Ottawa tech leaders to headline spring innovation conference


Some of the capital’s biggest innovation champions will take the stage for the ISPIM Connects Ottawa conference Apr. 7-10.

The conference, hosted by the International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM), is a three-day event focused on addressing challenges faced not just by Ottawa, but by countries around the world.

Conference organizer and director of Carleton University’s Technology Innovation Management program Tony Bailetti says the core challenges conference speakers and panellists will focus on are scaling up startups, adopting artificial intelligence and machine learning, and innovating with government.

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“I think what we’re going to learn is rapidity and effectiveness from others,” says Bailetti, adding that he thinks cybersecurity will be top of mind at the conference. “We still think of (cybersecurity) as being a local problem. It’s not.”

Headlining the conference are Mayor Jim Watson, entrepreneur and Ottawa tech titan Sir Terry Matthews, Canada Foundation for Innovation president and CEO Roseann O’Reilly Runte, and National Research Council digital technologies director John Shannon. Other speakers include Invest Ottawa president and CEO Michael Tremblay, MindBridge AI CEO Eli Fathi, and a wide variety of academics from Ottawa and abroad.

“We’re looking forward to that diversity,” says Bailetti of the lineup, adding that the headliners were carefully chosen as “the people who embody the success of Ottawa.”

It’s the first time the ISPIM Connects conference is coming to Ottawa, and Bailetti says he and his team worked hard to bring it here.

Bailetti says the goal of the conference is to connect academic, industry and the public sector to address the key challenges of the future on a global level.

“We wanted that conversation … to be scaled up at the international level,” he says. “We wanted people in Ottawa to understand what the people in other countries in Europe are doing about the problems that we face here today.”

“We have a lot to learn from them, and they can learn a lot from us,” he says. “This is a success for Ottawa.”

The ISPIM Connects Ottawa conference will be held Apr. 7-10, 2019 at Bayview Yards, the Delta Ottawa City Centre, and locations across the city.

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