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Minister Élaine Zakaïb Announces an $800,000 Loan to Kinova to Develop Export Markets

Photo of a robotic manipulator arm created by Kinova. Courtesy of Kinova.

Exporting Innovative Products a Central Thrust of Québec’s Industrial Policy





Montréal, October 24, 2013 – Élaine Zakaïb, Minister for Industrial Policy and the Banque de développement économique du Québec, announced today that an $800,000 loan has been awarded to Kinova through Investissement Québec to help the company tap the U.S. and European export markets. The company's plans focus on a new robotics product and are expected to create seven new high-quality jobs.


"Supporting exports by high-tech companies is a top priority for our government, a point we stressed at the recent unveiling of Québec's 2013–2017 Industrial Policy," noted Élaine Zakaïb. "One of the policy's central thrusts is supporting innovation, from the initial concept through to its marketing. That's why we're delighted to support Kinova's efforts to expand its exports. Based in Greater Montréal, Kinova is an SMB with huge potential as well as a leader in a particularly competitive market."


Kinova designs and develops innovative personal robotics solutions, including robotic arms for people with disabilities. The JACO arm, for which the company holds several patents, is the first three-fingered robotic arm designed to increase the functional independence of motorized wheelchair users. With a slight adaptation, the same product can also be used for other applications, including remote manipulation at university research centres. The same holds true for MICO, a product that the company has just developed. With applications in both the nuclear and military industries, it can be used in such delicate operations as mine clearance and disposal.


The company is experiencing strong growth, and further efforts are needed to position its products like MICO favourably on foreign markets and secure agreements with foreign distributors to consolidate its place in the global personal robotics market.


"This is a vibrant, highly competitive industry, and we have to stand out in the global market if we want to maintain our growth," concluded Kinova President Charles Deguire. "This project, which we have been able to bring to fruition with Investissement Québec's timely assistance, will allow us to ramp up our promotional efforts, mainly in Europe and North America, and to develop distribution agreements for those territories."


About Investissement Québec

Investissement Québec's mission is to foster the growth of investment in Québec, thereby contributing to economic development and job creation in every region. The Corporation offers businesses a full range of financial solutions, including loans, loan guarantees and equity investments, to support them at all stages of their development. It is also responsible for administering tax measures and for encouraging foreign businesses to invest in Québec.


For more details on Québec's 2013–2017 Industrial Policy, see­tiqueindustrielle (French only).


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