TechTalk Blog
VITP welcomes two new tenants!

We are happy to welcome two new tenants to the Vancouver Island Technology Park!

James Evans & Associates has leased a large office space in the main building and Canada Sensors Technology Inc. is starting with a small office in the Innov8 Hub.

A locally grown Victoria-based company, JEA is one of Canada’s leading pension software firms offering solid, reputable and easy-to-use technology coupled with people with extensive pension knowledge. For over 30 years, JEA has provided solutions that enable organizations to operate their pension plans with great effectiveness and efficiency. They offer  full service software, custom solutions and consulting services to organizations that want to custom build their own applications.

CST, a Canadian Corporation formed in 2009, is a pressure and level transmitter manufacturing unit that will be manufacturing high-tech transmitters for the North and South American markets. CSTA was formed in 2014 and is a registered company in Hong Kong. CSTA will be manufacturing high-tech pressure and level transmitters on the world renowned Hong Kong Science Park for the Asian, European, Scandinavian, African and Australian markets.

For more information on these companies and for contact details, please visit JEA and CST

Picture This Today Demo!

VITP tenant Picture This Today is gearing up for the launch of their groundbreaking technology, changing the way we buy homes and providing the ability to showcase properties together with furnishing products.

This is merely a preview of what is coming in March 2015 and is it ever exciting! Please take a few moments to navigate through their virtual home, move furnishings and change wall and floor coverings, and place a few items into the space from a few samples of their online catalogues.

Click to see a one-minute welcome video, and here to enter the virtual space.  You may want to go to help and video tutorials first. If you need help at any point, the “How to Use” link toward the bottom of the page will take you to the same link. They recommend using a two-button mouse with a scroll wheel, and apologize for the time required to load the demo. The actual software will be hosted on our own cloud-based servers and load immediately.

They welcome questions, comments and suggestions at

We are so looking forward to the launch of this software and can hardly wait to see what the future holds for Picture This Today. Stay tuned!

VITP Update – Goward Springs Creek Restoration Project

VITP Update – Goward Springs Creek Restoration Project

The Goward Springs Watersheds Stewards (a volunteer group) have been working to restore the riparian forest along the section of Goward Springs Creek which flows through VITP property. In order to restore the natural salmon habitat, invasive species have been cleared and extensive planting, mulching and watering of 540 new trees have taken place on site.

More than 620 hours of volunteer work were contributed in 2014 and will continue into 2015.
For more information or to become involved email


Picture 1. Map of the restoration planting project. The green line outlines the riparian restoration area along 200 meters of the creek, the dotted red outlines two forest corridors that are being restored and the blue dotted line shows areas around the weir that were infill-planted.

Picture 2. The yellow line is Goward Springs Creek downstream of the planting project. The area (approx. 2 ha) inside the red line has invasive plants removed.








Tech News: BC Has Least Red Tape in Canada, Report Finds

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Posted by Knowlton Thomas

BC Has Least Red Tape in Canada, Report Finds

The grades are in, and governments across Canada have been marked on how well (or poorly) they are doing in terms of measuring and publicly reporting on the rules, processes and paperwork that they impose on small business.

BC ranked best with the country’s only “A” grade, while the Northwest Territorities ranked last with the only “F” grade. Most provinces either maintained or improves their grade over 2013.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ 4th annual Red Tape Report Card is primarily assessing progress on regulatory accountability. The main criteria for success are measurement of, and publicly reporting on, the regulatory burden.



“This is a report card on the basics. It’s not that hard to do well,” said Laura Jones, CFIB’s executive vice-president. “Red tape reform has a simple formula: Measure, report, repeat. You can’t get where you’re going if you don’t know where you are.”

“Some jurisdictions are much further along than others, but each has its share of challenges,” added Jones. “Even those that measure are not always capturing the full spectrum of regulatory requirements. So there is still a lot of work do, but we are getting there.”

Tech News: Smartpods Raises Money from BDC, NBIF to Tackle Modern Society’s Health Plague: Sitting

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Posted by Peter Moreira

Smartpods Raises Money from BDC, NBIF to Tackle Modern Society’s Health Plague: Sitting

Smartpods has raised $750,000 in equity financing to help it battle one of society’s great health problems: sitting.

The Dieppe, N.B., company makes tables that have work areas that automatically rise, fall and move from side to side to get users off their butts. Its technology controls the movement of the working space, and it is finding customers among corporations and government.

