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IW Business Bulletin – September 3, 2021

VIDO sees Major Donation

The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) at the University of Saskatchewan announced on August 27, 2021 that Malcolm and Marilyn Leggett made a $1 million donation to support VIDO’s vaccine research.

Malcolm Leggett is the co-founder of Saskatoon’s NSC Minerals and retired from the company in 2016, and Marilyn is a former Saskatoon Public School teacher. “I think this is far bigger than one vaccine. This is whole different category on its own,” said Malcolm Leggett. “It’s got the potential to be so rewarding. I don’t really think we can visualize what the potential is for something like VIDO.”

The Leggetts’ donation will help establish VIDO as Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research. Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research will be established at VIDO with help from private donors like the Leggetts and the federal and provincial governments. The expansion should be completed over the next three years.

“We greatly appreciate this extraordinary donation from Marilyn and Malcolm,” said Dr. Volker Gerdts, VIDO director and CEO. “Knowing we have this level of support from leaders in our community is critical to our organization and our vision for the future.”

City of Saskatoon Chooses Ideas Incorporated

The City of Saskatoon has selected Ideas Incorporated as the preferred proponent to lease the city’s Farmers’ Market Building. The vision for the project sees a fully-utilized building operating six days a week, with “an emphasis on local foods and products and a farmers’ market component.”

“Ideas Inc. is an established business incubator and has helped provide a platform to numerous startups to launch and grow into successful businesses,” said Lesley Anderson, director of Planning and Development. “As advocates of small business and entrepreneurship, they are the perfect organization to manage this exciting project.”

The City has approved the hiring of a design consultant for the next phase of the project, and pending approval of funding the building could be in use by Fall 2022.

“Our vision for this space draws inspiration from national and international facilities that have become landmarks for their respective cities. We are inspired by their ability to create a vibrant, animated space for local communities, and a dynamic and diverse destination where patrons can enjoy everything local from produce and artisan goods, to locally produced food and beverage,” said Depesh Parmar, executive director of Ideas Inc.

Government of Saskatchewan Grows International Footprint

The Government of Saskatchewan reported progress with its plans for international trade offices on August 30. Four new offices in London, United Kingdom (UK); Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE); Mexico City, Mexico and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam are being established, and are in addition to previous offices created in Tokyo, Japan; New Delhi, India; Shanghai, China and Singapore.

The Shanghai office has been operational since 2010 and offices in Japan, India and Singapore have been open since January 2021. The four new offices in London, Dubai, Mexico City and Ho Chi Minh City are expected to be operational in the 2021-22 fiscal year, and recruitment is underway.

“Over the past several months we have seen significant investments into Saskatchewan and these new offices will help us continue this economic growth and strengthen our international relationships,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said.  “By taking Saskatchewan to the world and bringing the world to Saskatchewan we will increase exports and attract investment, which will create jobs, economic growth and strong communities across our province.”

Next Week: Sask Startup Summit, September 9 & 10.

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In the Market: New Trade Offices Will Help Province Boost Exports and Achieve Growth Plan Goals