OBAA 2018 Finalists: Mitacs Innovation Award

Since 1983, The Ontario Business Achievement Awards (OBAAs) have been the most recognized industry gala in the province with a single focus on celebrating business success. Throughout the evening, we will celebrate our spectacular Ontario business community, highlighting the incredible innovations and achievements of each one of our 2018 OBAA finalists. Join us on Wednesday, November 21 as we reveal our winners at the Liberty Grand in Toronto!

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Presenting: The Mitacs Innovation Award Finalists

The Mitacs Innovation Award recognizes a business that uses work-integrated-learning to support talent and innovation in Ontario.

Finalist #1: Ciena

Industry: Networking Industry

When did your organization first open its doors? What motivated you to get into business?

Ciena first opened its doors in November 1992, with the mission of radically changing the economics of telecommunications networks. Initially, Ciena leapfrogged innovation by pioneering Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technology as a means to split light across fiber optic lines, thereby enabling the transport of greater volumes of information across communications networks. This technology breakthrough propelled Ciena to rapid success and nationwide deployments.

How does your organization positively contribute to Ontario’s economy (i.e., creates jobs)?

Ciena’s hired over 200 people in Ontario last year, many being recent graduates from local Universities and colleges. Ciena actively collaborates with many universities in research projects that contribute to the Science of communications and Internet technologies, which directly feeds the advancement of the schools and their students. Ciena is an anchor partner in the Ontario–Quebec–Canada private-public partnership to advance Canadian leadership in 5G wireless and advanced technologies. Project ENCQOR represents a $400m opportunity, with half of this investment directly impacting the Ontario economy, small and medium businesses, and schools.

What does being an OBAA finalist mean to you?

Recognition of Ciena means a great deal to the company, not only as an endorsement of our substantial contribution to the provincial economy but a celebration that world-class, market-leading technologies have their invention and design origins and here in Ontario. We also feel pride that being a finalist recognizes our long-standing and incredibly successful partnership with Mitacs and the hundreds of students that have benefited from internships here at Ciena in Ontario.

Connect with Ciena on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Youtube.

“Ciena attributes its success in Ontario to our outstanding, skilled employees. In large measure, this reflects the
excellent universities and colleges in the province and their success in producing high-quality people. Programs like Mitacs have been stellar partners in bringing topnotch graduates to our attention and to our R&D teams.”

Rodney Wilson, Chief Technologist, Research Networks, Ciena

Finalist #2: Trojan Technologies

Industry: UV water treatment industry

When did your organization first open its doors? What motivated you to get into business?

Trojan began 41 years ago in 1977, when young entrepreneur Hank Vander Laan and his partners bought Trojan Metal Products Limited – a small company located in London, Ontario, Canada. What caught Vander Laan’s eye was the patent rights it held on a small UV treatment unit for homeowners to use to purify their drinking water. He was aware of the benefits of UV as a safer, more environmentally friendly alternative to chemical water treatment, and envisioned the potential for large-scale applications. Still headquartered in London, Trojan Technologies is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Danaher Corporation (Washington, DC).

How does your organization positively contribute to Ontario’s economy (i.e., creates jobs)?

Approximately 430 employees of our 700-strong global workforce are based in Ontario. Our headquarters are in London, Ontario house Research and Development, Engineering and Corporate Services departments. Two major manufacturing centres are in Ontario, one in London and the other in Guelph. Many of our partners and collaborators are based in Ontario, including Ontario universities, colleges and other organizations. 5% of our revenues are re-invested in Innovation. With our business growth over last 41 years from a start-up to a global leader in UV water treatment, significant social and economic benefits have been generated in the province of Ontario.

What does being an OBAA finalist mean to you?

Trojan is extremely honored to be selected as a finalist of the Mitacs Innovation Awards. The Mitacs program at Trojan has become a strategic part of our R&D and innovation infrastructure, making a significant impact on Trojan’s growth. We’re proud that Trojan has hosted 227 Mitacs intern units since 2011. Over the past five years, Trojan has offered seven interns full-time R&D positions and six interns have obtained tenure track academic positions. Others have taken on promising R&D roles (mostly in Ontario). We feel these talents will be future innovation leaders, contributing to the social and economic growth of Ontario.

Connect with Trojan Technologies on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Youtube.

“With Trojan, an almost impossible idea of making water safe without the use of chemicals was so profound that others enthusiastically participated in the business. Every associate has made a meaningful contribution to this goal. The result being that we have a leading presence in every corner of the globe.”

Trojan founder, Hank Vander Laan

Join us on Wednesday, November 21 as we reveal our winners at the Liberty Grand in Toronto!