Tuesday May 13, 2019



Guelph Entrepreneur could receive up to $100,000" Federal money to grow AI platform

Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield announced what could amount to a $100,000 investment in a Guelph-based web application development company called SpeakFeel Corporation. The company was founded in 2009 by president and founder Kelly Lee Brooks. SpeakFeel Corporation is receiving the non-repayable fund to complete its Quarter4 artificial intelligence platform, which: provides professional-level, data-driven insights that easily predict team and player performance and also engages sports enthusiasts of all levels!

Innovation Challenge

Ontario cuts funding to startup, innovation programs

"Innovation hub Communitech in Kitchener, Ont., laid off about 15 of its 105 employees after a 30-per-cent funding cut from the province - by JOSH O’KANE, SEAN SILCOFF of THE GLOBE AND MAIL

The Ontario government is cutting funding that supports startup and later-stage businesses, prompting cutbacks at some of Canada’s top innovation institutions. Members of the Ontario tech ecosystem, including four sources outside the government to whom The Globe and Mail granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, described a funding environment in great flux.

Query Answering

New system offers protection against data breaches

Researchers have developed a system that allows data owners to regulate how much of their privacy may be breached when personal information is being analyzed. The novel system, APEx, also lessens the burden on data scientists who traditionally have had to compromise the accuracy of their analysis to give their clients certain privacy guarantees.


Waterloo Council supports two-tier municipal government

In response to the province’s regional reform discussions, The city of Waterloo council unanimously supported a motion brought forward by Mayor Dave Jaworsky affirming that Council supports the current two-tier governance model. This model fosters civic engagement, collaboration, effective and efficient service delivery while delivering desired services to the community through an accountable and transparent model. The city also remains committed to working with our municipal neighbours where efficiencies can be introduced that benefit the community.

Regional Reform

Kitchener Council receives resident survey results on provincial review of regional government

Residents express confidence in the current state of representation in Kitchener

Yesterday, research firm Environics presented the findings of a demographically representative survey of Kitchener residents’ perspective on regional government review to Kitchener City Council. The survey was conducted following a resolution passed by council in April to seek citizen input on the issue.


Insticator Expands Global Presence, Opens Office in Waterloo with Top Engineering Talent

The new Waterloo office will be comprised of engineers working to enhance Insticator’s publisher analytics offerings

Insticator, a global leader in increasing engagement, research revenue and ad revenue for publishers through interactive content, announced the opening of its first Canadian office in the Waterloo region. The newly-formed Waterloo team will elevate Insticator’s research and embed products to provide publishers with strong audience analytics and researchers with the right audiences and more actionable data.

Health Care

Sleep is your superpower

Matt Walker is a brain scientist trying to understand why we sleep.

Matt Walker's research examines the impact of sleep on human health and disease. He got his PhD from the Medical Research Council in London, UK, and subsequently became a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He's currently a Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Center for Human Sleep Science.

Regulations, Business & Marketing

Does Canada’s food processing industry face death by regulation?

The food sector has claimed for years that overregulation is killing jobs and overwhelming innovation in Canada - By Sylvain Charlebois

Food industries need to be regulated. But the delicate balance between protecting the public and supporting industrial growth may have reached a tipping point in Canada. In the Western world, governments successfully play the anti-business card by implementing regulations so consumers feel someone is looking out for them. But governments are also flirting with populist measures to gain public support.


Federal funding will help Laurier increase equity, diversity and inclusion among researchers

Wilfrid Laurier University is reaffirming its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within research with assistance from a pilot Government of Canada grant program. Federal Minister Kirsty Duncan visited Laurier May 9 to announce details of a new initiative to promote EDI within academia, which includes $384,700 in funding over two years for Laurier. Laurier’s funding is part of a national strategy called the Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada program, which is providing $5.3 million to 15 Canadian academic institutions to address EDI.


CMA Guide Addresses Privacy Commissioner Findings

The Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) made public the CMA Guide to Transparency for Consumers, noting that measures outlined in the Guide enable organizations to effectively address findings in the survey released last week by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) “There has been a high level of interest in this guide since we released it to our members in January,” stated John Wiltshire, CMA president and CEO. “It is important to share this information with all Canadian marketers so that they can make it easier for consumers not only to know more about how their personal information is being used, but also to have more choice and control.”


St. Mary’s Mission Legacy Awards 2019 Honour Five Outstanding Individuals

Five outstanding women known for treating patients and staff at St. Mary’s General Hospital with compassion and respect are being honoured today with the prestigious Mission Legacy Award. The award ceremony is being held during Nursing Week, which is fitting given that four of the five recipients are current or retired nurses.


