Bounce Health Innovation: established in 2018 with a demonstrated potential to establish a medical technology sector in the province by supporting the rapid development of a health innovation ecosystem and start-up companies. Stemming from Hacking Health activity, Bounce Heath Innovation supports the growth of the medtech community by hosting Hacking Health events and supporting entrepreneurial student work terms. Additionally, the initiative unlocks the innovation potential within the health system through multi-level engagement and entrepreneurial mentorship through Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship’s (MCE) entrepreneur-in-residence and executive-in-residence.
The primary objectives of the Bounce for the next 3 years is to support 32 startup projects and innovations in the medical technology sector. The secondary objective is to contribute to building the reputation of Newfoundland and Labrador as the testbed for medical technologies in North America. Collectively, these objectives will diversify the economy while infusing innovation into our health system. This will result in an improved health system with better outcomes for the people of NL and will serve to attract external health innovators and stakeholders into the province.
During its first year of operation, Bounce has had the following impact:
● Seven Hacking Health Cafés, including one in Grand Falls-Windsor, one in Corner Brook, and a full scale Hackathon Weekend. The annual hackathon is now the largest one in Atlantic Canada.
● Provided support to 31 entrepreneurs on their business ideas.
● Invested $90,000 in three Medtech startups through the Embryo grant process.
● Assisted the formation and evolution of 11 new medical technology startup companies, surpassing the year one objective of 6 startups.
● Supported entrepreneurs to raise in excess of 400k working capital.
● Supported the initiation of four pilot projects in the clinical setting.
● One of Bounce’s companies has already received a private capital investment of $300,000.
Digitalization in Oil and Gas: Following the early success of Hacking Health and the Bounce Health Innovation Intiative, NATI had heard from members, partners and industry that there was interest in learning more about how to leverage opportunities through big data and digitalization in oil and gas in Newfoundland and Labrador. With the support of its Board of Directors, NATI wanted to begin to bring together the diverse group of stakeholders to begin to advance this work in the province, while also creating the environment for cross-industry collaboration. To achieve this, a series of initiatives and events took place over the January 2018 to June 2019 timeframe, including:
Big Data Oil and Gas event on January 31, 2018
To start the conversation and fully understand the opportunity for big data and digitalization in oil and gas, NATI hosted a three-quarter day Big Data Oil and Gas event with leaders in oil and gas and technology in attendance.
Development of the Working Partnership with NATI and Noia
Following the initial Big Data Oil and Gas event, NATI and NOIA began to form a collaborative working relationship to facilitate the delivery of the priorities set out by the leaders in oil and gas and technology in the January event combined with ongoing stakeholder consultation. Through this work two key initiatives were borne: the Digital Transformation Working Group, and Hacking Oil and Gas.
Formation of the Digital Transformation Working Group
The Digital Transformation Working Group (DTWG) was formed to do a deep dive into the opportunities, gaps, challenges, best practices, and industry priority around digitalization of oil and gas (of which big data is a part). Reporting to the Boards of NATI and Noia, the group implemented three phases of research and consultation that would ultimately inform the development of a public report on Digital Transformation: Challenges and Opportunities in the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industry.
Meeting weekly, the group completed industry-wide surveys, focus groups to further examine themes coming out of the survey results, and one-on-one interviews to zero in on specific questions to help inform the development of the public report. Broadly, questions covered three key areas:
1. What is the understanding and perception of digital transformation in our industry?
2. What are the major challenges our collective (NATI and Noia) members face?
3. What are the opportunities for digital transformation?
The DTWG presented initial findings at Noia’s Fall Update 2018, and then publicly released the final report on June 20, 2019 at the Noia Conference, with the support of both the NATI and Noia Boards and stakeholders.
Hacking Oil and Gas
Together, NATI and Noia delivered three Hacking Oil and Gas cafes that ultimately led to the province’s first-ever Oil and Gas Hackathon weekend. Each of the cafes built on the progress made from the café previous, and were used to encourage collaboration and idea-sharing, with discussion in groups around defining challenges in the oil and gas industry that could be addressed through technology and innovation, as well as the local capabilities to support the work. Guest speakers and industry experts led these sessions with keynotes that focused on the art of the possible, advancements in digitalization of oil and gas, and collaboration between industries. Each café drew a minimum of 80 participants from oil and gas, technical, business, and academia.
In January 2019, a working group formed to plan and deliver an Oil and Gas Hackathon. Operators and industry played a key role in defining the challenges for the Hackathon, which were ultimately tackled with prototyped solutions developed by the three top teams. The Hackathon drew more than 100 registrants who formed nine teams which pitched their solution to industry after 72 hours of hacking. With the support of mentors from oil and gas, and business over the course of the weekend, the outcome was exciting from all accounts where solutions presented were practical and could be implemented (once advanced) in industry. The momentum and excitement for the next Hackathon, and expanded focus in this area was clear across both industries as NATI and Noia plans its next steps in this important effort.