Ministry of Research and Innovation funds OCAD U's Imagination Catalyst Creative Entrepreneurship Incubator

Speakers at the funding announcement for Campus-Linked Accelorators at OCAD U.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - 4:00am

Speaking at OCAD University today, The Honourable Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation, announced a $950,000 grant to OCAD University as part of the Government of Ontario’s Campus-Linked Accelerator (CLA) program.

The investment will support the Imagination Catalyst, OCAD University’s hub for entrepreneurship and commercialization with the mission to support and develop emerging businesses among OCAD U faculty, student and alumni as well as among creative entrepreneurs across the GTA.

Campus-Linked Accelerators (CLA) is investing over $6.8 million to build on world-class innovation and entrepreneurial programs at GTA colleges and universities. On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA) is providing more than $600,000 to support GTA academic institutions that are committed to entrepreneurship on their campuses.

“Creative industry and design entrepreneurs play a transformative role for cities and the larger economy, building new products and services and bringing vitality to neighbourhoods.  We appreciate the Ministry of Research and Innovation’s recognition of this significant Ontario growth sector,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor of OCAD University. “This is the natural home for the incubation of startups in the maker, design, digital media and creative arts sectors. Creative and design entrepreneurs are distinct from other entrepreneurs in their needs, which include more workspace and specialized networking and professional development.”

CLA investments will help Ontario accelerate the commercialization of ideas and inventions out of its world-class research institutions, develop the business leaders of tomorrow, and harness the power of its support networks to build competitive regional innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems.

“Fostering the entrepreneurial spirit among students is a key component of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy, through programs that help transfer their ideas and skills to the marketplace while creating rewarding careers,” said Minister Moridi. “By partnering with colleges and universities to support entrepreneurship, we are ensuring our province’s business leaders of tomorrow are getting the support they need to succeed today.”

The investment will support the Imagination Catalyst, OCAD University’s hub for entrepreneurship and commercialization with the mission to support and develop emerging businesses among OCAD U faculty, student and alumni as well as among creative entrepreneurs across the GTA.

Under the guidance of OCAD University’s Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab), the Imagination Catalyst will work with Ontario’s Regional Centres of Excellence to design, develop and implement programming that would nurture creative entrepreneurs across the province.

To further strengthen the University’s CLA, it was announced that Relay Ventures is investing $1 million in the Imagination Catalyst Fund over four years. Relay Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm that invests in passionate entrepreneurs disrupting and creating new markets through mobile technologies. This investment fund would provide seed funding for emerging entrepreneurs in the program.

“Three years ago, I became involved with OCAD University and its ‘Imagination Catalyst’, a unique and innovative support system designed to increase student entrepreneurship. OCAD U is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets and produces world-class design professionals necessary to the success of any enterprises, large or small,” said John Albright, co-founder and managing partner of Relay Ventures. Albright is also an OCAD University Board of Governors member. “As OCAD U represents creativity and innovation, it brings a completely new dimension to technology-driven entrepreneurship. We are strong supporters of entrepreneurs emerging from Canadian universities, and our investment in the Imagination Catalyst Fund is a logical extension of our focus in that area.”

The Government of Ontario is investing $295 million over two years in the Youth Jobs Strategy to help 30,000 more young people from across the province connect with the tools, experiences and entrepreneurial support they need to find employment or start their own businesses. More than 20,000 job opportunities have already been created to date under the Youth Jobs Strategy.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University ( is Canada’s university of the imagination. The university, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.


Media Contact:
Christine Crosbie, Media Relations Officer
OCAD University
416-977-6000 x4890 Cell: 647-473-7778


Inclusive developers collaborating while writing code in the IDRC. Image courtesy Government of Ontario.
Inclusive designers in the IDRC collaborate on a shared computer. Image courtesy Government of Ontario.

Were you aware that many of the innovations we take for granted today were motivated by a desire to design for someone with a disability? These innovations include email, the telephone, scanners and the smarts that know you meant to chose an “s” rather than a “d” on your smartphone.

This United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3), consider designing for the full range of human diversity.

We are sparked to greater innovation when we consider more than the typical or average user. When we design for the full diversity of users, our designs are bound to benefit everyone. We are also tapping into the growing demand globally for inclusively designed products, a demand that is bolstered by an aging population. 

