York researchers and students displayed their research projects and innovations at the York Technology Alliance’s Solutions Showcase event, which took place at the Markham Convergence Centre (MCC) on March 10.
Titled “Game Changers: How local innovations are creating a new ‘business as usual'”, the York Technology Alliance (YTA) showcase encouraged participants from industry, academia and government agencies to display discovery research and innovations through six-minute Lightning Lectures and a hands-on Demo Lounge.
York Professor Amir Asif, chair of the Department of Computer Science & Engineering in the Faculty of Science & Engineering, presented the York-led Centre for Innovation in Information Visualization and Data-Driven Design (CIV-DDD). The project, which involves researchers in the Faculties of Fine Arts and Science & Engineering, along with graduate students and other industry and academic partners, promises to develop the next generation of data discovery, design and visualization techniques by developing new computational tools, representational strategies and interfaces.
Right: York Professor Amir Asif, second from left, chats with visitors at the York Technology Alliance's Solutions Showcase event
Professor Regina Lee and a group of undergraduate students from her laboratory in the Department of Earth & Space Science & Engineering displayed York’s Mars rover and spoke about their successful involvement in international Mars rover competitions. A group of graduate students from Professor Jimmy Huang’s laboratory in the School of Information Technology, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, also spoke about their recent research.
MBA students Navneet Budhia, Boris Chan, Vitaliia Rubinovitch, Eli Ilatov and Shakti Kumar from the Schulich School of Business’ Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Group (EVCG) also participated; their members apply their skills to help local entrepreneurs grow their businesses. “It’s really important for students to get off campus and interact with real companies,” said Budhia, president of EVCG. “This is where academia and industry meet to create value for both the companies and the students.”
Left: The Mars rover was on display at the showcase and was accompanied by a team of undergraduate students from the Department of Earth & Space Science and Engineering
Stan Shapson, vice-president research & innovation, agreed. “Universities usually expect companies to come to our campus,” he explained. “By co-locating with industry organizations like YTA and creating a presence in the Markham Convergence Centre for our service unit, Innovation York, York University is sending a very powerful message to our partners. We’re helping industry enhance and forge new connections to York’s research and training capacity, which demonstrates our openness to collaboration.
“Paradoxically, we’re finding that it’s sometimes easier to get students and researchers to interact at our new York Region home in the MCC than it is on our main campus.”
Other showcase participants included the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Regional Office and Venture Lab, York Region’s recently announced Regional Innovation Centre. York’s participation in the YTA Solutions Showcase was made possible by a Regional Opportunities Fund grant from NSERC.
The York Technology Alliance Showcase was one of many ongoing events at the MCC that provide faculty and students with opportunities to seek research collaboration and internships with industry. York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit also runs programs and services at MCC providing a space to support collaboration with York Region community organizations and municipal agencies.
To learn more about Innovation York, contact Dan Lynch, manager of industry liaison.
By Elizabeth Monier-Williams, research communications officer