Conestoga students receive 11 medals at skills competition

Thirty-three Conestoga students competed in the annual Skills Ontario Competition at the Toronto Congress Centre from May 6-8. The event is the largest skilled trade and technology competition in Canada and offers an opportunity for students from all regions of the province to demonstrate and test their skills. More than 2,400 primary, secondary and post-secondary students participated in over 70 contests that represented a broad range of skills and careers from the manufacturing, transportation, construction, service and technology sectors. In addition to gold, silver and bronze medals, students competed for monetary awards and job offers in select categories.

Digital Rendering

Digital humans that look just like us

Doug Roble has found a career combining the things he loves: math, computers, movies and imagination.

In an astonishing talk and tech demo, software researcher Doug Roble debuts "DigiDoug": a real-time, 3-D, digital rendering of his likeness that's accurate down to the scale of pores and wrinkles. Powered by an inertial motion capture suit, deep neural networks and enormous amounts of data, DigiDoug renders the real Doug's emotions (and even how his blood flows and eyelashes move) in striking detail. Learn more about how this exciting tech was built -- and its applications in movies, virtual assistants and beyond.


A record-breaking month of job creation in April

Employment rose by 106,500, the largest one-month increase on record; The unemployment rate fell to 5.7% (cons: 5.8%), and wages of permanent employees rose by a better than expected 2.6% y-o-y; Strong jobs gains but moderate growth in hours worked

Employment increased by 106,500 in April. This was far higher than the consensus expectation of an increase of 11,600. The increase in April was the largest one-month increase in employment on record. In fact, it was the first time that monthly job growth had exceeded 100,000. From a year ago, employment has grown by 2.3%, up from 1.8% in March, and among the largest growth rates in the post crisis era.

Spirit Awards

United Way Waterloo Region Communities Announces Winners of 2nd Annual Spirit Awards

Almost 300 people gathered in Cambridge to honour the efforts of all those who supported United Way Waterloo Region Communities’ 2018 fundraising campaign. The awards ceremony took place at Whistle Bear Golf Club in Cambridge and celebrated the donors, business partners, workplace champions, labour leaders, community advocates and dedicated volunteers who helped make the 2018 campaign a success.

Mental Health

The Incredible Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Now Used In Mental Health

by Bernard Marr

We’re experiencing a mental health crisis. Approximately 15.5% of the global population is affected by mental illnesses, and those numbers are rising. Although there are many who require treatment, more than 50% of mental illnesses remain untreated. In the United States, one in five adults suffers from some form of mental illness. Every 40 seconds one person dies from suicide and for every adult who dies from suicide, there are more than 20 others who have attempted to end their life. The ramifications of this go beyond our families and cultures as mental health also has a tremendous economic impact for the cost of treatment as well as the loss of productivity.


Laurier awarded STARS Gold rating for sustainability

Wilfrid Laurier University has been awarded a Gold rating from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), which measures the sustainability performance of colleges and universities worldwide. STARS is an Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) program. Laurier’s Gold rating recognizes the university’s successes in categories including academics, campus and community engagement, campus operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership. Laurier is one of only four post-secondary institutions in Ontario to earn a STARS Gold rating.

Award Finalist

Scott McRoberts to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Guelph Awards of Excellence Gala

On June 27, the Guelph Chamber of Commerce will join leaders in business, government and community to celebrate the achievements of outstanding local businesses, organizations and individuals at the 2019 Guelph Awards of Excellence Gala. Scott McRoberts, Director of Athletics at the University of Guelph will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Guelph Chamber of Commerce at the event.


Tracey Appleton Receives Volunteer Award

Tracey Appleton (right) received the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) Volunteer Award at the association’s annual Spring Gala held last week. KWAR’s Volunteer Award is presented annually to a REALTOR® who has shown both commitment and dedication to the association and within the community. “Tracey is known for her integrity,” says KWAR President Brian Santos. “As a volunteer, we see this shining through in her serving on many committees of our association, and in her volunteering in the greater community where she is making such a positive difference in the lives of others.”


Forest Industry Fights Back Against Barriers to Growth

Canada’s forest products industry is facing barriers to growth that require innovation, new trade markets and supportive government policies to overcome, according to a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute. In Branching Out: How Canada’s Forestry Products Sector is Reshaping its Future, author Eric Miller examines how the sector is responding to its challenges recommends policies that will help expand its contribution to the Canadian economy.