By the time you reach 75 years of age you have a 64 per cent chance of experiencing a permanent disability. Even if you are in the minority, without a disability, most of your family, friends and colleagues will experience a disability. This is not even counting situational disabilities such as when your hands are busy, your eyes are focused on something else, or you are in a very noisy environment.

A future-proof industry

This growing trend also means that if you want to join a new future-proof industry, you may wish to consider inclusive design. Not only is this new emerging industry highly likely to continue expanding but also, unlike many other industries, it is without negative social or environmental impacts. Inclusive design is a catalyst in the move away from mass production to more personalized design and production. It is part of a virtuous cycle that leads to greater economic inclusion. This means a happier, healthier and wealthier society overall.

Learn more

The OCAD U community is a great place to get involved in inclusive design. Among the university’s resources are the Inclusive Design Research Centre, a world leader in the topic, the Inclusive Design Institute, a regional research hub, and a MDes program in Inclusive Design.

Story by Jutta Treviranus, Director, Inclusive Design Research Centre and Graduate Program Director, Inclusive Design

Citizen Centric Innovation - International Certificate Course

Event Poster
Monday, September 15, 2014 - 4:00am to Friday, September 26, 2014 - 4:00am

The Program
This program provides intensive executive training on methods and techniques to address complex or so-called “wicked” social problems in a multidisciplinary way. This particular session focuses on food waste in modern urban context as an example of a complex social problem to address. The methods and techniques learned are transferable to other complex social and environmental challenges.

What you will learn
You will receive intensive training in a range of disciplines including human factors, design thinking, system mapping,sustainable business models, and co-creation techniques and methods.

More importantly, you will apply your learning to find creative solutions to a complex problem: food waste in urban centres. The program includes daily field explorations of food-related aspects in each city, including visits to innovative social food enterprises such as Not Far From The Tree, The Stop Community Food Centre, and a private Jane’s Walk in Toronto; participating in a Tapas Lab; going on a Hidden City Tour of Barcelona (unique guided tour through the old town led by homeless guide); and engaging with organic farmers to understand the interdependencies and trade-offs in the complex urban food system.

Who we are
This special program is hosted in Toronto by the Strategic Innovation Lab at OCAD University (Canada's largest art and design school and third largest in North America). It is hosted in Barcelona by the Bau Design College of Barcelona affiliated with the Vic-Central University of Catalonia. Participants who complete the program successfully will receive a Certificate.

Who should attend
-Directors and managers in food related industry
-Government officials interested in urban and social issues
-Program Managers in foundations pursuing change in urban settings
-Directors of CSR in large corporations
-Executive directors of incubators for social entrepreneurship
-Politicians with interest in food security, resilient commuities or sustainability
-In general leaders or leadership candidates seeking to enhance their careers through acquiring new practical knowledge about addressing complex social problems.

When & Where
This session starts on Monday September 15, 2014 and ends on Friday September 26, 2014. Participants will spend one week in Toronto (Canada) followed by one week in Barcelona (Spain).

Citizen Centric Innovation (CCI) combines a human-centric participatory design approach with methods of multidisciplinary collaboration to enable exploring root causes of such complex challenges, reframing their issues differently, and developing innovative solutions.

We bring together a group of participants selected among highly talented professionals from around the world, with a team of instructors who are thought leaders in their fields. We leverage the power of such an intellectually rich and diverse environment to teach participants the leadership skills necessary for developing and implementing new solutions to old persistent problems.

You will work in small teams mentored by experienced instructors and innovation professionals on developing new out-of-the-box solutions to a specific problem, in this case food waste in the city of Barcelona and its potential impact on a range of other social problems such as poverty, health and environment.

Program fees are in U.S. Dollars and include: all program materials, welcome receptions, hotel accommodation in both cities (four-star, single occupancy), breakfast and lunch every day, visits to museums and exhibitions included in the program, one hosted dinner in each city, economy airfare Toronto to Barcelona, and local transportation during the program.

Visit the Eventbrite page for more information on instructors.

Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab) is a centre for research and development in design, innovation and strategic foresight at OCAD University. It is a growing community of scholars and practitioners, designers, business and policy professionals, teachers and students, who are passionate about envisioning possible futures. Located in the heart of Toronto, sLab operates on a model that integrates academic research, professional engagement, education and skills development for participants in the private, public, not-for-profit, and for-benefit sectors. sLab is closely linked with OCAD University’s Masters Program in Strategic Foresight and Innovation.

