Wise 50 Over 50 Award™
Irene Sterian – ReMAP Network
After spending the better part of a rewarding career at IBM and Celestica in engineering and technology development to enable products for the global market, I wanted to help companies in Canada succeed. As the Director, Technology and Innovation Development at Celestica, I recognized that Canadian companies struggle to commercialize innovative products quickly.
Everything I learned in my 30-year career in global electronics manufacturing has provided me with a unique vantage point to be a corporate ‘intrapreneur’ and ultimately the architect of ReMAP. As a young engineer, I’m not sure I would have had the vision to create a manufacturing ecosystem for Canada. At age 52, I leveraged my extensive network of industry leaders and academic partners to crowd source commercial R&D initiatives. The blueprint for collaboration is designed to create a strong Canadian supply chain. These strategic partnerships are driven by a passion to close Canada’s commercialization gap between research and industry to increase Canada’s competitive advantage on the world stage.
Innovation is vital for global success but it can take up to a decade to develop, deploy and implement new products and services. Most Canadian companies lack the resources and/or the skills needed to take new ideas through all the stages of commercialization alone. An industry-led consortium called ReMAP, is changing that, by creating a space where interesting and talented people can do things they never could have done otherwise – linkages between industry, academia and government move ideas to market faster, while maintaining research, design and product manufacturing domestically.
Over the last four years, ReMAP has resulted in unprecedented investments in Canadian electronics research in healthcare, energy, ICT, and aerospace. So far, ReMAP has created 300 highly skilled jobs, developed 195 prototypes, and introduce 30 new products and services. Our exponential approach for the future will double our impact over the next five years.