Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
July 20, 2017

Provincial Government Announces Creation of InnovateNL

The Provincial Government today announced the creation of InnovateNL, which is the next step in its approach to fostering greater innovation and accelerating business growth in Newfoundland and Labrador. InnovateNL, through the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, will be a single-window for the delivery of provincial innovation programs and services to clients in a seamless and more efficient manner.

InnovateNL will support government’s approach to working smarter and more collaboratively. It will also:

  • Streamline client access to government supports;
  • Leverage research and innovation resources;
  • Extend innovation programming province-wide;
  • Provide a full continuum of supports for clients from idea to market to internationalization;
  • Ensure other non-funding business supports are provided to clients and available in a timely manner;
  • Focus research and technology investments to projects/clients with global reach; and,
  • Build on priorities of The Way Forward.

As part of InnovateNL, all funding programs and services of the Research & Development Corporation will be integrated into the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation. There will be no changes to program funding allocations. In total, InnovateNL will bring the Department’s current combined budget for economic development to approximately $40 million.

To guide the priorities of InnovateNL, a new board of directors has been created. Further details are noted in the backgrounder below. Full integration is expected to be completed by mid-Fall. The Board will be known as the NL Innovation Council.

The Provincial Government launched an engagement process for its new Business Innovation Agenda in November 2016. The agenda is expected to be launched in September. During the engagement sessions, stakeholders identified a need for one-stop coordinated advice, integrated service delivery and routing matched with employer needs as well as better linkages to various sources of capital required.

The development of a new Business Innovation Agenda is a priority in The Way Forward: A Vision for Sustainability and Growth in Newfoundland and Labrador. The vision guides Provincial Government actions to achieve greater efficiency, strengthen the province’s economic foundation, enhance services, and improve outcomes to promote a healthy and prosperous province.

“InnovateNL will accelerate business growth in Newfoundland and Labrador. It will result in improved service delivery, better alignment of programs and services and increased collaboration and greater opportunity to leverage funding from federal and industry partners. I look forward to working with the new InnovateNL board, as well as our industry partners to support all regions of Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore
Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

“This represents a comprehensive, holistic approach to supporting the development of a vibrant innovation sector in Newfoundland and Labrador. Companies and individuals require a wide variety of programs and services to develop and commercialize their products and services in our modern economy. Enhanced coordination and tailoring these supports to match specific needs will make them more effective. This, along with the benefits of input from a diverse council, will significantly help provincial innovators broaden and diversify our economy.”
Mark Dobbin, Chair, NL Innovation Council

“As a member of the academic community, I am so pleased to join my industry colleagues on the InnovateNL Board. Together we can leverage research resources to advance innovation, commercialization and internationalization of new and existing enterprises in our province. A focused approach to creating economic and social prosperity through research, investment and collaboration will benefit the entire province.”
Dr. Jacqueline Walsh, Vice-Chair, NL Innovation Council and Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University

“As a business owner who started from an idea 10 years ago, and a client of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, I understand the importance of support programs to foster business through various stages of growth and development. A continuum of supports is necessary to help businesses in the province to grow and thrive in local, national and international markets. InnovateNL will streamline access to government supports and will efficiently provide a range of funding and non-funding supports from idea generation to market to internationalization. I am excited to be a member of the InnovateNL Board and look forward to providing input to help businesses grow and thrive in the province.”
Adam Anderson, Board Member, NL Innovation Council and President and CEO of Resource Innovations

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Media contacts
Eric Humber
Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
709-729-4819, 725- 9655

Mark Dobbin
Killick Capital Inc.

Dr. Jacqueline Walsh
Grenfell Campus, Memorial University

Adam Anderson
Resource Innovations


Members of the InnovateNL Council and InnovateNL Model

The following individuals have been appointed to the InnovateNL Council for a two-year term:

Mark Dobbin (Chair)
Mark Dobbin is the Founder and President of Killick Capital Inc. From 1998 to 2003, Mr. Dobbin was the Chairman and CEO of Vector Aerospace Corporation, a globally-recognized aviation repair and overhaul company. Prior to that, he spent 17 years at CHC Helicopter Corporation, the world’s largest helicopter company, where he served as senior vice president and a member of the Board of Directors. Mark is a graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland Bachelor of Commerce (co-op) program and holds an MBA from Dalhousie.

Mark served on the Board of Directors of Stratos Global Corporation, Aurora Energy Resources Inc., Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, Verafin Inc., and Aerospace Industries Association of Canada. Currently, Mark sits on the boards for Killick’s investee companies (see Portfolio), including Max Arts-Athletics-Wellness, CT Aerospace, and Celtx.

