Innovation Sectors

In the past few years Innoxec associates have undertaken projects and assignments in a wide range of market and economic sectors, technology platforms and at different points in the innovation process. By definition all innovation projects are different; however good innovation leadership and management practices are surprisingly similar and state-of-the-art technologies such as nanotechnology, wireless communications and sensor networks drive innovation across many industry sectors.  

Many of Innoxec's projects take place in highly competitive commercial and academic environments or in sensitive areas of government policy and are therefore governed by confidentiality agreements that prevent the identification of the client and the exact nature of the project. Short thumbnail descriptions and selected we blinks are provided for a selection of the areas of activity. These include:

  • Advanced manufacturing including 3D printing and robotic machining
  • Wireless communications
  • Nanotechnology
  • Cyber Security
  • University and College program development and technology transfer
  • Foresight exercises and strategic planning
  • Climate change and carbon credits in marine applications
  • Dental stem cells
  • Security and intelligence
  • Unmanned systems
  • Strategic Planning and Foresight Exercises

For more information regarding your areas of interest please contact us.
Advanced Manufacturing
Manufacturing innovation is taking place around the world and is being transformed by new materials, techniques such as additive manufacturing (3D Printing),maching-to-machine communications, intelligent robotic work cells, sensor networks for integrated supply chains 3D engineering environments and many other technologies. 

At the same time North American manufacturers are facing shortages of skilled personnel, weak domestic supply chains, uncertain support for new equipment and low risk tolerance for major capital investment. 

Many new resources are coming on line to help manufacturers manage innovation risk such as the industry-oriented advanced manufacturing centres and capital funds dedicated to manufacturing investments.  Innoxec has been a leader in the development of the Centre for Commercialization of Innovation for Manufacturers in partnership with 14 partner organizations including the École de technologie supérieure in Montreal. 

Wireless Communications
Wireless technology has evolved from local and longhaul telecommunications applications to a way of connecting a wide array of novel and traditional products to the Internet or to other dedicated networks. 

Integration of wireless capability into new products frequently requires changes in manufacturing processes. These may range from new modules to printed electronics. 

Security, defence and intelligence applications put special demands on wireless systems. Sensor systems often impose significant contraints on wireless power and bandwidth in order to prolong battery life. 

Innoxec has worked with large and small companies that are producers of sophisticated wireless products to help define new markets and identify future technologies as well as with companies with little wireless experience who are interested in their innovation potential.
Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is driving evolutionary innovation in may product areas through enhanced materials properties such as improved hardness and toughness, better UV protection and improved properties of lubricants. 

Construction materials such as concrete, sealants and architectural coatings are just one of the areas where innovation is taking place. The textile industry is making extensive use of nanomaterials for waterproofing, hygiene, as a fire retardant and more advanced functionality such as detoxification and imbedded intelligence. Nanotechnology is also penetrating the automotive market through many supplychain paths including rubber for tires, treatment of steel, additives for composites, components for electronics and photonics etc. 

Nanotechnology is also driving a new generation of more effective drug delivery systems, solar energy solutions and microelectronics capabilities. 

Challenges still remain, particularly regarding uncertainty in environmental and health protections and occupational health and safety. Some nanomaterials such as cellulose nanocrystals have received regulatory approval. Many other materials that are already on the market in bulk form do not currently need to be re-registered at the nanoscale.  

For more general information on cellulose nanocrystals please visit ArboraNano.
For more information on commercial access to nanocrystaline cellulose please visit Celluforce.
For information on nanotechnology activities in Ontario please visit NanoOntario.
For information on nanotechnology in Québec please visit NanoQuébec.
Climate Change and Voluntary Carbon Credits in Marine Applications
Climate change and climate adaption will be a major driver of innovation for decades to come. One way to achieve economic benefit from innovations that improve energy efficiency and divert waste streams from landfill is through the earning and trading of voluntary carbon credits in accordance with internationally recognized standards and trading mechanisms. The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) is one such mechanism. 

