Laipac Technology and Ryerson University Partner to Enhance Support for Crowd Management

Collaboration to explore an innovative and scalable solution for simulating behavior of large crowds in near real-time

TORONTO – May 3, 2017 – Ryerson University’s Faculty of Science today announces a strategic partnership with Laipac Technology Inc, a leader in the development of GPS and Internet of Things (IoT) products and services. The partnership will support the development of a novel, fast and scalable technique for simulating the behavior of large crowds in near real-time. Using wearable IoT devices, event organizers will be able to manage dense crowds while also identifying the potential for stampedes and mitigating their impact.

“Improving quality of life and delivering innovative solutions to protect people are core to our mission,” says Diego Lai, Co-founder and CEO of Laipac Technology Inc. “We hope that through this partnership we can develop an intelligent and reliable system to control, predict and eliminate the possibility of stampedes during large crowd events.” Established in 1999, Laipac Technology has become a market leader in offering reliable and user friendly GPS locator devices.

Dr. Andriy Miranskyy, a researcher in quantifying and managing risk at Ryerson University says this project will introduce an innovative solution to the crowd management sector and offer new ways of managing its challenges. “We are thrilled to partner with Laipac Technology on this exciting project.”

The initiative is being funded by Ontario Centers of Excellence (OCE) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) as a part of the Voucher for Innovation and Productivity Program (VIP). The VIP program helps eligible Ontario companies develop, implement and commercialize technical innovations by supporting industry-academic collaborations. Industry can leverage Ontario’s world-class academic institutions to solve business challenges, develop new products and processes, and increase productivity while advancing innovations that help to build and sustain Ontario's knowledge-based economy.

“We are pleased to support this dynamic partnership and the groundbreaking work Ryerson University and Laipac Technology are doing in the area of crowd management. This is the kind of breakthrough that can prevent tragedies and create safer environments for large groups of people to gather,” says Dr. Tom Corr, OCE’s President and CEO.

The project will be unique in providing wearable IoT devices to event organizers. Through the software developed, event organizers will be able to identify locations of people wearing trackers compatible with the software and, by predicting their movements, proactively detect probable catastrophic events. By communicating with event attendees and issuing warning messages sent through wearable devices, authorities will be able to guide peoples’ movements and prevent accidents.

Speaking on behalf of NSERC - the federal government’s principal funding agency for scientific and engineering research conducted at Canada’s universities and colleges, Dr. Andrew Sinclair, Manager, NSERC Ontario Regional Office, said: “This project represents one the latest examples of the ‘VIP1-Engage’ co-funding opportunity that NSERC and OCE launched as an innovative federal-provincial collaboration in 2013. VIP1-Engage makes it possible for researchers to access combined federal and provincial funding by way of a convenient single application. Co-funding by the two levels of government permits researchers to conduct projects with twice the resources that would normally be possible. The result is projects with broader reach and enhanced innovation impact.”

About Laipac Technology Inc.

Laipac Technology Inc. is one of the leading companies in the development of Internet of Things (IoT) products and solutions. Laipac provides an excellent IoT platform for real time asset tracking and people monitoring on LocationNow.com. Laipac Technology Inc. was founded in 1999 by two distinguished Canadian entrepreneurs, Maria C. Pacini and Diego Lai, who continuously strive for product improvements and new ideas with the purpose of bringing the best innovated products to the market. Laipac Technology Inc. is currently exporting products and solutions to over 85 countries and has received numerous awards and nominations that recognizes the excellent business achievements and visions for the future. For more information, visit: http://www.laipac.com/

About Ryerson University

Ryerson University is Canada’s leader in innovative, career-oriented education. With a mission to serve societal needs and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson University is home to more than 41,500 students including 2,400 master's and PhD students, 3,200 faculty and staff, and nearly 170,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past five years. For more information, visit: www.ryerson.ca.

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.

OCE drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their company and create jobs. For more information, visit: http://www.oce-ontario.org/

About NSERC

Since its creation in 1978, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) has been the Government of Canada’s principal funding agency for scientific and engineering research conducted by academic researchers at Canada’s universities and colleges. NSERC works to make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators -- for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency fosters Innovation by helping Canadian companies to participate and invest in research projects conducted at Canada’s universities and colleges. It also promotes and supports Discovery research, helping NSERC researchers to work at the vanguard of science and build on Canada’s long tradition of scientific excellence. Last, but far from least, NSERC assists in the development of the next generation of Canadian STEM research talent by providing funding to support university students in their advanced studies. For more information, visit: http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/index_eng.asp


Media Contact:

Hiba El Chaarani
Faculty of Science
Ryerson University
hiba.elchaarani@ryerson.ca