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Atlantic Canada innovation report highlights funding opportunities

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Atlantic Canadian manufacturers have showcased an uncanny ability to get closer to their customers and supply chain partners as specialists that innovate to withstand the test of time.

The trend was discovered in the Manufacturing Innovation In Atlantic Canada report. It investigated manufacturing trends, government incentives, academic and private alliances, along with growth strategies. The report collected success stories, local insights and future predictions from regional manufacturers.

Companies highlighted include:

  • BioVectra, a developer and manufacturer of products for the pharmaceutical and biotechnical industries in Charlottetown, PEI;
  • Family-owned and operated molasses manufacturer, Crosby’s—located in Saint John, NB;SureShot Dispensing Systems, located in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia; and
  • Cymbal designer and manufacturer, SABIAN in Meductic, NB.

Regional and federal incentives, including the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) and the Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program (DTAPP) are being applied to modernize operations across the Atlantic manufacturing sector. The innovations include many software-led implementations.

With over 500 manufacturing and wholesale customers in Atlantic Canada, SYSPRO, a leading provider of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and services, has been at the frontline of the diverse manufacturing sector for more than 15 years.

The complete report can be downloaded by clicking here.

Innovation in action: SYSPRO customers stories

Recognized as one of the most innovative companies in Atlantic Canada, BioVectra has supply chain partnerships with most of the world’s major pharmaceutical and biotech giants.

“The transition to the SYSPRO requisition and purchase approval system—from paper-based five or six years ago—was a great timer save for us. It was the technology step change that we needed to evolve from a 14 to 40 million dollar company,” says BioVectra controller Darren MacGregor.

Crosby’s Molasses
Operating as an independent family business for over 125 years, Crosby’s supplies molasses and sweeteners to retail and industrial markets under the direction of Jim Crosby—a fourth-generation molasses purveyor.

“Shortly after I joined Crosby’s in 2010, we undertook a review of the ‘big ERP’ vendors, only to find that SYSPRO was five to 10 times more cost effective,” says Kelly Moore, comptroller at Crosby Molasses Company Ltd.

Sabian Cymbals
Founded in 1981 in Meductic, New Brunswick by Robert Zildjian, SABIAN employs 125 people in nine offices, and distributes cymbals, percussion instruments, stands and accessories to 120 countries across the globe.

“When I joined SABIAN the company was selling about 480,000 cymbals a year. More than 15 years later we have doubled our production capacity but only hired one additional person in an administrative capacity. That’s twice the volume with only one more body, and that would not have been possible without SYSPRO ERP,” says Greg Hartt, certified management accountant and Sabian’s manager of information systems.

Incentives and innovation in Atlantic Canada

Since 2006, The Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF), which is designed to help Canadians compete in the global economy, has invested over $500 million in commercial and institutional projects. Support from the AIF has included resources to aid the development of two generic drugs by SYSPRO customer, BioVectra.

Manufacturers in this report have also benefited from the federal Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program (DTAPP). Specifically focused on increasing the productivity growth of small and medium-sized enterprises, DTAPP is part of the Government of Canada’s Digital Economy Strategy.

“As Canadian business leaders increasingly compete on a global scale, it should be their duty to investigate and integrate funding, resources and opportunities as they build their businesses and enhance local communities across the country,” said John Fahey, president of SYSPRO in Canada.

odeteOdete Passingham is the marketing director at SYSPRO Canada. SYSPRO is an ERP application consisting of finance, distribution and manufacturing controls for mid-size companies. To contact Odete, email: or call (604) 451-8889. Learn more about SYSPRO at


This article is part of the Manufacturing Growth & Innovation Centre, showcasing strategies for manufacturers on the move.

SYSPRO has a proven track record, with 35 years’ experience in enterprise resource planning (ERP), of managed sustainable growth and is operational in over 60 countries, across six continents with over 1,500 channel and support partners. Backed by a dedicated and professional team, SYSPRO provides software solutions and services to thousands of customers in vertical markets within manufacturing and distribution. SYSPRO is one of the longest standing independent, international vendors of business software solutions and services.
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