The overhead costs of registering projects for carbon credits have traditionally meant that projects had to be large to be economically viable. This was changed with the VCS method VM0018 for Energy Efficiency and Solid Waste Diversion Activities within a Sustainable Community, v1.0. VM0018 makes it feasible to generate carbon credits for a community of small emitters.  

Ships play a vital role in the global economy and form a unique non-state community of small emitters. Together, the one hundred thousand ships over 300 gross tonnes that make up the world fleet are a significant source of greenhouse gases (GHG), contributing 3% to the global anthropogenic CO2 emissions according to the International Maritime Organization. Efforts to reduce GHG emissions from ships are potentially a valuable source of carbon off-set credits for ship owners and operators to fund innovative performance upgrades and meet corporate responsibility objectives. 


To learn more about the Verified Carbon Standard please visit VCS.
To learn more about the VCS standard for small emitters please visit VM0018
To learn more about how to register for carbon credits under VM0018 please visit Will Solutions.
Dental Stem Cells
Stem cell therapies hold great promise as an innovative approach to treating a wide range of medical conditions, many of which are difficult or impossible to treat today. Bone marrow transplants, a particular form of stem cell therapy, have been used since the 1960's to treat leukemia and other diseases. Until recently there have been no other stem cell therapies in widespread use. This is an area of intensive research around the world and major pharma companies are planning to enter the market in the next 3-5 years. 

Teeth and associated tissues are a convenient source of stem cells that can be harvested for use by the donor (autologous) or third party recipient (allogenic). Dental stem cells have been identified from four sources:
  1. Dental pulp from inside the tooth, generally collected from decidous (baby) teeth, third molars (Wisdom teeth) or therapeutic extractions;
  2. Peridontal ligaments that attach the tooth to the jaw;
  3. Dental follicles that surround developing and impacted teeth;
  4. Dental Apical Papilla that gives rise to the dentin (or dentine) and dental pulp.

Dental stem cells can produce a wide range of tissues (multipotent) and have been shown to have the potential to become even more generally "programmable" (pluripotent). Dental stem cells are predominately related to connective tissue (mesenchymal) however other stem cells are present.

Plant stem cells are also a source of significant innovation with applications in markets such as cosmetics and drug development. There are both significant similarities and differences between plant and animal stem cells.

Innovations involving stem cells extend beyond the development of therapies and include stem cell banking, manufacturing, testing, delivery systems and reagents. 

Security and Intelligence
Security and intelligence concerns of government, business and the general public have become a major driver of innovation fueled by advanced in information technology, wireless communications, a wide range of sensor technologies (including image capture) and physical platforms such as drones (UAVs). 

Security and intelligence systems typically capture large quantities of data that then need to be analysed, interpreted and acted upon. The range of applications includes monitoring of your own home from your smart phone to sophisticated surveillance of international borders or providing valuable tactical information to first responders such as police and fire services.

The evolving nature of local and global risk and the rapidly changing technological landscape make security and intelligence important areas of study and provide multifaceted market opportunities. The increased sophistication of developing economies and growth of new centres of expertise make business intelligence a critical corporate core competency. The impact of extreme weather and geological events such as earthquakes on populations and geopolitical stability have resulted in the emergence of environmental intelligence with growing application in emergency preparedness and emergency response planning.

For information on the Canadian Association of Security and Intelligence Studies (CASIS) please visit www.casis-acers.ca

Unmanned Systems
Innovation in autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicular systems are finding important market opportunities in applications such as mining, forestry, police surveillance and airport and harbour security. The automotive industry is commercializing driver assistance systems for functions such as parallel parking and prototyping systems to improve highway driving safety. 

Innovation in small aerial systems such as the four-rotor "quadcopter" (pictured at left in front of a broadband wireless link) are extending flight time, range, payload capacity, real-time bandwidth and piloting intelligence.  Legal and regulatory frameworks for commercial use in civilian applications are developing. When put in place these will unleash a wave of pent-up investment and capability. 

For information on unmanned systems in Canada please visit www.unmannedsystems.ca.