OCE In The News

  • December 6, 2016 – Toronto StarDriverless cars to hit the road in Ontario early next year

    Three groups have been approved to test self-driving cars on public roads in Ontario.

    Driverless cars are headed for Ontario’s public roads as part of a pilot project the province says puts it in the pole position in Canada’s development of autonomous vehicle technology.

    After motoring up a test track to a Waterloo press briefing Monday in a self-propelled Lincoln MKZ hybrid sedan nicknamed the Autonomoose, Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said three groups have been approved to begin road testing.

    The University of Waterloo’s Centre for Automotive Research will test the MKZ likely starting in the first three months of next year while Erwin Hymer Group, the Kitchener-based manufacturer of Roadtrek motor homes, also received approval.

     

  • December 1, 2016 – Queen's GazetteSimulating Real-World Challenges

    A grant from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) will help Queen’s University and Toronto tech firm Ametros Learning develop an intelligent, web-based simulation platform for students in law, medicine, engineering and business.

    The $250,000 in funding through the OCE’s Advancing Education program will enable the Queen’s Law-Ametros partnership to develop a simulation authoring environment that any instructor can use to create intelligent, highly-interactive simulations, explains Dirk Rodenburg, Director, Undergraduate and Professional Programs at the Faculty of Law.

    Utilizing IBM Watson’s cognitive computing platform, the focus is on case-based teaching through simulations of real-world challenges. This allows students to develop the problem-solving and decision-making skills needed when they enter the workforce.

    “One of the major reasons for using an intelligent simulation is to bridge the gap between theory and practice, using the notion of ‘thick authenticity’ to provide the student with true role-based, real-world scenarios,” Mr. Rodenburg says. “Closing that gap has been identified as a key objective for educators within many professional schools, and we’ve seen a significant move to include techniques such as problem-based learning, standardized patients and clients, and real-time role play as ways to address the issue. But these methods are expensive and not easily scalable. The beauty of this type of platform is that you can achieve a high level of realism in a distributed, easily accessible and very cost-effective manner.”

    In the Queen’s Law-Ametros Learning platform, students will interact with artificially-intelligent characters in scenarios they will typically face as professionals. However, instructors are able to maintain direct oversight of the scenario and provide feedback when needed, which is critical when students are presented with complex challenges.

    “The instructor has visibility over every message between students and the AI engine,” said Dr. Robert Clapperton, Head of Development at Ametros Learning. “So an instructor can look at a message a student has sent to the system and say ‘You know what? At this point in time, that is not the right question to ask.’ The instructor can then send it back to the student with the request to rephrase the question. Or they can choose to let it pass through and have the student deal with the consequences. They can also modify any response the AI generates. The instructor serves as mentor to the student.”

    The platform, which is currently used to teach communication skills, was created by Dr. Clapperton, who is also an assistant professor at Ryerson’s School of Professional Communication. The Faculty of Law has reached out to the School of Medicine, the Smith School of Business and the Faculty of Engineering to explore, incorporate and expand intelligent simulation within cross-disciplinary pedagogical strategies. Queen’s Law and Ametros Learning are also partnering with a consortium of international law schools to bring the platform to Hong Kong, the U.K. and Australia. The OCE Advancing Education grant is aimed at augmenting the existing platform so that instructional teams can create scenarios and characters independent of technical skills.

    “This project fits in perfectly with our strategic commitment to innovation in teaching and learning,” said Bill Flanagan, Dean of the Faculty of Law.  “We are moving quickly to bring new techniques and technologies into the faculty to support both online and blended courses, and intelligent simulation is certainly on the forefront of approaches to legal pedagogy. The ability to engage students in meaningful, authentic, real world scenarios will, we believe, have a significant and positive impact on their understanding of legal issues and practice.”

    For more information on the Queen's Law-Ametros Learning simulation partnership project, visit simlaw.queenslaw.ca.