Intellijoint Surgical's Intellijoint HIP smart navigation achieves 10,000th total hip replacement case milestone

Intellijoint Surgical, a Canadian-based medtech company that develops and commercializes surgical navigation for total joint replacements, announces its flagship product, Intellijoint HIP, has achieved a major milestone of 10,000 total hip replacements (THR)! In 2016, Intellijoint HIP was commercialized in select cities in the United States through a limited market release. Since launch, Intellijoint HIP's markets have expanded to multiple cities across the US and Canada, and all of Australia and New Zealand. Through rapid adoption from some of the top orthopedic institutions in the world, Intellijoint HIP has achieved this major milestone quickly with a relatively small geographic footprint.

Housing Development

Tercot Communities branches out to Western GTR with Kitchener land purchase

The acquisition of the 24-acre site, comprising of three parcels is located at 2219 and 2159 Ottawa Street South in the City of Kitchener

Tercot Communities announced that it has acquired a land position in the Kitchener market that will enable the company to bring its uniquely designed, new low-rise housing development to the local community. The project is being developed by Tercot Communities in partnership with Greybrook Realty Partners and Cityzen Development Group. The project, planned for 240 homes includes single-detached homes, freehold townhomes and condominium townhomes.


How cryptocurrency is changing basic economics

For survival, central banks have little choice but to enter the digital-currency race. But it’s a race they will eventually lose - By Fergus Hodgson

Central bankers increasingly sense their obsolescence – and rightly so. The more people turn to private currencies and conduct transactions without intermediaries, the less bureaucrats control the economy. In February 2019, a 33-page Bank of Canada discussion paper unwittingly admitted the vulnerability. The authors, James Chapman and Carolyn Wilkins, noted widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment would weaken domestic monetary policy “because monetary policy transmission requires borrowing and other transactions in sovereign currency.” Competing currencies threaten “the central bank’s ability or willingness to provide services of lender of last resort.”

Tourism Trends

UNWTO and Basque Culinary Center launch Guidelines for the Development of Gastronomy Tourism

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Basque Culinary Center (BCC) have launched a new set of guidelines to help destinations benefit from the growing interest in gastronomic tourism. The joint initiative was presented at the 5th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in San Sebastian, Spain. As tourists increasingly demand unique and authentic travel experiences, the global gastronomy market has been enjoying significant growth over recent years. The new toolkit from UNWTO and BCC is aimed at helping destinations benefit from this trend.

Award Recognition

Canadian innovation from BC, Ontario, and Quebec recognized at PwC Canada's V2R Awards

British Columbia's Ministry of Health, GHGSat Inc., Sun Life Financial, and Vancouver Airport Authority were named winners of PwC Canada's 2019 Vision to Reality (V2R) Awards. The awards ceremony took place at the Arcadian Court in Toronto on May 9, 2019.


May 14, 2019

Local event will announce Smart Cities Challenge winner!

The Region is hosting an event on May 14, 2019 at the Tannery building in Kitchener where Smart Waterloo Region supporters and partners can watch the live awards ceremony happening in Ottawa. “I am thrilled that the application submitted by the Region and area municipalities in 2018 got us shortlisted as one of five cities competing for the $50 million grant,” said Karen Redman, Regional Chair.

May 28, 2019

Local Credit Unions Unite for Change: Charity Golf Tournament

Education Credit Union (ECU), Kindred Credit Union (Kindred), and Your Neighbourhood Credit Union (YNCU) announced their upcoming charity golf tournament, Credit Unions for Change. The fundraiser will be held at Rebel Creek on May 28, and it will include an 18-hole golf tournament, a boxed lunch, raffle table, and dinner. The three credit union hosts operate in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. They are sharing the costs of the event and directing all profits to their three chosen charities, which are in support of food security. ECU will support Nutrition for Learning, Kindred will direct funds to The Working Centre, and YNCU has chosen to send proceeds to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.

June 7, 2019

June 12 & 13, 2019

Big Data and AI Toronto Returns for its Fourth Year

The annual two-day conference and expo is the largest event of its kind

The Big Data and AI Toronto Conference and Expo returns on June 12 and 13, 2019 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Over 5000 attendees will take advantage of an expanded exhibition floor and new conference tracks tailored to both Big Data and AI professionals. With over 150 expert speakers and 90 sponsoring brands, the conference will address today's leading topics in data science, analytics and machine learning.

June 18, 2019

Women in Engineering STEM and Diversity

On behalf of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), we would like to invite you to attend the 17th annual Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Fall Forum entitled It’s Time We Build. This annual conference is the province’s most significant event for women in engineering and advocates for diversity and inclusion in STEM.

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Copyright, 2019