Bau Design College of Barcelona, Spain is a centre affiliated with the Vic-Central University of Catalonia that provides higher education in the field of design. Located in Barcelona, one of the leading cities in the field of design, Bau is situated in an industrial area of over 8,000 m2 equipped with custom studios and multi-purpose spaces designed to support research, creativity and innovation. The training offered at Bau leads to university degrees in graphic, audiovisual, interior and fashion design as well as Master’s and Postgraduate degrees. The college also offers other courses such as the Diploma in Design ‘Bau Nit’ (Bau Evening), in the specializations of Graphic Design and Interior Design, and the Summer University, in addition to a wide variety of monographic courses and workshops.

Registration required

Venue & Address: 
Strategic Innovation Lab (OCAD U) & Bau Design College (Barcelona)

IAB Canada announces Mobile Council, partnership with MEIC and OCAD U

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 - 4:00am

(Toronto — April 5, 2011) The Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (IAB Canada) today announced the launch of its new Mobile Council, and new partnerships with the Mobile Experience Innovation Center (MEIC) and OCAD University, to drive Mobile Marketing research, education and innovation in Canada.

The Mobile Committee, which has been operating under IAB Canada's Emerging Platforms Council since 2006, will now be broken out into a full Mobile Council (with various committees now able to organize under it).

Work already done by IAB Canada's Mobile Committee over the past 6 years includes:



  • Inclusion of Mobile marketing within the Essential Interactive Handbook (2004-2007), produced with Marketing Magazine as part of the IAB Canada/Marketing Interactive To The Max Conference.
  • Creation of a dedicated Mobile In Motion Handbook and Mobile In Motion Roadshow with Marketing Magazine (2006).
  • Inclusion of Mobile marketing modules within IAB Canada's Intensive One-Day Course In Interactive Marketing (since 2006), and the recent launch of a fully-dedicated Intensive One-Day Course in Mobile Marketing (2011), to SOLD OUT! classes and rave reviews In Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver.


  • Inclusion of Mobile Ad Standards within IAB Canada's Canadian Universal Ad Package (since 2010).
  • In-progress work on revisions to Mobile Ad Standards, and the development of new Tablet Ad Standards specifically for Canada.


  • Inclusion of Mobile marketing in IAB Canada's MIXX Canada Conference + Roadshow -- including Mobile Keynotes by Neil Sweeney (formerly StreamTheWorld, now Juice Mobile), Alan Li (Adtech), Kamar Shah (Vortex Mobile), Anthony Novac (Spreed:Inc.) since 2008.
  • Launch of IAB Canada's MIXX Canada Mobile BlackBerry App (since 2009).

IAB Canada's Mobile Council will be jointly chaired by Peter Vaz, Vice President, Director Digital Communications, MacLAREN M2 UNIVERSAL (who will also retain his Chair role on the Emerging Platforms Council), and Sara Diamond, Chair, Mobile Experience Innovation Centre; President, OCAD University; and Board Member, Interactive Ontario.

"The Mobile channel has been building towards the sort of breakthrough moment that is happening this year, for quite a long time," says Peter Vaz, Vice President, Director Digital Communications, MacLAREN M2 UNIVERSAL. "But now, with the huge rise in the development and popularity of Mobile Applications; the growing sophistication of Mobile Web advertising (including both Display and Search options); the ever-evolving location-based capabilities of the devices; and the fact that consumers are now spending millions of dollars through both Mobile and Tablet devices, means - finally -- Mobile has arrived! "

Sara Diamond, Chair, Mobile Experience Innovation Centre; President, OCAD University and Board Member, Interactive Ontario sees another side of recent Mobile trends: "Mobile and wireless devices are revolutionizing the way we think, work, play and live in the same way the Internet did almost two decades ago," says Diamond. "But, in order to make sure Canadians aren't relegated to the sidelines, and are instead able to play a leading role in driving the Mobile revolution, work is needed across a variety of fronts. A partnership in this effort, based on the complimentary but different focus of each of IAB Canada, MEIC and OCAD University is a huge win, and a big step forward for the entire industry in this endeavour."
Industry partners are already excited about IAB Canada's new Mobile Council: "From an advertising Agency perspective, we're extremely happy to see IAB Canada moving the industry forward in this way," says Malik Yacoubi, Vice President, Mobile Marketing, Cossette. "By helping drive Canadian Mobile capabilities and offers, it will allow Advertisers to accelerate their movement towards Mobile marketing, and give consumers a richer Mobile advertising experience in the process."