  • November 18, 2016 – Canada's Innovation LeadersChampioning Government’s Role as First Customer of Innovation
    As OCE has grown and evolved over the last thirty years, so has our understanding of what it takes to drive innovation. We’ve learned that it requires identifying and employing a number of different levers. This includes everything from business advice, seed financing and support for industry-academic collaboration to support for companies to scale up and pursue global ambitions, knowledge transfer through industry-based internships and fellowships, and investment in infrastructure.
  • September 30, 2016 – BetakitCAMP accelerator brings 10 Canadian companies to Beijing to scale internationally
    While many early stage companies in Canada tend to focus on growing within a familiar North American market, according to many members of the startup community, looking beyond these borders is imperative to combatting Canada’s scalability issue. In a few weeks, 10 early stage Canadian companies will get the chance to experience a new culture, long and fast-paced work days, an international marketplace, and a line of opportunities for investment and growth in the second cohort of the China Angels Mentorship Program (CAMP) in Beijing, China.
  • June 9, 2016 – BetaKitMETA IS TRYING TO SAVE SCIENTISTS FROM INFORMATION OVERLOAD
    A few years ago, Sam Molyneux was finally finishing up a research paper he had spent three years working on at Princess Margaret Hospital. But when it came time to be submit, he found out that his research had already been scooped and published six months ago. “We realized that this problem is rampant in the science community. Everyone is unaware of what’s going on unless you’re spending a significant portion of your day just looking at the horizon,” said his sister Amy Molyneux.
  • June 9, 2016 – CHCH TVIBM comes to Hamilton

    Big news for Hamilton. The Stelco Tower is expected to house one of the World’s biggest tech companies. CHCH News has learned that IBM may be bringing its ‘Watson’ technology to the city. The super computer might sound familiar, it was made popular when it won Jeorpardy a few years ago but instead of answering game show question, this version would be used to improve Health Services in Hamilton..

  • June 9, 2016 – Hamilton Spectator400 jobs moving to downtown Hamilton’s Stelco Tower with HHS-IBM partnership

    A major computer company and hospital are getting together to turn the rusty tower that symbolized Hamilton's decline into a new symbol of hope. Four floors of the near-empty Stelco Tower are to become home to a new centre for health technology innovation under a partnership deal between IBM Canada and Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation. The deal, which had leakedrecently, was formally announced by Hamilton Health Sciences president Rob MacIsaac and IBM CEO Dino Trevisani Tuesday morning. The new centre creates a space where new ideas for using technology in health care will be transformed into products and services.

  • June 9, 2016 – IT World CanadaTechnology innovation is key to the future of Ontario’s business economy: Duguid

    The recent $134-billion budget tabled by the Ontario government underscores the province’s ongoing commitment to technology innovation, according to one provincial minister. Brad Duguid, Scarborough Centre MPP and Ontario Minister of Economic Development said that the future of the province’s economy hinges on technology growth within local start-ups and small- to medium- sized enterprises (SME) and in helping businesses take new technologies to global markets.

  • June 9, 2016 – Windsor SquareMajor Breakthrough In Solar Transportation
    Exactly one year ago, Unconquered Sun Solar Technologies and the University of Windsor received government funding for exciting new electric vehicle research and development, aimed at optimizing Unconquered Sun’s already popular Solar Powered Electric Vehicle Powertrain technology. The collaboration has resulted in a Solar Powered Electric Vehicle with an average range 45% further than an identical vehicle without the Solar Powered technology.
  • June 9, 2016 – Electronic Products and TechnologyOntario’s SMEs to benefit from advanced computing initiative

    Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) is teaming with IBM Canada to support the economy and job creation by bringing advanced computing technologies and resources to the province’s small and medium-sized businesses. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the $54.5-million IProject, a multi-tiered initiative that will help 500 small and medium-sized Ontario companies become more globally competitive.

