20 April 2018

Two Sherbrooke Innovations Obtain Support from Sherbrooke Innopole

Programme VITESherbrooke Innopole is proud to unveil the first projects to obtain support within the framework of its new VITE program for marketing technological innovations from Sherbrooke. The VITE program – validation of pilot technological innovations – provides Sherbrooke companies that are developing technological projects with the opportunity to demonstrate their innovation in the field by pairing them with a local sponsoring organization.

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The pilot edition was open to all companies from the five key sectors (Cleantech, Information and Communication Technologies, Advanced Manufacturing, Life Sciences, and Micro-Nanotechnologies) with a technological innovation to validate. The choice of winners was based on several criteria, including the fact that the projects had to be carried out within the Ville de Sherbrooke, have a technology readiness level of 7 to 9, represent a significant innovation or breakthrough potential with a measurable and controlled risk, and respect the fundamental principles of sustainable development.

Two winners were announced at the end of the initial call for projects, held in fall 2017. Each selected company was then put in contact with a public, para public, or institutional sponsoring organization from Sherbrooke to conduct the technological validation process, an important step toward marketing.

Winners of the VITE program – 1st edition

1.Company:  SPI Bio Inc.

Key sector: Cleantech

Project: BioAlert / Device to analyze Legionnaires’ disease contamination in industrial cooling facilities

Sponsoring organization: Palais des sports Léopold-Drolet, Ville de Sherbrooke

Details: SPI Bio’s BioAlert device provides a unique solution for controlling Legionnaires’ disease bacteria in industrial cooling facilities. This onsite detection device innovates through the reliability and speed with which it makes it possible to maintain the pathogen within safe levels. The equipment also features a sophisticated control system able to communicate physicochemical parameters and to control water treatment, thus serving as an integrated management tool.

 2. Company:

Key sector: Information and Communication Technologies

Project: / Smart scoreboards

Sponsoring organization: Complexe sportif Thibault GM

Details: The company is developing the electrical, mechanical, and computer components of connected multisport scoreboards based on the Internet of Things model. Target clienteles include arenas, sports centres, schools, municipal parks, and deck-hockey surfaces. The scoreboards are connected to cloud computing infrastructure and managed by a web app, including multisport consoles, an advertising management console, and connectors to external data services. Among the external services, interfaces connected to sports league management systems (such as the platform Shark Media & Sport, another Sherbrooke IT company) collect and display game scores in real time on the scoreboard. The scoreboards are designed for indoor and outdoor use and are compatible with more than 12 sports.

Enabling companies to get to the marketing stage more quickly

 In-the-field validations are very effective in speeding up the process preceding marketing, a vital step for any fledging company,” explained Josée Fortin, Director General of Sherbrooke Innopole. “The VITE program enables entrepreneurs to partner with sponsoring organizations to identify the pros and cons of their product in order to improve it, and subsequently optimize its marketing. Within this context, we are pleased to help SPI Bio Inc. and, and we encourage companies to participate in large numbers to the 2nd call for projects starting now.”

Entrepreneurs are delighted with such an opportunity: “This is a golden opportunity to conduct our field validations at lower cost; the feedback from sponsoring organizations saves us time by enabling us to improve our products to meet the specific needs of our future clients,” enthusiastically noted Étienne Lemieux, President and co-founder of SPI Bio Inc.

Of course, the sponsoring organizations also benefit from the process: “A project such as this one enables us to keep abreast by using the latest innovations to the benefit of all users,” said Stephen Cabana, General Director of the Complexe sportif Thibault GM. “The team has been responsive to our needs and was able to overcome the challenges encountered along the way.”

The VITE program’s second call for projects has been launched: Sherbrooke companies have until August 5, 2018, to submit their innovation project for validation. The application form and rules are available on the Sherbrooke Innopole website.

SOURCE: Sherbrooke Innopole

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