What is Innovation? Video blog with Innovation Factory

What is Innovation? When does the idea you drew out on a napkin, become a feasible business idea, and when do you get to start throwing around that fancy innovation word? In any room, when you ask someone “what does innovation mean?” you can easily receive a different response from every single person. Having innovation in our name, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to define exactly what innovation means to us. Here at MIP, innovation is:

“The process through which economic and social value is extracted from knowledge (through the creation, diffusion and transformation of ideas) to produce new or significantly improved products, processes and technologies.”

So, how can we tell when something has become an innovation? Watch this video to hear Innovation Factory’s David Carter describe the 5 phases of Innovation.

 From idea to Innovation 

McMaster Innovation Park awarded Corporate Citizen by CoreNET

 Last night in Toronto during the 2013 CoreNET REmmy Awards, McMaster Innovation Park (MIP) was awarded Corporate Citizen. This award recognizes a Canadian organization whose culture and development product/project represent commitment to sustainable design and social responsibility.

Award Criteria:
• Ability to integrate sustainable design into a project
• Depth of sustainability in the project
• A culture and development of individual and team with a commitment to sustainable design
• A commitment to implementing sustainable maintenance practices
• Corporate communication programs to encourage sustainable practices

At MIP the buildings are built to LEED Standard, and uses a District Energy System which includes a Geoexchange system that utilizes ground source water for both heating and cooling that supports the park’s sustainability claims. MIP’s more recent programs including the Fading Footprint and Hamilton Car Share show a continued interest in a sustainable culture.

In the future, MIP hopes to add to this sustainable culture with the addition of the MIP Efficiency stats kiosk that is currently in our atrium. A touch screen television has been installed which shows a kiosk of our energy efficiency stats that can be viewed by all visitors and tenants in the building. In the long-run this kiosk will hold all the information regarding our energy, utility, and water efficiency in all three buildings on the park: The Atrium@MIP, CANMET-MTL, and the McMaster Automotive Resource Center (Check it out online here). The kiosk also includes sustainability tips that visitors and tenants can follow in order to reduce their own personal energy, water, and utility usage. These programs and the organization’s interest and commitment to sustainability in everything we do day to day is the reason why MIP picked up this award last night.

Thank you to everyone who is involved in keeping MIP green!

Special mention to:
Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc
Lintack Architects Inc
IRA McDonald Construction Ltd
EllisDon Construction


Hamilton ranked as Canada’s top investment metro for the 2nd year

We’ve done it again! Hamilton ranked as Canada’s top investment metro for the second straight year by Site Selection Magazine! See page 126. ”Hamilton is Firing on All Cylinders” Read this full investment profile in SiteSelection magazine for the story on the growth of West Hamilton’s innovation district, and what’s to come for this great city from page 199-122. Join the conversation on twitter #HamONT.

See a sneak peak of the article below.


New Start-up at McMaster Innovation Park

The best reward is immediate.

Drew Thachuk and Mo Shahin have taken this truism to heart in the launch of their new tech startup AdvanTag.

AdvanTag is a loyalty rewards system that uses software loaded onto tablets. Consumers swipe with an Apple or Android app or a key tag at a cash register or at an event (such as a ball game) to give them an option to either Tweet or post a Like on the company’s Facebook page. That, in turn, could give the customer a variety of options: spin a wheel or scratch a coupon on their touch device or computer, or open up a different kind of surprise gift or discount.

“Every company wants to be local, mobile and social,” said Shahin, one of the co-founders. “We’ve taken loyalty programs and made them digital.”

It’s only been six weeks since the pair launched their business in the incubation centre at McMaster Innovation Park, but it’s been a whirlwind of meetings with customers, potential customers, staff & advertising firms.

Thachuk said while the technology works well for large companies, he’s appealing initially to small- to medium-sized businesses in Hamilton and the GTA because of the low cost and ease of the sophisticated marketing technology.