Having graduated in November from the Launch36 tech accelerator, the company late last month closed $250,000 in funding from BDC Venture Capital, part of the Business Development Bank of Canada, and $500,000 from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation.

BDC Venture Capital customarily gives $150,000 convertible notes to the best graduates of Canadian accelerators. But it is now giving larger amounts to hardware companies, and Smartpods is the first to qualify. “Hardware companies need more money (than software companies),” said Nicole LeBlanc, associate director of strategic investments and partnerships at BDC Venture Capital. She added that a prerequisite of receiving the $250,000 allotment is to “have another funding partner who can help them along.”

Smartpods is the brainchild of Leon DesRoches, the company’s CEO and founder. Having worked for more than a decade as a physiotherapist, DesRoches understands that one of the greatest health issues in the world is that too many of us sit at our desks at 9 a.m. each day and remain there until 5 p.m. “We truly lose people from nine to five,” said DesRoches in an interview. “It’s not just health that’s being affected. It’s affecting productivity. That’s why businesses today are paying attention to health and wellness. It’s affecting people’s productivity.”

About four years ago, DesRoches decided he had to come up with a solution. People ignore devices that ping them every 20 minutes or so, reminding them to move. Other techniques tended to fail as well. So he devised a table with a work area that automatically moved to encourage mobility among desk-bound staff. The company partnered with another from the Moncton area, MotionFab, to design the desks and develop a prototype. Their desks, which are manufactured in Moncton, are attractive, can be customized to users and hide unsightly wires.

Two years ago, they developed their first prototype. They tested the product on 22 Blue Cross employees and analyzed their biomechanics and work output. They learned employees were more productive, happier and suffered less pain than those sitting at traditional desks. They got similar results when they tested the product at Moncton’s 911 call centre. “When they work on Smartpods, they don’t hit that three o’clock wall that is very common with desk users,” said DesRoches.

His timing has been good because large organizations are realizing the problems created by a sedentary workforce. For example, the federal government has launched its Office 2.0 program, which demands all workers should have a desk with standing and sitting positions. At $2,500 each, the Smartpod desks are designed to meet the needs of high-end employees and professionals who are desk-bound much of the day.

The target market would be architects and accountants.

DesRoches has previously raised about $1.5 million, including financing from government programs.

This article was originally published on Entrevestor.


Tech News: Where has all our women gone?

Written by Zedar Thokme-Wong from Cebas Visual Technologies
View the original article here

Where has all our women gone? (‘where has all the flowers gone?)

“Animation Guild statistics show that only 16% of people working in creative or rendering jobs in animation are women.”

If our cebas Visual Technology FaceBook fanpages were anything to go by as a micro-view of gender distribution in the 3D /VFX general career advancement then, our recent data suggests that we need more women to come aboard and imagine the boundless dimensions of 3D art and animation. We are talking of a gaping gap of 92%-7% !

cebas Visual Technology data analytics for Facebook fans.

Needless to say, resolution 2015, cebas Visual Technology would like to try and encourage more women interest in 3D /VFX art work. I figure that’s about the toughest challenge a company can take on. Especially since many socio-economic factors are involved.

This gender imbalance in the VFX industry was noticed as early on as 2006, although I am sure it is a much, much more earlier phenomenon, but why spend time digging known facts? The main point is 8 years hence, and the womenfolk have not picked up much in the 3D /VFX art industries.

If we look at the 2014 figures and scroll right to the bottom: their research shows that only 5% of women made it as VFX supervisors. In all counts, for media and film production jobs, women makes up a considerably smaller percentage than men.

The Dip

“Breaking down the percentages of women working on 2013 films by job category:
** Directors: 6%, down 3% from 2012 and 1998
** Writers: 10%, down 5% from 2012 and 3% from 1998
** Producers: 25%, even with 2012 and up 1% from 1998
** Exec producers: 15%, down 2% from 2012 and 3% from 1998
** Editors: 17%: down 3% from 2012 and 1998
** Cinematographers: 3%, up 1% from 2012 and down 1% from 1998
In the below-the-line categories, the survey examined the gender breakdown for 1,026 jobs. (Comparative data is not available for all categories.)
** Production designers: 23%, up 3% from 2008 (when the stats were last compiled)
** Sound designers: 4%, down 1% from 2008
** Supervising sound editors: 9%, up 4% from 2008
** vfx supervisors: 5%

Remember Pixar Animation’s ‘Brave’ ?

