Innovation lives here

Innovation lives here


From growth management to job creation, New Brunswick organizations share their inventive approaches to problem solving

Whether you’re running a university or a tech start-up, sometimes getting from Point A to Point B takes a little extra imagination. Luckily for New Brunswick, there’s no shortage of vision and creativity. Read on to learn how some notable New Brunswick organizations are beating the odds.

University of Fredericton

Peter Mersereau Director of Operations, University of Fredericton

Peter Mersereau
Director of Operations, University of Fredericton

An online university that focuses on leadership development and lifelong learning through certificate, diploma, and graduate level programs.

ABM: What is your biggest challenge?
Peter Mersereau: Our biggest challenge is our growth. Over the past two years, the population of UFred has almost doubled and our administrative staff and contracted faculty have grown close to 70 people combined. Our processes, infrastructure, and technology have all needed to evolve to meet these new demands — and we’re doing just that.

ABM: How are you using innovation to tackle that challenge?
PM: We’re currently overhauling our technology to improve workflows and allow room for automation (when possible).

ABM: What are you doing that no one else in your industry does?
PM: To my knowledge, we are the only online MBA and EMBA programs that offer a live virtual class component to achieve the level of collaboration and networking integral to the MBA experience in an online environment. As well, we are completely online with no residency requirement.

LuminUltra
Pat Whalen President and CEO, LuminUltra

Pat Whalen
President and CEO,
LuminUltra

A global firm that develops and sells test kits designed to test and monitor water for microorganisms.

ABM: What is your biggest challenge?
Pat Whalen: Determining the best ways to grow and manage a company on the fly.

ABM: How are you using innovation to tackle that challenge?
PW: We’re trying to automate as many processes as we possibly can. We’ve adopted tools like Salesforce, Pardot, and JIRA, and built customerfacing products, like LuminUltra Cloud.

ABM: What is the most innovative thing you’re doing, and how has it made a difference for your company?
PW: We are building a fully cloudbased information management and decision support software called LuminUltra Cloud. In a nutshell, users will input data and describe their process/challenge, and the software will make a recommendation on what to do next in order to control microorganisms in their water process.

Ignite Fredericton
Laurie Guthrie Economic Development and Marketing Specialist,  Ignite Fredericton

Laurie Guthrie
Economic Development and Marketing Specialist,
Ignite Fredericton

An economic development catalyst agency focused on business growth and attraction, population growth (student retention, immigration, repatriation), and various strategic initiatives to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

ABM: What is your biggest challenge?
Laurie Guthrie: The biggest challenge facing New Brunswick right now is the talent pipeline and an aging demographic.

ABM: How are you using innovation to tackle that challenge?
LG: We’re working with our partners at the entrepreneurial ecosystem level to create, learn and inspire activities targeting youth, and promoting entrepreneurship. We’ve also created a task force to maximize opportunities with respect to responsible natural resource development. Our focus is primarily on workforce readiness, enabling local supply chain/procurement opportunities, business development, and communications.

ABM: What is the most innovative thing you’re doing, and how has it made a difference for your agency?
LG: By giving businesses a single point of contact in our hub, entrepreneurs can easily access business counselling, coaching, mentorship, funding, Startup Visa program, business acceleration and incubation. We are seeing the results with highly successful startups like Resson, MycoDev, Hotspot, and Introhive, to name a few.

New Brunswick Innovation Foundation
Chet Wesley Director of Marketing, New Brunswick Innovation Foundation

Chet Wesley
Director of Marketing,
New Brunswick Innovation Foundation

A non-profit organization that invests in growth-oriented companies and applied research.

ABM: What is your biggest challenge?
Chet Wesley: One of our biggest challenges is the supply of talent — talented innovators and entrepreneurs.

ABM: How are you using innovation to tackle that challenge?
CW: We created our innovation voucher after realizing that one of the barriers for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) is access to working capital and scientific experts/ laboratories. Our voucher gives companies up to $80,000 to cover up to 80 per cent of the costs associated with contracting the research services they need.

ABM: What is the most innovative thing you’re doing, and how has it made a difference for your Foundation?
CW: We’re continuously working to help our companies overcome highly complicated problems and issues. Unlike many capital providers, we take a hands-on approach by lending the expertise of our own team. This can include strategic advice, cash flow management, soliciting other investors, and marketing and communications consultations.

UNB College of Extended Learning
Marilyn Carkner Director, Credit Programming and Learning Support, UNB College of Extended Learning

Marilyn Carkner
Director, Credit Programming and Learning Support,
UNB College of Extended Learning

Part of the University of New Brunswick, the college provides a range of programs for people of all ages, from degrees and career training to creative activities for children.

ABM: What is your biggest challenge?
Marilyn Carkner: We are constantly working to meet the needs of the student — not only their learning needs, but also their ability to add a learning component to their already demanding lives.

ABM: How are you using innovation to tackle that challenge?
MC: Learners are seeking the flexibility of learning on their terms. We are able to provide that through online learning options. Online support has improved and there are now more ways to interact, communicate and engage with learners.

ABM: What is the most innovative thing you’re doing, and how has it made a difference for your organization?
MC: I believe the Bachelor of Integrated Studies (BIS) is one of our most innovative programs. It is a degree completion program for adults who have some postsecondary education. Students can also get credit toward their program through the Prior Learning Assessment process. Previous learning acquired through work and life experiences or informal learning can be assessed and if the student’s learning aligns with the course outcomes, they may get credit.

Opportunities NB
Stephen Lund CEO, Opportunities New Brunswick

Stephen Lund
CEO,
Opportunities New Brunswick

An action-oriented agency which seeks and supports high growth opportunities to advance the N.B. economy and create jobs.

ABM: What is your biggest challenge?
Stephen Lund: The biggest challenges we face are awareness and brand recognition, especially outside of the province.

ABM: How are you using innovation to tackle that challenge?
SL: We’re working to build our brand as a new corporation. We’re doing this by combining economic development expertise and private sector people in order to constantly generate new ideas. We’re also focusing on building our culture, because culture trumps strategy. We want to be the best, and that means we need to continue to attract the right people with the right vision.

ABM: What is the most innovative thing you’re doing, and how has it made a difference for your organization?
SL: We do a number of innovative things in New Brunswick. We offer a thriving ecosystem for start-ups, and we’re a leader in a number of areas including cybersecurity and information technology.

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