Clear Blue Technologies wins Ontario Centres of Excellence Award

George Brown partners with Clear Blue on various research and development projects related to the company’s Smart Off-Grid technology

Image of CEO for Clear Blue Technologies Miriam Tuerk (centre) with two other company founders John Tuerk (left) and Mark Windrim (right)

CEO for Clear Blue Technologies Miriam Tuerk (centre) with two other company founders John Tuerk (left) and Mark Windrim (right) | Photo: Clear Blue Technologies

On Oct. 22, George Brown College’s (GBC) research partner Clear Blue Technologies, was given the Mind-to-Market award by the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE).

According to OCE, the award “celebrates the best OCE-supported research collaboration between the business and research communities resulting in effective commercialization of leading edge ideas and solutions.”

In addition to the honour, Clear Blue also received $25,000 from OCE to help grow their company.

Dawn Davidson, director of research and innovation at GBC, said the department has been partnered with Clear Blue Technologies since 2010, which has been an effort to develop, manufacture, and test prototypes as well as a manufacturing processes for future product releases. The partnership has also helped in redefining innovation.

“We are very pleased to congratulate Clear Blue Technologies, a truly innovative Canadian company, on this award,” said Robert Luke, vice-president of research and innovation at GBC, in a press release.

According to Miriam Tuerk, co-founder and chief executive officer of Clear Blue Technologies, said, “we would not exist as a company without having done what we did with George Brown.”

Explaining how the company’s relationship with the college has grown over years, Tuerk added that, “our first employee that we ever hired was a George Brown graduate, Noe Galeana Galeana of the Masters in Research Project that we were doing with George Brown College. Galeana still works for us today, four years later, and is one of the top employees in the company.”

The relationship between George Brown and Clear Blue started off with various research projects being undertaken and then trying them out. Clear Blue also had their office at the Casa Loma campus for about eight months.

A portion of the company’s research and development budget is spent on the joint projects with colleges and that they are planning to start a new project with George Brown in 2016, according to Tuerk.

Highlighting several reasons why working with a college is important for a start-up, including access to a larger variety of expertise and resources, Tuerk says that “it takes a community to build a company, and when you are small start-up you cannot tap every expert in the company so you get access to a wider range of expertise (with a college).

“Working with a college like George Brown, according to Tuerk, also has to do with finding good people. “Most people are good people,” she continued. “It’s the question of finding the people who are good in your environment.”

Davidson says that George Brown currently has 38 partners who are engaged in research and innovation projects, and four are public sector or not-for-profits.

She also highlighted the research office’s extensive efforts to advance green technology applied research.

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Clear Blue Technologies wins Ontario Centres of Excellence Award