OCE In The News

  • October 11, 2017 – The Lawyer's DailyOntario challenges legal technology firms to use artificial intelligence
    There is $80,000 in seed funding to be won by Ontario-based technology companies that can apply artificial intelligence (AI) to legal innovation.

    The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General and the Legal Innovation Zone (LIZ) at Ryerson University are sponsoring the Ontario AI Legal Challenge. 

    Angel investors often come to LIZ looking to meet with the startups as do people from governmental and other agencies, like the Ontario Centres of Excellence.
  • October 4, 2017 – The Globe and MailArtificial intelligence reshaping wealth management

    Imagine a world where chatbots answer client e-mails regarding their investments, and software scours the Internet for the latest news, economic data and academic papers to create insightful investment reports. This might seem like the stuff of science fiction – albeit with a wealth management slant.

    Yet this is the leading edge of financial technology – or fintech – powered by the fast-growing field of artificial intelligence (AI), which is able to process and interpret vast amounts of data at lightning speed.

  • October 3, 2017 – Ottawa Business JournalOntario-IBM incubator partnership sets up in Bayview Yards
    Invest Ottawa, IBM and the Ontario Centres of Excellence announced the IBM Incubator Space at Bayview Yards on Friday, September 29, 2017.
  • July 19, 2017 – BetakitIBM launches innovation incubator at Communitech
    IBM Canada, in partnership with the Ontario Centres of Excellence and Communitech, has unveiled the IBM Innovation Incubator at Waterloo’s Communitech innovation hub.
  • July 17, 2017 – London Free PressA London wunderkind has already sold his first tech firm, and is now working on his second
    Sean Cornelius already has sold his first high-tech company and is busy developing the second before he starts Grade 11 in the fall. In March 2016 when he was 15 and at student at St. Andre Bessette secondary school, Cornelius launched Geco Digital Labs that does search engine optimization, social media content and branding, mainly for other tech companies.

    He and his classmates won an Ontario Centres of Excellence Make Your Pitch contest in Toronto, picking up a $3,000 prize.

  • July 7, 2017 – The Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, G7 and G20 Research GroupCelebrating 150 years of global contribution
    Canada is a remarkably diverse, open country that for a century and a half has been strengthened by its participation on the world stage and has in turn helped to create a better world. The 150th anniversary of our confederation is an opportunity to reflect on our past, on what has worked and what has not, and to inspire the world for generations to come. This is a moment of opportunity. More than a 150th anniversary celebration, this can be Canada’s moment. 
  • May 19, 2017 – TVOWhy cyberattacks could be a boon for Ontario startups
    Cybersecurity is a growing concern for governments, businesses, and internet users around the world. Yet cybersecurity also presents a business opportunity — particularly for Ontario. That’s according to a 2016 Deloitte report commissioned by the Ontario Centres of Excellence and the Toronto Financial Services Alliance.
  • May 8, 2017 – Government of Ontario NewsOntario Marks Grand Opening of Innovation Space in Markham
    Ontario has partnered with IBM Canada, Ontario Centres of Excellence and ventureLAB to open the IBM Innovation Space-Markham Convergence Centre that will provide businesses access to the technology and expertise they need to grow and compete in the global marketplace.
  • April 21, 2017 – Toronto StarPricing carbon drives innovation and creates local jobs
    Cleantech companies that reduce carbon emissions need support for government and Bay Street to compete globally.
  • March 20, 2017 – Globe and MailInventing innovation: Making a formula for startup success

    Cian O’Sullivan is the picture of confidence as he speaks to a packed lecture hall at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. A tall, lantern-jawed man, Mr. O’Sullivan begins his presentation with a slick video explaining the genius idea developed by Beagle Inc., his Kitchener, Ont.-based startup. Using artificial intelligence (AI), Beagle’s software reviews dense contracts and other legal documents and roots out critical information in minutes. Most of the 30 million small- and medium-sized businesses in North America don’t use lawyers for commercial deals; Beagle’s product saves them hours of aggravation.

  • March 13, 2017 – Brampton GuardianOntario issues innovation challenge to small and medium-sized businesses

    Ontario is inviting companies to compete for funding to create and test technology solutions for challenges facing government services.Small and medium-sized businesses will be provided with funding to take an innovative idea and develop and test a working prototype.

  • February 2, 2017 – London Economic Development CorporationFillSpaces.com Granted Ontario Centre of Excellence SmartStart Seed Fund

    Ontario’s FillSpaces.com, a commercial space marketplace, has been awarded the SmartStart Seed Fund from the Ontario Centre of Excellence (OCE). This is a fund that is granted to Ontario's next generation of entrepreneurs in order to take their start-ups to the next level.
    FillSpaces.com is an online platform that has removed the barriers associated with discovering and booking commercial spaces through a safe, seamless and stress-free process. Users can access affordable spaces and are able to book and pay for them directly online. Underutilized spaces can be shared through this platform to provide owners with revenue on the side and help offset ownership costs.

  • January 16, 2017 – The Sudbury StarCambrian partners with Sudbury businesses
    Cambrian College Graphic Design students will be earning credits and pay cheques at the same time thanks to a partnership with four local businesses.
    The partnership was announced on January 13 between Cambrian College’s Graphic Design program; its applied research arm, Cambrian Innovates, and the Ontario Centres for Excellence VEBTA program. 
    This new partnership will enable six Graphic Design students to gain experience through a paid placement with local businesses and organizations which include the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), Fuel Multimedia, Studio 123, and Design de Plume. 
  • January 4, 2017 – ForbesThalmic Labs featured in Forbes 30 Under 30: Consumer Tech
    University of Waterloo graduates and OCE supported Thalmic Labs' co-founders Matthew Bailey, Aaron Grant, Stephen Lake were selected in this year's prestigious Forbes designation.
  • December 19, 2016 – Globe and MailCinnos raises over $2 Million in Funding from Angel Investors and Ontario Centres of Excellence
    HAMILTON, Ontario, Dec. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Cinnos MCI, the Hamilton-based high-tech start-up that introduced the world's first data centre appliance to the global market, announced today that it successfully raised over $2.3 million in equity financing from the community of angel investors in the Hamilton, Burlington and the Greater Toronto Area, as well as Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) through its Market Readiness Company Building (MRCB) program. The financing was led by the Burlington-based Angel One Investor Network, one of the most active angel groups in Canada. The funds raised will provide the capital for Cinnos to build its next generation of the Mission Critical X (MCX), and fund its global expansion.
  • 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.
    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.