TechTalk Blog
EDS Advanced Solutions Signs $586 Million Agreement to Improve British Columbia Government Data Services

VICTORIA, British Columbia – EDS Advanced Solutions, a subsidiary of EDS, an HP company, today announced it has signed an agreement with the British Columbia Ministry of Labour and Citizens’ Services for hosting and data centre services.

The contract is valued at approximately $586 million calculated over 12 years.

Under the new agreement, EDS Advanced Solutions will consolidate, standardize and manage the computing, information storage and data center operations for the province.

EDS Advanced Solutions will manage the province’s server and storage systems and consolidate them from the existing eight data centers into two new centers.

HP and EDS Agility Alliance partners will provide services, products and solutions as a part of this agreement.

In compliance with British Columbia’s leading position in privacy protection, EDS Advanced Solutions enforces strict provisions that meet or exceed the province’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

“The EDS Advanced Solutions team will deliver data management and storage that is secure as well as socially and fiscally responsible,” said Jim Hamilton, president of EDS Advanced Solutions, an EDS subsidiary. “With EDS, we have a total of 50 years of experience and superior business transition skills that will help deliver outstanding and innovative results.”

EDS Advanced Solutions has offered full-time employment to all unionized ministry employees affected by this agreement competitive with their current employment terms.

About EDS Advanced Solutions Inc.

EDS Advanced Solutions Inc. is a subsidiary of EDS, an HP company. Incorporated in May 2004, the company is headquartered at the Vancouver Island Technology Park in Victoria, British Columbia, enabling its employees to deliver outstanding services in a state-of-the-art complex. As EDS Canada’s unionized service delivery channel, EDS Advanced Solutions delivers world class business process and information technology outsourcing services in a professional and labour-friendly environment. The company collaborates with industry-leading partners to provide the best possible solutions for its customers. Visit online at www.edsadvancedsolutions.com.

About EDS

EDS, an HP company, is a leading global technology services provider, delivering business solutions to its clients. EDS founded the information technology outsourcing industry nearly 50 years ago. Today, EDS delivers a broad portfolio of information technology, applications and business process outsourcing services to clients in the manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, communications, energy, transportation, and consumer and retail industries, and to governments around the world.

About HP

HP, the wor
ld’s largest technology company, simplifies the technology experience for consumers and businesses with a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com
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The Ontario Cancer Biomarker Network Selects GenoLogics

GenoLogics, the leading developer of informatics solutions for translational research, today announced it is working with the Ontario Cancer Biomarker Network to deploy its lab and proteomics data management system.

The OCBN offers biomarker research services and solutions to academic and industrial researchers. The network, which includes several proteomics service labs in Ontario, is expanding its infrastructure to ensure that different disciplines, technologies and expertise operate seamlessly across multiple facilities to meet the needs of the biomarker research community, irrespective of the size and scale of research projects.

“To enable collaboration and the centralized management of lab operations, we investigated numerous LIMS solutions, but the most advanced and cost effective system we found is Proteus from GenoLogics,” said Ken Evans, CEO for the Ontario Cancer Biomarker Network. “The Proteus system enables our integrative proteomics approach across multiple labs by automating mass spectrometry data processing workflows and centralizing data and project management.”

Proteus combines the strength of a robust multi-lab platform while maintaining its ability to be configured for the proteomics research being conducted in each lab. It improves lab efficiency by automating data capture from mass spectrometry instruments and protein search engines, and by seamlessly tracking projects, samples and results. As a ready-to-use solution, Proteus can be quickly deployed, while also being easily adapted for future integrations to facilitate standardized data processing and bioinformatics pipelines.

“Proteus is ideally suited for the OCBN in that it combines the benefits of a deeply purposed data management system for proteomics research with a LIMS platform that can centralize and standardize operations across multiple labs” said Mike Sanders, Product Manager for GenoLogics. “Since our informatics solutions are also designed for other life sciences research, the LIMS platform could be quickly and easily expanded to meet the needs of other applications and support the OCBN’s overall goal to enable translational research.”

Proteus operates on a highly configurable and adaptable platform that can support many applications across multiple facilities. The platform includes features such as the Adaptive Reporting Framework to generate operational and scientific reports, and LabLink to publish and share results via a secure online interface. And with an open architecture, Proteus is a flexible informatics solution that can cost-effectively adapt to evolving needs and become part of a more comprehensive solution for systems biology and translational research operations

VITP introduces first of its kind Corporate Challenge

Victoria, British Columbia – Alan Bishop, television show designer for the popular Survivor and Amazing Race series is putting his skills to work in the Power To Play, a unique fundraising event that will help to make a difference in the lives of local disadvantaged youth.

