Monthly Archives: January 2013

Taking Ontario Mobile: An Action Plan For Leadership In The Mobile Revolution

tomcoverOCAD University and the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre’s Landmark Research Shows How a Mobile Ontario Will Improve Productivity, Competitiveness and Public Services.

“In today’s mobile economy, it is vital that Ontario continues to support research and technology development in telecommunications. We need to keep current with communication trends and OCAD U’s Mobile Action Plan will help us move our mobile spaces forward, giving Ontarians greater access to information, when they need it.”
— Hon. Brad Duguid, MPP Minister of Economic Development and Innovation

(Toronto—January 16, 2013) To become a leading mobile jurisdiction, Ontario needs a forward-looking policy framework that will harness and catalyze the province’s considerable capacity and leadership across the mobile industries.Taking Ontario Mobile[i] lays out a five-year Mobile Action Plan, based on lessons learned in other jurisdictions and successful pilots at home, to bring significant increases in productivity and competitiveness, create and retain jobs in the knowledge industries, and enhance efficiency and access to services for Ontarians.“The quality of life and economic well being of Ontarians can be radically transformed in the next decade with the possibilities that mobile technologies, networks and applications offer,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President of OCAD U and co-principal investigator. “The Ontario residents and businesses we polled are eager to adopt mobile services in all dimensions of their lives – what’s more, they want to learn how mobile technologies can facilitate or replace common tasks.”Explosive growth in the mobile sector is expected to accelerate exponentially: the research confirms that the more mobile services we have and experience, the more we want. Mobile marketing in Canada alone is projected to grow from less than $50 million last year to more than $1.5 billion cumulatively over the next five years.

Ontario has built significant infrastructure to take excel in the mobile revolution. Home to over 700 mobile companies, Ontario is a global leader in mobile patents. It houses world-leading institutions in mobile and wireless engineering and design, and is home to mobile companies that cross many verticals – entertainment, education, health, learning, gaming and productivity. Ontario is an ideal test bed for applications as it includes one of the largest metropolitan areas in North America, and remote, rural and Aboriginal communities. Ontario’s diverse user base possesses the attributes necessary to be a successful “mobile” market.

“The research shines a light on Ontario’s strong multidimensional capacity in the mobile space – from engineering to app development to educational programs,” said Vera Roberts, researcher at OCAD U’s Inclusive Design Research Centre and co-principal investigator. “To focus and deploy these assets, and ensure that all Ontarians share in the social and economic benefits of enhanced mobility, we need an Ontario Mobile Action Plan with a forward-looking policy framework.”

Taking Ontario Mobile Highlights:

Job Creation and Retention:

  • The mobile industries are part of a strong economic sector that will continue to expand as mobility becomes even more ubiquitous. Demand in China, India and Brazil for mobile technologies, applications and content is strong.
  • M-commerce and other extended infrastructure will lead to new kinds of jobs in the knowledge economy across many industries. M-commerce can complement Ontario’s strong financial industries.
  • Provides new opportunities to build Ontario’s already powerful entertainment industries through adding multiple consumption channels and screen time, thus bringing new revenue streams and business models.

 Government Services:

  • Government services can be delivered in a more cost-effective manner, combined with efficient just-in-time service delivery.
  • Engaged citizens can monitor and report problems such as infrastructure breakdowns.
  • Government can make use of mobile interfaces that can be highly personalized and meet Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) standards of accessibility.
  • Mobility provides an open data resource that provides means for residents to engage with all manner of public information in order to affect decision-making.


  • The use of mobile devices and experiences can lead to increased flexibility and engagement in learning, and encourage high school completion by supporting experiential learning, mentorship and year-round and self-paced learning.
  • Mobile delivery outside of the bricks-and-mortar campus can lead to efficiencies in the use of capital resources in the PSE sector.
  • Location-based and context-aware educational opportunities developed with Aboriginal organizations can engage and retain learners in their own communities and ensure that they develop the skills needed for employment.
  • M-learning is a core tool to ensure that the Ontario workforce remains competitive, as it helps workers continually adapt to change, provides a valuable tool for reskilling and just-in-time learning, and allows employees to adjust to changing labour-force demands


  • Mobility can be an important lever to enable the movement of medical support from acute care to chronic care, home care and prevention.
  • Mobility can help to provide home services for the growing population of seniors through effective monitoring and mobile healthcare support.
  • Mobile applications can eliminate wait times ensuring that patients go the emergency services, clinics and labs with lower wait times
  • Ontario is home to successful developers of mobile applications and devices who reach international markets

Throughout our research a number of recurring themes emerged, such as:

  • The need to facilitate affordable access to mobile broadband and devices for Ontario residents.
  • The value of a comprehensive regional mobile policy, as exists in other jurisdictions.
  • The importance of industry and government action on secure services and privacy protection in a form that encourages mobile take up by creating confidence, and enables private-sector development while protecting residents.

Download the full report at


CANARIE launches program for entrepreneurs!

Free cloud computing resources from CANARIE  help Canadian entrepreneurs reduce time and cost of product development

DAIR program promotes the use of advanced technologies that give Canadian firms a competitive edge.


Businesses across Canada can now apply for free cloud-computing resources through a program that aims to improve Canada’s competitive position in the technology sector.

The Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research (DAIR) program is offered by CANARIE, operator of Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network, in partnership with two other leading technology organizations, Compute Canada, and Cybera. It is designed to help entrepreneurs develop and test new products without prohibitive product development costs, so that Canadian companies can get a competitive foothold in emerging technology markets. The goal is to support hundreds of projects across Canada over the next three years.

