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9th September 2011

B.C. First Nations Technology Team Wins International Award

fnescAn international panel of technology experts has recognized a B.C First Nations multimedia team for iahlatheir development of WaterKeeper, an interactive 3 dimensional (3D) training tool designed to support operators of small community water systems to provide clean and safe drinking water for First Nations communities. The award was given as part of the International Serious Play awards, a program “distinguishing superior examples of corporate, military, healthcare and school/at home” learning tools at the 2011 Serious Games Conference held on August 23 – 25, 2011 in Redmond. Read the rest of this entry »

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8th September 2011

Even Dozen of Startups for Entrepreneurship Program

BCIC and Wavefront have announced the twelve companies chosen to participate in year two of the entrepreneurship at wavefrontentrepreneurship@Wavefront program. This 12-month program is designed to support and nurture early-stage B.C. wireless companies from product concept to market entry. The successful applicants were evaluated and selected by a panel comprised of individuals from Wavefront, BCIC and the investment community.

“We were impressed with the range and quality of solutions presented this year,” commented Jim Maynard, President of Wavefront. “We saw cross-sector wireless innovation with concepts ranging from enterprise Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications for the agriculture and health sectors to consumer applications spanning education, gaming and fashion.” Read the rest of this entry »

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6th September 2011

Canadian Architectural Illustrators Honoured

Four Canadian architectural illustrators have had their artwork chosen to be part of Architecture in Perspective 26, the International Competition of Digital and Traditional Architectural Illustration. Marie Eldridge from Calgary, and three Toronto-area illustrators – Roberto Ou, Michael  Ouzikov (Forrec) and Michael McCann – will all have their work featured in the exhibition, which opens on September 26 at the Pola Gallery in Tokyo. Architecture in Perspective (AIP) is presented by the American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI), whose annual convention and exhibition will be held this year in conjunction with the UIA 2011 World Congress of Architecture, also taking place in Tokyo, from September 24 to October 2.

“Winning the ASAI Award of Excellence was extremely gratifying; there is nothing more professionally satisfying than the recognition of your peers,” says Marie Eldridge. “Attending the conference in Japan will be the icing on the cake.”

From among the 56 pieces selected for the exhibition, Michael McCann’s illustration received two major awards: The Formal Category Award and The Members’ Choice Award. The preeminent award, The Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize, was awarded this year to Swiss illustrator Marcel Schaufelberger.

With 10,000 people expected to attend the 2011 UIA Conference, ASAI President Masaaki Yamada stated that “This year’s exhibition Includes the largest international exhibition of architectural illustration ever assembled, featuring AIP26 (ASAI) and exhibitions from Japan (JARA), Korea (KAPA), Australia (AAAI) and China.”

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1st September 2011

OpenText Solutions Named KMWorld 2011 Trend-Setting Products

Open TextKMWorld Magazine has named the OpenText ECM Suite 2010 a “Trend-Setting Product of 2011″ along with business process management (BPM) offerings from OpenText Metastorm and OpenText Global 360. Multiple OpenText products have been named to the KMWorld list of trend-setting products over the years, and in recognition of the company’s ongoing innovation KMWorld last year inducted OpenText into its Hall of Fame.

KMWorld’s Trend-Setting Product awards were first launched in 2003. This year, more than 800 products were assessed by KMWorld’s judging panel, which consisted of editorial colleagues, analysts, system integrators, vendors, line-of-business managers and users. All products selected demonstrate identifiable technology breakthroughs that serve the vendors’ full spectrum of constituencies, especially their customers.

“We’re consistently impressed by the level of innovation and product excellence OpenText has demonstrated year after year,” said KMWorld Editor-in-chief Hugh McKellar. “That said, we take a fresh look at every product in compiling this list, and once again OpenText’s ECM and BPM offerings stood out as true trend-setters in knowledge management.”

