Jason Hendry presenting at DiscoveryX
Jason Hendry, Partnerships Development Officer with Queen's Partnerships and Innovation, presenting at DiscoveryX

The Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) hosted DiscoveryX, a rebranded version of the Discovery Conference, at Toronto’s Enercare Centre from April 17-18, 2024. This was the first time the conference had been held since 2019 (then named Discovery) and the theme was “The best of Ontario Innovation.”

The conference aimed to foster networking and the exchanging of ideas as well as knowledge mobilization by bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, government, and industry leaders across Ontario. This year’s event saw over 2,000 attendees and over 250 exhibitor booths, including a presence from the Kingston region. Led by Kingston Economic Development Corporation, the Kingston region footprint included space for local companies as well as Queen’s Partnerships and Innovation (QPI) and the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre.

As part of this year’s conference events, two Queen’s technologies were presented during the Where Next Showcase. The Showcase was an opportunity to see the best and brightest technologies emerging from Ontario’s universities and research hospitals.

Jason Hendry, Partnerships Development Officer with QPI, presented the surgical navigation system for breast cancer surgery, being developed at Queen’s from Drs. Gabor Fichtinger and John Rudan. The technology uses ultrasound, electromagnetic tracking, and proprietary software to improve spatial awareness in lumpectomy surgery.

Prameet Sheth holding an award cheque at DiscoveryX
Dr. Prameet Sheth, holding his award cheque following his presentation at the Where Next Showcase at DiscoveryX

“The return of OCI’s Discovery was a great opportunity for us to showcase what is happening at Queen’s in the region,” says Hendry. “We were able to present the surgical navigation technology to a room full of investors and entrepreneurs – hopefully we will see some interest come from it.”

Dr. Prameet Sheth’s novel protease treatment for Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) infections was also presented during the Showcase, earning him a $10,000 award. The oral protein treatment protects against C. Difficile infection in patients, patients with recurrent infections and livestock.

“It was great to see Queen’s researchers being chosen and given the platform to present their technology at DiscoveryX,” says Michael Wells, another of QPI’s Partnerships Development Officers. “Hopefully this injection of funding for Dr. Sheth can help to further the search for a research collaborator or industry partner.”

“We were excited to see the return of the DiscoveryX conference this year,” adds Rick Boswell, Assistant Director of Operations and Programs with QPI. “Our companies always got a lot of value from the networking and investor meetups in years past, and I hope they will find the same return of benefits from attending this year.”