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This Week's Highlights

News Release

NEIA aims to advance Newfoundland and Labrador’s innovation ecosystem during 2019’s Innovation Week

For Immediate Release
May 7, 2019

(ST. JOHN’S, NL) – The Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA) facilitated and contributed to a number of initiatives during 2019’s Innovation Week that it hopes will contribute to the evolution of the province’s innovation ecosystem.

“Innovation is essential from an environmental perspective, particularly in Newfoundland and Labrador,” says Kieran Hanley, NEIA’s Executive Director. Hanley says that the province faces issues providing services in areas like waste management, transportation, wastewater, and more because of its small, relatively isolated, and often remote populations. “New and creative ideas are needed to develop the unique solutions we need to address these challenges, and novel technologies are required to advance our economy sustainably in our key industries – from energy to mining to aquaculture to forestry.”

“We know that the innovative capacity of an economy is a critical factor in the productivity, competitiveness, and growth prospects of its firms,” says Hanley, “and that is why Innovation Week is so important; it reminds us of the importance of pursuing innovation.” Hanley says that Newfoundland and Labrador scores low when compared to other jurisdictions on innovation indicators, and that all stakeholders needs to support one another to develop a greater collective understanding of what innovative is and how we can pursue it.

Click here to watch a video clip from the launch of Innovation Week from NTV

For its part, NEIA participated in four events during Innovation Week. On Tuesday in partnership with the Genesis Centre, YMCA Enterprise, and the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship, NEIA helped facilitate training for new mentors. “As the startup ecosystem grows, our entrepreneurs need business and technical advice from those with experience and success in order to reach their potential,” says Hanley.

On Wednesday, NEIA held its Cleantech Innovation Connector, which matched private sector environmental challenges with research expertise within the province. “Our private sector in Newfoundland and Labrador does not invest as much as it should into research and development, and so by uncovering challenges and encouraging engagement with academia we are hoping to stimulate innovative activity one business at a time,” says Hanley. Wednesday also featured NEIA’s Cleantech Co-Working Day – an opportunity for its members to work in a casual setting that promoted networking and discussion, and a luncheon open to businesses in all industries featuring a presentation from Innovative Solutions Canada.

“Innovation does not take place in isolation,” says Hanley, noting that it is often a product of collaborative efforts. “And that’s one of the real values of Innovation Week – different stakeholders and organizations coming together to create something greater than just the sum of its parts. Thanks to our friends at NATI for all of their work in facilitating this initiative again this year.”

Innovation Week brings together Newfoundland and Labrador’s business community, youth, and public and private partners through a variety of events to inspire participants to create opportunities and accelerate innovation in the province. Taking place April 29 – May 3, Innovation Week is an initiative driven by NATI (http://www.nati.net). More details on Innovation Week can be found on its website at https://innovationweek.ca/.

NEIA is a not-for-profit association of businesses that promotes the development of clean technology and the growth of the green economy in Newfoundland and Labrador. NEIA has over 200 members. More information can be found at http://www.neia.org.

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Media Contact
Kieran Hanley
kieran@neia.org

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