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Latest tech developments on display at Discovery 2016


The latest high tech innovations and developments were on display as Ontario Centres of Excellence’s Discovery launched into another banner year featuring the best Ontario’s and Canada’s innovation and entrepreneurship communities have to offer. Discovery’s 11th edition is being held May 9-10 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building.

Featured this year among the hundreds of exhibits are some of the latest developments in virtual and augmented reality in conjunction with the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab, high tech innovations in the robotics and aerospace sectors, a 900-square-foot aerial drone zone featuring live demonstrations and cleantech innovations including new green automotive technologies from Tesla and General Motors.

“Every year, Discovery brings industry, academia, investors, government and many more together under one roof for two days to network, make deals and learn what’s new and exciting in the innovation community,” says Dr. Tom Corr, president and CEO of OCE. “For two days, visitors will be able to attend panel discussions on issues of importance to the innovation ecosystem, hear from leading experts and speakers in the areas of technology and entrepreneurship and make invaluable connections with other business owners and investors.”

Named Canada’s Best Trade Show 2010 and 2011 and now in its eleventh year, OCE’s Discovery is Canada’s premier innovation showcase. It brings together the best and brightest minds in industry, academia, investment and government to showcase leading-edge technologies, best practices and research in the areas of energy, the environment, advanced health, digital media, information and communication technologies and advanced manufacturing. The annual conference and showcase attracts more than 3,200 attendees and 500 exhibitors.

“Ontario has a proud tradition of innovation excellence,” says Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation. “Discovery facilitates the exchange of ideas and showcases how entrepreneurs are collaborating to bring great ideas to market, create Ontario’s future jobs and support our economic growth. Ontario’s success depends more than ever on the sum of our regional economies and how well we can build on our innovation clusters, and to that end, we are working strategically to support the innovation sector through new initiatives in life sciences, clean tech and helping small businesses scale-up.”

OICE’s Discovery event features two main keynote speakers this year, including JB Straubel, CTO and co-founder of Tesla Motors, who comes to Ontario for the first time and had an in-conversation session with author, journalist and current RBC Sr. vice-president John Stackhouse.

On May 10, Robin Chase, co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the world’s largest car-sharing service, will bring her themes of the collaborative economy and the new face of capitalism to Discovery’s main stage.

In addition to the keynotes, Discovery welcomes inspirational speaker, author and humanitarian Spencer West and Paul Bunje, Principal Scientist of Carbon XPRIZE, to the main stage.

Discovery’s show floor is packed with exhibitors, panels and interactive sessions.

We are also excited to feature a panel with some of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs at Discovery 2016 titled Upstart Start-ups: How a new generation of young Ontario entrepreneurs are scaling up, securing big investments and attracting international attention. Featured on the panel will be some of the brightest minds in the province including Kurtis McBride, CEO of Miovision Technologies; Mike Katchen, Founder & CEO of Wealthsimple; Nicole Verkindt, Founder & President of OMX and Dragon on Dragons’ Den Next Gen Den; Michael Litt, Co-Founder & CEO of Vidyard; Katherine Hague, Co-Founder & Former CEO of Shoplocket and CEO & Founder of Female Funders; and Blair Livingston, CEO & Founder of Street Contxt. The panel will be moderated by Janet Bannister, General Partner at Real Ventures and Co-founder of Kijiji.

Other panels at Discovery 2016 include:

* The World of 5G: Full speed ahead on the next gen networks – This panel will bring together a collection of some of the major players (both from Canada and abroad) to discuss the current global task of “mapping out” the next generation of wireless networking.

* Steering ‘no hands’ into the future – This panel will address the challenges and opportunities presented by the advent of completely autonomous vehicles and how policy shifts at home in Ontario and abroad will make this futuristic technology a reality in the next five to 10 years.

* Purpose Built Aerospace Systems – This panel will examine the innovation and development of specialized technology needed for aerospace systems designed and built for a particular use or with a special goal in mind.

For students, job seekers and young entrepreneurs and startups seeking investment, there are opportunities to interact with experts, and investors in a few ways.

Career Zone is an exclusive opportunity for students and new graduates to meet with top employers, learn about current and future job opportunities, and get expert tips on developing an attention-grabbing resume and preparing for an interview.

Ask an Expert is where attendees can meet expert investors, entrepreneurs, innovation agents, and professional services and export specialists – book one-on-one meetings.

Discovery will also facilitate meetings between large corporations and star-ups and scale-ups through the B2B Zone.

Discovery has it all. The show facilitates the exchange of ideas and encourages new ways to collaborate and push the boundaries of research and innovation through to demonstration and development. It’s the best place to see how bright the future of Ontario’s innovation community really is.

New this year, in partnership with Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MEDEI), Discovery will also highlight Ontario-based companies showcasing their accessibility-focused innovations in the Accessibility Showcase on the Discovery show floor.

Additionally, in partnership with MEDEI, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing and the Centre for Social Innovation, Ontario-based companies will be invited to exhibit their social innovation in the Social Enterprise Showcase.

Now a staple of the Discovery experience, Discovery 2016 will also hold six pitch competitions featuring some of Ontario’s brightest entrepreneurs from across the province:

* The David McFadden Energy Entrepreneur Challenge

* Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch

* Accessibility Innovation Tech Pitch Competition

* Social Enterprise Pitch Competition

* GlobalStart Pitch Competition

* Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) Competition.