Social Innovation Program

Heather Wray of Rooftop Gardens accepts first place in the Social Enterprise Student Competition at Discovery 12 from (left to right) Minister of Economic Development and Innovation Brad Duguid, Andrew Pride of Ontario Power Authority and Dr. Tom Corr, president and CEO of OCE.


Innovating for social good

OCE is helping breathe new life into the innovation ecosystem with the unveiling of a new program that speaks directly to nonprofits, social enterprises and social purpose businesses.

Innovative minds are being applied to causes that count.

Understanding the importance of innovation in the development of new ideas, products, services and processes to address tough social and environmental challenges, OCE is now playing a key role in nurturing cross-sector partnerships and entrepreneurial spirit in this emerging sector.

In 2011, OCE launched the Social Innovation program. In partnership with the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, Ministry of Children and Youth Services and the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, the program focuses on three strategic areas; health improvement, environment and sustainability; and poverty alleviation.

OCE held a Social Innovation Partnership Challenge Forum in each area attracting an impressive cross-section of close to 250 leaders from the not-for-profit, social enterprise, academic and industry sectors. The forums created networking opportunities and helped identify projects suitable for further development via an Expression of Interest.

At the Social Enterprise Student Competition at Discovery 12 OCE awarded:

$25,000 to first-place winner 
Heather Wray
Rooftop Gardens, 
University of Toronto

$10,000 to second-place winner 
Howard Swartz
Carbon Savings, 
Queen’s University

$5,000 to third-place winners 
Jaelin Lee and George Patrick Montgomery
Biopower Canada
University of Ottawa