Vancouver Island Technology Park (VITP) and the Power To Be Adventure Therapy Society recruited Bishop to launch the first ever corporate challenge, Power To Play, being held April 18 at VITP.

Twenty-five teams of four will run, crawl, slide, jump, push and challenge themselves and teammates through mud, water, bush and other natural objects in a spectacle the Victoria business community has never seen.

Please join the adventure and help us spread the word about two organizations doing something different that will benefit kids and the corporate work place.

 

Event Details:

When: April 18, 2009

Time: 12:00pm to 7:00pm

Where: Vancouver Island Technology Park

Website: www.powertoplay.ca 

 

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Power To Be Wilderness School, a four year outdoor education program that helps at-risk youth www.powertobe.ca

VITP introduces first of its kind Corporate Challenge

Victoria, British Columbia – Alan Bishop, television show designer for the popular Survivor and Amazing Race series is putting his skills to work in the Power To Play, a unique fundraising event that will help to make a difference in the lives of local disadvantaged youth.

Vancouver Island Technology Park (VITP) and the Power To Be Adventure Therapy Society recruited Bishop to launch the first ever corporate challenge, Power To Play, being held April 18 at VITP.

Twenty-five teams of four will run, crawl, slide, jump, push and challenge themselves and teammates through mud, water, bush and other natural objects in a spectacle the Victoria business community has never seen.

Please join the adventure and help us spread the word about two organizations doing something different that will benefit kids and the corporate work place.

 

Event Details:

When: April 18, 2009

Time: 12:00pm to 7:00pm

Where: Vancouver Island Technology Park

Website: www.powertoplay.ca

 

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Power To Be Wilderness School, a four year outdoor education program that helps at-risk youth www.powertobe.ca

Troy Griffiths Named Business in Vancouver's Top 40 Under 40

Live and help live would be a fitting motto for Troy Griffiths, whose company, Vigil Health Solutions Inc., provides emergency and nurse call solutions for seniors.

A self-described James Bond fan, Griffiths has an old Sunbeam Alpine roadster that’s similar to a car that appeared in Dr. No, but for him race cars pale in comparison to the importance of health care.

“It really is a compelling area to be in, and obviously [we] see some need coming in the near future,” said Griffiths.

The company’s proprietary technology, the Vigil Integrated Care Management System, is a non-invasive monitoring system that helps seniors suffering from dementia and other ailments.

Vigil’s co-founder kick-started his business career in 2001 after he graduated from the University of Victoria with a bachelor of commerce degree.

He never thought he’d end up in health care, but after someone came to him looking for advice, he recognized the need for better health solutions for Canada’s aging population.

In 2005, he said Vigil’s board of directors took a “leap of faith” when they made him president and CEO, but he believes his success is thanks to others.

“The company has a bunch of great people, and being able to bring in great people and have talented individuals who can make you look good is critical,” he said.

In 2008, Vigil doubled its annual revenue to $3 million compared with $1.5 the year before, and the company employs 29 staff.

But it’s not all work for Griffiths, who also has a family and three children aged one, four and seven. He said he tries his best to set aside a few hours every night to spend with his children and he’s “unapologetic” about not attending every corporate function.

“I think it would have a positive impact if I could go, but I think in life there’s just so many things you could do, and so you have to pick the top priority.” •


Birthplace: Victoria

Where do you live now: Victoria

Highest level of education: CMA designation

Car or chosen mode of transport: Lexus RX400h (hybrid)

Currently reading: House Inside the Waves: Domesticity, Art and the Surfing Life by Richard Taylor and Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni

Last CD bought or music downloaded: Sleep Through the Static by Jack Johnson

Favourite movie: Star Wars

Favourite local restaurant: Shelter restaurant in Tofino

Profession you would most like to try: Professional surfer

Mentor: Greg Peet

Toughest business or professional decision: Layoffs during a major change in business strategy

What’s left to do: Continue to grow business, be the dominant player in our space, enter new markets, take my kids surfing around the world 

Government of Canada announces new ocean research and commercialization centre in Victoria

Andrew Saxton, MP for North Vancouver and Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) today announced the establishment of the Oceans Network Canada Centre for Enterprise and Engagement, (ONCEE), a new Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR).

