one year, tKash has proven to be a game-changer in the financial services industry, making everyday transactions smoother and more accessible. With its tech-savvy team and commitment to customer satisfaction, tKash is poised for continued growth and success.

tKash is a leading financial services app committed to making financial transactions easier and more accessible. With secure money transfers, real-time currency exchange rates, and a user-friendly interface, tKash transforms how people manage their finances. For more information, visit tKash.co.

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SOURCE tKash

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Saronic Raises $175 Million in Series B Funding, Valuing Company at $1 Billion

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Funding will accelerate Saronic’s growth and further scale production of its autonomous surface vessels for the U.S. Navy and its allies

AUSTIN, Texas, July 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Saronic, a defense technology leader that designs and manufactures autonomous surface vessels (ASVs), today announced a $175 million Series B raise placing the company’s valuation at $1 billion. The funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), with participation from both new and existing investors, including 8VC, Caffeinated Capital, Elad Gil, and NightDragon, among others.

Saronic is redefining maritime superiority for the U.S. Navy and its allies by delivering the most effective and advanced ASVs at the speed and scale needed to meet the rapidly growing needs of the Joint Force. Saronic’s ASVs are designed to serve as a force multiplier for the existing Fleet, working alongside manned systems to allow naval forces to go farther and do more with less risk to life and mission. 

“We are creating an entirely new capability for the maritime domain, one that delivers naval power without the costs and delays of a shipyard,” said Saronic CEO Dino Mavrookas. “As the future of naval warfare will rely on manned and unmanned teaming, we must build solutions that easily integrate into the existing fleet and can be produced at scale to meet any emerging threat. We are grateful to our investment partners who believe so strongly in Saronic’s ability to meet that need.”

Saronic’s investor group is composed of firms committed to ensuring that the U.S. military maintains its decisive advantage in the face of an increasingly complex and competitive global threat landscape through the integration of advanced technology and innovative capabilities that truly meet the needs of the warfighter. 

“Our nation’s future depends on us continuing to build and deploy the best, most innovative technology” said Katherine Boyle, General Partner at a16z. “Saronic is developing the solutions we need to protect the warfighter and stay ahead of our adversaries, and we are proud to support their continued growth.”

This new investment will accelerate Saronic’s growth both domestically and internationally. At home, it will allow further expansion of Saronic’s in-house manufacturing capabilities and enable increased production of all its ASV models. Additionally, it will advance the research and development of new autonomous capabilities for naval and maritime forces, including increased technology and payload integration with government and commercial partners. Internationally, this investment will support Saronic’s expansion to more fully serve U.S. allies and partners in key markets.

“To deter China and other adversaries, the United States and our allies must bring intelligent, autonomous new capabilities to naval warfare,” said Alex Moore, Partner at 8VC. “Saronic delivers these capabilities on a relevant scale and timeline, and has enlisted the top engineers and operators in the industry.”

Saronic’s family of ASVs includes Spyglass (6′), Cutlass (14′) and Corsair, its largest model, which is currently in development and testing. Each vessel features integrated autonomous capabilities to meet a customer’s specific requirements and can carry diverse payloads in communication- and GPS-denied environments. Through the vertical integration of hardware and software as well as the use of a Modular Open Systems Architecture (MOSA), Saronic’s ASVs deliver greater interoperability at a price point that makes them attritable. Having a cost-effective capability that can be deployed without putting human operators in harm’s way increases the survivability of the fleet and enables commanders to engage in situations where the risk is too high to deploy a traditional manned system.

For more information about Saronic, please visit: https://www.saronic.com.  

Media Contact: Press@saronic.com 

 

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SOURCE Saronic

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Summit-Friendship Solar Village Receives Reuters’ Global Energy Transition Awards 2024

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SINGAPORE, July 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The ‘Summit-Friendship Solar Village’ project, located in Kabilpur within the Gaibandha district of Bangladesh, has received the prestigious Reuters’ Global Energy Transition Awards 2024 under the ‘Projects of Impact’ category in New York, USA on 25th June 2024. Among 500 entries this year from around the globe, this project was nominated for its concrete results in terms of improved energy affordability, and compensation for losses to improve local resilience for climate change.

This 57.6 kW scalable solar microgrid now benefits the 3,000 inhabitants of Kabilpur, Gaibandha. Kabilpur itself is a char—a remote sedimentary landmass found within a river—but finds itself ideally placed to act as hub for neighbouring chars within the Jamuna River, upon which it is situated.

“Summit wants to serve 100% of Bangladesh with infrastructure such as electricity and communication. Most chars fall outside the national grid. I believe these chars, like the rest of Bangladesh, deserve electricity. The award-winning NGO, Friendship, has done wonders. It’s a privilege to provide solar energy to the 3,000 people of Kabilpur Char in association with Friendship,” remarked Muhammed Aziz Khan, Chairman of Summit Power International.

“Anyone who has seen the Jamuna River in its full might will understand that mainline power grids are not really possible here. On the other hand, this solar grid will provide income-generating opportunities and livelihoods, as well as opportunities for children’s education in order for hope and dignity to thrive. We want to thank Summit for its support,” said Runa Khan, the founder of Friendship.

The solar village plays an integral role in allowing people from these isolated communities to have access to “modern” amenities, and have longer operational hours for both business and commerce, alongside academics and home use. Additionally, renewable solar energy also equates to less reliance on traditional kerosene lamps, which burn fossil fuels with toxic consequences.

About Summit Power International 

Summit Group is the largest infrastructure conglomerate in Bangladesh. Summit Power International Ltd (SPI), headquartered in Singapore, is the largest Independent Power Producer (IPP) in Bangladesh reflecting 17% of Bangladesh’s total private installed capacity and 7% of nation’s total installed capacity. In addition, it owns and operates a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) vessel and supplies 500 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of regasified LNG to Bangladesh. In 2019, Summit’s FSRU received equity investment from Mitsubishi Corporation. In 2019, JERA Co., Inc. (JERA), had acquired a 22% stake in Summit Power International. Recently, it has proposed the development of the country’s third FSRU and the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has provided in-principle approval of the proposal in mid-June 2023. Most notably, the Meghnaghat II, which is a dual-fuel CCGT GE H Class plant with gross capacity of 590 MW on LNG, achieved the commercial operation date milestone on 26 April 2024.

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SOURCE Summit Power International

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