CANARIE Inc. has announced that it is accepting proposals from technology entrepreneurs and innovators to develop their products, services or applications using Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network, offering a unique opportunity and competitive advantage for Canada’s small and medium-sized information and communications technology (ICT) companies.
CANARIE’s DAIR – the Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research Program – is a shared R & D environment where users can design, prototype, validate and demonstrate pre-commercial technologies on demand and at no charge during the pilot phase of the program, which runs from May 2011 until March 2012. Based on a successful pilot, the program will be expanded to incorporate additional users, such as multinational enterprises and academic researchers.
The Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research Program is open to developers of:
- Multi-player online games
- Transactional software such as e-banking
- Telecom software such as billing
- Web-based apps such as social networking/marketing
- Other digital products, services and applications
“Canada is rich in terms of technical talent and technology start-up companies. There are many companies involved in developing advanced networking solutions and associated software systems across the country. The DAIR Program represents an innovative way to help these companies rapidly develop solutions for world markets. It will provide a substantial boost to the technology R & D community in Canada,” said Terry Matthews, Chairman and founder of Mitel, March Networks, Solace Systems and many other Canadian technology companies.
“DAIR is a very welcome program,” said Mr. Matthews. “This will help a large number of developers in smaller ICT organizations who often lack the resources to test their solutions in an advanced R & D network environment.”
CANARIE announced DAIR in December 2010 in response to data showing Canada’s ICT sector underperforms in comparison to its global peers. DAIR is designed to stimulate the ICT sector by removing a competitive barrier for SMEs and by promoting made-in-Canada product development and commercialization.
DAIR helps accelerate time-to-market for SMEs by providing access to an R & D environment consisting of a high-capacity fibre optic network, macro cellular and WiFi access, and compute and storage resources. This environment will offer SMEs the opportunity to move products quickly towards commercialization, without incurring additional development costs.
Applicants are urged to submit their proposals by April 22, 2011, as these will be evaluated by May 2. Proposals accepted after that date will be evaluated within 5 business days. The first group of users is expected to access DAIR in May 2011. Selection criteria for the program include expected cost and time savings with respect to product development, and alignment of technical requirements with DAIR resources.