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OCE and SSHRC support seven social entrepreneurs with fellowships

May 9, 2014

TORONTO, May 9, 2014 – Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) have teamed up to help seven young Ontario entrepreneurs grow their grassroots social enterprises.

“OCE is proud to support entrepreneurship and innovation in its many forms,” says OCE President and CEO Dr. Tom Corr. “Social enterprises are an important part of Ontario’s economic development ecosystem and these businesses are just a few examples of what that sector has to offer.”

Entrepreneurial scholars and researchers in social sciences and humanities will each receive $50,000 for one year to support knowledge mobilization activities such as networking, disseminating, exchanging and co-creating research-based knowledge in Ontario as well as the creation of innovative startups in these areas.

The seven projects were approved and provided with $25,000 through SSRHC’s Connection program. OCE provided matching funds of $25,000 through its Entrepreneurship Fellowship Program.

The goal of the Connection program is to link academia, industry, government and communities in Canada and around the world in the development and use of social sciences and humanities research in order to maximize its cultural, social and economic impact.

“SSHRC is very pleased to collaborate with OCE in supporting research partnerships that will advance social innovation and foster important connections across sectors, disciplines and institutions,” said SSHRC President Dr. Chad Gaffield. “These projects are an example of the impact and benefits of social sciences and humanities research for Canadian society.”

The seven recipients are:

  • Drive EV (Ilya Zatolokin, Ryerson University) is a one-stop-shop application where consumers can get detailed, accurate and personalized information on electric vehicles to help them make an informed purchasing decision.

  • Every1Games (Sarah Drew, Ryerson University) is developing a new model of practice to innovate the way agencies, schools and businesses engage autistic youth and adults in their community, exploring academic culture and employment opportunity by going inside the video game industry in a low-anxiety and collaborative learning environment that builds valuable life skills through individual and team-based game development, social learning activities, and networking guidance.

  • John Maiorano, University of Toronto, will facilitate knowledge mobilization and best practices in energy efficiency through a green revolving fund for hospitals.

  • Madeleine Collective (Alexandra Hong, Ryerson University) is a socially innovative art and design agency serving organizations such as social enterprises and nonprofit organizations who wish to effectively target their audiences in meaningful and engaging ways. The agency produces integrated and unconventional communication strategies that foster creative interactions, collaboration, knowledge mobilization, and community-building initiatives by integrating art practices with traditional marketing techniques.

  • (Elliott de Launay, Ryerson University) is a web service that is geographically-based, community oriented, and focused on original news reporting to fill gaps in news coverage and promote civic engagement.

  • Sprout Guerilla (Julie Forand, OCAD University) will organize and facilitate the creation and maintenance of public moss art and graffiti installations leading to cleaner air in urban environments.

  • Milao Language (Camelia Nunez, Western University) uses a virtual tutor to teach a new language through an interactive text-based exchange that closely mimics real-life situations like dining out, shopping or a business meeting.

OCE’s Entrepreneurship Fellowship Program supports projects in the areas of social entrepreneurship, energy, neuroscience and more broadly the commercialization of academic intellectual property.

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. (

Ontario Centres of Excellence (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 government ministries. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, information and communications technology, digital media, advanced materials and manufacturing, agri-food, aerospace, transportation, energy, and the environment including water and mining. 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 and industry rapidly grow their company and create jobs. For more information visit

About the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences. By focusing on developing Talent, generating Insights and forging Connections across campuses and communities, SSHRC strategically supports world-leading initiatives that reflect a commitment to ensuring a better future for Canada and the world. Created by an act of Canada’s Parliament in 1977, SSHRC reports to Parliament through the Minister of Industry.


Media contact:
Stuart Green
Manager, Media Relations
416-861-1092 x 1022