Centennial College, Toronto, is partnering with Wavefront, Canada’s Centre of Excellence for Wireless Commercialization and Research, to provide seminar and innovation space at its Progress Campus where entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises can tap into Wavefront’s expertise to help them bring their wireless concepts to market.
Wavefront’s Venture Acceleration Program (VAP) provides new businesses implementing wireless technologies with workshop training and hands-on support from Wavefront’s experts. Centennial will also provide a “wireless zone,” one of several popping up across the country, to offer mobile developers a Device Rental Library to facilitate app testing over multiple platforms.
Both initiatives are designed to take advantage of the explosive growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) – all of the devices, such as home thermostats and surveillance cameras, that use an Internet connection to communicate and function. The number of connected devices in Canada is expected to grow by 30 per cent annually over the next four years, reaching 114 million connections by 2018.
Increasing demand for machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions has businesses and developers poised to benefit from new growth opportunities. Centennial’s wireless zone will provide the use of M2M accelerator kits to businesses looking to commercialize their product and service concepts and enter new markets.
Wavefront’s linkage with Centennial’s Centre of Entrepreneurship will facilitate the delivery of training and course content to benefit local entrepreneurs and businesses; Progress Campus is well situated to serve Markham’s high-tech commercial sector. Additionally, Centennial students with an entrepreneurial bent will have ready access to expertise and advice. Students may also get involved in applied research projects to assist commercial clients of the centre.
Vancouver’s Wavefront is receiving funding of up to $9.5-million over the next five years from the National Research Council Canada through the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP) to expand the reach and capacity of its programs aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises in the mobile and IoT sectors.