Art in the Workplace returns – Connecting art and innovation

The 14th Art in the Workplace Opening Exhibit – Connecting Art and Innovation

On Tuesday, April 1st, 2014, McMaster Innovation Park (MIP) will be hosting the opening reception for the Art in the Workplace’s Spring 2014 collection, the 14th exhibit in the series.  The reception will take place from 7pm to 9pm inside the Atrium at MIP with cocktails and light snacks being served to attendees. The 14th exhibit promises more art and new surprises for both new and returning visitors.

The exhibit will feature over 130 great pieces from nearly 100 local artists, which will all be on sale unless noted otherwise. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the art, and hear about the motivation for the pieces directly from the artist. This exhibit will also feature 62 pieces of art in the Mohawk College Art Collection, curated by Dr. Alison McQueen, assisted by her Art Collection Seminar Students. This exhibit collaborated even further with the Hamilton Community with feature art prepared by the Westdale Secondary School Photography Class and Cardinal Newman Art Classes. Lastly, in honour of World Water Day 10 pieces of Art will be displayed showcasing talent from the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health international World Water Day photo competition. All pieces will be on display until late June and can be enjoyed throughout the Spring.

Entertainment for the evening will include local musical talent Sam Keddy (Female singer/songwriter of folk/adult contemporary music) playing the keyboard, accompanied by Matt Sousa on acoustic guitar.

McMaster Innovation Park would like to thank all artists and volunteers who have made this event possible as well as a special thank you to our sponsors: PACART, teckelworks, Greening Marketing, Framing + Art , The Estate of Dr. Mary E. Keyes, Klotz Antique and Restoration,  Gallery 4 HPL, WAHC, P&A Plastics Inc., and Tea&More.

Art in the Workplace was launched during the official grand opening of the Atrium building in October 2009 gathering local artists to display their creative talents in the corridors of the new facility. Since then AWP has continued as a grass roots initiative serving the purpose of highlighting the artistic talent of the Hamilton community and to inspire creativity in the entrepreneurs and innovators who come into MIP every day. The reception promises to bring together the artists, educators and business leaders who are contributing to the City of Hamilton’s rebirth as a hotbed for creativity and innovation. The reception event is free and all are welcome.

For all media inquiries please contact Basmah Ahmed:, 905-667-5699

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More than $3M in Early Researcher Awards, research infrastructure fundings

From McMaster Daily News

Eleven recently-appointed faculty will get up to $100,000 to help build their research programs thanks to the Early Researcher Awards announced Friday.

The ERA program recognizes promising researchers and their potential to become world-class innovators.

The work of McMaster’s ERAs will impact public health, the environment and the economy.

“We are proud to invest in ground-breaking, world-class research right here in Hamilton,” said Ted McMeekin, Ontario’s Minister of Community and Social Services and who made the announcement Friday. “Our researchers are pivotal to building a dynamic and innovative business climate in Ontario, one that will draw investment and opportunity and build Ontario’s economic strength and competitive edge.”

Dozens of undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, associates and technicians will have the opportunity to join the research teams of the eleven Early Researcher Award winners.

The ERA awardees represent five of McMaster’s six Faculties and will each be funded to a maximum of $140,000 by the provincial government, with matching funding of $50,000 from the University over the next five years.

Minister McMeekin also announced the recipients of the Ontario Research Fund – Research Infrastructure (ORF-RI) program, which provides research institutions with funding to help support infrastructure needs such as modern facilities and equipment. McMaster received $1,653,501 in funding for eight research projects.

“These talented researchers are blazing new trails in their fields. Whether its health, environmental or rehabilitation sciences, green technologies, or more efficient delivery of our health care services, they are creating new ways of thinking and new innovations in their areas of research,” says Mo Elbestawi, vice-president, research & international affairs. “This funding will give them the opportunity to expand their research teams, upgrade and augment their labs, and provide an enriched research-training environment for the next wave of young researchers.”