“Building or even paying for computing infrastructure can be a huge cost and time impediment for high-tech innovators. The DAIR program effectively removes that hurdle,” says Jim Roche, President and CEO of CANARIE. “All Canadian entrepreneurs should think about how this rapid access to low-cost cloud computing can help them improve their businesses.”

This is a great opportunity to test out cloud resources and accelerate product development. More detailed information can be found on the DAIR website. Interested? Fill out the online application form.

GameON: Finance – January 29 & 30, 2013

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GameON: Finance

January 29th & 30th, 2013

Bram & Bluma Appel Salon


Entering its sixth year, the GameON: Finance conference is dedicated to the business of games and is North America’s largest forum for digital games entrepreneurs and investors. GameON: Finance will connect digital content creators to investors and financing opportunities in the growing Canadian video game industry and offers essential networking, knowledge sharing and business development opportunities. GameON: Finance 2013 will take place on January 29th & 30th, 2013 at the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon (Toronto Reference Library).

Learn from an exciting roster of speakers that includes keynotes Feargus Urquhart of Obsidian Entertainment, who recently raised almost $4 million through Kickstarter for their game Project Eternity, and Charles Hudson, a venture partner with SoftTech VC and Co-Founder and CEO of Bionic Panda Games. SoftTech VC has previously invested in companies such as Kongregate, Tapulous and Puzzle Pirates developer Three Rings.

GameON: Finance delegates will have the opportunity to:

  • Book 1×1 Meetings with our speakers
  • Explore various evolving business models in the games industry
  • Find out about funding opportunities for your projects
  • Meet investors and potential partners

Visit to learn more or to register.

Mobile Accelerator Program: Session 1 – Concept Development

MEIC’s Mobile Accelerator Program 2013 will kick off on Thursday, January 17th from 12:30-4:30 at Metro Hall.

Our first session focuses on the first stage involved in developing a mobile product/service. The Concept stage is where the initial idea for the project is developed. This is where blue sky thinking is engaged – what is my ideal project? Speakers will discuss and share a multitude of tips and advice, such as:

  • Advice and tools for idea generation
  • Skills for efficient and effective brainstorming
  • Guidance when assessing the current marketplace, such as trend forecasting and research methods
  • Tips for finding a market and defining an audience


12:30     Welcome and Introductions

1:00      Canada’s Mobile Market – Krista Napier, Sr. Analyst, Mobility at IDC Canada

Mobile is moving fast! Are you on top of the latest trends, market sizing, and unique opportunities in Canada? Join Krista Napier, Senior Analyst for Mobility at IDC as she walks through a high level overview of the mobile market in Canada, covering off the tablet and mobile phone markets, as well as app and app development trends.

A senior technology analyst tracking the Mobile industry in Canada, Krista’s specialties include deep insight into the Canadian mobility sector, including mobile phones, media tablets, and eReaders, as well as trends surrounding these devices, such as BYOD, MDM, NFC, etc. A source of commentary on Canadian tech news and trends to the mass media, and a frequent speaker at events across the Country.

1:30      Location, location, location – Alan Sawyer, Two Solitudes

Join Alan Sawyer in an informal participatory exploration of the missed potential that lies in examining location in the context of past, present and future – unlocking the holy grail of proactively capturing consumer intent. Beyond that, we’ll take a look past everyday physical real-world locations to examine the virtual locations that are often an integral part of the digital experience today yet present little understood and, likely, under-exploited opportunities.

Alan Sawyer is an Emmy-award winning content creator and producer. He is the founder and executive producer at Changing Channels Entertainment. Changing Channels seeks active ways to transcend media boundaries in the development of innovative entertainment properties.

2:00       Snack Break

2:20       Identifying Signals, Trends and Drivers – Suzanne Stein, OCAD University

Stein is a member of OCAD U’s Digital Futures Office (established in 2009), focusing on new technologies and research methods. She presently holds adjunct Faculty positions at AHO (Norway), the CFC (Canada), and the Unfinished Business School (virtual). Previously, she was Deputy Director and Principal Research Fellow in Technology Futures at SMARTlab (UK) and part of Nokia Corporate Strategy’s Insight and Foresight group. Earlier work included Sapient Corporation, as Discipline Lead for the Experience Modeling (XMod) group in London, and Director of the User Experience Group.

3:20     How to Concept a Mobile App – Evan Jones, Stitch Media


Stitch Media partner Evan Jones, is a two-time Emmy Award® winner whose innovative work on interactive content for primetime television, radio, web, mobile and games have established him as a pioneer in new genres of Alternate Reality Games, Locative Media and Interactive Documentary.

3:50      Networking

If you are interested in attending this session, please visit for more information. The Complete MAP Package, including all 6 MAP workshops, is available for purchase until January 16, 2013.

Can Ontario Lead the Global Mobile Revolution?

Can Ontario Lead the Global Mobile Revolution?

Launch of Taking Ontario Mobile and Mobile Innovation Research Reports

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
8:30 am – 12:30 pm
Toronto City Hall, Committee Room 2
100 Queen Street West

OCAD University and the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC) invite you to the release of the findings and recommendations of its landmark mobility research projects:
  • Taking Ontario Mobile: Research-based recommendations for how mobile technologies are part of the financially responsible solution to providing better access to services for Ontarians
  • Mobile Innovation: Ontario’s Growing Mobile Content, Services, and Applications Industry 2012

The research provides a comprehensive snapshot of Ontario’s mobile industry ecosystem, as well as trends, barriers and opportunities for growth, with implications for government, the private sector and for the whole province. Participants will hear recommendations for a comprehensive mobility policy framework and for increasing Ontario’s productivity and competitiveness in one of the global economy’s most dynamic and thriving sectors.

Full event details and agenda to follow. To register for this event, please visit

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