OCE champions government’s role as first customer of innovation

May 17, 2016

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) has created a new and unique leadership position that reflects a growing awareness within the innovation system of the important role that governments can play as consumers and first adopters of innovation.

OCE’s Director, Innovation Procurement will be responsible for helping to enhance and develop programs that assist governments in embracing innovative products and services while building awareness of the value of innovation procurement for both business and the public service.

The massive purchasing power of governments represents huge potential to drive fundamental improvements in areas such as healthcare, education and transportation while also supporting the growth of an economy fuelled by innovation.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to catalyze the use of leading-edge technologies and services being commercialized by our governments and large public institutions,” says Dr. Tom Corr, OCE’s President and CEO.  “After all, these are innovations that have originated in our colleges, universities and research institutions and have been supported through tax dollars. The public should benefit from these exciting new advancements whether as a patient using a new cloud-based system to self-report symptoms and receive support for pain management or a teacher using 3D printers to help a student visualize the solar system.

OCE is already a forerunner in designing and implementing innovative procurement programs in the areas of education and healthcare. In 2014, OCE launched its AdvancingHealth program in partnership with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services bringing together healthcare and industry partners to develop and demonstrate new technologies within a healthcare setting. Under a similar program model, OCE subsequently introduced its AdvancingEducation program.

Senior Business Manager Matthew Johnson, who spearheaded both programs for OCE, has now been appointed as OCE’s Director, Innovation Procurement. You can read Matt’s piece about public investment in innovation and how governments are attempting to support the growth of innovative companies on OCE’s blog.