Archived — Government of Canada Supports Innovation in Toronto

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For immediate release
September 12, 2011

Toronto, Ontario – Thanks to new partnerships with the University of Toronto, fourteen businesses in southern Ontario will have an opportunity to bring innovative products to market and increase their productivity and competitiveness, in areas such as information technology, biomedical sciences, life sciences and engineering. Today, the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, announced the agreements between the University and local small- and medium-sized businesses.

"These agreements allow the University of Toronto and local businesses to work together on exciting new research, and get their results to the marketplace faster," said Minister Van Loan. "Through the Applied Research and Commercialization initiative, our government is investing in innovation to create jobs and economic growth."

Last year, under the Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative, the University of Toronto was approved for up to $750,000 from FedDev Ontario to partner with small- and medium-sized businesses on activities such as applied research, engineering design, technology development, product testing, and certification. The support provided will create new economic opportunities, help businesses in southern Ontario grow, and enable them to become even more innovative and competitive.

"At the University of Toronto, we’re always looking for ways to make research meaningful to the wider community," said Professor Peter Lewis, Associate Vice-President, Research, University of Toronto. "By working together with businesses, we’re accelerating the movement of ideas to the marketplace, for the benefit of all Ontarians. We are delighted with the news of this generous investment from FedDev Ontario’s Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative. With this funding, our researchers, together with their private sector collaborators, are helping to create a prosperous, innovative future."

For more information on the Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative and University of Toronto partners, please refer to the backgrounder.

FedDev Ontario was created as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan to support businesses and communities in southern Ontario. Now in its third year of operation, the Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to support businesses and other organizations through partnerships and investments in skills and training; innovation; research and development; and increased productivity. To learn more, please visit www.feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

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For more information, contact:

Gary Toft
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
613-943-7599

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
519-571-6879

Backgrounder

Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative – University of Toronto

The Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative is designed to bridge the gap between research and commercialization in southern Ontario by encouraging post-secondary academic institutions to collaborate with small- and medium-sized businesses.

FedDev Ontario is providing the University of Toronto with up to $750,000 to partner with fourteen small- and medium-sized enterprises on the following projects.

AbCelex Technologies Inc. (Toronto)

AbCelex Technologies Inc. is an Ontario-based biotech southern Ontario company which develops and markets a range of antibodies and antibody-based diagnostic products for a variety of illnesses including cancer and infectious diseases. The collaboration with the University of Toronto investigators may result in the development of recombinant antibodies, assays and products for the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Baylis Medical Company (Mississauga)

Baylis Medical’s Radio Frequency (RF) Puncture System is a set of world-leading devices that are used to create controlled punctures in tissue. The RF Puncture System has applications in the field of Interventional Cardiology as well as in the field of Interventional Radiology. This project will evaluate magnetic resonance-imaging methods to enhance the guidance of Baylis Medical's RF Puncture System for crossing chronic total occlusions, providing improved tools for Canadian healthcare professionals.

Cooler Solution (Toronto)

The TheraChoice project is empowering cancer patients, helping them make informed treatment decisions by building a software prototype that provides easy-to-understand illustrations of the risks and benefits of therapeutic options. This project combines Cooler Solutions’ specialized in patient-centered design and innovation with the university’s expertise in data visualization. The end result will be a working prototype that uses leading practices in data visualization to present to cancer patients the risks and benefits of treatment options in a way that is compelling, intuitive, and meaningful.

ecobee (Toronto)

ecobee delivers intelligent energy management solutions for real people. Installed in tens of thousands of homes and businesses across North America, the ecobee Open Energy Management Platform is the easiest way for residential and business customers to understand, manage and reduce their energy consumption. This research project with the University of Toronto will contribute to the development of new features and expansions to ecobee’s existing product line by exploring how Canadian commercial and residential entities collect, consume and integrate energy-consumption data into their everyday experiences, attitudes and behaviours.

Engineering Services Inc. (Toronto)

Engineering Services Inc. (ESI) is a leading robotics and automation technology company, specializing in the development of advanced robotics and automation products and custom robotics systems. Researchers at the University of Toronto will collaborate with ESI in the development of an inexpensive miniature ion mobility spectrometer as a point-of-care diagnostic device to assist in the early detection of cancers and viral diseases.

InteraXon (Toronto)

InteraXon creates single sensor Electroencephalography (EEG) systems and EEG Interactions that allow users to collect brainwave data in non-laboratory experiences. Through this project with the University of Toronto, InteraXon will develop an EEG capture system to help individuals diagnosed with Epilepsy monitor seizures at home with what is targeted to be a convenient and inexpensive system to benefit Canadian patients.

Kangaroo Design (Toronto)

Kangaroo Design is a Canadian industrial design and engineering company which creates hardware/software solutions for medical devices and more. Kangaroo also incubates young technology companies, giving them the benefit of a unique environment. One of its incubated companies – CanFocus– makes a product that enables end users to improve their organizations’ efficiency. This project with the University of Toronto is designed to evaluate and pilot test CanFocus’ hardware and software solutions to improve workplace satisfaction and productivity.

Mircom Ltd. (Toronto)

Mircom, a fire/life safety, emergency evacuation, communications and security company, will work with the University of Toronto team towards the application of Optical Technologies in Mircom’s life safety systems. The project will develop technologies new to Canada, and will provide training opportunities for highly qualified personnel.

Segasist Technologies (Toronto)

Segasist Technologies is a privately held medical device company developing contouring/segmentation solutions for medical image analysis. This project in collaboration with researchers at the University of Toronto will assist in the development of automated imaging methods for improved tumour delineation during cancer treatment.

Sensor Technology Ltd. (Collingwood)

Sensor Technology Ltd. specializes in manufacturing piezoelectric materials as well as acoustic transducers that utilize them. This project will develop a piezoelectric-based device to convert vibrations into usable electric energy to power small devices without the need for batteries, providing an alternative to traditional battery-based energy storage.

Sentinelle Medical (Toronto)

Hologic’s Sentinelle division is a leading developer of magnetic resonance imaging technology (MRI) coils and diagnostic software for the healthcare industry. This project will develop improved MRI guidance methods during breast surgery, opening up a new market for Sentinelle and providing improved tools to Canadian health care professionals.

Skymeter (Toronto)

Skymeter has developed a GPS-based telematics system for road tolling, parking and pay as you drive insurance applications. Skymeter plans to expand the application of their technology to add safety-related capabilities. Collaboration with University of Toronto researchers will identify if correlations exist between crash/moving violation histories and driving styles as measured through steering, speed and acceleration profiles obtained in a naturalistic on-road study.

Solar Grid Inc. (Vaughan)

SolarGrid Energy is a southern Ontario company established to commercialize next generation solar cells. Through this project novel thin film solar cells technology will be developed to provide high efficiency solar energy collectors, enabling the production of less expensive, solar cells for the Canadian market.

Syngrafii Corporation (Toronto)

Syngrafii Corporation is the creator of the LongPen product family, an innovative technology that uses an individual's handwriting characteristics to facilitate real-time long-distance signing. Major potential customers have expressed a need for more rigid biometric security. This project studies how the biomechanics of handwriting varies between men and women and across the age span, from young adults to older persons. The results of this project will allow Syngrafii’s integration of grip force into their long-distance handwriting biometric system for applications in Canadian financial, government, justice and security industries.

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