Thursday August 22, 2019



Praemo Names Paul Boris as Executive Vice-president and Chief Revenue Officer

Exiting stealth mode the Kitchener-based Praemo announces new leadership

Praemo founder and CEO Michael Martinez announces the addition of industry veteran Paul Boris (photo) to the company’s leadership team in the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer (CRO).
With an esteemed reputation positioning him as a thought leader on topics of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and digital transformation, Boris brings his extensive industry experience to his new role at innovative prescriptive analytics company Praemo.

Driving Test

Speed identified as the best predictor of car crashes

Speeding is the riskiest kind of aggressive driving, according to a unique analysis of data from on-board devices in vehicles.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo examined data from 28 million trips for possible links between four bad driving behaviours – speeding, hard braking, hard acceleration and hard cornering – and the likelihood of crashes. Their analysis revealed speeding is a strong predictor of crashes, while statistically significant links for the other kinds of aggressive driving couldn’t be established. “For insurance companies using this telematics data to assess who is a good risk and who isn’t, our suggestion based on the data is to look at speed, at people driving too fast,” said Stefan Steiner, a statistics professor in Waterloo's Faculty of Mathematics.


Personality Types Matter to Strategic Planning

by Marc Lacoursière

Diverse leadership styles at the table is a valuable approach when you are developing your organizational strategy. There are risks: conflicts can arise due to personality styles; if one style dominates it may affect the successful completion of the work. A blue-sky dreamer can steal the show, painting a picture of the future without a plan to support it. A detail-lover can mire the process in what others perceive as minutiae. The overly analytical can bog the team down by studying the implications of every scenario. Those who are risk averse won’t welcome uncertain new directions or even abandoning old ways. And of course the people-pleasers who want to satisfy everyone ultimately stand for nothing.

Free-Form Searches

New tool makes web browsing easier for the visually impaired

Researchers have developed a new voice assistant that allows people with visual impairments to get web content as quickly and as effortlessly as possible from smart speakers and similar devices.

In a new study done in collaboration with Microsoft, researchers found a way to merge the best elements of voice assistants with screen readers to create a tool that makes free-form web searches easier. The tool is called Voice Exploration, Retrieval, and Search (VERSE). The study was led by Alexandra Vtyurina, a University of Waterloo Faculty of Mathematics student, and Leah Findlater, an assistant professor from the University of Washington. “People with visual impairments often rely on screen readers, and increasingly voice-based virtual assistants, when interacting with computer systems,” said Vtyurina, a PhD candidate in Waterloo’s David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, who undertook the study during her internship at Microsoft Research. “Virtual assistants are convenient and accessible but lack the ability to deeply engage with content, such as read beyond the first few sentences of an article, list alternative search results and suggestions. In contrast, screen readers allow for deep engagement with accessible content, and provide fine-grained navigation and control, but at the cost of reduced walk-up-and-use convenience.

Global Tech

Porsche Invests in Israeli Startup TriEye to Increase Road Visibility and Safety

Israeli startup TriEye, whose Short-Wave-Infra-Red (SWIR) sensing technology enables vision in adverse weather and night-time conditions, has expanded its Series A round to $19 million with an investment from the German sports car manufacturer Porsche. The additional funding will be used for ongoing product development and operations, as well as team growth. In May 2019, TriEye announced a Series A funding round, led by Intel Capital. Other investors in the round include Marius Nacht and TriEye’s existing investor Grove Ventures. Since its inception, TriEye has raised $22 million, including a seed investment of $3 million led by Grove Ventures in November 2017.


Praemo Raises $3.5m in Series A Funding for Razor™ Technology, Redefining the Future of Industrial Operations

McRock Capital led funding round to accelerate delivery of Praemo's Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) based technology

Kitchener - Praemo, experts in optimizing industrial operations, announces the $3.5 million Series A funding round for the company's revolutionary Razor™ technology, led by McRock Capital. With this financing, Praemo will be well equipped to propel industrial operations forward with their proven AI-powered performance solution. Founded by industry veterans, Praemo generates actionable insights from existing IIoT and operational data. The company's Razor™ technology leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deliver greater performance across industrial sectors, helping to improve the operational environments of its customers. Designed to be adaptive for a broad range of industries, the technology has been deployed in leading Automotive, Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, Injection Molding and Food and Beverage operations.


Feeling the Burn: 96% of Managers in Canada Say Their Staff are Experiencing Some Degree of Burnout

On the heels of the World Health Organization defining burnout as a syndrome resulting from workplace stress, a recent survey from Accountemps found that nearly all senior managers in Canada (96 per cent) believe their team members are experiencing some degree of burnout. In a separate survey, 95 per cent of Canadian workers said they are at least somewhat burned out. Senior managers were asked to report the level of burnout among employees on a scale of 1 (not at all burned out) to 10 (completely burned out), and the average was 5.7. One in five respondents rated their team's burnout level 8 or higher. Workers cited an average burnout level of 5.6, with 22 per cent of respondents falling within the 8 to 10 range.

