Three events in one week celebrate innovative excellence in Ontario, Canada

The week of May 9 -13, 2016 was a busy one in terms of must-see events showcasing the technological leadership found in the Toronto-Waterloo corridor. Invest in Ontario was on hand for every scintillating moment.

Discovery 2016: Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)

Rendering of the Horizon X 3 aircraft inside a hangar
Rendering of the Horizon X3

The week kicked off on May 9-10 with Discovery 2016 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Technologies like 3D printing and virtual reality (VR) were once again prominent, and seemed to have advanced by several orders of magnitude in the span of just one year.

Some incredibly impressive machinery on display went beyond mere novelty. For example, Lindsay, Ontario-based Horizon Aircraft Inc. had a scale model of its X3 — a first-of-its-kind hybrid, electric amphibious aircraft. Horizon anticipates that a full flying X3 prototype will be ready in two years, with commercial production to begin shortly after testing.

Overall, it was a great show with highly educational panels on all aspects of innovation including aerospace systems and autonomous cars. The fact that Tesla Motors was displaying their elegant zero-emission S model alongside some Ontario automotive innovations speaks for itself in terms of the global attention this event is attracting. JB Straubel, Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer, Tesla Motors, was also on hand to deliver an engaging keynote.

JLABS @ TORONTO holds grand opening celebration

After much anticipation, JLABS @ TORONTO opened its doors with an extravagant gala launch event on May 11.

There were acrobats, magicians and "mad scientists" on stilts. The food and drink were exquisite – and the MaRS' atrium was packed wall to wall with the business elite. In fact, the launch-day tours were so full that the Invest in Ontario contingent decided to book one for a future date so that we could explore and take photos unhindered. Watch for our coverage in a future article in Spotlights.

A woman acrobat performer performing in a hoop above a crowd of people
Acrobatic performer at JLABS launch

Communitech's 2016 Tech Leadership Conference

The final stop of the week took us to the Tech Leadership Conference in Waterloo. This was a well-planned, well-attended function. Technology leaders from the "the corridor" such as D2L, Kik, Clearpath Robotics, Freshbooks and IMS displayed some amazing solutions – even the Canon Innovation Lab was there!

Kate Darling on stage in front of a large crowd
Dr. Kate Darling discusses robot ethics.

The learning sessions were stellar, in particular one featuring Dr. Kate Darling, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. Her talk on robot ethics discussed the moral concerns of using and/or misusing robotic technology in various real world scenarios.

With all of this activity taking place in the span of a regular work week, just imagine how much happens over the course of a year in Ontario!

June 6, 2016

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