McMaster’s latest round of Early Researcher Awards and their research proposals are:

  • Thomas Adams, assistant professor, chemical engineering, whose work on sustainable energy conversion may be pivotal to positioning Ontario as a lead global exporter of nuclear energy products.
  • Dawn Bowdish, assistant professor, pathology & molecular medicine, whose research investigates the causes of bacterial pneumonia in the elderly
  • Dr. Benicio Frey, associate professor, psychiatry & behavioural neurosciences, whose work is focused on developing more accurate treatment for the 10 – 15 per cent of Canadians who suffer from depression
  • Kristin Hope, assistant professor, biochemistry and biomedical sciences, who is leading ground breaking research on improvements in blood stem cell transplants
  • Victor Kuperman, assistant professor, linguistics and languages, who is exploring the cognitive causes of inadequate reading comprehension and ways to incorporate this research into adult literacy programs
  • Nathan Magarvey, assistant professor, biochemistry & biomedical sciences, and Canada Research Chair in Natural Product Drug Discovery, who is leading the delivery of safer, more effective and targeted natural drug discoveries
  • Gillian Mulvale, assistant professor, health policy and management, whose work will help families and service providers deliver coordinated services for adolescents with mental illness.
  • Daria O’Reilly, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, who is exploring ways to spend resources more efficiently in the treatment of diabetes
  • Guillaume Paré, assistant professor, pathology and molecular medicine, and Canada Research Chair in Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology, whose work will help physicians identify diabetics who are at high risk of developing heart or kidney complications
  • Graham Scott, assistant professor, biology who is studying the respiratory systems of animals who are able to thrive in conditions of oxygen deprivation, and the environmental and clinical implications
  • Ada Tang, assistant professor, rehabilitation sciences, who is exploring ways in which to improve cardiovascular care and reduce healthcare costs in the province

The eight ORF-RI recipients, their research award and projects are:

• Biochemist Eric Brown, who has been awarded $290,000 in infrastructure to support his Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Microbial Chemical Biology. Multidrug resistant bacteria continue to be a health care burden in both hospital and community settings. Recognizing the need for new therapies, Brown’s proposed research program will uncover weaknesses in the survival strategies of bacteria for the design of truly novel antibacterial drugs.

• Biologist Marie Elliot, Canada Research Chair in Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Genomics,who has received $60,000 for the Control of Chromosome Dynamics and Genome Integrity. Cancer and infectious disease are two leading causes of premature death in Ontario. Elliot’s research team will explore how antibiotic production is influenced by regulatory factors, and examine how protein interactions and modifications stabilize our genetic material. The findings will allow them to identify new cancer therapeutic targets and develop new antibiotics.

• Elkafi Hassini, associate professor of operations management and co-investigator Sourav Ray, associate professor, marketing, who have been awarded $173,561 for Infrastructure for Advanced Business Analytics: Creating and Analysing Big Data for Canadian Distribution Channel. A framework for using pan-supply chain big data analyses will be created to reduce distribution channel conflict among small and medium enterprises, thereby enhancing competitiveness through innovation in marketing and operations processes.

• Engineering physicist Rafael Kleiman, who has received $399,940 for his research program Time and Frequency Domain Hyperspectral Imaging for Photovoltaic Applications. Solar cell technology, deployed on a large scale, has the potential to substantially contribute to Ontario’s energy mix. This project will develop new techniques to directly image the defects and imperfections in solar cells that limit their efficiency, providing new tools to improve solar cell manufacturing processes.

• Civil engineering assistant professor Dimitrios Konstantinidis, who will generate critically needed knowledge on the earthquake behaviour of nonstructural components. This knowledge will facilitate the development of innovative technologies to protect nonstructural components from earthquake damage. Konstaninidis’ research program garnered $100,000 in funding for a Multi-Axis Dynamic Simulator for Testing Operational and Functional Components and Advanced Seismic Isolation Devices.

• Biologist Grant McClelland will be investigating the effects of multiple environmental and pollution-based stressors, such as temperature, salinity, pH, and chemical contaminants, upon aquatic animal development, behaviour and physiology. McClelland’s $270,000 award will provide infrastructure for A Facility for Multi-stressor Biology on Aquatic Organisms.

