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Ontario Centre of Excellence's Discovery 2010 was now, not next

Ontario Centre of Excellence's Discovery 2010 was now, not next

OCE Discovery 2010 LogoDiscovery 2010, the Ontario Centre of Excellence’s annual conference to showcase and celebrate Ontario innovation, is one of Ontario’s flagship programs that supports and promotes research at Ontario’s universities, colleges, research institutions and companies. Held May 17 and 18, Discovery 2010 was billed as “Where next Happens” for Clean Tech, Health Tech, High Tech and Digital Media.

York University's 2010 Rover

York University's 2010 Rover rolls through the desert

York University had several different presentations at Discovery 2010. Professors James Elder, George Zhu, Michael Jenkin, Costas Armenakis, Gunho Sohn, Hugh Chesser and Baoxin Hu from the Department of Earth & Space Science & Engineering had several displays, including an underwater robot, a nanosatellite, computer vision and a Mars rover.

Professor Regina Lee and her students, also from the Department of Earth & Space Science, showed off their Mars rover and the massive trophy they won for placing first in the 2009 University Rover Challenge in Utah (where the land apparently resembles the surface of Mars — who knew?). The group also placed second in the 2010 competition this month.

Professor Michael Longford kept crowds happy playing his iPhone app, “Tentacles” which debuted at Nuit Blanche. York’s digital media display also featured the projects funded by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (3D FLIC, led by Professor Nell Tenhaff in the Faculty of Fine Arts) and the Ontario Research Fund (the Centre for Innovation in Information Visualization and Data-Driven Design, led by Professor John Tsotsos in the Faculty of Science & Engineering).

Meanwhile, 3D Camera Company, a partner in the York-led 3D FLIC project, drew crowds who didn’t mind sharing 3D glasses to experience their stunning 3D television footage.

3D Camera Company display

3D Camera Company's 3D TV display at Discovery10

York Biotech, a Regional Innovation Network for biotechnology in York Region for which York University is a founding partner, was also represented by Janet Leclair and Sana Mulji Dutt.

Among the event’s highlights were the awards ceremonies, including the Premier’s Excellence Research Awards, innovation awards and many awards for Ontario’s best researchers, students and companies.  Amongst these was the award for Ontario’s Next Top Entrepreneur – Best Elevator Pitch. The winning team, lead by Armen Bakirtzian, included a York MBA candidate, Ara Hasserjian.

Discovery 2010 provided an excellent introduction and overview for Sarah Fuller who joined York May 17 as associate director, research agreements and intellectual property where she

will lead York’s technology commercialization group. If your research involves non-academic partners (such as community, government, industry) or if you are required to transfer research funding, information or materials to another institution, Sarah can be reached at extension 20579 or by e-mail at

York's computer science displays at Discovery10.

York's computer science displays at Discovery10.

So what’s next for now? York is actively supporting industrial collaborations for faculty and students. Through expert services, industry liaison and technology commercialization under the Office of the Voce-President Research & Innovation, York will help connect your research to industrial partners. Companies can also explore working with York researchers and grad students.

For more information, contact David Phipps, director, Research Services and Knowledge Exchange at 416-736-5813 or

By David Phipps, director, Research Services and Knowledge Exchange.