OpenText products named to the KMWorld list included:

OpenText ECM Suite 2010 – Representing the largest innovation effort in the company’s history, the latest release of the OpenText ECM Suite is the industry’s most comprehensive, fully integrated ECM solution suite. It adds wide-ranging new functionality linked through numerous integration points covering 90 products and modules, and spanning compliance, portals, enterprise information archiving and mobility.

OpenText Metastorm - The latest OpenText Metastorm software, enhanced by extensive Social BPM capabilities, delivers a complete business transformation platform for enterprise and business architecture, business process analysis, and business process management to help companies outperform their business goals. It helps organizations close the gap between strategy and execution and includes support for requirements gathering, design, deployment and optimization of complex business processes.

OpenText Global 360 – By tapping into all the advantages of the cloud, OpenText Global 360 introduces enterprises to collaborative process discovery driven by friendly wizard-based guides based on BPM best practices and extensive research. Using Global 360, organizations can design Microsoft Visio® process models and simulations, develop a reusable knowledge base, inform stakeholders of the latest discovery efforts, and track projects milestones and deadlines.

“If there’s one thing you can count on in the knowledge management market it is rapid change, and to stay relevant as a vendor continual innovation is a must,” said Lubor Ptacek, Vice President, Strategic Marketing and General Manager for the Microsoft Solutions Group at OpenText. “Therefore, it is important for us to always be pushing forward with new product capabilities and driving innovation that helps our customers, and this award reflects that commitment.”

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29th August 2011

BCIC New Ventures Announce Finalists

BCIC New VenturesThe BCIC-New Ventures judges have made it official and today announced the 10 Finalists for the the 2011 competition as well as the Top 5 for the Agritech competition. The BCIC-New Ventures Competition is open to any B.C. resident, team or business with an innovative technology product or service that has not yet secured significant financing from external investors.

Each of the competitors have paid $200.00 entry fees and participated in business-related seminars and events which began in April, along with 4 stringent elimination rounds began with pitching their idea, and then moved on to passing a feasibility test and developing a condensed business plan. The final round will take place on September 8th and 9th, when the award finalists will pitch to a live jury. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held on September 22nd.

In alphabetical order by company name the Top 10 BCIC-New Ventures companies are:

Competitors entered in the Agritech stream will be evaluated by a separate panel of jury members and the Top 5 finalists of the stream will vie for 2 prizes: the $30,000 Shildroth First Prize for Innovation in Agritech Prize and the $20,000 Shildroth Second Prize for Innovation in Agritech .

In alphabetical order by company name the Top 5 Agritech companies for 2011 are:

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26th August 2011

Poynt Named Grand Prize Runner Up in Nokia Calling All Innovators Competition

poyntCalgary-based mobile local search and advertising company Poynt Corporation has been awarded the runner-up grand prize in the app category in Nokia’s “Calling All Innovators 2011” mobile app and games development contest. An overall grand-prize winner and runner up were awarded for both the app and game categories. The grand-prize runners-up and winners were determined based on overall points awarded by a panel of Nokia judges.

The Nokia Calling All Innovators global competition attracted over 800 entrants in 17 app and game categories. Entrants were competing for the chance to share in a total of $10 million (USD) in cash and prizes. The grand-prize winners and the two runners-up were announced August 25, 2011 at an award ceremony held at Nokia’s U.S. flagship office in Sunnyvale, California.

According to the contest rules, the runner-up grand prize winners will be featured in Nokia marketing campaigns worth $1 Million (USD). This award is in addition to the $150,000 (USD) cash prize previously announced on August 22, 2011 for winning the productivity and tools app category. The campaigns will include promotion of the Poynt app in various consumer marketing campaigns.

A unique blend of consumer and expert judging was relied on to determine the category winners of the Calling All Innovators Contest. The top apps were initially chosen based on total app downloads by consumers and sales totals in Nokia’s Ovi Store. The top ten downloaded apps in each category (five paid apps and five free apps) were then judged by an expert panel of judges from Nokia. This blend of consumer and expert judging chosen by Nokia helped ensure that the best apps were not only the most popular apps but also provided the best user experience.