"The creation of IAB Canada's new Mobile Council, and our new partnerships with MEIC and OCAD University nicely weaves together all the separate Mobile threads that IAB Canada has been working on over the past seven years, including our work in the Human Resources area and our Colleges/Universities rating and outreach program," says Paula Gignac, President, IAB Canada. "We look forward to working with our new partners, as well as with all large and small Mobile- and wireless-based businesses and service providers in Canada to help them achieve their rightful potential in Mobile in the coming years."

About the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (IAB Canada)
The Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (, is the national voice and de facto thought leader of the Canadian Interactive marketing and advertising industry, and is a not-for-profit association representing Canada's most well-known and respected Advertisers, Agencies, Media Companies, Service Associates, Educational Institutions and Government Associations.

About the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC)
The Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (, is a not-for-profit association that supports design leadership, experience innovation and applied research in Canada's Mobile and wireless industries.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University ( is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information contact:

Paula Gignac, President, IAB Canada
416-598-3400, Ext. 26

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

OCAD University and Indiegogo partner to support Canadian innovation

Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 4:00am

(Toronto—October 10, 2013) OCAD University is the first Canadian post-secondary institution to partner with Indiegogo, enabling OCAD U start-ups to be featured under a university-sponsored page.

The unique partnership provides OCAD U start-up companies with valuable campaign marketing support, vitally important in distinguishing these entrepreneurs from the sea of campaigns found among such increasingly popular crowd-funding platforms.

“We have seen that university communities have a wealth of ideas and ideals. We are thrilled to work with OCAD U as the first Canadian university Indiegogo partner to bring these innovative and world-changing ideas to the next level via crowd-funding.  We look forward to working with many more,” said Bre DiGiammarino, Education and Social Innovation Director for Indiegogo.

To kick off the new partnership, OCAD U today kicks off Indiegogo campaigns by start-ups Sprout Guerrilla and PUSH, two incubator companies of OCAD U’s centre for entrepreneurship, the Imagination Catalyst.

Sprout Guerrilla’s crowd-funded campaign supports the company’s “I ♥ My City” project, in which participants are encouraged to create public art pieces out of Sprout Guerrilla’s DIY moss graffiti kits in a display of city pride.

“Moss graffiti can transform urban streetscapes,” said Sprout Guerrilla Founder Julie Forand. “It’s a creative and fun way to make a positive environmental impact in cities. Each person can make a difference, and the more people get involved the greater our impact will be.”

Campaign contributors can earn perks for their donations such as one or more of the moss graffiti kits, custom graffiti kits, “Moss my Business” or “Moss my Community” kits, Moss art by internationally acclaimed illustrator and OCAD U assistant professor Gary Taxali, or even a large-scale custom-painted moss graffiti mural.

Fitness technology company PUSH recently unveiled its PUSH Band, an app-enabled wearable fitness tracker that helps serious gym-goers, professional athletes or athletes-in-training track and analyze strength performance. With no imaginary points or arbitrary scores, PUSH uses scientifically validated metrics such as reps and sets, force, power, balance, speed, explosive strength, one rep max, volume load and tempo to visualize an athlete’s training performance.

“The PUSH Band seamlessly connects with your smartphone to allow for customized workouts, performance monitoring and progress review,” said PUSH CEO and co-founder Rami Alhamad. “It streamlines your progress so your routine constantly adapts to you in real time and over time while reducing the risk of injury.”

Results and achievements can be shared with friends, teammates, personal trainers or coaches for an enhanced social and competitive training experience. Users can compare their performance to others with the PUSH app’s live view where athletes’ data are streamed to a television in real time. PUSH also makes it easy for coaches and trainers to access performance results to visualize trends and compare individual progress to the team as a whole.

The PUSH Indiegogo campaign is already nearly halfway toward meeting its crowd-funded target. The Band will be available for pre-order as of October 10, 2013 for $149 USD, with shipping commencing in May 2014.