"The Government of Canada is investing in science and technology to create jobs, strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians," said Mr. Saxton. "In Budget 2009, Canada's Economic Action Plan, we announced a $5.1 billion dollar investment in S&T initiatives such as the Oceans Network Canada Centre for Enterprise and Engagement, which will help researchers get more of their innovations from the lab to the marketplace so Canadians and people around the world can benefit."

The ONCEE will manage two highly sophisticated underwater laboratories that will support transformative research on our oceans and create unprecedented economic and outreach opportunities. These innovations will dramatically improve the scientific communities' ablity to plan for and respond to sea-based disasters, including improved risk assessments and a better understanding of seismic and tsunami hazards.

The CECR program is a key commitment of Canada's Science and Technology Strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage, announced in May 2007. Canada's Economic Action Plan provides $5.1 billion in additional
funding toward science and technology initiatives.

This program is administered by the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Secretariat. Launched in 1989, the NCE is an initiative of the three federal granting agencies-the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)-in partnership with Industry Canada.

"The NCE program is proud to be a part of the Government's vision for a more prosperous, advanced and competitive Canada," said Dr. Suzanne Fortier, Chair of the NCE Steering Committee and President of NSERC. "These new CECRs will work on important, multifaceted Canadian problems while bringing the very best ideas to the marketplace. We look forward to helping them achieve their maximum potential and impact."

This initiative is one of several new CECRs being put in place, representing an investment of $62.3 million over the next five years. This Centre and the others join the 11 CECRs announced last year by the Government of Canada.

The CECR program brings together partners from the academic, private and public sectors to advance research and facilitate commercialization of technologies, products and services. Mr. Saxton announced that the ONCEE will receive $6.5 million over five years.

Government of Canada announces new ocean research and commercialization centre in Victoria

Andrew Saxton, MP for North Vancouver and Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) today announced the establishment of the Oceans Network Canada
Centre for Enterprise and Engagement, (ONCEE), a new Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR).

"The Government of Canada is investing in science and technology to create jobs, strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians," said Mr. Saxton. "In Budget 2009, Canada's Economic Action Plan, we announced a $5.1 billion dollar investment in S&T initiatives such as the Oceans Network Canada Centre for Enterprise and Engagement, which will help researchers get more of their innovations from the lab to the marketplace so Canadians and people around the world can benefit."

The ONCEE will manage two highly sophisticated underwater laboratories that will support transformative research on our oceans and create unprecedented economic and outreach opportunities. These innovations will dramatically improve the scientific communities' ablity to plan for and respond to sea-based disasters, including improved risk assessments and a better understanding of seismic and tsunami hazards.

The CECR program is a key commitment of Canada's Science and Technology Strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage, announced in May 2007. Canada's Economic Action Plan provides $5.1 billion in additional
funding toward science and technology initiatives.

This program is administered by the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Secretariat. Launched in 1989, the NCE is an initiative of the three federal granting agencies-the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)-in partnership with Industry Canada.

"The NCE program is proud to be a part of the Government's vision for a more prosperous, advanced and competitive Canada," said Dr. Suzanne Fortier, Chair of the NCE Steering Committee and President of NSERC. "These new CECRs will work on important, multifaceted Canadian problems while bringing the very best ideas to the marketplace. We look forward to helping them achieve their maximum potential and impact."

This initiative is one of several new CECRs being put in place, representing an investment of $62.3 million over the next five years. This Centre and the others join the 11 CECRs announced last year by the Government of Canada.

The CECR program brings together partners from the academic, private and public sectors to advance research and facilitate commercialization of technologies, products and services. Mr. Saxton announced that the ONCEE will receive $6.5 million over five years.

Toronto Star Reports: (Editorial) Research Funds Need a Second Look

There is a fundamental disconnection between the nation's scientists and political leaders over what Ottawa is doing for research.

The scientists complain that the federal government has slashed funding for research and, as a result, Canada runs the risk of a "brain drain" to the United States, where the new Obama administration is pouring money into the field. The government, on the other hand, says it has increased research funding by billions of dollars and the complaining scientists are cry babies. They are both right.

In the January budget, government did, indeed, slash funding for its three basic research granting councils by $148 million over three years. And there was no new funding in the budget for Genome Canada, another key government granting agency. These cutbacks come when the Obama administration is pouring $10 billion into health research alone while also lifting limits on stem cell research.

But the government rightly notes that the January budget also ploughed more than $3 billion into other research envelopes, including $2 billion for new or upgraded facilities on campuses. That was in response to a direct request from the universities.

