By Anne Kershaw
More than 150 representatives from industry, academia and government attended a special forum hosted by Ontario Centres of Excellence on June 24 to identify potential collaborations in smart computing.
The event marked the launch of OCE’s Smart Computing R&D Challenge, a program that is offered under OCE’s Collaboration Voucher program, which is funded by the Ontario government.
“It’s very exciting to be at the point where OCE is able to launch this major initiative in smart computing,” says OCE President Dr. Tom Corr. “It was a highly productive and vibrant event that led to some strong prospects for projects with high potential for commercialization and economic impact for the province.”
The R&D Challenge, which stems from a new partnership between OCE and the Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP), will provide a total of $7.5 million over two years, with $1.5 million from OCE, $3 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and another $3 million from industry in cash and in-kind.
The Forum was held for academic researchers and their industry partners. They included large companies and small- and-medium-sized enterprises that are already working with academic researchers at SOSCIP member institutions, or are interested in collaborating and accessing SOSCIP’s advanced computing infrastructure.
The event was intended to generate creative partnerships and address industry challenges across a broad range of strategic sectors including advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, digital media, mining, agile computing, cities, energy, health and water.
For those who are interested in the Smart Computing R&D Challenge but were unable to attend the Forum, should contact their OCE Business Development Manager.
The Voucher for Industry Association, established three years ago as part of the Ontario government’s innovative Collaboration Voucher program, focuses specifically on industry sector challenges where business solutions have demonstrable global market potential. The objectives are commercialization and increased productivity with significant economic impact for Ontario through job creation and increased sales revenues.
OCE’s past VIA program initiatives have focused on aerospace, advanced manufacturing, mining and life sciences.
“There could be no better time for OCE to now focus on smart computing as a Voucher for Industry R&D program,” Dr. Corr says.
“The business case for investing in high performance computing has become increasingly obvious. As simulation and modeling replace the need to construct prototypes, companies are seeing cost savings, a faster pace of development, and a speedier time to the market.
“OCE has a clear role to play in helping companies embrace the possibilities presented by smart computing,” says Dr. Corr.