“Nokia designed a contest that rigorously tested each application and we are honored to be considered one of the top apps,” said Andrew Osis, President and CEO of Poynt Corp. “It is our goal to be able to offer a rich user experience across different device platforms, and this win highlights our success in achieving this goal.”

More information about Poynt for Nokia can be found on the Poynt web site.

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6th August 2011

We Are One Day Away From SIGGRAPH 2011

acm siggraphHave you made Vancouver home for the next six days? If so, that must mean you’re planning to be at SIGGRAPH 2011, which opens tomorrow at the Vancouver Convention Centre and runs until Thursday evening. The Conference and Computer Animation Festival goes from August 7 right through until the 11th and the Exhibition floor with (200+ displays) is open from August 9th through 11th. It is still possible to pick up single day passes, and at just $45.00, they are too good of a deal to miss out on. If you prefer, there are passes still available for the entire week. We got a sneak peek at the expo floor last evening, and it looks awesome. Check out your options on the SIGGRAPH 2011 Registration Info page.

This is the first time the flagship conference for the ACM SIGGRAPH organization has been held in Canada, and is an incredible opportunity for the Canadian digital media and film industry sectors. There are, at my count, 37 Canadian companies – or international companies with a Canadian location – with exhibit booths on the conference floor, including ourselves in Booth 1018. This does not include the number of Canadian companies who may have a booth in the Job Fair area of the conference, nor those like Corel who will be working out of LightBox’s booth. Nor does it include the Canadian studios who will be represented in our booth with their trailers and games or those being highlighted through the DFAIT and provincial economic development booths. There is without a doubt going to be lots to see, lots to learn, and many people to meet at SIGGRAPH 2011.

SIGGRAPH 2011 highlights the full spectrum of the $67 billion annual computer graphics industry, showcasing the world’s finest technology exhibits, interactive displays, and the best in animation and visual effects. Numerous cutting-edge research and commercial products are shown to the public for the first time in interactive exhibit areas. Examples include:

  • Displays: Watch attendees interacting with cutting-edge 3D displays that will change their home theaters and video game experiences.
  • Robotics, Wearables, and Haptics: See people engaging with robots and stimulation devices such as a wearable pregnancy jacket that allows the user to feel a fetus’s temperature, movements, and heartbeat.
  • Mobile Devices: Interact with the next wave of advancements in mobile technological devices such as a “watch” that turns your hand into a mini-keyboard.

You can get a look at the expo floor map (PDF) on the SIGGRAPH web site, it is current as of August 1st, and for those who are not aware, the expo hall is on the lower level of the new convention centre.

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3rd August 2011

New Shows In The Spotlight At 2011 Gemini Awards

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television is pleased to announce the nominations for the 26th Annual Gemini Awards, celebrating the best in Canadian English language television and digital media.FlashPoint

The third season of CTV series Flashpoint leads the annual TV nominations once again with 17 nods, including Best Dramatic Series. Hot on its heels are two debutant shows, both in the Best Comedy Program or Series category, including the new HBO Canada series Call Me Fitz (with 16 nominations) and TMN/Movie Central’s Living in Your Car (with 10 nominations).

History Channel’s The Kennedys and TMN’s The Pillars of the Earth also achieved an impressive 10 nominations each, including Best Dramatic Mini-Series or TV Movie category.

The emerging Digital Media categories are led by nominations from the National Film Board of Canada with cross-platform producers Marblemedia and Shaftesbury Films also in the burgeoning competition.

