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Sophia the humanoid robot, Canadarm, smart cities, autonomous vehicles to appear at Discovery 2018

Tech - Innovation event returns to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building on April 30-May 1


Sophia, the advanced humanoid from Hanson Robotics will appear for the first time in Canada on Day One of the conference.

If you are into tech, you might enjoy the OCE Discovery conference, which highlights and celebrates the best in innovation across Ontario. Ontario Centres of Excellence’s (OCE’s) award-winning Discovery conference returns to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building on April 30-May 1. Celebrating 13 years of bold, new ideas, the annual event is a hotly anticipated showcase of the best that innovators in Ontario, Canada and the international community have to offer.

“Year after year, entrepreneurs, leading industry experts, and thought leaders from Ontario and around the world come to OCE’s Discovery conference to highlight and celebrate the best in innovation,” said Dr. Tom Corr, president and CEO, OCE. “Discovery demonstrates how globally competitive Ontario’s thriving innovation ecosystem truly is, as we bring together entrepreneurs, industry, academia, investors, start-ups, international trade experts, and government to share ideas, invest, network and do business on the show floor.”

Discovery’s show floor is packed with over 500 exhibitors from the Ontario and global innovation ecosystems in a wide variety of tech sectors, as well as exciting and informative panels with local and international guest experts. Featured at the conference this year are some of the latest developments in robotics, including global media sensation Sophia the Humanoid Robot, an aerospace zone, the legendary Canadarm from the Space Shuttle, developments in the world of connected and autonomous vehicles and advanced mobility, captivating cutting-edge technology in the WOW Zone, as well as the latest in healthtech, cleantech, wearable technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR).

“Discovery is the perfect stage for Ontario’s most talented people to display their big ideas and remarkable innovations,” said Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “Over the course of two days we will see how homegrown innovations in areas such as robotics, artificial intelligence and aerospace will help shape our future and build a better more prosperous province.”

Discovery 2018 will feature two main-stage keynote addresses:

On April 30, appearing for the first time in Canada, Sophia the Humanoid Robot will address the audience and showcase her abilities to interact with humans in a profoundly personal way. She will be joined on stage by her creator, Dr. David Hanson, founder and CEO of Hanson Robotics.

On May 1, Megan Smith, CEO of shift7, former Chief Technology Officer of the United States and former vice president of New Business Development at Google, will address how things like AI, 5G, broadband and data can drive economic growth, thoughtful public policy and a more inclusive society.

“Discovery is a place where we see how transformative technologies will change how we live and work,” said Steven Del Duca, Minister of Economic Development and Growth. “It is truly a window to the future on how innovative ideas and products will contribute to a more prosperous Ontario.”

OCE is also excited to feature panel discussions with some of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs and experts, including sessions on:

  • Artificial Intelligence – Future Ready
  • Innovation Procurement in Ontario
  • Smart Cities: From Vision to Reality
  • Breaking Through Barriers: Business Scale-Ups
  • Next Generation Manufacturing Canada: Building for the Future
  • Converging the Chinese and Canadian Tech Ecosystems: Opportunities for Mutual Growth and Innovation
  • Doing Business with Government – An Overview of Federal and Provincial Procurement
  • Innovation and Climate Change Strategy: At the Intersection of GHG Reduction, Market Mechanisms and Climate Adaptation

Discovery also provides students, job seekers, young entrepreneurs, and start-ups with opportunities to network and interact with experts, investors, potential partners, and employers. This includes:

  • Meet an Investor/Ask an ExpertSessions, where attendees can meet one-on-one with investors, experts, entrepreneurs, innovation agents, and professional services specialists.
  • B2B Zone, where the conference will facilitate meetings between large corporations and start-ups and scale-ups.
  • B2G Zone, where the conference will facilitate meetings between businesses and government.

Discovery will also highlight Ontario-based companies showcasing their accessibility/assistive-focused innovations in the Accessibility Innovation Showcase and companies exhibiting social innovations happening around Ontario in the Social Enterprise Zone.

Canada’s leading innovation conference and trade show will also hold three pitch competitions featuring some of Ontario’s brightest entrepreneurs:

  • Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch
  • Accessibility Innovation Tech Pitch Competition
  • Social Enterprise Pitch Competition

Given the pace of change in today’s dynamic innovation ecosystem, and advancements in technology, Discovery is the ideal place to get a glimpse of what’s next. It also promotes the exchange of ideas, facilitates collaborations, and sparks new ideas to solve business and societal challenges. With so many great minds in one place, Discovery showcases Ontario as a leader in the global innovation ecosystem.

Named Canada’s Best Trade Show in 2010, 2011, 2016, and 2017, 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, fintech, cleantech, the environment, advanced health, digital media, information and communication technologies and advanced manufacturing. The annual conference and showcase attracts more than 3,600 attendees and over 500 exhibitors.