Adam Anderson
Adam Anderson has supervised various forest management operations in locations across Canada (Newfoundland Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia) and is very experienced in managing large groups of people and working with the public, forest contractors, company officials, government officials and tourism operators. In recent years, Adam has been project manager / technical lead on four large scale ecological land classification projects across Canada, spanning two provinces and a landscape of nearly six million hectares. Adam has a strong background in technical data collection and forest research, and has extensive experience in preparing technical reports and presenting them to the public and other interested parties.

Adam is a Registered Professional Forester recognized by the Canadian Institute of Forestry as a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Professional Foresters Association. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry from the University of New Brunswick, as well as a Technical Forest Diploma from the College of the North Atlantic in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Carey Bonnell
Carey has gained broad experience in the area of fisheries innovation, development and sustainability starting initially with his early upbringing in a small fishing community on Newfoundland’s Northern Peninsula. He began his career as a technical assistant at the Fishing Technology Unit at the Marine Institute, progressing through educational roles with the MI and the College of the North Atlantic. His varied career includes time in Nunavut in various senior roles until joining the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation as an Industrial Liaison Officer and was promoted to the position of Managing Director. He is currently Head of the School of Fisheries within the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University. Carey serves as the Senior Industry Co-Chair of the Canadian Seafood Value Chain Roundtable as well as the President of the International Association of Fish Inspectors.

Carey holds both a Bachelor of Science and Masters in Fisheries Resource Management from Memorial University. He is currently pursuing his Doctoral studies at the University of Calgary in the area of Academic Leadership in Higher Education.

Charlene Brophy
As President and CEO of FONEMED, Charlene Brophy has brought her knowledge of our health care system into developing countries and communities which otherwise would not have access to medical care. She has provided direct oversight for the establishment of tele-health centers at multiple international locations including Bangladesh, Manila, Haiti, Venezuela and Peru. Today, FONEMED has over 150 employees in Canada and the United States, with many more working in international health contact centres. Close to 100 employees are based in Newfoundland and Labrador alone.

Charlene has authored and co-authored multiple publications and abstracts. She is a recipient of the Business Excellence Award from the St. John's Board of Trade for leading innovation and her outstanding contribution to the provincial economy by growing a global business out of the headquarters in St. John's.

Charlene was recently awarded the CBC Innovator of the Year Award by Atlantic Business Magazine and has been recognized as one of the Top 50 CEOs in Atlantic Canada. Charlene firmly believes in supporting the communities in which FONEMED operates and sits on the board of various local non- profit organizations.

Lynn Morrissey
Lynn Morrissey is an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Business Administration, Memorial University, overseeing the design of the business communications course and coordinating the teaching team. Since 2004, Lynn has also been the Faculty Advisor for Enactus Memorial, a student volunteer organization on campus. She has worked with hundreds of students and coached over 40 presentation teams. Under her direction, the team’s success has been unprecedented. To date, they have won nine national competitions, as well as the world competition in 2008 and 2016. The team will again represent Canada at the 2017 Enactus World Cup in London, England.

Lynn has received the Dean’s Teaching Award in recognition of her teaching excellence; the Dean’s Service Award; and the Dean’s Citizenship Award for exemplary service to the faculty. Most recently, Lynn received the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, the highest teaching award given at Memorial University. Lynn is also a member of the International Women’s Forum Canada through which she works with other senior leaders to influence key community initiatives.

Lynn has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Master of Business Administration from Memorial University.

Gena Pecore
Gina Pecore is the Chief Executive Officer of Genoa Design International. She began her career as a member of the Royal Canadian Navy during a period of transformation that included the commissioning of new warships and first-time placement of women at sea. This experience underpinned her progression over the next 25 years into a senior business leader whose values are driven by possibilities and empowerment.

Throughout her career, Gina has established and operated several businesses and earned international designations and recognition for her work in communications, training, facilitation and leadership. In 1995, she helped found Genoa Design International, and supported the company’s growth from a basement enterprise to an international operation. In 2012, she accepted a partnership role at Genoa and led the company’s 400 per cent growth over the next five years. Named CEO in 2017, Gina is now responsible for driving the company’s continued growth across Canada and the United States.

Gina is a graduate of Mount Saint Vincent University, and has 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and an advisor to regional and national organizations in business, government, and academic sectors. She is a firm believer in social responsibility, with personal commitments in developing communities internationally, and, among many other corporate initiatives, a commitment to Home Again Furniture Bank, a new and innovative charity that Genoa is pleased to be the lead sponsor of in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Ron Taylor
Ron Taylor, CEO of NATI is an executive with over 20 years of international business experience working in Canada, the United States, South America, Europe and Asia. Originally from Toronto, Ontario he has been living in St John's since 2002 and has been CEO at NATI since 2009.

