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Responding to Brazilian Mining Tragedy: Entrepreneurs Earn High Praise For Life Improving Donation - 2019-03-12
Thousands of miles from Peterborough, the town of Brumadinho Brazil and at least a dozen nearby rural communities received a life-improving boost this week in their struggle to survive the aftermath of a devastating mining disaster that buried homes, businesses, roads and farms with thousands of tonnes of mining waste and debris.
Headlines were generated around the world on January 25 when a tailings dam of the Corrego do Feijao iron ore mine in southeastern Brazil burst, leaving 182 people confirmed dead, at least 100 others missing. And, as the region works to recover and avert further tragedy, they are facing severe odds that, until this week, included a desperate lack of potable water in surrounding areas.
Through a remarkable collaboration of local Peterborough business Prima IP, the Brazilian Consulate of Toronto and the Brazil Canada Chamber of Commerce (BCCC), Innovation Cluster – Peterborough Kawartha (Cluster) this week committed to send state-of-art water purification technology and equipment to the devastated region. The equipment is expected to produce fully drinkable water at a rate of nearly 10,000 litres a day.
“This is truly an amazing story and we are thrilled we could help make this happen,” says Cluster CEO Michael Skinner who explained how his friend, Cluster Knowledge Partner and Program Sponsor Marcelo Konig Sarkis, P.Eng., founder of Prima IP Intellectual Property Services and past president of the BCCC, reached out to the Innovation Cluster and the Brazilian Consulate in Toronto.
“I saw the reports of the dam breach and felt I had to do something. I thought of the water technology focus of the Cluster and reached out to Michael Skinner, the Brazilian Consulate in Toronto and the BCCC,” stated Mr. Sarkis.
“We just wanted to know how we could help in the wake of such a disaster and the Innovation Cluster’s access to water purification technology turned out to be the answer they were looking for,” adds Mr. Skinner noting that the Cluster’s Water Innovation Specialist John Gillis was integral in getting the equipment ready for transport and set up in Brazil.
The gravity fed, stand-alone water purification unit weighing less than 13 kilograms and standing about 1.5 meters tall, has a proven track record in some of the most forbidding places in the world.
Ademar Seabra, Deputy Consul of the Brazilian Consulate in Toronto remarked, “This is a great gesture from Canada. We are grateful to Michael Skinner and the Innovation Cluster, Marcelo Konig Sarkis, of Prima IP and the Brazil Canada Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) of Canada for this initiative. Brazil and the people of the Brumadinho will not forget this gesture of International support from Peterborough,” he added.
Mr. Skinner and Mr. Gillis were invited to speak about the Peterborough initiative at the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Conference this week in Toronto. To the applause of hundreds, Mr. Skinner described the events leading up to the deployment of the water purification equipment to Brazil and has since heard strong interest in applying the Canadian developed water purification technology in mining operations around the world.
Innovation Cluster and Peterborough Chapter of Professional Engineers Ontario Showcase Innovation And Engineering Achievements of the Region - 2019-02-05
The Innovation Cluster and the Peterborough Chapter of Professional Engineers Ontario held a press conference to reveal a new display at the Innovation Cluster’s incubator, that showcases local achievements in engineering innovation. The press conference was held within the Innovation Cluster’s lobby at 10 a.m. on February 5.
With the new case displayed at the Innovation Cluster, the public will be able to see the innovation created in the region over the years. The case currently holds various engineering award plaques, engineering journals, innovative product creations and more.
Michael Skinner, President & CEO of the Innovation Cluster, Peter Hynes, P.Eng. Treasurer of the Peterborough Chapter of Professional Engineers Ontario and Marcelo Sarkis, P.Eng. past Co-Chair of the Peterborough Chapter of Professional Engineers Ontario and founder of Prima IP attended and spoke at the event.
Skinner noted the case will be a display of recognition for past, present and future engineering achievements.
“Peterborough has many engineers creating innovation and a solution for problems, and we are very excited to be able to showcase this innovation happening in the community and look forward to adding more achievements in the future,” says Skinner.
Hynes thanked the Innovation Cluster and Sarkis for making the new display possible, highlighting the three-year relationship between the Cluster and the Peterborough Chapter.
“The Peterborough area has a rich history of engineering, and through this display case we would like to put a spotlight on some of those engineers, as well as highlight the innovations of up-and-coming engineers,” says Hynes.
As past Co-Chair of the Peterborough Chapter of Professional Engineers Ontario and founder of Prima IP, an intellectual property services agency, Sarkis spoke on the impact Peterborough has made as a community to innovation.
“Engineers contribute to providing a better life and a better society, and Peterborough has been a very rich community, in terms of innovation and innovators,” says Sarkis.
Sarkis also noted between 1902 and 1992, over 583 patents were granted to Canada General Electric, naming professional engineers in this community as inventors.
The case will remain on display to the public in the lobby of the Innovation Cluster, with new awards to be added in the future.
2019 Bears’ Lair Entrepreneur Competition Launches - 2019-01-22
Entrepreneurs that are hungry to win can enter the Bears’ Lair Entrepreneurial Competition, an annual event for established entrepreneurs throughout Peterborough and the Kawarthas to face a panel of judges and pitch for a chance to win money towards their business.
A similar competition to Dragon’s Den, Bears’ Lair is an opportunity for Peterborough entrepreneurs to take their business to the next level, not only by an opportunity to win big cash prizes, but also through gaining awareness to the Peterborough community! A total of 6 finalists will be chosen to pitch their business to the judges.
Last year’s panel included Nicole Verkindt, Founder & CEO of Canadian technology company, OMX, a commentator on CBC and columnist for Vanguard magazine focusing on technology and business news and was a “Dragon” on CBC’s Next Gen Dragon’s Den.
“Being a winner on Bear’s Lair was definitely a high point for all of us at Entomo Farms. The guidance, advice and inspiration we received from all the ‘Bears’ was fantastic, and helped to keep us focused and on track. It was incredible to be recognized as innovators, and our win from Bear’s Lair really helped to give us the confidence and determination to keep going. Thank you so much for all the help! ” – Stacie Goldin.
Contestants who apply must fit either the Goods and Services stream or the Innovation Stream.
To apply, visit the Bears’ Lair website – but hurry! Applications close February 26th.
JANUARY 22 – APPLICATIONS OPEN
FEBRUARY 26 – APPLICATIONS CLOSE
MARCH 26 – SEMI-FINALIST SHOWCASE
APRIL 30 – FINAL PITCH
- John Gillis Announced as Innovation Cluster’s Incoming Interim President and CEO
- Innovation Cluster Startups Announced as Finalists in Bears’ Lair Competition
- Innovation Cluster Launches H2O Makerspace: Powered by Franklin Empire Inc. in Support of Cleantech Research
- Responding to Brazilian Mining Tragedy: Entrepreneurs Earn High Praise For Life Improving Donation
- Innovation Cluster and Peterborough Chapter of Professional Engineers Ontario Showcase Innovation And Engineering Achievements of the Region