Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) has established an award to
honour Gowlings' partner David McFadden's contributions to
the energy sector and the innovation community in Ontario.
The David McFadden Energy Entrepreneur Challenge Award will be
available to competing students in Ontario on an annual basis. Each
year OCE will identify a particular challenge facing the energy
sector. Students from Ontario's academic institutions will be
invited to respond to the challenge with their entrepreneurial
ideas and solutions.
During his many public speaking engagements, David has expressed
his view that innovation should lead to a
"safer, better" world, in addition to providing economic
benefits. In keeping with David's philosophy, contest
participants will be encouraged to submit a solution that would
contribute to the betterment of our society and be commercially
Contest participants will also be encouraged to develop their
solution using a team drawn from multiple educational disciplines.
This approach is in keeping with David's views that the most
successful innovation is created when a variety of perspectives
collaborate to achieve a common goal.
The initial challenge was announced at OCE's Discovery 2013
conference in Toronto on May 27 and 28. Competing students will
submit their solutions to OCE on short video clips. These
submissions will be assessed by a select panel of energy experts
who will identify a group of ten finalists. These finalists will
receive a small monetary amount to assist them with their costs
along with opportunities to consult with expert advisors who will
help them to formulate their proposals.
Subsequently at OCE's 2014 Discovery conference, each of the
ten finalists will have an opportunity to present their concept and
proposal to a panel of energy sector experts and investors. This
panel will choose the winner(s) of the contest who will receive
$25,000 and a suite a business services.
David's many contributions to innovation in Ontario include
two years of service as a member of the Ontario Research &
Innovation Council as well as eight years of service as Chair of
OCE's Board of Directors. During David's tenure as Chair,
OCE established a Centre of Excellence for Energy to promote
innovation in Ontario's energy industry.
David also served on the Ontario Government's Electricity
Conservation and Supply Task Force that produced a report providing
a comprehensive strategy to meet the future energy demands of the
province. This report is currently used as a basis for
Ontario's energy policy. David currently serves as a member of
the Ontario Smart Grid Forum where he helps to shape the policy
directions for Ontario's electricity sector.
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