Acadia top two in Canada, first in Atlantic region for corporate research income

Acadia impresses in the top 50 Canadian research universities roundup

Acadia University leads all primarily undergraduate universities in Atlantic Canada for corporate research income in the fiscal year 2021. 

Performance rankings were released on Jan. 18 by Research Infosource as part of its yearly roundup of the Top 50 Research Universities in Canada. Acadia attracted $7.8 million in research income from government, industry and private sector partners, an increase of 18.5 percent over the previous year. 

“These results demonstrate the significant connection Acadia has with our industry and community partners,” says Dr. Anna Redden, Associate Vice-President Research and Dean of Graduate Studies. “Their investment in Acadia is a testament to the exceptional talent of our researchers, the quality of our research facilities and the results we deliver to drive their success.” 

Among primarily undergraduate universities in Canada, Acadia placed second for corporate research income as a percentage (30 percent) of overall research income and had a 29 percent increase in corporate research income growth over the previous year. Acadia has been in the top five in the corporate research category for the past four years.  


One of those partnerships is with Halucenex Life Sciences, Inc., a health and life sciences company based in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Halucenex focuses on researching novel psychedelic compounds, developing and licensing those compounds for the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets, and conducting clinical trials on the medical benefits of psychedelic medicine. 

“Halucenex is one of only a handful of companies in Canada that have received a dealer’s licence and approval from Health Canada to conduct a clinical trial for people with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder),” says Leigh Huestis, Director of Acadia’s Office of Industry and Community Engagement. “Through research in three different departments, Acadia is helping Halucenex manufacture synthetic psilocybin – the active ingredient in magic mushrooms – develop novel delivery systems, and test psilocybin on fruit flies and fish. Acadia faculty and students are also involved in helping design and administer the clinical trial.”  

The clinical trial is scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2023, and its results will be shared with Health Canada. 

“Our strong partnership with Acadia University is critical to our success,” says William (Bill) Fleming, President and CEO of Halucenex. “The partnership provides access to leading expertise, state-of-the-art technology, and an accelerated pathway to economic growth. Acadia’s approach to applied research allows us to be a world leader with headquarters based in rural Nova Scotia.” 

“It is exciting for me as a researcher to work with industry partners, colleagues in different departments, and my students on what could be a change-making treatment for PTSD and other conditions,” says Dr. Amitabh Jha, a chemistry professor at Acadia. 


Located in the Annapolis Valley’s fertile agricultural region along the Bay of Fundy coastline, Acadia has a strong and growing commitment to regional economic development. 

Redden explains that the University excels in applied research and celebrates strong collaborations with industry and community partners, government agencies, and other stakeholders.  

“Students at Acadia have unique, career-building opportunities to participate in a range of research activities that drive results for our partners,” Redden says. “Supported by our Office of Industry and Community Engagement, our research teams are collaborating on initiatives that will positively impact our region, country, and beyond.” 

More than 60 percent of Acadia’s research is applied in nature. It is focused on various sectors of regional importance, including agriculture and agri-food, health, environment, cleantech, and data analytics. 

Acadia’s Office of Industry and Community Engagement serves as Acadia’s primary entry point for industry partners and national and regional economic development agencies seeking exciting and productive research collaborations. 

Research Infosource Inc. is one of the country’s leading research and consulting firms, producing annual research rankings for universities, corporations, hospitals, and colleges. 



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