FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BioNova, Grant Thornton and Cox & Palmer Propose Updates to N.S. Tax Credit to Boost Investment in Startups
November 6, 2019 – Halifax, Nova Scotia – BioNova, Grant Thornton and Cox & Palmer
BioNova, the organization leading the economic growth of the Health and Life Sciences sector in Nova Scotia in collaboration with Grant Thornton and Cox & Palmer have announced the launch of a report to advance the Innovation Equity Tax Credit (IETC) to better serve the interests of local businesses, the investment community, and the province’s economic development objectives. The announcement was made at BioNova’s 18th annual BioPort Atlantic conference, the largest health and life sciences conference east of Montreal.
This is the second time that BioNova and industry partners have provided recommendations to the province to evolve the tax credit, many of which were adopted with the launch of the new and improved IETC back in January. This has led to welcomed changes for many companies in Nova Scotia, as the attraction of capital has been a long-standing issue for emerging businesses.
“Great strides have been made and we believe there are still opportunities available to further improve and refine the IETC that will have a long-term positive impact on our economy and for the health and life sciences sector,” said Scott Moffitt, Executive Director of BioNova.
There are thirteen new recommendations listed in the report including an update which will allow directors, founders, and other investors with a vested interest in the company to benefit from the tax credits where they are currently excluded. The report also recommends providing early stage companies an opportunity to pivot their business plan if it will increase their chances of success while still being eligible for the IETC.
BioNova advocates on behalf of the sector for initiatives that are important to attract investment to the province. The IETC encourages investors to make equity capital investments in eligible Nova Scotian small and medium corporations, who are engaged in innovative activities that contribute to inclusive economic growth and increase investment in innovation.
“The Innovation Equity Tax Credit changes that were announced in January of 2019 and referenced again in the provincial budget for 2019/20 made a significant impact on the amount of local funds raised in our most recent offering. We were encouraged to see local investors benefit from the new changes. We truly believe that these are the types of significant improvements that are needed to ensure the success of technology-based businesses like ours, so we look forward to this trend continuing.”
– Peter Hickey, Co-founder and Executive Director, IR Scientific
“We’re hoping that our efforts to improve the business climate in Nova Scotia for innovation-driven entrepreneurship by doing things differently will continue to support economic growth in the province.”
–Gerry Lacroix, Partner, Grant Thornton
View the full report “Continuing the Advantage: INNOVATION EQUITY TAX CREDITS and Stimulating Innovative Companies” here
BioNova leads the economic development of Nova Scotia’s growing health and life sciences sector. Since 1993, BioNova has been accelerating the growth of its member companies to commercialize life-changing research to improve healthcare, provide healthier food, and develop sustainable solutions. BioNova champions the sector’s cluster of world-class research facilities, incubator programs, and companies who, together, bring investment and jobs to Nova Scotia.
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Marketing Manager, BioNova
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The BioInnovation Challenge (BIC) was created by BioNova, Nova Scotia’s life sciences industry association and sector development organization, to help ease the transition from research laboratory to market. But BIC is more than just a competition; it is a support program to accelerate Atlantic Canadian researchers and life science companies in becoming established, viable entities. Since its inception in 2011, the BioInnovation Challenge has ushered 38 companies and research organizations from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI through the program, each receiving significant training to position a business for high growth.
“We are very excited about this year’s competition,” said Scott Moffitt, managing director at BioNova. “There is a lot of innovation happening in the life sciences in Atlantic Canada and we are on track to be one of the pillars of the new economy, we are definitely a sector to watch out for.”
The competition, presented by BioNova in partnership with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Dalhousie University, Springboard Atlantic, BioNB and PEI BioAlliance will take place during BioPort Atlantic, the premier annual life sciences industry event in Atlantic Canada on October 25-26, 2016 in Halifax.
The winners, who will be announced at BioPort Atlantic, will be awarded advisory services with the first place winner also receiving seed funding for a total package value of $45,000. In-kind services have been provided by: Plano and Simple, Cox & Palmer, Jennifer Cameron PR, JLT Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sandler Training, Grant Thornton LLP and BioNova.
Life sciences companies and researchers will have until August 12, 2016 to submit their entries to BioNova. Semi-Finalists will be chosen by September 2. For full competition details and to submit an application visit www.bionova.ca
BioNova is Nova Scotia’s life sciences industry association and sector development organization. BioNova leads and supports its members as we build a successful, self-sustaining life sciences industry in Nova Scotia. By promoting the industry and its successes, building relationships both inside and outside the province and creating networking and educational opportunities BioNova aims to accelerate the commercialization success of Nova Scotia’s life sciences businesses and organizations.
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In 2012, Chris Cowper-Smith, Bob Garrish and Shea Kewin were all students in a Dalhousie entrepreneurship class when they came up with a business idea rooted in kinesiology. They created a prototype of a unique knee brace for people with knee injuries to help them move better. Unlike the traditional knee braces on the market, they wanted to design a light-weight knee brace that would have a suspension system to enhance stability and support. To bring their product to market they would need to start testing their designs and gather funding to support their research.
In 2013 they gained some momentum when their company, Spring Loaded Technology was named as a finalist in the BioInnovation Challenge, a pitch competition with the possibility to win a prize package that would include $15,000 in seed funding and an advisory services package worth more than $20,000 including services provided by Cox & Palmer, Solutions Inc., Marsh Canada Limited and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
They entered their trademarked knee brace Levitation, designed with a unique mechanical hinge that stores energy when flexed and releases during extension. With such an impressive pitch and a product filled with potential they were deemed the most attractive for investment by a panel of judges dubbed The Commercialization Council and the conference audience.
Since winning the competition many other doors to investment have opened for the fledgling company. So far the company has been able to raise $3 million and has gone on to win various investment competitions including the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Young Entrepreneur Award for their production of the world’s first bionic knee brace, which landed $100,000 for the Halifax company. Today the Dartmouth-based company is close to bringing their bionic knee braces to the masses and is still actively pursuing investment.