Ontario start-up engages employees with video games

Ontario organizational development consulting firm ODScore asked just that. Except that instead of using actual video games to engage their clients’ employees, they use the principles that make video games engrossing to engage employees at work.

So when they wanted to develop a new service to tackle bigger organizational changes, ODScore turned to the University of Waterloo’s Games Institute for renewed expertise.

At a meeting with Professor Neil Randall, the company learned that what they thought was a technical challenge, was really one of human relations.

Communicating science

“I just knew that there was a better way,” he said. “There had to be a way to engage students using technology.”

Rowan created simulation and visualization tools and shared them with faculty at the university. Suitably impressed, several professors incorporated the new technology into the geology curriculum. Not one to be satisfied with the status quo, Rowan revamped the tools after graduation and put them online. His tools are now used at universities worldwide to help educate and engage budding geologists.

Stepping into industry

Innovation through a gender lens

Why can’t the surgeon operate on the boy? 

Sarah Saska tells many people this now dated riddle and waits patiently for their answer. “Even in 2016, people hesitate because their first instinct tells them the surgeon must be the boy’s father, or perhaps the boy’s second father,” she explains. “Of course, the surgeon could be the boy’s mother, but it’s not often people’s first response, and this example illustrates how deeply gender bias is embedded in Canadian society.”

2015 Mitacs Master’s Award for Outstanding Innovation: Hugo Vihvelin, Dalhousie University

Hugo Vihvelin, a master’s student in the School of Biomedical Engineering at Dalhousie University is one of two recipients of the 2015 Mitacs Master's Award for Outstanding Innovation, for his research with Halifax-based Daxsonics Ultrasound.

Mitacs Entrepreneur Awards: Clayton Hiles, Cascadia Coast Research

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia for their support of the Accelerate research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Accelerate program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan and Research Manitoba.

Mitacs Award winner interview: Trojan Technologies

 

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario for their support of the Accelerate research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Accelerate program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan and Research Manitoba.

London-based company sees the value in research partnership

Supported by Mitacs, the partnership between Trojan Technologies and Western University has grown considerably over the last four years. Since 2010, Trojan has invested a significant portion of its research budget to hire Mitacs interns, an amount that has been more than matched through Mitacs funding for a total of $1.5 million in R&D spending.

Currently, the company is building a three-year research program that will further expand their collaborations to include research on opaque fluids, as well as UV treatment of ballast water, waste water, and drinking water. 

Elevate Fellow succeeds with a dream

Kinfe is quick to acknowledge the role that Mitacs Elevate played in acquiring his new role.

“The Elevate program definitely helped in finding my new position. It helped me network and communicate better. The Mitacs Step and Elevate workshops I attended helped me build effective connections, and perform well during the interviews I had towards my dream job. Also, the interactions I had with my industrial partner were fruitful and developed further as we worked together.”

Alumnus now looking to make new participants benefit from Mitacs experience

The five possible projects for Mitacs internships are still going through a final review by Blackbox management before being submitted to Mitacs for approval, Gedamu says, but will likely be offered fairly soon for interns through the Mitacs Accelerate internship program. A little further down the road, Gedamu says, there may even be a few more internship projects in the field of Electrical engineering, although those plans have yet to be finalized.

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