McMaster Innovation Park

Nokia and Amazon invest $4.3 million in Hamilton


Nokia Corp. and Inc. will piggyback off a recent Ontario investment in autonomous-vehicle-technology to help develop a tech-demonstration facility in Hamilton showcasing urban-development innovations and the capabilities of 5G wireless networks.


Over five years, Nokia will invest $3.3-million and Amazon Web Services, or AWS, will provide $1-million worth of resources and support for its cloud-based services to Hamilton’s Innovation Factory incubator and accelerator.


Ontario became the first province to allow on-road driverless-car testing, in 2016, and has seen rapid investment in the technology as both the private and public sectors race to grab a stake in the future of connected cities. The province earmarked $80-million last year for an autonomous-vehicle innovation network. This month it said it would invest in six “regional technology development sites” – including as much as $5-million for Hamilton and the Innovation Factory.

Read the full story on The Globe and Mail.


McMaster CIRC and Cinnos partnership


Hamilton, Ont., Canada. — McMaster University’s innovative experimental co-location between an academic research centre and a rapidly growing startup company has begun to yield successes.

The university’s Computing Infrastructure Research Centre (CIRC, which is a research centre in the Faculty of Engineering, shares space with its founding industry partner Cinnos Mission Critical Inc. at the McMaster Innovation Park. CIRC’s team of researchers and students are focused on developing cutting-edge technologies for data centres. Cinnos is a technology start-up forged in the McMaster Innovation Ecosystem, and designs and sells appliances for rapid, low cost, and highly efficient deployment of scalable data centre facilities.

Breaking with the traditional industry-academic research paradigm, Cinnos and McMaster decided to collocate their resources by forming CIRC. The space is designed such that researchers and students at CIRC mingle freely with Cinnos entrepreneurs, enabling a close alignment between the market opportunities and customer needs of the industry with research and technology. This seamless collaboration between the two organizations has already brought tremendously successful products into the market place, such as the Cinnos flagship Smart MCX, the world`s first data centre in a box, as well as the Smart MC-M, a modular, data-driven, intelligent monitoring system for computing facilities.

“CIRC is founded on a pioneering model of university-industry collaboration,” says Suvojit Ghosh, the centre’s co-founder and Executive Director. “It magnifies the impact of research, through accelerated translation of research for both economic and societal benefits, in a competitive real-world environment. Further, our students not only get a deep and meaningful research experience, but they also learn about the importance of the customer needs and market opportunities in defining and driving that research. These are things that could not happen if CIRC and Cinnos did not share the same space and similar visions.”

“Thanks to our innovative model, Cinnos proprietary MCX has sales both in Canada and internationally in less than 18 months from our inception. In addition, we have recently raised over $2M in financing to fund our global expansion. We simply could not have achieved this feat without the world-class team of CIRC and the strong and unwavering support from McMaster University and the Faculty of Engineering,” said Hussam Haroun, CEO and co-founder of Cinnos, and among the architects of CIRC.


With ambitions to be a global leader in the data centre industry, Cinnos envisioned a strong R&D program from its inception. This manifested in six projects that are designed to transform archaic and wasteful practices in the data centre industry. They were architected in a close collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University. The projects are funded through over $3M committed by Cinnos, and augmented by grants from multiple Government agencies.


About Cinnos

Cinnos has developed and commercialized the world’s first data centre appliance that enables immediate deployment and a pay-as-you-grow model for data centre providers. Furthermore, thanks to its proprietary modular design, The Cinnos Smart MCX™ enables immediate deployment of data centres for a fraction of the cost of traditional mission critical facilities (MCF), hence accelerating revenues and bringing dramatically higher ROI to our customers as compared with the traditional construction-based MCF. Founded by Hussam Haroun in June 2015 following his graduation from McMaster MEEI program, Cinnos achieved breakeven in less than twelve (12) months of operations. For more information, please visit

Cinnos Media Contact:

Brook Azezew | t: 416.270.7807


About CIRC

CIRC, or the Computing Infrastructure Research Centre at McMaster University, is the first research centre focused on data centre innovations in Canada. CIRC was founded earlier this year, and is mandated to develop, promote, and advocate for technologies and products that eliminate wasteful practices in data centres, addressing a $100B+ global industry. The R&D functions of CIRC are unique in their emphasis on market validation from the conceptions stage, ensuring research relevance and guaranteed economic, societal, and environmental impact. This has manifested in high ROI on R&D expenses: within the first year of its existence, CIRC has developed technology that has led to revenue generating product lines for Cinnos.

