Three local firms named to City of Ottawa's tech pilot program

City Hall

Three local tech firms are among a handful of companies the City of Ottawa has tapped to help kickstart the region’s economy as it reopens from the COVID-19 lockdown.

Under the program launched earlier this spring, the city and other economic partners will provide “real-life testing environments” where companies can deploy prototypes and get feedback on their products. 

A trio of Ottawa-area enterprises will take part: Agile Work Evolutions, InitLive and Macadamian.

Founded last year, Agile Work Evolutions helps clients implement more flexible and efficient work environments. The Kanata-based startup will partner with the City of Ottawa to test its cloud-based analytics software that surveys employees on how they use their workspaces and interact with one another to help the city reintegrate its workers during and after the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Kanata’s InitLive will work with the Manor Park Community Council to pilot software to help the organization cope with rising demand for non-profit services that rely on volunteers.

InitLive’s tools will help the group streamline the management of volunteers, in particular those who make deliveries on behalf of local food banks, including the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre, the Partage Vanier Food Bank and the Kanata Food Cupboard. The company is looking at ways of helping food banks share inventory and delivery data as well as map out more efficient routes for drivers. 

Gatineau-based Macadamian will deploy its technology to help Chiromax, a chiropractic clinic in Manotick, maintain physical distancing in its office. Macadamian’s smartphone and tablet apps will match services with patients, who will check in remotely on arrival and remain outside until they are notified that they can enter the facility.

Two other companies from outside the region will also partner with local organizations to test new products under the pilot program.

Hamilton-based QReserve will test its solution that uses low-power sensors to track occupancy and usage patterns in the ByWard Market Building. The sensors will anonymously detect motion in an effort to pinpoint high-traffic locations and help the building’s managers better implement physical distancing measures.

Finally, Social Distancer Technologies will work with the city and other organizations to pilot wireless, wearable devices that warn users when they are within two metres of another person wearing the device. The firm from Châteauguay, Que., will be testing the technology at the ByWard and Parkdale markets as well as the Billings Estate National Historic Site, Cumberland Heritage Village Museum and the Diefenbunker Museum.

The city received 47 applications for the program, which will run from mid-July until next February. The city said applicants must offer a “realistic” plan that will have a minimal cost to the city and its partners. Those that require additional funding will be eligible for up to $5,000 from the city.