Helping Innovators Improve Lives of People with Disabilities
Applications Now Open for Accessibility Innovation Showcase and Tech Pitch Competition
Toronto - Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) is thrilled to announce that applications for the third annual Accessibility Innovation Showcase (AIS) and the Accessibility Tech Pitch Competition are now open.
In partnership with the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science (MRIS) and the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO), the AIS has become a cornerstone of OCE's annual Discovery Conference, which runs May 15-16, 2017 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The AIS brings together industry and entrepreneurs, showcasing and promoting groundbreaking technologies that are changing the lives of people with disabilities.
"The Accessibility Innovation Showcase has become one of the most popular features of the OCE Discovery Conference each year," says Dr. Tom Corr, OCE's President and CEO. "While improving the lives of people with disabilities, technologies that start as assistive devices can also find wider applications, such as speech-to-text, making Discovery an exciting space for the convergence of innovative technology and the broader demands of the marketplace."
The Accessibility Innovation Showcase will feature 25 companies, providing them with an opportunity to present their accessibility-focused innovation and technology to the broader innovation ecosystem, build business networks and preview products for potential investors. It is also a chance for the audience to experience and learn about accessibility technology first-hand.
"The Accessibility Innovation Showcase and Tech Pitch Competition shine a brilliant spotlight on inspiring new advances in technology," says Tracy MacCharles, Ontario's Minister Responsible for Accessibility. "The innovations on display at the showcase and pitch competition have great potential to make a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities not just across Ontario but around the world."
Five companies from the AIS will be selected to compete in the Accessibility Tech Pitch Competition. During the competition, each company will have 10 minutes to pitch its innovative product or service to both the accessibility community and a panel of judges, with one winner being awarded $20,000 to further develop their assistive technology innovation.
"Supporting innovators and entrepreneurs who are spearheading accessibility-focused technology will contribute to our government's ongoing effort to improve the lives of people with disabilities in Ontario," says Reza Moridi, Ontario's Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. "Our goal is to promote the advancement of accessibility technologies through the showcase and pitch competition, while also giving innovators access to resources that can take their innovation to the next level." The deadline for AIS applications is March 24, 2017 at 12 noon.