“We congratulate all the nominees,” says Helga Stephenson, ACCT Interim CEO. “It is aensational to see brand new television series garner so many accolades alongside established favorites. We are also delighted that there is a strong and growing presence in this year’s Digital Media categories. The arrival of new talent in both industries is a very strong indicator of a robust future.”endgame

For our own part, while we watch many of the nominated shows, we are VERY happy to see that Endgame also received nominations for the following:

Best Cross-Platform Project – Fiction:  Endgame Interactive, Showcase (Shaw) and Secret Location – James Milward, Ryan Andal, Pietro Gagliano, CJ Hervey, Alan Sawyer.

Best Dramatic Series – Sponsored by the Independent Production Fund: Endgame Showcase (Shaw) Thunderbird Films Inc. – Michael Shepard, Avrum Jacobson, Harvey Kahn, Alexandra Raffe

Best Achievement in Main Title Design: Endgame Showcase (Shaw) Ian Kirby, Caleb Bouchard, Aaron Hildebrant, Mark Stuckert

Best Performance by an Actor in a Guest Role, Dramatic Series: Endgame – I Killed Her
Showcase (Shaw) David Richmond-Peck

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series: Endgame – Fearful Symmetry/Huxley, We Have a Problem Showcase (Shaw) Katharine Isabelle

You can find the full list of nominees on this PDF at the Gemini Awards official site.

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29th July 2011

Manitoba Team Takes Top Honours at the 2011 Canon Envirothon

canonA five-member team of high school students from Swan Valley Regional Secondary School, Manitoba beat out more than 50 other teams to win the 2011 Canon Envirothon, a week-long North American environmental education competition sponsored by Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging. The winning team was announced on Thursday, July 28th, during closing ceremonies at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick.

The 54 teams representing 45 U.S. states, eight Canadian provinces and one Canadian territory tested their knowledge on various environmental issues and resource conservation, while competing for a share of over $125,000 in scholarships and Canon products.Canon Envirothon 2011 winners from Swan Valley Regional Secondary School (Photo: Canon Canada Inc.)

“We’re extremely proud of the victory by the Swan Valley Regional Secondary School team and the efforts put forward by all of the other teams,” said Colleen Ryan, Senior Director of Corporate Communications at Canon Canada. “To see Swan Valley win and have West Hill Secondary School from Owen Sound, Ontario and Oromocto High School from Oromocto, New Brunswick in the Top five is a testament to the commitment and dedication these young people have made to the Envirothon program since its introduction to Canada in 2000. We’re thrilled to support Canadian students in this program.”

The first-place winners, Swan Valley Regional Secondary School team, received a total of $25,000 in Canon scholarships.  West Hill Secondary School, Owen Sound, Ontario ($20,000), and Spartanburg High School, South Carolina ($15,000), placed second and third, respectively. The fourth-place team, Oromocto High School, Oromocto, New Brunswick, received $10,000, and the fifth-place team, Housatonic Valley Agriscience, Connecticut, received $7,500. Teams that placed first through tenth received Canon products for their advisors and sponsoring agencies/organizations to use in science education. The list of schools/organizations finishing in the top 10 appears at the end of this announcement.

The top 10 teams at the 2011 Canon Envirothon:

  1. Swan Valley Regional Secondary School, Swan Valley, Manitoba
  2. West Hill Secondary School, Owen Sound, Ontario
  3. Spartanburg High School, Spartanburg, South Carolina
  4. Oromocto High School, Oromocto, New Brunswick
  5. Housatonic Valley Agriscience, Falls Village, Connecticut
  6. West Johnston High School, Benson, North Carolina
  7. Fort Defiance High School, Fort Defiance, Virginia
  8. Middleton High School, Middleton, Wisconsin
  9. Jupiter High School, Jupiter, Florida
  10. The Wheeler School, Providence, Rhode Island

Each team is made up of five students that previously won their state or provincial competition and came together to compete in categories including aquatics, ecology, forestry, soil and land use, and wildlife. Each year an additional topic is included that is based upon a current environmental issue. For 2011, the topic was salt and freshwater estuaries.