• Gregory Steinberg, Canada Research Chair in Metabolism, Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes and associate professor, endocrinology has been awarded $60,000 for Infrastructure to Support Obesity and Metabolism Research. His project will test the effects of exercise, nutrition and genetics on adiposity in mice. Steinberg will also investigate the mechanisms mediating these effects by examining modifications that occur on proteins.

• Ray Truant will be using his $300,000 funding for a High Content Analysis Nanoscope to Study Neurodegeneration and Discover New Compounds for Neurodegenerative Disease. Truant – an associate professor in the department of biochemistry – leads a research program whose goal is to discover new chemical family leads as potential new therapies for Huntington’s disease. By working at the single cell level at nanometer resolution, Truant can focus his efforts on determining the molecular trigger of this devastating disease.

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Canada Research Chair program names three McMaster Recipients

Three McMaster researchers, Jonathan Bramson, Eric Brown and Megumi Harada, were named Canada Research Chairs during a Friday announcement.

Bramson and Brown were both selected as Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs, and will receive $1.4 million over seven years to help further their research efforts. Harada, a Tier 2 recipient, will receive $500,000 over five years.

Mo Elbestawi, vice-president, Research & International Affairs, says the Canada Research Chair program allows McMaster to retain researchers of the highest calibre who contribute significantly to the University’s research enterprise.

“Professors Bramson, Brown and Harada are among the best in their fields, and we’re fortunate that they’re pursuing their pioneering research programs here, in areas that are of critical and strategic importance to the University,” said Elbestawi.

Bramson, a professor in the Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine, was named a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Translational Cancer Immunology. His ongoing research efforts with the Bramson Group focus largely on developing methods to direct cancer patients’ immune systems to attack their tumours.

“Our research seeks to augment the immunity of cancer patients by enabling their white blood cells to attack their cancer. Due to repeated courses of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, the patients’ white blood cells lose the ability to kill the cancer cells,” explained Bramson.

“The Bramson lab has created methods to rehabilitate white blood cells in a petri dish and train the cells to destroy tumours. Our goal is to infuse the rehabilitated immune cells into cancer patients where, if successful, the white blood cells will kill their cancer cells. Unlike traditional therapies, the rehabilitated white blood cells will also seek out and destroy small deposits of cancer, preventing recurrence.”

Brown, a professor in the Department Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, was named a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Microbial Chemical Biology. Recognizing the need for new therapies to treat the emergence of so-called “superbugs,” the Brown Lab at McMaster is striving to develop the next generation of cutting-edge antibacterial drugs.

“Multidrug resistant bacteria continue to be a health-care burden in both hospital and community settings. Remarkably, in the past fifty years, only a few new chemical classes of antibiotics have reached the clinic,” said Brown.

“Existing antibiotics are directed at a small number of targets, principally cell wall, DNA and protein biosynthesis. Indeed, multidrug resistance among bacterial pathogens is thought to be due in large part to a limited repertoire of antibacterial chemical matter.”

Megumi Harada, an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, was named a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Equivariant Symplectic and Algebraic Geometry. Her primary research interest involves symplectic geometry, also known as the mathematical framework for classical physics.

At McMaster, Harada explores the complex relationships of equivariant symplectic geometry with other areas of mathematics, including equivariant algebraic geometry, hyperkahler geometry and geometric representation theory.

She is currently on sabbatical leave in Japan.

Each year, the federal CRC program invests roughly $265 million to attract and retain some of the world’s most promising academic minds.

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LiON’S LAIR Returns Offering Entrepreneurs The Chance To Win Over $100,000

Hamilton, ON (March 19, 2014) – Innovation Factory and The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce announced today that they are accepting applications for the 2014 LiON’S LAIR competition.

Entrepreneurs interested in submitting a business plan for consideration are invited to a Pre-Submission Workshop on Wednesday, April 2 from 6pm-9pm (to register visit:

The online application deadline is April 30, 2014. Full event terms and conditions, application form and directions can be found at the LiON’S LAIR website at

The fourth annual LiON’S LAIR competition will provide 10 companies the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of top business experts, the “Lions,” to solicit over $100,000 in cash and professional resources.

