“For 2018, we expanded The Innovation Awards to put the spotlight on diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), in addition to the world-class innovation in flexible and hybrid electronics (FHE) that is coming out of the Canadian ecosystem,” said Peter Kallai, president and CEO of intelliFLEX and Chair of the CPES Organizing Committee. “It takes a team with diverse experiences and abilities to create compelling new products and technologies that can succeed in global markets. Supporting and promoting this idea across the FHE ecosystem is part of our role at intelliFLEX and at CPES.”
The winner of the first Women in FHE STEM Award is Michelle Chretien, the director of the Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies at Sheridan College. She also has a record of accomplishment at the Xerox Research Centre of Canada, where she most recently served as program manager, Novel Electronics and Electronic Materials.
“Michelle has more than 15 years of experience in academia and industry and a solid record of success in working collaboratively to germinate new ideas and translate them into meaningful business impacts,” said Kallai. “She is a strong supporter of Canada’s FHE ecosystem, with 78 US patents issued and 27 pending.”
The winner of the CPES2018 New Product Innovation Award is TUKU in partnership with Array Marketing. These two companies partnered to create Array Lift to Learn & Tap to Learn, powered by TUKU’s digital content platform. These retail display units provide shoppers with an interactive experience that engages and assists them in choosing products that best suit their needs.
“TUKU and Array are well positioned to take a share of the global interactive displays market, which is expected to grow by an average of 15.5% a year to about US$26.9 billion in 2022,” said Kallai. “This partnership exemplifies the kind of horizontal collaboration across industries that is crucial for the mass adoption of FHE technologies.”
The winner of the CPES2018 Commercialization Award is Jones Packaging. Jones was recognized for its work to integrate Thinfilm Electronics NFC tags into folding cartons on high-speed production lines. While applying a tag is not that difficult, the challenge comes when scaling up for mass production—in this case, 15,000 units per hour. Working with its supply chain partners, Jones modified its processes and equipment to ensure no damage, validate each tag and automatically sort faulty tags.
“From managing medication usage, to ensuring product freshness and finding better ways to manage a supply chain, the need to add intelligence and functionality to packaging is becoming more widespread,” said Kallai. “Jones is an outstanding example of an established company that recognized the need to invest in new technologies and change its business model to better serve this evolving market space.”
The Commercialization and Product Innovation award winners are also involved with the intelliPACK Leadership Council—a joint industry initiative between intelliFLEX, PAC Packaging Consortium and companies across the retail/packaging supply chain.
The winner of the Startup of the Year Award is XCo Tech. XCo’s globally recognized XPS and BioAnalytics platforms collect and intelligently interpret data to improve sport performance, concussion assessment and chronic disease management. The system includes a mobile app, analytics software, cloud data storage, and the XPS wearable tag and radio-frequency tracking hub.
XCo emerged the winner from CPES2018’s Startup Pitch Competition, in which seven startups mentored through intelliFLEX had seven minutes each to wow a panel of judges from Ontario Centres of Excellence, MaRS Discovery District and the Business Development Bank of Canada.
“While all our startups presented impressive business plans and compelling products, XCo best demonstrated the qualities sought by the judges, in terms of the strength and viability of its business plan and the market potential for its technology platform to grow a successful and sustainable business,” said Kallai.
The other startup finalists were Acquire Industries, Brilliant Matters Organic Electronics, Kinesix Sports, Nanogrande, Pliant Power Devices and Ynvisible.