Since 1997, Canon U.S.A. has been the title sponsor of this annual competition. The Canon Envirothon is the culmination of a series of competitions that began during the past school year and involved more than 500,000 high school students throughout North America.  In written tests and oral presentations, starting at the local level, winning teams from schools and organizations competed for the distinction of representing their state, province or territory at the Canon Envirothon.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012, the competition will be held at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

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27th July 2011

Eight Ontario Start-ups Receive 6 Million Dollars In Funding From The Investment Accelerator Fund

MaRSEight Ontario companies have received more than $6 million in seed and later stage financing from the Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF), a program that invests in eligible companies as they develop their technologies and bring their products or services to market.

The IAF supports the launch and development of innovative companies in Ontario’s priority sectors of advanced materials and manufacturing, information technology, cleantech and life sciences. The IAF is funded by the Government of Ontario and delivered by MaRS.Ontario

The IAF is committed to investing $500,000 in each of the following companies:

  • GridCentric: Two groundbreaking technologies: one supports cloud computing, while the other cuts the number of servers needed in client/server IT setups.
  • Karos Health: Creating an exchange network to improve electronic ordering and results distribution of diagnostic imaging tests between client hospitals, imaging centers and radiology reading services.
  • Locationary: Locationary is now commercializing its sophisticated cloud-based, local data management system that helps mobile and web publishers improve quality while reducing the costs and complexity of managing local business places data.
  • Temporal Power: Develops and manufactures electrical energy storage systems that use a breakthrough flywheel technology. The technology is aimed at helping the electrical utility industry modernize the grid, integrate wind and solar power and better utilize water for generating clean power.

The Investment Accelerator Fund-Life Sciences (IAF-LS) helps accelerate the growth of life sciences companies in Ontario. The fund invests up to $1,000,000 in seed and later stage financing in companies that have the potential to be global leaders in their field and provide sustainable economic benefits to Ontario. Funded by the Government of Ontario, the fund helps innovative life sciences companies turn their discoveries into new products and services that meet patient needs.

The IAF-LS is committed to investing up to $1,000,000 in each of the following companies.

  • Cytochroma Inc.: A pharmaceutical company that is developing and commercializing products to treat and prevent vitamin D insufficiency and secondary hyperparathyroidism associated with chronic kidney disease.
  • Profound Medical Inc.: An award-winning medical device company commercializing a device that accurately and precisely treats localized prostate cancer on an out-patient basis.
  • Trillium Therapeutics: Developing a new and innovative treatment for interstitial cystitis, a chronic and debilitating bladder disease that affects millions of women in North America.
  • Xagenic Canada Inc.: Commercializing a low cost, chip-based diagnostic testing system that can detect and identify germs within 30 minutes, right at the point of care (no lab required).

These investments, generally made in the form of a convertible debenture or as an equity investment, will help the companies develop their products or services and attract additional investment. Funding and support from the IAF and IAF-LS will help these innovative companies save lives, protect the environment and introduce new technologies.

“The IAF is proud to support these early-stage companies. Their innovative technologies, products and services mean that the strong management teams are capable of building businesses with sustainable competitive advantages,” says Barry Gekiere, IAF Managing Director. “We support our portfolio companies with access to capital and a network of market and sector connections. By partnering with these companies and helping them grow, the IAF is helping to create high-value jobs that contribute to Ontario’s innovation agenda.”

“We are thrilled to have MaRS and the IAF as investors and appreciate their help and guidance as we commercialize our new data management services”, says Grant Ritchie, CEO of Locationary. “The whole team was responsive, professional, and frankly, absolutely incredible through the entire investment process. They are great ambassadors for Ontario and play a major role in supporting the start-up tech community here.”

“We are absolutely delighted to have received this investment from IAF. Their team was comprehensive in their diligence, quick in their decision and is already contributing strategically to the direction of the company. We couldn’t be happier to have them as investors,” says Paul Chipperton, CEO of Profound Medical.

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