R3 Gala shines light on innovation

R3 Gala shines light on innovation

By Alexandra Davis | Link to  oriiginal article

The best of New Brunswick's business and research sectors came together Thursday night at the Delta Fredericton Hotel.

More than 400 people attended the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation's R3 Gala.

The event was held in partnership with the Telegraph-Journal. It honoured three of the province's top applied researchers and featured a keynote address from entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki.

Kawasaki is a founding partner and entrepreneur-in-residence at the Silicon Valley, Calif., company Garage Technology Ventures.

He has also written nine books offering information and advice for entrepreneurs.

During his speech, Kawasaki went over 11 key points on fostering innovation.

He discussed topics such as creating a mantra, how an entrepreneur can fix the first version of a great revolution and how to avoid naysayers.

While this was his first time visiting New Brunswick, Kawasaki said he feels the province has potential.

« I know you have a very good university here, » he said. « I think that is the key to innovation. Now it's a matter of commercializing. »

He said when it comes to being innovative and developing a new company, it's no longer important to be located in a hub such as Silicon Valley.

« Those clusters don't have a monopoly on smart people, » he said.

« The costs of starting up a company are lower than ever. Either you provide a good service or you don't. »

The gala also paid tribute to New Brunswick researchers who are working on innovative technologies.

The honourees were Thierry Chopin, Suzanne Currie and Yahia Djaoued.

Currie, a biology professor at Mount Allison University, is researching the effects of fluctuating ocean conditions on marine life.

She said it's important to recognize the work being done by applied researchers in the province.

« I think science in general, particularly applied research, probably doesn't get as much exposure as it needs to, » she said.

« I think a lot of the time scientists aren't the best at communicating their discoveries or research findings.

« It's wonderful to have an event like this that brings in the private sector and businesses and perhaps fosters networking opportunities. »

Djaoued is a chemistry professor at the Universite de Moncton in Shippagan. His research deals with turning a shrimp extract into a supplement safe for human consumption.

« I'm proud to be recognized, » he said. « It's a big honour for me. »

Premier Shawn Graham said the evening's honourees are making significant contributions to New Brunswick.


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