Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) celebrated another successful year last night as the province’s pre-eminent research-to-commercialization organization, with over 400 attendees at its Annual General Meeting at Toronto’s Design Exchange.
Ground-breaking innovations, economic development and job creation are the highlights of OCE’s Annual Report, which includes success stories from OCE-supported projects from across Ontario. The annual event also showcased 17 OCE-supported companies who were on-site to demonstrate some of the past year’s standout projects and give attendees a chance to meet the future leaders in Ontario’s technology and innovation sector.
Dr. Tom Corr, OCE's President and CEO was joined by Michael Nobrega, OCE Board Chair, and OCE Board Member Jane Allen in presenting the Mind-to-Market Award and the Martin Walmsley Award for Entrepreneurship for 2018.
The Mind-to-Market Award celebrates the best OCE-supported research collaboration between the business and research communities, resulting in effective commercialization of leading-edge ideas and solutions. The Martin Walmsley Award supports the development of an Ontario student to create an innovative start-up with an economic impact in Ontario. The innovation must address existing and emerging challenges in key sectors.
The Mind-to-Market Award 2018 was awarded to Moyers Apple Products. Moyers is becoming the leader in food safety, starting with caramel apples. Moyers has developed an ozone pre-treatment process that can inactivate pathogens to mitigate food-borne illness outbreaks, such as listeria, via the introduction of antimicrobial gas, while reducing condensation on water sensitive produce.
The Martin Walmsley Award for Entrepreneurship was awarded to Xanadu Quantum Technologies Inc. Xanadu explores applications in the finance, pharmaceutical, chemistry and material science industries. The solutions for these markets will be comprised of a combination of quantum computing and machine learning tools.
The release of OCE’s Annual Report also highlighted the organization’s efforts in improving on key performance measurements over the past year, with a particular focus on job creation.
“OCE continues to be well-positioned to facilitate successful partnerships among Ontario-headquartered SMEs and technology companies, colleges, universities, governments, and global automotive, telecom, financial and big data companies. These partnerships are critical in generating new made-in-Ontario products and technologies whose commercialization generates high potential jobs in Ontario and export sales to foreign markets,” says Michael Nobrega. “The Ontario government’s financial support through its advanced technology platforms and its entrepreneurial programs play an integral part in the overall success of these partnerships.”
With offices located across Ontario, OCE played a key role in accelerating economic growth in the province in 2017-2018, including:
- The creation or retention of 9,772 jobs as a direct result of OCE-funded projects
- 930 new R&D, commercialization and talent projects managed, and 2,557 start-ups supported
- $81-million investment this year in Ontario companies and an additional $177.8 million leveraged, the majority of which comes from industry, for a total investment of $258.8 million
“On behalf of the Government of Ontario, we are facilitating collaborations between academia and industry, fostering the creation of high-quality jobs, and guiding high potential companies to market and commercialization,” says Dr. Corr. “It is an extremely exciting time right now for OCE, as Ontario’s innovation and entrepreneurship community continues to drive economic development opportunities and establish the province as a world leader.”