Eight companies have been chosen to compete in this year’s BioInnovation Challenge, a regional health and life sciences business competition hosted by BioNova.

The competition will go down on Nov. 7 at BioPort 2018, BioNova’s annual conference for the life-science industry at the Halifax Convention Centre.

The BIC is one of the longest running business competitions in the Atlantic region. Since 2011, over 50 companies have gone through the program.

Past winners of the BIC include New Brunswick-based Pfera Inc. as well as Spring Loaded Technology, ABK BioMedical and Covina Biomedical from Nova Scotia.

“A strong and vibrant economy in our region requires continuous innovation and BIC has become a key program to support that,” said Scott Moffitt the Managing Director of BioNova in a statement.

“Many of the companies coming out of the program have gone on to raise millions to grow and scale.”

This year’s semi-finalists will receive training and sessions with expert pitching coach Linda Plano, who has over 10 years of experience mentoring entrepreneurs with startups in life sciences.

The winner of the competition will also receive $25,000 in funding to develop their business idea as well as a package of support services and mentoring valued at more than $30,000.

The BioPort 2018 conference is set to be the biggest yet. The keynote addresses will be given by Corrina Lathan, CEO of AnthroTronix in Maryland. BioPort 2018 will also be the inaugural year for a new program for Nova Scotia’s youth.

The eight BIC semi-finalists are:

Coloursmith Labs – Direct-to-consumer contact lenses that work as the world’s first practical solution to colour blindness. Read Entrevestor’s coverage of Coloursmith here.

Unified Health – New models designed to ease the strain on the emergency system while reducing healthcare costs and bringing better patient outcomes. The company plans to set up wellness clinics that merge traditional and alternative care practices.

Talem Health Analytics – A Software-as-a-Service company for healthcare professionals to track, analyze and predict treatment regimens for people who have been in motor vehicle accidents. It draws on data from physiotherapy clinics and can help insurers assess how the patient will rehab. Talem was one of the five winners that took home $25,000 at the last Volta Cohort.

Picomole – A painless, accurate, and versatile diagnostic breath test to detect early stage lung cancer. This Moncton-based company is testing its device with the Horizon Health Network in New Brunswick. Read Entrevestor's story on Picomole here.

BioHuntress – A Saint John company develping a natural treatment for blood cancer that brings a better patient experience.

Neuro Amel Technologies – This Halifax-based company is building a frameless, automated brace that uses electrical stimulation to improve mobility for stroke patients. Neuro Amel recently graduated from Dalhousie University’s LaunchPad program. Read Entrevestor's story on the early development of the project here

Macro Movements – A company that is building a software that gives feedback on your movement to prevent injury.

3F Waste Recovery – Turns waste in the fishery, farming and forestry industries into profitable solutions. The company is in the business of "turning garbage into gold," for the cosmetics industry.