The Digital Kitchener Innovation lab
We want to highlight something awesome going on in our community. This month our friend Karl is introducing us to the Digital Kitchener Innovation Lab.
The Digital Kitchener Innovation lab was born out of the Digital Kitchener vision and a keen desire to leverage the opportunities brought forward from the city’s conversion of 16,500 streetlights to intelligent LED street lighting, saving the city an impressive $1.6m in annual electricity costs, and more importantly, creating a citywide mesh network, which create further smart city opportunities.
The potential opportunities presented by this new network, needed to be leveraged, which is where the Digital Kitchener Innovation Lab comes in. Based inside of the Communitech hub at the Tannery building at the corner of Victoria and Charles, the lab sits alongside the largest collection of corporate innovation labs in the world, leading to collaboration and insights from some of the most innovative companies in Canada.
The Innovation lab’s primary focus is on IOT (Internet of Things) and Data, making it the only civic lab of it’s kind in Canada, furthermore, this lab has built it’s own machine learning and innovation idea management system named ‘Clara’, to take concepts from idea – to pilot project – to data. It takes that data (from sensors, open data sets, or any other source, and looks at them all against each other looking for correlation or insights that give a deeper meaning to any one piece – once again a first in this space.
It’s only been a short time, but the lab has achieved a lot, and continues to break new ground and push new pilot projects to the field, so an exciting time for Kitchener and those living and working locally.
Karl Allen-Muncey heads first of its kind Civic Innovation Lad in Kitchener’s Tannery District.
Born at a very young age in the UK, Karl grew a couple of IT and digital media companies, successfully exiting them, and spent some time in Australia, Before relocating to Canada permanently in 2009. Karl & his wife co-founded design and marketing agency CuteGecko, before it was acquired by Cober printing in 2013, and since that time, Karl has gone on to shape a number of companies, innovation labs and smart city initiatives, including starting Postmedia I/O (Innovation Outpost) for Canada’s largest news media organization, and in his latest role, directing the innovation lab for the City of Kitchener. Outside of his professional pursuits, Karl enjoys spending time with his family, motorcycle, coffee & craft beer.