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Dalhousie University to lead Nova Scotia team in the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP)

Posted by Media Centre on August 10, 2016 in News

(Halifax, NS) – Dalhousie University is pleased to announce that the university will lead a Nova Scotia team in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP). The program is an opportunity for global communities to engage with MIT in an evidence-based approach to strengthening innovation-driven entrepreneurial (IDE) ecosystems in order to achieve meaningful economic and social outcomes. Nova Scotia is the first region in Canada to be selected for MIT REAP, and is one of eight teams from around the world chosen this year to participate in the prestigious program.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship are crucial to helping Nova Scotia build a brighter economic future,” says Richard Florizone, President of Dalhousie University. “This is an incredible opportunity for Dalhousie to help catalyze that growth by working collaboratively with our regional partners and MIT, a global leader in the field.”

‎"I want to congratulate Dalhousie on being chosen to participate in this prestigious program," says Kelly Regan, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. "Dalhousie's economic leadership on this and so many other files is most appreciated."

The initiative is also very closely aligned with the OneNS playbook, which called for universities and the Nova Scotia Community College to act as greater innovation hubs for the province.

President Florizone will serve as regional champion overseeing Nova Scotia’s REAP Team, which includes key stakeholders from government, industry, risk capital and the province’s entrepreneurship community, including:
· Bernie Miller, former N.S. deputy minister of planning, currently partner at McInnes Cooper
· Chris Huskilson, CEO of Emera
· Jevon MacDonald, former general manager at and co-founder and CEO of GoInstant
· John Knubley, federal deputy minister of innovation, science and economic development
· John Risley, co-founder of Clearwater Fine Foods
· Murray Coolican, N.S. deputy minister of business
· Patrick Keefe, general partner with startup fund Build Ventures
· Tracy Kitch, president and CEO of the IWK Health Centre

“By participating in MIT REAP with a full team of stakeholders, Nova Scotia will have the chance to improve their local support structures for innovation and entrepreneurship using best practices developed in the MIT ecosystem,” says Sarah Jane Maxted, Executive Director of MIT REAP.

The Nova Scotia team will have the opportunity to work with world-renowned MITfaculty along with peer partner teams from Lagos City, Iceland, and Lima. The program involves four action-learning cycles over a two-year period. Each four, seven-month cycle starts with a three-day workshop of teams from all partner regions. Team Nova Scotia will learn more from MIT experts and other participating regions about the province's comparative advantages and the "acceleration mechanisms" that might help amplify and advance those.

MIT has produced more than 26,000 active startup and spinout companies that, combined, generate $2 trillion in annual sales and employ 3.3 million people.

“Dalhousie is working hard to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in the province,” says Florizone. “The university accounts for more than 80 per cent of publicly funded research and development in Nova Scotia and 98 per cent of all industry-sponsored university research. The MIT REAP program will help us continue to explore ways we can support the economic growth of our region.”

Learn more about MIT REAP, here.


Media Contact:
Janet Bryson
Senior Communications Manager
Dalhousie University

Lindsay Dowling
Communications Advisor
Dalhousie University


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