Sprout Guerrilla:
Founded on the principles of sustainability and effective environmental design, Toronto-based social purpose business Sprout Guerrilla ( seeks to green the world’s urban centres, one blank wall at a time. Sprout Guerrilla is founded by a SheEO, and is currently being supported by OCAD U’s Imagination Catalyst.

Toronto-based fitness technology start-up, PUSH (, launched from the JOLT program at MaRS Commons. PUSH empowers athletes by providing a way to track workouts and visualize results. The PUSH team has worked tirelessly for the last year to bring the fitness realm a wearable device that generates real metrics — the PUSH Band. No imaginary points or arbitrary scores, just actual data that will help makes users stronger, improve form and reduce the risk of injury. PUSH constantly strives to improve its product with users’ needs in mind, and find innovative ways to make fitness routines increasingly productive and more fun. PUSH is supported by OCAD U’s Imagination Catalyst.

Indiegogo ( empowers people around the world to fund what matters to them. As the largest global crowd funding platform, campaigns have launched from every country around the world with millions of dollars being distributed every week due to contributions made by the Indiegogo community. At its core, Indiegogo is the equal opportunity platform dedicated to democratizing the way people raise funds for any project — creative, entrepreneurial or cause-related. The company was launched in 2008 and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles and New York.

The Imagination Catalyst at OCAD U
The Imagination Catalyst ( is OCAD University’s centre for entrepreneurship and commercialization. The incubator supports and develops entrepreneurial talent among OCAD U faculty, graduate students and alumni. The Catalyst helps launch new companies or products that help drive the local economy and contribute to Ontario’s and Canada’s collective well-being. The Imagination Catalyst is OCAD U’s gateway to the start-up community in Toronto, Ontario and internationally.

About OCAD University
OCAD University ( is Canada’s “university of imagination.” The university, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

# # #

For more information please contact:

Sarah Mulholland, OCAD U Marketing & Communications
416 977 6000 x327
mobile: x1327

Robert Murray in Conversation with Jonathan Lippincott

 Robert Murray in Conversation with Jonathan Lippincott
Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 5:00pm

Public lecture: Large Scale: Fabricating Sculpture in the 1960s and 1970s

Large Scale: Fabricating Sculpture in the 1960s and 1970s presents the history of the sculptures made at Lippincott, Inc., in North Haven, CT. Founded in 1966 by Donald Lippincott and Roxanne Everett, this was the first fabricator dedicated exclusively to making large scale sculpture. Artists including Claes Oldenburg, Louise Nevelson, Barnett Newman, Robert Murray, Ellsworth Kelly, Clement Meadmore, and many others all came to Lippincott. These artists produced an incredible range of sculpture during what many have called the golden age of public art, and Large Scale is the first time this work has been presented as a whole.

Robert Murray was born in Vancouver, grew up in Saskatoon, went to Art School in Regina, lived for a time in Mexico and moved to New York in 1960. He lives at present near Unionville, PA and has a studio and summer place on Lookout Is., near Pointe au Baril, ON. Murray has dual US and Canadian citizenship. Since 1959 all of Murray's larger sculptures have been built under his supervision at metal fabricating plants, beginning with John East Iron Works in Saskatoon but in particular at Lippincott Inc. in North Haven CT, which specialized in sculpture fabrication, Murray has taught or has been a visiting artist at a great many art schools and universities and continues to work with fourth year students at the School of Visual Arts in New York. His work can be found in a great many private and museum collections as well at the more public sited works. In 1990 he was given a retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada and is represented in Toronto by the Barbara Edwards Contemporary Gallery,

Jonathan Lippincott, author of Large Scale, was born the year after the first sculptures were made at Lippincott, and grew up watching the work that took place there. He studied studio art and art history at Swarthmore College, graduating in 1989. During the next few years, he worked at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts as a cook and handyman, at the Yale University Art Gallery as an art handler, and as a dessert baker in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1993 he moved to New York City to begin work in publishing, and a year later he joined Farrar, Straus and Giroux, where he is currently the design manager. Since 2000 he has also worked independently as art director and designer for a range of illustrated books about architecture, landscape, and fine art.

This talk is sponsored by the Faculty of Art Innovation Fund




Venue & Address: 
Central Hall, Room 230 100 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario