The focus at Venture 13 is on encouraging Entrepreneurs – especially young start-ups. But on Tuesday, Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) announced a new program where Cobourg Police are partnering with innovators. On Wednesday, they also announced a partnership with Telus with a focus on the Internet of Things (IoT) technology. Both CFDC and Cobourg Police were anchor organizations with the Town of Cobourg in the founding of Venture 13 in May 2018. (See links below). Wendy Curtis, Executive Director of Northumberland CFDC, said that the Cobourg Police service is “one of the most innovative in the country” and now they are taking it further with their new PoliceTech Accelerator. That’s not a new pursuit car but a “test bed for small to mid-sized police force innovation”.
The idea is that by helping entrepreneurs, it “will develop a pipeline (from idea to implementation) of innovative policing technologies and best practices for community safety in Ontario and around the world.” The initiative hopes to drive the adoption of “next generation applications in Predictive Analytics, Evidence-based Policing, Distributed Sensing/Virtual Patrols, Community Relations Optimization and other smart policing technologies.”
This new program evolved out of the successful “Pitch to Chief” challenge at Venture13 in 2018-2019 where entrepreneurs competed to get financial support for their ideas from Cobourg’s Police.
The announcement referenced a TEDX talk by Australian Police Officer Simon O’Rourke. You can watch it at this link here – well worth the 9 ½ minutes. Simon paints a picture where technology can cut down capturing a car thief from weeks to minutes. He finishes his talk with: “in the future, police may even rival start-ups as a hotbed of innovation for the benefit of all”. This partnership in Cobourg could well be the beginning of that.
Financing the effort is by the Federal Government ($100K), Cobourg Police Service ($150K) and up to $150K from Northumberland CFDC. The initiative is expected to result in the creation of up to ten new full-time jobs and provide technology that will improve Police efficiencies and put more of Cobourg’s 34 uniformed officers on the street.
Cobourg Police are keen to be recognized as leaders in technology so part of the terms for their partial financing of projects is that they get first right of refusal – or “Right of First Deployment” – for any technologies developed. This also helps the entrepreneurs get data of a real-world application of their technology.
Telus support of IoT
Adam Burley, an IoT specialist from Telus Business, said that the Internet of Things is growing at 33% year on year and announced the new strategic alliance will provide the centre with additional membership accelerator perks, mentorship and programming opportunities, and new hardware for the MakerLab. He will host lunch and learn sessions to demonstrate the Jasper platform, provide collaboration and support for future hackathon and Fireside Chats, and supply the Venture13 MakerLab with six Raspberry Pi/Arduino boards for MakerLab members, Northumberland Makers, and the Microfactory Co-operative to use for future projects. No dollar value was provided for this contribution but Adam did say that he “couldn’t be more pleased with Venture 13”.
Below are some photos of the events
- Venture 13 – a Cobourg Success story – 22 May 2019
- Entrepreneurs get Major Boost in Cobourg – 21 Nov 2017
- Venture 13 Update – includes initial floor plan – 11 Feb 2018
- Northumberland CFDC
Links to Federal support for PoliceTech Accelerator
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) through the Rural Innovation Initiative Eastern Ontario (RIIEO).