The University of Waterloo and Blackberry are planning to develop a joint innovation lab with a focus on fast-tracking research and development to get products into the market.

Published: June 18th, 2019

The Canadian National Research Council (NRC) is collaborating with the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Mathematics to improve research in artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and cybersecurity.

Key focus areas include battery-free touch sensors for IoT, reliable gesture recognition in virtual environments, and secure and scalable quantum-safe blockchain for critical infrastructure.

The NRC says it’s looking to cement Canada’s identity as a forerunner in technology through collaboration with research institutes across Canada. Recently, it also opened a research hub at the Univerity of New Brunswick to analyze cybersecurity surrounding patents and commercialization, as well as AI products like voice recognition.

Innovations from the partnership will be used in various industries. On June 17, Paris-based additive manufacturer Burloak Technologies signed an exclusive agreement with NRC for exclusive patents developed for direct energy deposition using a laser additive consolidation manufacturing process.

“This collaboration centre brings together leading researchers to make significant advances in artificial intelligence and Canadian businesses,” said Iain Stewart, NRC president, in a press release. “We are proud to partner with the University of Waterloo and look forward to the success of this exciting collaboration”

The NRC received $59.6 million in funding through the 2017 federal government budget to help the industry transform ideas into products. It’s a key part of the Innovation and Skill Plan.

Both facilities also aim to provide training opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.