GRAND pairs Vancouver inventor with Calgary researchers

A Vancouver school teacher who developed a unique treadmill designed to improve skating, is now working with researchers from the University of Calgary who are developing sensors to help speed skaters improve their technique.

Olympic figure skating silver medalist Karen Magnussen, as well as the Swedish, Australian and German women’s Olympic hockey teams all find Cadmar Larson’s StrideDeck treadmill wonderful, according to the BCBusiness. But everyone believed the treadmill would be better if users could track personal progress and connect with a gaming platform for a better interactive experience.

Thanks to Mark Salopek, Larson finally gets a chance to improve on his design.

Salopek, is manager of technology transfer and commercialization with GRAND (Graphics, Animation and New Media Canada).  GRAND is a federally funded member of the country’s Network Centres of Excellence (NCE) a collection of collaborative hubs that work towards making university research projects used in the real world.

GRAND was established in 2009 with a five-year, $23 million federal mandate to find markets for technologies in the following “cross-pollinating” areas: new media, games, interactive simulation, animation, graphics and imaging, social, legal, economic and cultural perspectives and enabling technologies and methodologies.

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Salopek was able to hook up Larson with the U of C researchers. The two group are now working together on a collaborative project to “bring both their products to market in a new way,” according to GRAND.

Involvement in GRAND requires no money up front for entrepreneurs or startups, according to Salopek. The project’s immediate aim, he said, is debunking the stigma that university research is inaccessible.

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