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CPES2017 event recognizes Canadian excellence

Voltera Inc., Information Mediary Corp., NanoCnet Ltd. each recognized at Canadian printed electronics conference in Toronto


Winner of the Commercialization Award at CPES2017, Alroy Almeida of Voltera (centre) is presented by Michelle Chretien of XRCC and Peter Kallai of CPEIA.

Voltera Inc., Waterloo ON-based creator of a printed circuit board (pcb) prototyping device has been named the winner of the Commercialization Award at CPES2017, Canada’s annual conference and trade show exhibition for printable, flexible and wearable electronics.

The winner of the Product Innovation Award was Ottawa-based Information Mediary Corp. (IMC). IMC manufactures award-winning intelligent devices to address the global problem of poor patient adherence to prescription medication. The individual awards were presented yesterday at Centennial College in Toronto where the 3-day event was being hosted by the Canadian Printable Electronics Industry Association (CPEIA).

“The Innovation Awards showcase the capacity of Canadian industry and the world-class innovation that is coming out of the Canadian ecosystem,” says Peter Kallai, president and CEO of the CPEIA and Chair of the CPES organizing committee. “Our winners may not yet be household names, but they have been toiling for years to develop compelling new products that meet unmet needs in the marketplace in what are fast becoming high-growth sectors. It is an important function of the CPEIA and CPES to support and promote Canada’s next generation of industrial companies.”

Winner of the Product Innovation Award Michael Petersen (centre) of Information Mediary Corp. (IMC) is presented by Peter Kallai (left) of CPEIA and Patrick Malenfant (right) of NRC.

Voltera’s V-One is a desktop solution

Voltera’s V-One is a desktop solution for printing circuit boards, dispensing solder paste and reflowing components, allowing users to go from concept to creation in minutes. Prototyping cycles for pcbs that can take weeks or even months of iterations with third-party partners can now be reduced to days or even hours.

“With more than 500 units shipped to 50 countries, Voltera is already beginning to revolutionize the circuit board prototyping business for sectors ranging from automotive to telecom and consumer electronics,” Kallai adds. “There are only a few companies in this space in the world. Voltera is a clear industry leader that has emerged from Canada, where we already have a strong electronics design and development industry.”

IMC’s Med-ic Syringe Pack

IMC manufactures award-winning intelligent devices to address the global problem of poor patient adherence to prescription medication. The American National Pharmaceutical Council estimates the cost for non-adherence adds more than US$400 billion to the U.S. health care system alone. Canada, too, faces comparable challenges with patient adherence.

IMC’s Med-ic Syringe Pack uses near field communications (NFC), to connect a temperature monitored smart package with printed electronic traces. The Syringe Pack knows when medication is removed by the patient, and more importantly, when not. It records the real-time information when each syringe is removed from its package, logs the injection points, and lets the patient know if there was a breech in temperature, with a visual YES or NO display.

“IMC is addressing key pain points for the pharmaceutical industry by ensuring proper medication usage by patients, particularly for chronic and life-threatening illnesses like cancer and diabetes,” said Kallai. “Ensuring proper usage is crucial to the success of drug trials that cost tens of millions of dollars to conduct and determines if a new drug secures regulatory approval.”

NanoCnet Ltd. named Startup of the Year

The award for Startup of the Year was presented to NanoCnet Ltd., manufacturers of a transparent conductive film using silver nanowires so thin that they are invisible to the human eye. This stable silver nanostructure has set a new standard for cost, durability and flexibility, making it a promising option for thin solar cells, printed and flexible electronics, touch screens and smart windows. Compared to typical silver nanowire, the synthesis process for NanoCnet’s nanomaterial is faster and can occur at room temperature – essential for low-cost manufacturing.  

The team behind the company includes co-founders Dr. Hadi Hosseinzadeh Khaligh (CEO) and Dr. Ehsan Mazbanrad (COO), with the support of technical advisor and investor Dr. Kaamaran Raahemifar of Ryerson University. Judges scored each startup based on the market potential of the product/application, the soundness of the business plan and the viability of the business to generate wealth and jobs for the Canadian economy.

“The judges faced a difficult challenge – these four startups did a fantastic job developing and presenting their pitches and we see a bright future for all of them,” says Kallai. “As part of this program, the CPEIA will continue to provide support to all our finalists, with introductions to customers and partners, assistance with accessing financing and securing mentorship from seasoned industry leaders.”

The other startup finalists were:

Acquire Industries Ltd. : This Toronto-based startup is the first in Canada to offer novel electronic alternatives to snowmelt that are cost-effective and scalable for residential, municipal and commercial applications, using nanotechnology and molecular engineering.

Formi 3DP Inc. : This London, ON-based startup has created a new generation of photopolymers – polymer resins that are cured by ultraviolet light. These offer new levels of functionality, precision and resolution for 3D printing of multi-functional objects.

Wibicom Inc. : This Montreal-based startup is the first company to commercialize the photovoltaic/solar antenna and patent its design. Its products ensure smart energy usage, enabling long lifetime device autonomy and battery-less solutions.