On November 14, 2023, Queen’s took part in the second Hub350 Annual Partner Summit in Kanata, which brought together industry, financial and academic partners to celebrate and strengthen existing collaborations and build new connections. This year’s theme was Empowering Innovation: Technology Shaping the Future and featured a series of keynotes and panel discussions from C-level executives to reflect on what has been accomplished, and what’s to come, thanks to the Hub350 ecosystem of partners and members.

Hub350 is strategically designed to enhance the ecosystem and accelerate company growth by enabling collaborations between the three pillars of Industry, Investment, and Academia. The academic partners are Algonquin College, Carleton University, the University of Ottawa, and Queen’s University. Initiatives spearheaded by the Hub350 organizers have enabled students to connect with experiential learning, career, and professional development opportunities through resources such as the Discover Technata Career Fair.

“It was great to be part of the industry panel to discuss how robotics and AI are changing the way industry is evolving,” says Ramzi Asfour, Associate Director of Ingenuity Labs at Queen’s. Ramzi participated in the Industry Panel AI and the Future: What Lies Ahead and How to Prepare For It, along with Chantal Bisson-Krol (Vice President of AI/ML Solutions, Kinaxis), and Troy English (CTO, Ross Video), and moderated by Tiffani Westerman (CEO, Wesley Clover Services).

Ingenuity Labs was also represented by one of their quadruped robots.

“Being part of the academic partners in the Kanata North Business Association has been a great opportunity to enhance the already thriving innovation ecosystem that we are part of in Kingston,” Jim Banting, Queen’s Assistant Vice-Principal (Research) says of his experience with the second annual event. Last year, Dr. Banting participated in the academic panel of the Partners Summit. “We have a tremendous amount of talent in workers and startups in Kingston that we can help get connected with the Kanata North ecosystem while they have companies and expertise available to help people from our region.”

This year, Dr. Banting attended a roundtable with several Kanata-based technology company CEOs some of which included Nokia, Ericcson, Mitel, RBR, CAE, Deloitte, and Wesley Clover.

“During the discussion, I was able to ask participants what their technology challenges are and how post-secondary institutions can learn and help them,” says Dr. Banting. “We got great feedback directly from the source about emerging areas of interest and how long-term close relationships were the best way forward.”

The roundtable discussion allowed post-secondary institutions to highlight current and potential research collaborations with other academics institutions to further collaborations with industry. “Queen’s has many deep domain experts (faculty members) that could help with the challenges that face their future product and technology iterations,” says Dr. Banting. “In addition, these collaborations will likely involve graduate students that might be future employees for these companies.”

Queen’s Partnerships and Innovation is looking forward to continuing discussions through Hub350 networks and collaborations.

In June 2021, Queen’s University announced its membership with Hub350, powered by the Kanata North Business Association (KNBA). Home to Canada’s largest technology park, Kanata North is renowned as a vibrant region for technology and innovation. With over 540+ companies and 28,000 directly employed in Canada's largest technology park, Kanata North continues to be home to some of the best and brightest of Canadian and global tech. Since joining, Queen’s has collaborated and partnered with the Kanata North members on a variety of initiatives.