CIRC Media Contact

Suvojit Ghosh | t: 289-659-5919


Monika Bialy wins major NSERC award

Originally posted on


bialyA software Ph.D. student has been honoured with a prestigious award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.

Monika Bialy is a recipient of an Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral Program (CGS D) award. The scholarships provide financial support to high calibre scholars who are engaged in a doctoral program in the natural sciences or engineering. Awards are offered to top-ranked applicants. Bialy will receive $70,000 over two years.

“The CGS D award will significantly support my research over the next two years, and allow me to intently focus on my goals of advancing and contributing to the software engineering domain,” Bialy said. “My research centres heavily around McMaster’s collaboration with a major automotive partner, and knowing that NSERC considers my proposed research as having significant merit adds to my motivation to continue working diligently on this project.”

Bialy is part of a team of engineers working on the next generation hybrid vehicles for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Bialy’s role is to refactor code, or restructure existing computer code, in vehicle parts such as transmissions to make it work better without changing how it behaves within its complex software ecosystem.

“Monika’s work is an excellent example of a successful industry/government/academic partnership,” said Mark Lawford, professor of Computing and Software and Bialy’s co-supervisor. “She is publishing high quality academic research that is having an immediate impact in industry practice. McMaster’s ability to bring together interdisciplinary teams to address the engineering problems of tomorrow is allowing graduate students like Monika to reach their full potential. I’m very pleased that NSERC has recognized her past research success and future potential.”

Bialy was also featured in a McMaster Engineering’s #ThinkEngineering campaign.



June IF Lunch ‘n Learn

Lunch_and_learn1When: Tuesday June 23rd at 11:30am – 1:30pm

Where: McMaster Innovation Park @ 175 Longwood Road South

Organizer: Innovation Factory



Please join iF on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 for a Lunch ‘n Learn on “What No One Told You About Operations Strategy & Your Brand” presented by Strategic Communications Consultant, June Ip!

This unique learning and networking opportunity will include a complimentary lunch!

So you have a nifty logo and a snazzy slogan. You may even have a thoughtful brand strategy. The next step is to “activate” that brand by infusing it into your operations, customer service, and decision making mechanisms. June will teach you how to use the principles in this session to create authentic customer touch points in your business that demonstrate your value to customers, win their loyalty, and improve the medium- to long-term prospects of your business.

Our Lunch ‘n Learn events are a great way to get out and network while enjoying a free lunch, and learning something new! Please forward this to all of the innovators you know.

11:30am-noon – Lunch & Networking
Noon-1pm –  Keynote Presentation and Factory 5 (TBA)
1pm – 2pm – Dessert & Networking (at iF’s Innovation Destination)

Parking Information
Parking is available for a cost of $0.50/ hour at McMaster Innovation Park Special Events and Conference Parking

About June Ip
June is a strategic communications consultant who has successfully led change initiatives at small and medium sized professional services firms, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and manufacturers that are facing unprecedented levels of globalization, economic upheaval, and technological change. She is an instructor for University of Toronto’s Business Innovation Certificate and holds an MBA from Rotterdam School of Management in The Netherlands.

MIPs Entrepreneurship Fair 2014 – A True Success!

Originally posted on


Sjvr-1o yesterday, it was my pleasure to have been one of the speakers at the 2014 McMaster Innovation Park Entrepreneurship Fair and let me tell you it was a success.

Know how I know? Because of the questions we received from the attendees….that’s always a great ranking factor when it comes to the “value” of what it is you’re passing on to the seminar attendents – and after more than 100 speaking engagements over my career, I think it’s the best way of all!

But before I mention those items I should let you know that yes, the weather has been terrible lately, there was a snow squall the night before the Fair and yes the roads were bad…not bad enough to stop the 200+ folks who came out to the Fair nor for that matter for a bus or two of high school students enrolled in EntrepreneurShip training to attend.

We had some extra space sure, but the main thing was that when conditions aren’t absolutely perfect for the chore of “getting there” the ones who do showup are very very passionate.

sign-2My own session was as the sign here shows on “Social Media for StartUps” and I co-delivered that seminar with a good friend Shanta Nathwani who is a Sheridan College instructor, a solid #HamOnt booster and yes, the woman who founded the WiTH group – Women in Technology Hamilton and let me tell you, she knows her stuff.

While my own presi opened the seminar I talked for about half an hour on Social Media basics; on the vast numbers of users of the various platforms and yes, on the need to use E.A.T. – expertise, authority and trust – to climb the ranks in Google as you become the expert in your channel.

For me – and thankfully for my clients, the “rank in Google” is the be-all and end-all of online marketing….getting new incremental traffic directed to your site by those rankings can mean the difference between having a StartUp that will fail or do well!

