New Initiatives at Venture 13

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”.

PoliceTech Accelerator

Wendy Curtis
Wendy Curtis

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


Links to Federal support for PoliceTech Accelerator

Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) through the Rural Innovation Initiative Eastern Ontario (RIIEO).  

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4 years ago

how will this affect our catch and release program?

4 years ago

This should mesh nicely with the catch and release program

4 years ago

Maybe, as part of this initiative, it’s time to consider renaming “the police department” to something more like “municipal security” or “local security”, in keeping with the practice of major corporations etc., who tend to use such terms to describe their own version of the same functions and purposes as the municipal “police forces”.
Or maybe I shouldn’t be on the internet at 4:30 a.m. in the morning posting such addled notions at all.

Reply to  JimT
4 years ago

Thank you for that morning chuckle … your musing on very early morning thinking. ‘Community policing’ was also term I have heard used in Cobourg. It suggests dialogue between police and the community. Different terms used to capture the essence of the service provided. Branding in the realm of IT using catchy action words or giving a common word a new meaning seems a necessity in that community’s language of communication in order to be noticed or taken seriously.
I am really impressed that we have local initiatives like this that can could end up making a difference not only here but in other places.

Reply to  MiriamM
4 years ago

As a former Toronto boy, I’ll never forget the slogan on all MTP cars…..’To Serve and Protect’….I think that says it all.
As an aside….I attended the Electric Vehicle Society meeting last night, at the Venture 13 building and I was very impressed by the layout of the small auditorium, where the meeting was held, along with the rest of the building!

Old Sailor
4 years ago

In my view hats off to the Cobourg Police for partnering with innovators. Let’s give this some time and support. And not get completely lost in number crunching.

Canuck Patriot
4 years ago

Who are the innovators that this project is directed to and specifically what is the $400,000 in funding going to be spent on?

What and where are these 10 full-time jobs the program claims will be created and what level of applicant and salary will they attract?

I trust that the $150,000 CPS is providing is coming from the revenue for criminal record checks and not the tax levy.

Reply to  Canuck Patriot
4 years ago

It really is coming from the tax levy as the money made from criminal records checks should be going to off set the cost for policing paid by the tax levy.

I wonder if the Police Board Chair declared a conflict of interest when this was approved?

Reply to  Kyle
4 years ago

Very soon the Cobourg Police Force and their in house support groups will command an ever increasing percentage of our tax dollars. Why can’t the unionized highly paid Cobourg Police do the job they were trained to do without all this extra help that will come at extra cost. Where does it end??