Coffee Briefing Feb. 22, 2022 – Global AI talent bursary; SAS Safe Roads competition; Privacy Sandbox on Android; digitizing pharma experiences; and more

Coffee Briefings are timely deliveries of the latest ITWC headlines, interviews, and podcasts. Today’s Coffee Briefing is delivered by IT World Canada’s editorial team!

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What’s new this week

Amii invites researchers and applied AI experts to explore Edmonton in May 2022 with $100,000 in travel bursaries

The Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) has announced the first $100,000 in travel bursaries for emerging researchers and applied artificial intelligence (AI) professionals globally to motivate them to travel to Edmonton for AI Week 2022 (May 24 – 27, 2022). The Global Talent Bursary program will enable upwards of 500 guests to attend AI Week in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. 

Global Talent Bursary recipients receive exclusive access to events at AI Week, including an Academic Symposium featuring content from Amii’s deep well of world-leading researchers, a VIP Career Mixer and more. They will get to meet the AI community at large, learn from Amii’s expert community of scientists and researchers, and connect with hiring companies based in Alberta and Canada. Individuals from groups who are typically underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields, recent immigrants to Canada and individuals from rural communities, are welcome to apply. Applications are completed on the basis of self-identification and a link to apply for the program can be found here.  

Annual SAS Safe Roads competition submissions to close on March 4

Source: KatarzynaBialasiewicz | Getty Images

American multinational developer of analytics software SAS Institute, in partnership with telematics hardware solutions provider Geotab and the Toronto Police Services (TPS), is hosting the fourth annual Safe Roads Competition.

A virtual analytics competition for university and college students in Canada and Mexico, the competition allows teams to work with KSI (killed or seriously injured) incident report data from TPS, along with aggregated Geotab fleet telematics showing traffic speeds, acceleration, and hard braking, road conditions, and more, to derive insights and help improve road safety. Presentations explain the methodology used, the conclusions drawn, and recommendations for TPS. Final submissions are due by 5 p.m. ET on March 4, with the final presentations being assessed by a panel of industry judges on March 11.

Vector Health Labs acquires Tulip Health, expanding access to OHIP-covered telemedicine

RLT_Images | Getty Images

Canadian healthcare technology innovator Vector Health Labs has announced its acquisition of Tulip Health, a telemedicine platform providing a range of OHIP-covered virtual consultations from authorized Ontario physicians. Tulip will join Vector’s existing suite of healthcare services, which includes diagnostic Covid-19 testing, antibodies serology testing, and hormone testing, to address the next stages of the current pandemic. Vector Health Labs says this acquisition will expand the platform’s ability to offer OHIP-covered virtual consultations confidentially, and with quick turnarounds, so more patients can speak to doctors without having to leave home.

Tulip Health offers a wide range of free medical services for all Ontario residents with a valid OHIP card, including specialist referrals, prescription renewals, and Covid-19 assessment. Patients can register online for an appointment with one of more than 250 doctors, available seven days a week, with no mobile app and no waiting room visits required. All Tulip Health’s doctors are Ontario MDs with backgrounds ranging from family medicine to long-term care, and are also trained to provide mental health consultations.

Green Shield Canada donates $250,000 to UofT’s digital pharma innovation and research hub

Source: Discovery Pharmacy, University of Toronto

Green Shield Canada (GSC), a Canadian health and dental benefits provider, has announced it is donating $250,000 to the University of Toronto (UofT)’s Discovery Pharmacy. 

Based at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, the Discovery Pharmacy is poised to be a digital innovation and research hub for the pharmacy profession, while giving students hands-on experience as professional pharmacists. GSC says its alignment with deep pharmacy background was a key factor in the donation. 

“We are so pleased to have GSC give their initial support to the Discovery Pharmacy as a Founding Donor,” says Lisa Dolovich, Dean of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, UofT. “This early support is crucial to helping us move forward as Discovery Pharmacy grows in scope and impact. We’ve seen the important role pharmacists play in the delivery of front-line health care. We will continue to lead in this area as we reimagine the practice of our profession and develop new ways to deliver the best possible care.”

