Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
December 12, 2006

The following statement was issued by the Honourable Trevor Taylor, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. It was also read in the House of Assembly:

Innovation Programs Benefit Local Company, Institution

I would like to inform my colleagues of a local company and an educational institution currently benefiting from two new programs born from government�s Innovation Strategy.

The College of the North Atlantic is using $50,000 from the Innovation Enhancement Program to investigate establishing a Centre for Northern Peninsula Diversification at its St. Anthony campus. The college will conduct a feasibility study to address issues surrounding the establishment of such a centre. The centre is being proposed to focus on opportunities in the biotechnology field, with emphasis on the greater use of existing natural resources in the local area.

MedicLINK Systems Limited, based in St. John�s, specializes in developing innovative software solutions for eye care professionals. MedicLINK identifies and analyzes the steps required to deliver quality patient care. It has optimized those steps into its workflow management system, called Eyesistant. The Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development approved a loan of almost $58,000 from its Commercialization Fund, and provided over $12,000 from the Business and Market Development Program, to help the company launch its product in Canada and the United States. As a result, the company has recently entered into a partnership with two prominent US medical professionals to create a tool that could revolutionize the way a typical clinic operates. It is expected the tool will help clinics become more efficient and automated, leading to improved patient care and business growth. The company is also in discussions with two investment groups interested in helping them break into other medical industries. MedicLINK is a new company that has made impressive gains in a short time. That is, no doubt, one of the reasons why they were given the New Start-up Award by the St. John's Board of Trade last week.

Our Innovation Strategy programs were created to support government�s vision of transforming our province into one of the country�s most innovative. These funds assist companies and institutions to embrace innovation and to realize their goals. I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating the College of the North Atlantic and MedicLINK, and in wishing them every success for the future.

2006 12 12                             1:55 p.m.

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