One of the socio factors of this gaping gap could be the Venus vs Mars mentality in the two genders. Witness the ‘the brave new girl’ of Pixar’s ‘Brave’-fame: Brenda Chapman (see also “Brenda Chapman speaks about role of women in animation“), who ironically lost her creative role in the movie after she butted head with John Lasseter, Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer. This makes one wonder.. if the missing ladies at 3D /VFX operations are due to the oft-quoted 16-hour-too-long job nature issues or, a Venus-Mars difference in how the genders view creative, art-directed roles and pipeline processes? The ubiquitous left-right brain question.

Have the notion of women being better at right-brain visual-spatial activities vis-a-vis the men’s left-brain logics been over-ruled? Not really. We see a similar lack of women in computing works such as software development, but not web design (more right-brain)…. and no problem with the imaginative aspects of 3D / VFX. My understanding is at the actual pipeline production stage of technical directorship – a lot of macro-, scripting and programming is required – and here is where the male becomes dominant. Here is where the women have to start enhancing their coding (left-brain) skills! Otherwise, production politics of how to integrate technology and art-directedness crops up… and you know who is out when head butts.

The ‘Glam’ factor: 2013-2014 Women of Media Awards.

In 2013, Sue Rowe of Vancouver, was the first ever VFX at the Supervisory level for Method Studio (she has since moved on to Escape Studios), to have been shortlisted for the Women of Media Awards (Women’s Media Center). She was and may still be,

  • One of only two female visual effects supervisors in the world;
  • The only female VFX supervisor in the UK;
  • The only woman on the long list of Oscar nominees for Disney’s John Carter in 2013.

See Sue Rowe’s interview on Escape Studios blog: Women in VFX(

This year the 2014 Women of Media Awards had an awesome line up of women in senior executive power positions for media, however, none this year for VFX work. The SLP Productions’ 2014 winners probably came closest to creative CG arts being recognized (where recognition is sorely needed). To me, the back-office ‘underground’ 3D/ VFX women art-workers have just as little exposure as their male counterparts in terms of public appeal. Can you name the ten top male 3D / VFX artists? It’s the lack of glam-appeal! So the imbalance of power play is also women-on-women and less glamorous/ influential roles have twice as much an uphill battle! Women awards itself needs to uplift the less ‘glam’ side (technical) in the variety of fields.

And by the way, you can see that awards given in recognition of women’s contribution came mostly from women alliances and organizations but when it is the world out-there where men rules, women had a slimmer chance of winning an award.


It is not a simple clarion call of gender biases, read….”Marvel’s Vice President of Post Production, Victoria Alonso, who also asked “where are the girls?” at the 2014 VES Summit, whereby she called for more women to work in VFX.” Obviously, some folks in the industry feels that Alonso herself does not walk her talk (read article). That’s what I mean by WOMEN-on-women. Women too, has to diversify how they reach out and help other careers (not just the glamour side).

In the VES discussion, another comment came from Scott Ross, digital media executive,…”Perhaps there’s a gender gap because more women aren’t as foolish as the majority of men who choose to jump in the shark tank that is the VFX industry?”

Well,.. there are a lot of ‘shark tanks’ in the job market, not just VFX, and there are many women swimming and sinking in these tanks so, I do feel Scott’s comment is exactly what makes it more challenging for the ladies to have a foot in the door, despite its reality check.

Reality check? Enter this two URL Searches: and

Well… cebas Visual Technology invites you to share and re-post this article, especially to young ladies and mid-career change woman interested in entering the 3D / VFX market – try


Cebas Visual Technology Has Co-Sponsored a 3D CG Architecture Challenge!

VITP tenant Cebas Visual Technology  has co-sponsored an exciting 3D CG Architecture Challenge! Check out the details and spread the word!

3D CG Architecture Challenge

Tech News: Holiday Gift Roundup: A Little Bit of Tech for Everyone

Running out of Christmas gift ideas? Techvibes rounds up some favourite tech gifts for 2014!

As seen on
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Holiday Gift Roundup: A Little Bit of Tech for Everyone

There’s still plenty of time to shop for the holidays. This Christmas tech is poised to be one of the hottest consumer categories. In fact, we contend that you can buy something for everyone on your list from a single big-box tech retailer, like Future Shop.

Below we highlight some of our favourite tech gift ideas for 2014.

Jawbone UP24. Available in three sizes across a variety of colours, including pink and orange, the UP24 is the simplest way to track both your activity during the day and your sleep during the night.

For $159, this fashionable wrist accessory syncs with your smartphone via Bluetooth, but is capable of storing multiple months of data on its own—so if you don’t need real-time feedback, you can save your phone’s battery life, or even leave it in the locker room while workng out at the gym. How considerate of Jawbone.