  • June 9, 2016 – The OntarionU of G scientists look for ways to grow better marijuana
    In January 2016, University of Guelph botanist Mike Dixon, and his research team of three graduate students, received $210,000 from Ontario Centres of Excellence. The money will be used to fund research investigating new irrigation technology for the growth of medicinal cannabis. The system monitors the water status of the plant every 15 minutes through wireless sensors connected at the stem, in the hope of maintaining standardization for the growth of all cannabis plants.
  • June 9, 2016 – Yonge StreetOCE and Government of Ontario team up to focus on CleanTech innovation
    Kathleen Wynne recently announced plans to allocate $74M of Ontario’s $325M Green Investment Fund to fight climate change while driving the development of the economy through creating jobs, products, services, technologies and businesses. The government partnered with the Ontario Centre of Excellence (OCE) whose mission to commercialize innovation across many industries, including CleanTech, attracts entrepreneurs, startups, academia and investors alike.
  • June 9, 2016 – Ottawa Business JournalProvince's collaboration with IBM to boost local SMEs, says Invest Ottawa
    Invest Ottawa is one of the organizations that will benefit from the provincial government’s announcement Monday that it invest up to $22.75 million in I3, the IBM Innovation Incubator. The Ontario Centres of Excellence will oversee the project in which participating businesses will access IBM’s technology resources, including its cloud-based development platform, to help them spend less developing their new technologies.
  • June 9, 2016 – TechAllianceZepeel Receives OCE Smart Start Funding
    One of the very unique ventures happening in London right now is Zepeel, a completely mobile video dating app. Zepeel is being developed right here in London by rtraction Canada Inc. And the venture has just achieved a huge milestone, being approved for OCE Smart Start funding. CEO Steve Szikszay says the funding will be used for software development and training. The OCE application was endorsed by TechAlliance President & CEO Marilyn Sinclair, as well as TechAlliance Business Analyst Jeremy Ward.
  • June 8, 2016 – Northumberland ViewOntario Invests Nearly $100 Million to Boost Cleantech Innovation and Create Jobs
    Ontario is putting its new Climate Change Strategy into action by investing nearly $100 million from the Ontario Green Investment Fund into projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency and support cleantech innovation and jobs. For this initiative, the government is partnering with the Ontario Centres of Excellence, which drive the development of Ontario's economy by helping create new jobs, products, services, technologies and businesses.
  • June 8, 2016 – Canadian ManufacturingOntario sets aside nearly $100M for cleantech incentives, investments

    The Ontario government is committing just short of $100 million to energy efficiency incentives and clean technology investments. Making the announcement at Toronto’s Morgan Solar, Premier Kathleen Wynne said the funds will come from the province’s new $325 million Green Investment Fund and be funneled toward two separate initiatives.

  • June 8, 2016 – Digital JournalScarX Therapeutics closes $2 million Series A financing
    ScarX Therapeutics, a Canadian biotechnology company commercializing innovative treatments for dermal scarring (fibrosis), has closed a $2 million Series A financing. The company will complete a Phase I clinical trial of its lead candidate, SCX-001, in human volunteers, with the eventual goal of creating better functional and cosmetic patient outcomes.
  • June 8, 2016 – CBCSelf-driving cars to be tested on Ontario roads

    Ontario will be the first province in Canada to allow road tests of automated vehicles, according to Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca.  The province will allow testing of self-driving cars, as well as related technologies, starting on Jan. 1 of the new year. The provincial government is also pledging an additional $500,000 to the Ontario Centres of Excellence Connected Vehicle/Automated Vehicle Program. That program pairs academic institutions with businesses to further transportation technology.

  • June 8, 2016 – Barrie ExaminerAboriginal restaurant, fine food and better hockey bag are winners of entrepreneurship competition

    Brandon Pitawanakwat is working hard to see his dream come true – the Crowned Eagle, a restaurant in Collingwood that will specialize in Aboriginal fine food. Pitawanakwat, a Georgian College student, is the first-place winner in the latest exC!te Experience competition offered through Georgian’s Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC).

  • June 8, 2016 – BetaKitMAGNUSMODE FOUNDER EXPLAINS HOW TECH CAN HELP PEOPLE WITH COGNITIVE SPECIAL NEEDS

    Throughout her childhood, Nadia Hamilton and her family helped her brother, Troy, who has Autism, navigate through life at home with step-by-step illustrated guides for everyday activities like brushing teeth.