Shanta’s own presi was taking the Social Media basics I provided and expanding on them all…she is a widely accepted WordPress guru and she explained why using such a platform to both host your site and then publicize your content works perfectly….and she then provided full Case Study storys too that showed same.

The quesitons tho were what got me – oh, I didn’t get hundreds, but they were pretty much “spot-on” when it came to tactical queries on Social Media. From “what do I use as my Startup G+ page content” to “how often can I tweet without looking like I’m pushing” type of queries. With both Shanta and I offering up our own opinions, we even got some of the attendants adding their own comments and that valued IMHO the whole seminar.

panelLoved this event! It also of course was more than my single seminar; there were exhibitor tables with various local groups showing off their services or items aimed at Startups; there was a great StartUp Panel with a good friend Joe Accardi of Platform302 fame too, ably MC’d by our Innovation Factory’s ED, Dave Carter too…

All in all, it was a great event. I hope that the feedback that MIPs got was universally good as I’d hope it continues to be run next year and in years to come too….I loved the bright passionate faces that look to a speaker for knowledge…and yes, I hope it was passed along too!

Lastly today, my video taken pre-Fair to let the prospective attendants know what we’d be speaking on!

More reasons to get off the fence



So maybe by now you’ve heard that this weekend Hamilton will host both Startup Weekend Maker’s Edition and the Open Data Jam. But if you’re still debating whether to participate in either of these activities there’s now two more reasons to get off the fence:


Startup Weekend Maker’s Edition participants can get 20% off by using the Software Hamilton reader promo code ‘SH2014’

When: Friday November 21st to Sunday November 23rd
Where: Mohawk College


Open Data Jam teams that produce working software will get an “I <3 Open Source MSDN subscription" - this is equivalent to the Visual Studio Ultimate MSDN

When: Friday November 21st to Sunday November 23rd
Where: McMaster Innovation Park


McMaster Innovation Showcase 2014



When: Wednesday November 12th 2014 from 8:00am to 5:00pm

Where: McMaster Innovation Park @ 175 Longwood Road South



Opening Doors for Innovation

McMaster Innovation Showcase 2014 is an opportunity for the university to raise awareness of McMaster’s role in helping local businesses and economies grow. The event comprises of many events including a panel discussion, innovation showcases, open houses at student entrepreneurship hubs, and more. As always, the McMaster Industry Liaison Office’s goal is to help the research community create a culture of innovation and commercialization. This year’s showcase will be an chance to build and strengthen private-public sector partnerships, provide a venue for local business leaders to learn more about McMaster’s cutting edge research and technology, innovation, knowledge transfer, pool of student talent, as well as demonstrate to senior government officials the linkages between business and universities to enhance innovation and skill development. We’re taking this opportunity to connect the innovative ideas and research of McMaster faculty and students to people who are equally passionate about transforming ideas and services.

The McMaster Innovation Showcase 2014 will give innovators the tools and knowledge they need to realize the potential of their discoveries and inventions. Specifically, this year’s event will feature:

  • Keynote address by Mike Kirkup, Director of the VeloCity program at the University of Waterloo
  • A roundtable discussion featuring participants from McMaster and the local community. The roundtable will be hosted by CBC Hamilton producer Rick Hughes and discuss how McMaster can redouble its efforts at stimulating youth entrepreneurship and encouraging engagement between the University and the local community
  • Technology presentations from McMaster researchers
  • An Open Doors event where various institutes at the McMaster Innovation Park will open their doors for tours and presentations including The Forge, CANMET, CLSA and the Sustainable Archaeology facility
  • A Poster competition, containing inventions and discoveries with commercial potential and social impact, as well as a pitch competition
  • Breakout session hosted by the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD).  The CDRD is Canada’s fully integrated national drug development and commercialization centre.  The primary goal of the centre is to provide a bridge between science and business and to enable researchers from institutes like McMaster to advance early stage drug candidates.  Representatives from CDRD will discuss the centres goals and successes as well as the project submission process.  There will also be opportunities for one on one discussions with researchers
  • Networking opportunities with entrepreneurs, industry representatives and academic researchers who are developing and commercializing new technologies
  • The McMaster Innovator Awards which recognize innovators within the McMaster community for their contributions to research and commercialization success


We’re taking this opportunity to connect the innovative ideas and research of McMaster faculty and students to people who are equally passionate about transforming ideas and services

Full details and agenda at

Registration and breakfast at 8:00 a.m.

8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. November 12, 2014 at McMaster Innovation Park, Atrium

brought to you by The Office of the Vice-President, Research and International Affairs and the McMaster Industry Liaison Office (MILO)