Accordingly, the federal Conservatives feel aggrieved that they are now being targeted for criticism from the same sector. "There are some people who like to pick fights to get their names in the paper," grumped Science Minister Gary Goodyear last week.

But the scientists respond that it is pointless to invest in modernizing a lab if there isn't any money to operate it.

Part of this dispute reflects the old fight over funding for "applied" as opposed to "pure" research. The government seems to lean toward the former. For instance, the budget contained another $200 million for the Industrial Research Assistance Program, which gives grants to small and mid-size companies to develop or adapt new technologies. But the scientists say you can't have one without the other.

There was no real explanation given by government in the budget for the $148 million cut to basic research grants. The budget bureaucratese spoke of the need for "streamlining operations" and "aligning programs" with the government's objectives.

There are reports that Goodyear is quietly assuring people in the field that this cut will be restored in future budgets. If so, there seems no reason why that couldn't be done now. The amount in question is minuscule when compared to the $76.5 billion cumulative deficit projected over next three fiscal years (less than two-tenths of 1 per cent). And the danger of losing scientists and projects to the U.S. is real if the government waits until later.

Globe and Mail Reports: Time to keep pace with Obama

President Barack Obama is generating an excitement around science that Canada has to be prepared to match. If it does not, it will lose scientific and technological talent, and the economic opportunities it generates.

 

Mr. Obama is creating a sea change on science. This week he lifted the Bush administration's restrictions on funding research using embryonic stem cells, the starting material for all organs and tissue. More than that, he said what many U.S. scientists had been longing to hear for the past eight years: “Promoting science isn't just about providing resources – it is also about protecting free and open inquiry…. It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda – and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.” And in his stimulus budget last month, he gave $10-billion for research and infrastructure to the National Institutes of Health, the country's main funding agency for medical research. Science south of the border is not only well resourced, it is suddenly cool, sexy.

 

It has been that way in Canada, to a good extent, in the past decade. University research funding grew by leaps and bounds; the budget for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research tripled, and that of the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council doubled, between 2000 and 2005. Not coincidentally, there was a 27-per-cent jump in the number of university professors and assistants from the United States who received work permits here between 2002 and 2007.

 

With a brain gain came a knowledge gain. Our stem-cell researchers are world leaders. Heck, they discovered stem cells; and they announced last week that they had discovered a new way to turn skin cells into stem cells, which could help treat diseases currently considered incurable, such as Parkinson's.

 

Alas, that was yesterday. In the recent federal budget, the Conservative government gave a big boost to physical infrastructure, and to graduate students, both good things; but it cut funds to some granting councils, and held the line on others. Genome Canada, a non-profit group that funds scientific research, was ignored in the budget. A network of Canadian stem-cell researchers was slated to lead a 12-country effort to map the genetic circuitry of the stem cell, but its participation is in doubt because it may not be able to make the necessary financial commitment. Separately, a team of 30 neuroscientists at three Ontario universities is scrabbling for money, and warning that scientists will take their talents elsewhere. “We are going head first into a cement wall,” says Doug Crawford, a neuroscientist at Toronto's York University. “The very best scientists will leave.” Scientists are greedy to use their talents fully, as Heather Munroe-Blum, McGill University's principal and vice-chancellor, puts it. Talent is mobile Canadian freestyle skier Jennifer Heil recently said she senses “an attitude change toward excellence in our country.” But excellence in any sphere requires investment. As in the Olympics, so, too, in science: To stand still is to fall behind.

 

Ottawa sees the infrastructure spending as providing temporary stimulus to the economy, while hikes in operating funds might be hard to make temporary. But there is a buzz around science in the U.S., and any complacency here will put Canada's gains in scientific talent and energy at risk.

SyncWave Systems Project Receives CAN $2.7M in Funding

A next-generation technology developed in British Columbia that could efficiently convert ocean swell into renewable electricity has received CAN $2.7 million in funding and is scheduled to be demonstrated off the West Coast of Vancouver Island in 2011 with support from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), a not-for-profit corporation created by the government of Canada.

SyncWave Power Resonator (SPR) technology was invented and developed by SyncWave Energy Inc. (SEI) with scientists from the University of Victoria and engineered for the open ocean with Marinus Power LLC, of Houston.

“SyncWave Power Resonator is a next-generation frequency-based wave energy converter that tunes itself to maximize energy capture from the ever changing ocean swell,” said Nigel Protter, president and CEO of SyncWave Sys tems Inc. “Additionally, our device was designed from the start to be simpler to mass produce and support, imperative to the goal of obtaining low cost bulk renewable energy from the sea.”