Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) is proud to announce the 2017 finalists for the Martin Walmsley Award for Entrepreneurship and the Mind-to-Market Award . The two annual awards will be presented tonight at OCE’s Annual General Meeting at Toronto’s Design Exchange.

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 celebrates the best OCE-supported research collaboration between the business and research communities, resulting in effective commercialization of leading-edge ideas and solutions.

This year’s Martin Walmsley Award for Entrepreneurship finalists are:

  • ConferenceCloud – ConferenceCloud is a virtual attendance platform designed specifically for conferences to scale and monetize their content to digital audiences. By providing the best environment for creating hybrid conferences, ConferenceCloud aims to become the leading provider in hybrid conference technology.
  • RockMass Technologies – RockMass Technologies is developing a data collection tool that provides geologists with critical measurements to determine the stability of mines, tunnels, and road cuts. The proprietary technology is 18 times faster than industry standards require, and delivers accurate and consistent results in a safe manner.
  • SSIMWAVE Inc. – SSIMWAVE provides the viewer intelligence to deliver the ultimate viewer experience. The company’s products provide the media and entertainment industries the capability to manage video quality with the lowest possible delivery infrastructure cost. The most accurate end-to-end video quality measurement technology is the backbone of the products.

View the Martin Walmsley Award for Entrepreneurship finalist video here.

This year’s Mind-to-Market Award finalists are;

  • APX Building + Onsite Data Solutions – In North America, 7 million responders risk their lives every day entering buildings with no knowledge of construction material, hazards or where incidents are located. APX has created a building and onsite data solution called CityScape, which organizes building information and makes it available in seconds through a smart mobile digital platform.  The capacity to leverage all native smart mobile capabilities is priceless for the emergency and building maintenance markets.
  • Korah  Korah has created the ccRobot, a cutting-edge customer care automation platform that enables low-friction experiences by automating frequent customer dialogues ranging from SMS to mobile web to native apps, in web chat or voice. With ccRobot, customers will be able to interact with organizations more easily and on-demand, without having to jump through queues, menus, busy lines, and other hurdles that spoil the customer experience. These digital customer experiences offer a personalized, on-demand and efficient interaction.
  • OTTO Motors – The OTTO self-driving vehicle is designed exclusively for material transport in industrial environments. It is an evolution of the automated guided vehicle (AGV) and uses advanced sensors and artificial intelligence to provide flexible automation that does not require fixed infrastructure. Appliances vary based on the model and can include a lift, conveyor, shelf, or cart. The OTTO self-driving vehicles offer the reliability of an AGV, the efficiency of a conveyor and the flexibility of a person.

View the Mind-to-Market Award finalist video here.

Both awards, valued at $25,000 each, will be presented by Dr. Tom Corr, OCE’s President and CEO, Janet Ecker, OCE Board member and former President and CEO, Toronto Financial Services Alliance and Jane D. Allen, OCE Board member and Senior Vice President, Strategy and Innovation, Hydro One Limited.

“All six finalists should be commended as shining examples of Ontario’s thriving innovation ecosystem not to mention our amazing talent pool,” says Dr. Corr. “We look forward to seeing these companies build on their present success as Ontario establishes itself as a global leader in technology and innovation.”

The AGM will also feature the release of OCE’s Annual Report, 24 OCE-funded companies on-site to showcase their innovative products, and addresses delivered by the Honourable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, and the Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth.

“I congratulate each Martin Walmsley Award finalist for their exceptional entrepreneurship and Mind to Market Award finalists for outstanding research collaboration,” says Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “Companies like these are putting Ontario on the map in a highly competitive global economy as a leading destination for research, innovation and collaboration.”