Last years’ winners, RZR Skate Blades, Schopf Innovations (maker of The Wedgie), Trend Trunk and Walkbug, each took home a portion of the $152,000 prize, awarded by the Lions: Carmela Trombetta (RBC), Paul Lee-Chin (Manulife Securities), Mike Morreale (CFL Players’ Association), Tim Richard (Weever Apps), and Blair McKeil (McKeil Marine).

“Participating in the LiON’S LAIR competition was very beneficial to our business – it not only helped us develop an effective pitch, but offered exposure to the entire community,” stated Chris Verticchio, Owner & Director of Operations for RZR Skate Blades, the grand prize winner of the 2013 competition. “The ongoing support we’ve received since the competition has been phenomenal as well.”

The applications received will be evaluated by a panel of independent judges who will select 10 companies to advance and participate in training sessions throughout the summer. These sessions have been designed to help the finalists prepare their pitch to face the “Lions” in a television studio environment. Clips from the taping will be shown at the competition’s final gala event on October 2, 2014 at Carmen’s Banquet Centre, where the winners will be announced live onstage.

Last years’ final event attracted over 450 of Hamilton’s startup and small business supporters.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing this competition back again. Every year we see so many new startups all vying for a spot in top ten,” stated David Carter, Executive Director at Innovation Factory. “It is also amazing to see the entire community rally around the future success of these startups.”

Finalists that didn’t take home a portion of the prize package still found great value in the overall experience.

“From our participation in the last LiON’S LAIR, I would encourage any startup looking to develop their knowledge and their business to apply,” stated James Henry, co-founder of PainQuILT in the 2013 LiON’S LAIR.  ”Even though we didn’t end up with a prize, the journey, with training and exposure to business leaders, was fantastic.”

About The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce

Representing over 1,000 businesses and institutions that employ more than 75,000 people in Hamilton, Ontario, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce is the city’s 169 year-old voice of business and thought leader in commerce. In addition to helping provide solutions to the day-to-day challenges of its member businesses, the Hamilton Chamber provides leadership on city building initiatives that are designed to stimulate commerce and increase prosperity in the community.

About Innovation Factory

Innovation Factory is the Regional Innovation Centre for Hamilton in the Ontario Network of Excellence, leveraging funding and support from all three levels of government and the city’s top private sector and institutional partners. Our goal is to stimulate economic activity in this city by helping Hamilton businesses embrace the principles of innovation.


Hamilton featured on the MaRS Discovery Blog: Canada’s Human Capital

Check out this blog post created by MaRS, written by Jerry Koh! MIP is so excited to have Hamilton and its innovation community continue to get noticed. See what a proposed Hamilton CityLab might bring to our very own #HamONT.

When you think of Hamilton, Ontario, what comes to mind? The Hammer? Steel Town? Smokestacks?

When we visited Hamilton in February, we saw a beautiful city nestled between the soaring Niagara Escarpment to the south and Lake Ontario to the north, surging life science and health academia and businesses, and a downtown core poised for growth and change. The most striking thing of all was the conviction and passion of our hosts about Hamilton and the potential of its people.

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce believes it might be time to unleash this potential by adding a citizen-led social innovation lab to the city’s arsenal. Let that sink in for a moment. At MaRS Solutions Laband Social Innovation Generation, we regularly receive requests from governments and community organizations for advice on setting up social innovation labs, but this is the first time we’ve had such a request from business owners.

Business turns to labs

In 2012-2013, Geraldine Cahill and her colleagues undertook field research about Hamilton’s social and economic challenges as part of the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation. When the results of the study were presented, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce was sufficiently convinced of the value of a social innovation lab that it wanted to explore the idea further with a broader group of Hamiltonians. Thanks to Keanin Loomis, president and CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, and Doug Ward and Paul Lakin, members of the chamber’s Science, Technology and Innovation Sub-Committee, we found ourselves introducing social innovation labs to a room full of business owners, academics, community leaders, political leaders and civil servants at McMaster Innovation Park.

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