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Small businesses to reap big Benefits from new OCE High Performance Computing Initiative

October 25, 2012

Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP) offers previously cost-prohibitive service to small businesses striving to remain globally competitive

The announcement of the IBM Canada Research and Development Centre. From L-R: Pat Horgan, Vice President, IBM Canada; Don Aldridge, General Manager, IBM Canada; Paul Young, Vice President, Research, University of Toronto; Tom Corr, President and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence; Steven N. Liss, Vice-Principal (Research), Queen’s University; Dan Sinai, Director Research Services, Western University; The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario); Janice Deakin, Provost & Vice-President (Academic), Acting Vice-President (Research), Western University; Dr.Michael Owen, Associate Provost, Research, UOIT; Mona Nemer, Vice President, Research, University of Ottawa; The Honourable Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Innovation.

High performance computing (HPC) is the next big thing in small business. The technology powers through unimaginably massive sets of data to find the actionable information and meaningful correlations - accelerating commercialization opportunities.

But processing big data costs big bucks - outside the reach of many small businesses. Until now.

OCE is part of a partnership with IBM, the province (Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation), the federal government (FedDev), and a consortium of Ontario universities for high performance and cloud computing, known as the Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP). OCE’s specific mandate in this partnership is to help SMEs in Ontario increase their competitiveness and productivity through access to this highly specialized technology. 

IT can help a business become more efficient and more productive. And for a small business, HPC can be a game changer, helping it leapfrog ahead across the competition, especially if that company is the first to deploy it. 

Led by its new Director of Research Development, High Performance Computing, Ron Van Holst, OCE will be identifying high-potential companies that could make considerable gains using HPC. Ron and a team of business development specialists will be meeting with SMEs in Ontario, including conducting a roadshow to illustrate the benefits of the platform and networking with potential candidates.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for Ontario businesses," said Ron Van Holst. “This kind of access to highly advanced computing combined with university applied research in healthcare and smart infrastructure allows these small companies to pursue R&D at a greatly reduced risk. In this highly supportive environment they are far more likely to make advancements that take them to the next level.”

Companies that could benefit from this program include:
  • Small start-ups that think big
  • Innovators with great ideas for which standard computers just aren’t powerful enough
  • Companies that want to lead their markets in research, quality, performance, etc.
  • Companies mining for insights in their data to reshape their businesses into global leaders
  • Founders (or influential internal champions) who have used HPC in grad school or at a previous employer
  • Computer savvy companies experiencing performance issues with products, services or internal processes
  • Companies that like to codify their IP in software
  • Companies that like to create models to simulate business processes
  • Companies with good track records of university or college research collaboration (with OCE, RIC, FedDev, NSERC, etc.)
  • Companies with a knack for what’s next
Further information on the SOSCIP program and road show will be available through www.oce-ontario.org as details are confirmed. Also, follow OCE on Twitter @OCEInnovation or use hashtag #SOSCIP for SOSCIP news.

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