It’s $250 for a tablet for customers to swipe and the rewards offered by the company can range from quirky items such as naming a sandwich after a frequent customer to a money-back discount. AdvanTag’s staff takes care of managing the software on a subscription basis, removing the need for extra staff.

The big return for AdvanTag stores comes from those customers using social networks to promote that business.

“It leverages people’s own social networks to create feedback and traffic to an event or product,” said Thachuk. “There’s a big gap in access to this kind of technology between, say, a Starbucks chain to a small coffee shop.”

The pair met at the first Startup Weekend hosted by Shahin’s tech company Soft Mills and Innovation Factory. Shahin is a graduate of McMaster’s masters program in engineering, entrepreneurship and innovation. Thachuk is a graduate of Mohawk College and Davenport University.

It has a staff of nine with an office in Dubai. That foreign connection resulted after AdvanTag finished top 10 at an MIT business-plan competition with more than 4,500 participants in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, last year. It was there that AdvanTag received seed funding from angel investors as well as landing Du — the second-largest phone carrier in Dubai — as a customer. This week, AdvanTag was invited to attend one of the largest technology conferences in the world in Dublin, Ireland, at the end of October.

It’s early days yet in Canada but so far AdvanTag has picked up three customers with five locations in Burlington and Hamilton.

In an effort to find more local customers, AdvanTag has an instant reward offer for Hamilton Business readers: the first 10 people to contact Thachuk (dthachuk@advantag.me) will receive a discount on a package.




New cardiovascular findings “a total surprise” says Yusuf

Daily McMaster News

Despite living with the highest risk factors for heart disease, people in high-income countries suffer less from serious cardiovascular disease, according to an international study by the PURE (Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology) collaboration and led by McMaster researchers.

The study also found that people in low-income countries — although living with fewer risk factors for heart disease — have a higher incidence of serious cardiovascular disease, including death.

“These findings were a total surprise,” said Dr. Salim Yusuf, lead author of the study being presented Tuesday to the European Society of Cardiology. Yusuf is a professor of medicine at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and director of the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI).

The study followed 155,000 people from 628 urban and rural communities in 17 countries over four continents for nearly four years.

The international research team found risk factors for cardiovascular disease were lowest in low-income countries, intermediate in middle-income countries and highest in high-income countries. However, the incidence of serious cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and deaths followed the opposite pattern.

Hospitalizations for less severe cardiovascular diseases were also highest in the high income countries.

“These results in the high-income countries are likely due to earlier detection of disease, better hospital management of the disease and better prevention after an event,” said Yusuf. “While efforts to reduce the risk factors need to be pursued, there should be a major additional focus on strengthening health care systems.”

Co-author Dr. Koon Teo, a professor of medicine at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and the Population Health Research Institute, agreed. ”PURE emphasizes how important access to good health care is likely to be, as the differences in mortality rates between the richest and poorest countries are three-fold,” he said.

This study was funded by more than 25 organizations, including the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and by unrestricted grants from several pharmaceutical companies.

- See more at: http://dailynews.mcmaster.ca/article/new-cardiovascular-findings-a-total-surprise-says-yusuf/#sthash.oDpCwDeo.dpuf

MIP launches the sustainable Fading Footprint program

At McMaster Innovation Park we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint. This is why we are proud to launch the MIP Fading Footprint Program, which is a series of initiatives designed to help MIP reduce its negative impact on the environment. The first step in the program is the creation of this Recycling Station to manage all of our hazardous waste and ensure it is disposed of properly.

This recycling station can be found in our loading dock, complete with signage. There’s no excuses!

We have also started our “green boards” which will be displayed in the MIP Atrium elevators. Every month you can check them out for green tips, monthly challenges, and to help tenants keep up with what new initiatives we will be introducing.

Do your part to make this world cleaner and help us in fading our MIP carbon footprint. 

Stay tuned for a Fading Footprint page on our site!