OCE's AdvancingEducation Program announces next round of classroom innovations

September 7, 2017

TORONTO, Sept. 7, 2017 /CNW/ - Six innovative projects have received funding through Round 2 of Ontario Centres of Excellence's (OCE) AdvancingEducation program. These exciting collaborative projects include programs to support and assist students in learning skills such as entrepreneurship, 3D modelling and prototype development.

A partnership between the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) and OCE, AdvancingEducation is designed to advance innovation in the ed-tech ecosystem and drive innovation in the public education system through investments in collaborative projects to demonstrate new technologies while building a strong case for adoption and system-wide scaling. This is accomplished by matching needs in the public education system across the province with innovative products and services from Ontario companies. 

In 2016 the first six projects of this $5-million program were announced, and those selected for funding in Round 2 will continue the mandate to connect Ontario's English and French publicly-funded elementary and high schools, and post-secondary institutions with Ontario companies to test early market interest and demonstrate innovative products and technologies in an education setting.

"The AdvancingEducation program is a great way to build the skills of our students, better preparing them for the careers of the future, while also laying the groundwork for commercializing ground-breaking ed-tech technologies," says Dr. Tom Corr, OCE's President and CEO. 

The six projects to receive funding in Round 2 will do the following:

  • Connect Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) principles to real-world applications with a program designed to improve student engagement through social entrepreneurship. Students will identify social problems in the community, and identify possible solutions, through a collaborative learning environment.
    Partners: District School Board of Niagara, Learning Through the Arts (LTTA), Royal Conservatory of Music, ihub Educational Research and Innovation Hub.
  • Encourage design thinking and develop collaborative skills at multiple sites using 3D modelling and prototype development to support inquiry learning for students, integrating technology in the curriculum and better preparing students for STEAM-based careers in the future.
    Partners: York Region District School Board, Inksmith 
  • Use digital pathology to enable virtual microscopy, which is the conversion of glass slides into digital images. This allows the creation of online, self-directed learning modules. Residents in training can access the materials from anywhere, allowing them to study and train while reducing the amount of time and labour the analog process entails. 
    Partners: University of Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital, Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association (EORLA), Pathcore
  • Provide an easy way to promote student art and design sales by linking to GreenRack, a cloud ePortfolio, while supporting innovation and entrepreneurship skills. The project will enhance students' ability to sell art and design works, with curricular models to support business skills development, supporting innovation and entrepreneurship.
    Partners: OCAD University, Techmien Corp., Tenet Computer Group Inc.
  • Organize student performance data into an actionable format for the use of teachers and administrators. Data is analyzed in realtime to identify what sets students back in their math learning. These powerful insights are provided to teachers in realtime so that it can be used to address student gaps both individually and at the classroom level.
    Partners: Thames Valley District School Board, Knowledgehook
  • Focus on providing students a unique learning opportunity to complement existing Cambrian College curriculum and learn the nuances of operating the most advanced and cutting-edge mining surveying technology. Students will have the opportunity to train in a completely new way as they engage and operate this disruptive technology beyond the classroom in underground settings. 
    Partners: Cambrian College of Applied Arts and Technology, NORCAT, Northern Survey Supply

"By partnering with OCE, our government remains committed to bolstering Ontario-made ed-tech solutions and supporting public education," says Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. "We fully support collaboration between educational institutions and innovative companies who, together, push conventional boundaries and find novel ways to enhance learning while supporting Ontario's economy."

For more information about the AdvancingEducation program, please visit

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.
OCE drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario'sInnovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their company and create jobs. 

SOURCE: Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc.  

For further information:
Media Contact:
Andrew Robertson, Manager, Media Relations
t: 416.861.1092 x 1092