In his career, he has operated at a Senior Executive level in the Construction, Medical, Energy and Information Technology sectors.

Well-seasoned in global business environments, Ron has an extensive network of business contacts, partners and distributors including relationships with numerous Canadian Embassies and Consulates around the world.

Andy Turnbull
Andy Turnbull is the Chief Executive Officer of the Nunacor Development Corporation, the Indigenous business development entity of the NunatuKavut Community Council, located in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. In this role he leads a group of wholly-owned companies as well as strategic partnerships in a wide range of sectors, such as hospitality, real estate, fisheries, engineering, mining services, and safety training. Andy has been a strong advocate for Indigenous participation in business in Labrador, actively establishing partnerships and maintaining contact with key industry leaders to create opportunities for members of the Indigenous community.

Andy has extensive experience in Indigenous business development as well as human resources. He has been involved in negotiating business partnerships in a broad range of industries as well as community cooperation agreements with the mining industry in Labrador. Andy has worked with Service Canada and the Department of Advanced Education and Skills, positions both relating to assisting employers with business development and human resource matters. Andy was named one of the Top 50 CEOs in Atlantic Canada by Atlantic Business Magazine in both 2016 and 2017.

Andy is originally from Charlottetown, on the south coast of Labrador and currently resides in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL. He has a Bachelor of Arts in French and Business from Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Josh Quinton
Josh Quinton, Manager of the US east coast at Bloomberg L.P., has been a leader in the financial industry for the last 10 years in New York City. He is an award-winning global business manager having built analytics to bring transparency to the financial markets and advised some of the largest money managers in the world, including multinational corporations, pensions, hedge funds, central banks and heads of government in the United States and Canada.

In addition to several other charities in Newfoundland and Labrador and New York, Josh serves on the finance committee of the Grenfell Association of America in New York, which is committed to providing health care, education and social services to the coastal communities of northern Newfoundland and Labrador. He has been a strong mentor and advocate for Memorial’s Faculty of Business, regularly advising and connecting students with industry leaders. In 2011, he negotiated the donation and set up of a state of the art White Trading Lab at Memorial University. He was also the recipient of Memorial’s Alumni Horizon Award in 2012. Josh grew up in a small family business in Newfoundland and is passionate about supporting local entrepreneurship and promoting self-sustainability and innovation in the province.

Josh holds a Master’s degree in International Economics from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Commerce from Memorial University.

Dr. Jacqueline Walsh
Dr. Jacqueline Walsh is an assistant professor of business at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. Jacqui practiced law in Newfoundland and Labrador for many years in private practice and as in-house counsel for some of the province’s most successful software companies. In addition, Jacqui spent many years volunteering her time with the Genesis Centre, NLAN, and Futurpreneurs. Jacqui moved to the west coast of the island in 2008 and began teaching entrepreneurship and strategy in the business program at Grenfell. She is actively involved with the Navigate Entrepreneurship Centre; founded the Enactus Grenfell team; completed the lean start-up training program; and is a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Global Entrepreneurship Monitor team. Her research areas include the role of post-secondary institutions in regional economic development; the development of a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in communities; and the improvement of commercialization skills in small firms.

Jacqui has a Ph.D. in intellectual property law from the University of Leicester, a MBA from Memorial University and a LL.B. from the University of New Brunswick.

Mandy Woodland
After working for many years in St. John’s as a commercial lawyer with a large Atlantic Canadian firm, Mandy founded her virtual law firm in 2013 providing fixed-fee legal services, with an emphasis on privacy and technology, for commercial clients nationally.

As a co-owner of a digital strategy consulting firm, Mandy helped consulting clients with growth and innovation strategy - whether internally through culture and employee engagement or externally through product-market fit, new idea vetting, accessing new markets or attracting their ideal customer. More recently she has co-founded Jellyfish, to continue working to help CEOs achieve their own vision of success through bespoke design strategy.

Mandy is a member of the provincial Business Innovation Agenda Private Sector Advisory Committee and has been a mentor for Propel ICT since their first NL cohort in 2015. Mandy is a co-founder of Common Ground Coworking, past-Chair of the national Canadian Bar Association Privacy & Access Law Section, past-Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology Industries, a member of the Startup Committee of ITechLaw, and a former director at both St. Michael's Printshop and the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE).

In 2016 she was recognized by NLOWE with the Entrepreneur of the Year – Innovation Award, and was awarded the Northwest Rotary Aidan Maloney Young Professionals Award for positively impacting both vocation and community.

Mandy has a Bachelor of Science from Memorial University where she also completed the coursework for the graduate program in Medicine (molecular biology) and worked within the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial as a research assistant before attending Dalhousie University (LL.B., ’06). She also completed the Masters of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MTEI) program at Saint Mary’s University Sobey School of Business.

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