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Ontario Centres of Excellence’s Discovery 2018


The Ontario Centres of Excellence held its Discovery 2018 from April 30 to May 11, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario and attracted key players from industry, academia, government, the investment community as well as entrepreneurs and students to pursue collaboration opportunities.  According to organizers, it is Canada’s leading innovation-to-commercialization conference.  It brought together over 3,000 attendees and more than 500 exhibitors – it is a showcase of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research from sectors such as health, manufacturing, digital media and cleantech, including energy, environment and water.  Keynote speakers and moderators led discussions, knowledge-sharing and new perspectives. Networking opportunities featured key influencers from government, academia, industry and leading sectors.  With the weakening manufacturing sector in Ontario, creating a strong innovation economy is thought to be key to Ontario’s future – Discovery facilitates the exchange of ideas and encourages new ways to collaborate and push the boundaries of research and innovation through to demonstration and development.

Sophia the Humanoid:

Sophia the Robot, from Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, gave the opening keynote address with creator Dr. David Hanson at this year’s Discovery 2018. It is a social humanoid created using artificial intelligence technologies and robotics developed by Dr. Hanson.

Innovation Agenda:

Will the Ontario government’s innovation agenda be successful? According to its website, the Ontario government is spending $3 billion over eight years on it innovation agenda.  Will the government funded start-ups be able to scale?  Will they be sold to companies in the U.S. or will they expand in Ontario creating jobs?   One incentive was to create a technology corridor in the Toronto Kitchener area to create successful start-ups and have them scale up and remain in Canada.  Another factor told to us by one successful entrepreneur, if it is sold to investors in the U.S. that money gets recycled in Ontario to create other start-ups.  However, it would be more beneficial if Ontario could retain some of the scaled up companies in Ontario.  Others argue that intellectual property law reform is needed for Canadian companies to scale.

The future will tell if the government’s innovation agenda is successful.



Discovery 2018 SHERP Vehicle
SmartCone Technologies at Discovery 2018

Discovery 2018

Ontario Centres of Excellence’s Discovery 2018 was a great event to encourage innovation – so mark your calendar for next year’s Ontario Centres of Excellence’s Discovery 2019 and check back here for details!

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