Google expands Privacy Sandbox initiative to include Android

Source: Google

Google last week announced a multi-year initiative to build the Privacy Sandbox on Android, with the goal of introducing new, more private advertising solutions. Google says these solutions will specifically limit sharing of user data with third parties and operate without cross-app identifiers, including advertising ID that the company originally developed to give users more control.  

“Our goal with the Privacy Sandbox on Android is to develop effective and privacy enhancing advertising solutions, where users know their information is protected, and developers and businesses have the tools to succeed on mobile. While we design, build and test these new solutions, we plan to support existing ad platform features for at least two years, and we intend to provide substantial notice ahead of any future changes,” Anthony Chavez, vice-president, product management, android security & privacy, noted in a blog post

Accenture and League collaborate to create personalized digital healthcare experiences

Source: Bet_Noire | Getty Images

Multinational IT services and consulting firm Accenture and League, a Toronto-based health-focused platform-as-a-service company, are collaborating to create personalized digital experiences and increase access to improve outcomes for people, providers, payers, and retail pharmacies.

Accenture’s data analytics and systems integration capabilities will be combined with League’s healthcare experience platform to scale platform implementations and innovations to facilitate the creation of digital healthcare experiences. Currently, the two companies are working with Shopper’s Drug Mart to expand the capabilities of its PC Health platform, which provides people with a network of healthcare providers, health and wellness programs and rewards for completing health activities.

More to explore
Anyone hoping beyond the hope that, despite recent developments, there still might be a new 5G BlackBerry smartphone with keyboard on its way might as well reconcile themselves to a keyboardless life. OnwardMobility has shut down, abandoning its optimistic plans to develop the successor to the iconic device.
Cisco Systems gives network administrators the choice of seven password protection types,  ranging from no hashing or encryption to complex scrambling, to safeguard its devices.
Windows 11 will soon block Wi-Fi connections to networks running the ancient WEP and TKIP security protocols, according to a Microsoft blog posted on Feb. 16.
It’s important we highlight the talent that is helping transform the tech industry in Canada and beyond. We’ve put together a list of Black tech innovators you should know the works of!
Western University and Bell are partnering on eight new projects to bring next-generation experiences onto 5G networks, announced Western on Feb. 16. The university has committed C$1 million towards 5G research projects that test the network’s capabilities in real-world scenarios.
PowerED, an entrepreneurial unit within Athabasca University and Ethically Aligned AI, a social enterprise created to help companies develop responsible AI, have launched Canada’s first micro-credential in AI ethics.
Ottawa is putting up to C$80 million over four years into a group called the National Cybersecurity Consortium (NCC) to oversee the fledgling Cyber Security Innovation Network (CSIN)’s goal of boosting this country’s academic research, application and hardware developers as well as training more cybersecurity workers.
As companies navigate new hybrid working arrangements, technologies that allow for an inclusive, productive and collaborative workplace will reign supreme in this continuing pandemic reality.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has just announced it is expanding its cloud infrastructure in Canada, with new AWS Local Zones in Toronto and Vancouver. These are the first AWS Local Zones to be located in Canada.
Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Nvidia spends big to secure semiconductor supply, White Castle employs robots at 100 of its locations, and NYC introduces bills to slow down grocery delivery time.

Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

This episode reports on a misconfiguration that exposed member info of the Internet Society, a serious Linux bug that has to be patched and more.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances (Hosted by Direction Informatique)

If you live in Quebec or prefer to consume the latest technology news in French, our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered. Follow them on Twitter as well.


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Pragya Sehgal
Pragya Sehgal
Her characters are bold and smart, but in real life, Pragya is afraid of going upstairs when it is dark behind her. Born and raised in the capital city of India - Delhi - bounded by the Yamuna River on the west, Pragya has climbed the Himalayas, and survived medical professional stream in high school without becoming a patient or a doctor. Pragya now makes her home in Canada with her husband - a digital/online marketing professional who also prepares beautiful, healthy and delicious meals for her. When she isn’t working or writing around tech, she’s probably watching art films on Netflix, or wondering whether she should cut her hair short or not.

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