TomTom Runner GPS Watch. This limited-edition runner’s watch, made by GPS company TomTom, offers great value at $139. This stylish digital timepiece supplies detailed running metrics to keep an eye on your goals and train more effectively.

With vibration alerts, indoor tracking for treadmills, and instant syncing and sharing, you’re always on top of your targets with this TomTom watch—which is great, because we know that getting in better shape is on your list of resolutions for 2015 (right?).

Muse headband. It’s going to be 2015 soon, and it’s time to start acting like it. Embracing the future includes tracking our brainwaves with a sleek headband, obviously. And the Canadian-born Muse does it best. For $299, Muse works out your brain, and that’s just as important as honing your body.

This slick headpiece detects brain signals while you complete focused-attention exercises, which provides valuable feedback so you can see how your brain works. It’s a procedure that helps improve focus, composure, and stress response. Now that’s priceless.

Proteus Core gaming mouse. Alright, enough training. Let your body and brain relax while indulging in some good old-fashioned computer games. The wannabe-pro-gamer in your life will surely appreciate a Proteus Core gaming mouse. Built by Logitech, the Proteus Core is a wireless, customizable mouse capable of being tuned for weight, balance, and tracking purposes.

For $79, the Proteus Core delivers the  accuracy, precision, and responsiveness gamers need to kick ass—or browse the web. After all, cat videos are fun too.


iDUS Controls Expansion and Update Details!

VITP tenant iDUS Controls Ltd. is expanding and taking up additional office space in the Collabor8 Suites! Here is an update directly from Ron Hartman, President of iDUS Controls.

“iDUS has spent the last year in beta launch mode deploying, refining, demonstrating and conducting 3rd party validations of SensMit on three continents in a variety of commercial Ag applications, enabling us now to point to our SensMit Platform as the hardened industry-disrupting data pipeline for in-field agriculture sensor readings. SensMit is like a pipeline with a terminal – sensor-data streams into branches extending globally, and is rendered consumable at the cloud-based terminus we’ve built.

Two of the world’s top three pivot irrigation companies are deploying our technologies or variants of it, and a growing subset of agronomists are enhancing their businesses by reselling (to their client bases) the data streams that SensMit can generate more easily and economically than anything else in this space.

We have been a virtual company with widely distributed team members, and are now gradually consolidating/building iDUS’ resources here, in anticipation of some rapid growth.”

Congratulations on an exciting year for iDUS Controls and we look forward to hearing updates down the road!

Pureleau Update and Expansion Details at MTC!

Pureleau Limited has been hard at work since moving into MTC one year ago, and they are currently in the midst of expanding and taking up additional space! We are very proud to see a company succeed and be able to expand their business. Here is a Pureleau update directly from the source:

Pureleau Limited was incorporated several years ago to exploit a de-salination technology based upon the technique termed CDI (Capacitive De -Ionisation).The company initiated development in the basement at a private house in Ladysmith, Pureleau PicBC and obtained the licence rights to a USA patent from research originating in the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories , Stanford University, California. Several prototypes were constructed that demonstrated the art.  However, the exercise clearly demonstrated the need for a simpler, less materials intensive and lower cost approach. Such was conceived, and work commenced to exploit a new concept design that we at Pureleau have termed, a Multiphase Electrostatic Ion Pump (MEIP). 

Concurrently through a chance meeting with  Sandy Beaman at a Victoria Boat Show in 2013, an invitation to populate the MTC space was offered. The offer was accepted, with the carrot being associations with fellow researchers and entrepreneurs.

We are happy to report that since we took up residence at MTC, our MEIP concept is well advanced and has been patented.

In addition to the above, Pureleau is building a capability in both water and air treatment and sensing technology. Our parent company in Calgary is one of the largest HVAC companies in North America and has challenged Pureleau to deliver sensor packages to interface with their existing air quality infrastructure systems. A number of greenhouse gases to include formaldehyde can now be monitored with a compact data logging system developed here at MTC.

Pureleau Pic 2The tools of our trade include E CAD, Solid Works, and COMSOL (A Multi-Physics modeling program)

The people behind Pureleau are:

David Taylor:  Electrical Engineering.

Lawrence Lambert:  Physics and Mathematics.

Greg Eaton:  Electronics

Sina Moshksar:  Firmware.

Juan Pablo Bravo:  Chemistry

Emily Walas:  Administrator



For contact details at Pureleau click here