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OCAD U releases landmark Taking Ontario Mobile report

Cover image of Taking Ontario Mobile reportMobile devices play a significant role in the everyday lives of Ontarians, yet the province does not yet have an action plan for the future of mobile technology. That’s why Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD University’s president, released “Taking Ontario Mobile,” a comprehensive, cross-sectoral research, policy framework and strategy report, on Wednesday, January 16 at Toronto’s City Hall.

The report, officially titled “Taking Ontario Mobile: Researched-based recommendations for how mobile technologies are part of the financially responsible solution to providing better access to services for Ontarians,” was led by Diamond, together with her co-principal investigator, Dr. Vera Roberts, Research Facilitator at OCAD U’s Inclusive Design Research Centre and included the work of a large, diverse group of academic and industry researchers.

According to Diamond, mobility is defined as 24-7 access using devices that are location sensitive, carry profiles about us and our data and can be highly personalized. These technologies are gateways now to every facet of our lives. The concept of mobility is also about individuals – the idea that Ontarians require connectivity, together with personalized and context-aware services.

Dr. Sara Diamond at the Taking Ontario Mobile launch event

Dr. Diamond speaking to stakeholders at the Taking Ontario Mobile announcement at Toronto City Hall. Photo: Martin Iskander.

Without a province-wide plan, however, “we’re missing an opportunity,” says Diamond. “The quality of life and economic well-being of Ontarians can be radically transformed in the next decade with the possibilities that mobile technologies, networks and applications offer.”

The report provides an analysis of challenges, opportunities, barriers and best practices across five priority sectors: learning, health, government services, entertainment and commerce. It also creates a blueprint for establishing Ontario as a mobile leader, both nationally and globally.

Distribution of telecom companies in Canada

Figure 9 from the Taking Ontario Mobile report, representing the distribution of telecommunications companies in Canada, of which 40% are located within Ontario.

Researchers compared Ontario with other jurisdictions, held expert round table discussions and interviews and surveyed Ontario residents. Their analysis and recommendations show how a mobile Ontario will improve productivity, competitiveness and public services, and outlines an action plan, based on lessons learned in other jurisdictions, and on successful Ontario pilot projects and initiatives.

Cover of the Mobile Innovation reportThe report, which was funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development & Innovation together with industry partners through the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC), was released together with an important companion report: “Mobile Innovation: Ontario’s Growing Mobile Content, Services and Applications Industry,” edited by MEIC director Kathleen Webb and produced by MEIC with the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance, the City of Toronto and OCAD University.

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