Innovate > forward Seminars

From January to June 2012, each of Innovate Forward’s six sessions were designed around a specific topic in the advanced manufacturing space, addressed first by Andrew Maxwell, Professor at University of Toronto at Mississauga, then discussed in practical terms by a keynote speaker that is an industry expert. Tim Scott, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at RIC, was on hand as host, and as part of the program’s support network in his role as an entrepreneur working in the industry. The final component to each session was a practical demo at Sheridan’s Brampton Campus or a site tour at ABB Robotics.

Summaries for the Six Innovate Forward Sessions:

January 17th, 2012

Understanding What You Have and How to Turn it into a New Product or Service
Keynote: Larry Fitzgerald, Site Leader, Honeywell Aerospace
For companies at the idea stage, this session provided some great resources including the Idea Review Template and tools such as the SWOT analysis table. The first thing that needs to be done is a critical analysis of the business with key questions that manufactuers should answer.

Resources:
Innovation at Honeywell by Larry Fitzgerald
Performing a detailed SWOT Analysis
SWOT and PEST Analysis
Searching for that New Product? 30 Advanced Manufacturers Take The First Step


February 23rd, 2012

How New Ideas are Formed and Where to Find Them
Keynote: Coby Segall, Group Lead – Research and Innovation, Psion Teklogix
The session began with a presentation of the Iterative Design Process for manufacturing startups. A flowchart outlined the key steps involved in idea generation post problem definition. It continued by explaining why organizations fail to innovate and then went on to define key sources of innovation.

Resources:
Driving Innovation at Psion by Coby Segall
Iterative Design Process Flow Chart
Sources of Innovation
Ideas that fail to launch. What’s getting in the way?
Testing an Idea by Asking the World


March 22nd, 2012

How to Evaluate Your New Ideas
Keynote: Paul Smith, Vice President and Centre Manager, Xerox Canada
The session started with Tim Scott describing the Stage Gate Process. Andrew Maxwell then went on to explain how to assess innovation objectives and took the audience through evaluating innovative ideas table (See Resources below). Next, Paul Smith spoke about the approach Xerox Research Centre takes to new ideas.

Resources:
How to Evaluate Your New Ideas by Paul Smith
Stage Gate Method: Product Development Process
The Idea Assessment Process and Innovation Framework
Your great idea. Are you going to waste it or make it?
Go or No Go: Making the critical idea decision
Solving Real World Problems With Working Prototypes


April 17th, 2012

Piloting Innovation
Keynote: Nick McDonald, Business Development, ABB Robotics
Tim presented the Lean Checklist Self Assessment by Marino Associates LLC. Then the audience was taken through the stages in the pilot process (See Resources below). Next, Nick spoke about pilot projects at ABB and the detailed process behind prototyping robots. He also shared a video of a robot named Frida and hosted a site tour of the ABB plant facility.

Resources:
Prototyping at ABB Robotics by Nick McDonald

Lean Checklist of Self-Assessment
Factors and Decision Criteria for Piloting Innovation
Here Come the Robots: Join Innovate>Forward at a Leading Robotic Manufacturing Facility


May 15th, 2012

Channel Development: Leveraging Your Upstream and Downstream Partners
Keynote: Dr. Hamdy Khalil, Global Technical Director of the Woodbridge Foam Corporation, The Woodbridge Group
After Tim addressed supply chain management, Andrew discussed how to leverage the supply chain to enhance innovation success. Dr. Khalil spoke about the challenges with suppliers and customers as well as the importance of culture in addition to technology in an innovative ecosystem.

Resources:
Introduction to the Woodbridge Group by Dr. Hamdy Khalil
KPIs & Leveraging supply chain to enhance success
Robots without Hairnets


June 19th, 2012

Innovation Collaboration – Working with Like-Minded People
Keynote: John Domm, R&D Optics Manager, Christie Digital Systems
After Tim described a white paper on the effects and importance of collaboration in the global marketplace, Andrew discussed behaviour and trust issues between collaborators. John was our case study who presented the Christie story and the importance of partnerships in business.

Resources:
Christie Corporate Overview by John Domm

The Impact of Collaboration on Business Performance (Summary of Frost & Sullivan White Paper)
Behavioural Trust Dimensions

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