Life Sciences Start-up Links Nova Scotia With Asia

May 16, 2008
An innovative life sciences start-up company in Truro's AgriTECH Park will soon be turning local produce and seafood into health foods, medicinal supplements and cosmetics for export to the growing Asian market.

The province, through Nova Scotia Business Inc.(NSBI), is supporting Atlantic New Technology Development Inc.'s growth with a five-year payroll rebate. The rebate is set at a maximum of $133,845 and will help the company create up to 20 new jobs in Truro within the next five years.

The payroll rebate is an earned incentive. It is invested in increments as the company achieves yearly hiring targets.

"Exporting to new markets is vital for today's companies," said Economic Development Minister Angus MacIsaac. "Atlantic New Technology Development is a great example of how we can process Nova Scotia products in Nova Scotia, and sell them beyond our borders."

The company's first venture in Atlantic Canada will be a research and processing facility in Truro. It will use raw materials such as blueberries, cranberries, sea cucumbers, seaweed, starfish, flax seed, mussel and lobster shells, and dairy ingredients from local suppliers. Some of its products will be medicinal supplements known as neutraceuticals, such as antioxidants extracted from berries.

The company develops investment partnerships between Asia and Atlantic Canada through foreign investment in bioscience and works to export Atlantic Canadian products into Asian markets.

"The demand in China for a made-in-Canada brand has never been stronger," said company president Grace Chum. "The neutraceutical market continues to grow, making Nova Scotia products like cranberries, blueberries, and even lobster shells, much more valuable overseas."

The company's AgriTECH Park location gives it access to resources from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, a regional leader in research and development.

"Atlantic New Technology Development Inc. has the right know-how and the right resources to add value to existing Nova Scotia products," said Stephen Lund, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. "Not only are we investing in an export-focused company, but we're also supporting the commercialization of research from one of our leading post-secondary schools."

Nova Scotia Business Inc. is Nova Scotia's private-sector-led business development agency. NSBI is the investment attraction arm of the province and helps businesses in Nova Scotia meet growth potential through advisory services, trade development, financing and venture capital.


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