Work Space

Office space constrained across global markets as co-working and knowledge economy continue to expand

Mid-Year 2019 Global Office Market Report

Against a global backdrop of diminishing business confidence and a weaker outlook for economic growth, a robust labour market in the world's largest economies continues to underpin demand for office space with high employment levels prevalent across a number of major markets. Demand continues to be driven by the knowledge economy, with the co-working boom continuing to broaden its reach across major markets, forcing traditional landlords to adapt their offering in order to best accommodate existing and potential occupiers. These are some of the key trends noted in Avison Young's Mid-Year 2019 Global Office Market Report, released this week.


Steer clear of these 5 recent scams: Here’s how

From money transfer fraud to trust fund diversions, fraudsters have endlessly evolving ways to trick their targets - by Margaret Craig-Bourdin

Money never sleeps—and neither does fraud. In fact, there never seems to be an end to the stream of scams being devised. As Jeff Thomson, manager of the fraud prevention and intake unit at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, points out, “Fraudsters are always targeting Canada with new scams and old scams. So far in 2019, the CAFC has received more than 20,000 reports involving more than $43 million in losses. Canadians need to continue to be vigilant when receiving calls, emails or text messages from unknown senders.” Here are some of the latest scams to keep on your watch list.


Legacy carbon being released by more extreme wildfires, Canadian-American team reports in Nature

Waterloo – Carbon stored for centuries in the soils of boreal forests will be released by more severe and frequent wildfires as the climate warms, according to a paper recently published in the prestigious journal Nature. The paper, co-authored by Wilfrid Laurier University Associate Professor Jennifer Baltzer (photo), finds that extreme fires are both caused by and contributing to climate change. The research, led by researchers at Northern Arizona University, was conducted in the Northwest Territories, which in 2014 suffered its largest fire season in recorded history. Laurier has a longstanding research partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), which was recently renewed for another decade. The partnership provided logistical support for the Canadian-American team of scientists to examine how the severe fires affected forests. The GNWT, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and NASA were among the funders of the project.


Detecting hydrothermal vents in volcanic lakes

Steep crater wall of Ngozi volcano in the Poroto Ridge Forest Reserve, Tanzania (Photo: E. Jolie)

Geothermal manifestations at Earth’s surface can be mapped and characterized by a variety of well-established exploration methods. However, mapping hydrothermal vents in aquatic environments is more challenging as conventional methods can no longer be applied. In fact, chemical composition of lake water may indicate inflow of fluids from a volcanic system, but it does not provide spatial information on the location of hydrothermal vents, their abundance and current state of activity.


August 26, 2019

Overdose Awareness Day Events

Waterloo Region – The Overdose Prevention Work Group, in collaboration with the Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Strategy, is hosting our fourth annual Overdose Awareness Day events. The events are being held on the following dates in Cambridge and Kitchener:

September 15, 2019

St. Mary’s Hike for Heart

Those affected by heart disease share the experience with others. Family, friends, and caregivers all go through the difficult journey of recovery together, embracing the ‘new normal’ takes strength of mind, body, and spirit each day. St. Mary’s Hike for Heart is an annual opportunity to reunite survivors, family members, and St. Mary’s staff who provide care along the journey. Together, we embrace the strength of one another and celebrate the joy of recovery! Register now and join the fun on Sunday, September 15th, at Laurel Creek Conservation Area.

October 11 - 19

Be Bavarian with Bingemans

Canada’s best Oktoberfest celebration returns for its 51st year

Kitchener — With authentic German food, German beer (and local favourite Canadian crafts as well) and Germany’s biggest OOMpah/rock band, Bingemans will be hosting the biggest and most explosive Oktoberfest celebration to be had this side of Munich. Making their Canadian debut in Kitchener at Bingemans’ Oktoberfest, Dorfrocker will be kicking off celebrations with back-to-back performances October 11th and 12th at Bingemans Kool Haus. They are headlining another strong roster of entertainment that includes traditional OOMpah bands, DJ music and the ever-popular Tonic Band, The Lulu’s Band and “Mr. Oktoberfest” himself – George Kash. “Oktoberfest at Bingemans is one of the biggest parties you will find anywhere,” says Mark Bingeman, President of Bingemans. “As one of the largest Bavarian festivals outside of Germany, it captures the spirit of a Munich-style Oktoberfest and having Dorfrocker performing is going to take the entertainment experience to a level this region’s Oktoberfest has never seen before. Dorfrocker’s unique sound is made for Oktoberfest celebrations.”

October 23, 2019

Partners in Prevention regional health and safety conference is coming to Kitchener! Hear from leading experts and motivating keynote speakers that will teach and inspire. Stay current with the latest updates in health and safety and visit the trade show to get all the news on trending health, safety and wellness products. Register today!

November 13-15, 2019

Sixteenth Annual Ontario Economic Summit to Address Competitiveness Challenges for Ontario Industry

Ontario’s business community to gather in Toronto to drive Ontario’s economic agenda forward

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) announced advance access registration for the sixteenth annual Ontario Economic Summit (OES), “Our Economy. Our Future. Our Ontario.” OES will be hosted in Toronto for the first time in almost a decade at Hotel X and Beanfield Centre from November 13 to 15.

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Copyright, 2019