TORONTO, February 1, 2018 – Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), on behalf of the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science (MRIS) and the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO), is pleased to announce the opening of applications for the next Accessibility Innovation Showcase (AIS) and Accessibility Tech Pitch Competition.
The AIS is presented as part of OCE’s annual Discovery Conference, which runs April 30-May 1, 2018 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The AIS bridges many sectors and brings together industry and entrepreneurs, showcasing and promoting groundbreaking technologies that are improving the lives of people with disabilities.
“The Accessibility Innovation Showcase is an inspiring mix of brilliant minds sharing creative ideas that can help fuel future technologies. These technologies will improve the lives of people with disabilities. We are proud to support this prestigious and pioneering event,” says Tracy MacCharles, Minister Responsible for Accessibility.
At this year’s Discovery, 35 companies will have a platform to present their innovative assistive devices and technologies to the broader innovation ecosystem, with five of those companies becoming finalists in the $20,000 Pitch Competition. During the competition, each company is given 10 minutes to pitch their innovative product or service to both the accessibility community and a panel of judges, with the winner being awarded $20,000 to further develop their assistive technology innovation.
“Ontario’s entrepreneurs are unlocking the potential of accessibility technology and the Accessibility Innovation Showcase is an excellent celebration and demonstration of these breakthrough innovations,” says Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “Our government is proud to support this event each year as part of our commitment to creating an inclusive province where people of all abilities can thrive.”
For more information on the application process for the Accessibility Innovation Showcase (AIS) and the Accessibility Tech Pitch Competition, please visit the application page. You can also visit the Discovery 2018 website.
“It’s a great pleasure for OCE to host the Accessibility Innovation Showcase at OCE’s Discovery Conference each year,” says Dr. Tom Corr, OCE’s President and CEO. “Bringing together these life-changing technologies, many of which will find uses beyond their original intent, is an important step toward eliminating barriers and creating a more inclusive society.”
While improving the lives of people with disabilities, technologies such as speech-to-text, which start as assistive devices, often find broader application and wider audiences, making Discovery an exciting space for the convergence of innovative technology.
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About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.
OCE drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their company and create jobs