Innovation leader to head Ontario's research and education network

TORONTO, July 14 /CNW/ - Dr. Darin Graham, an international information communications technology and innovation leader, has been appointed President and CEO of ORANO and the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION), effective August 1, 2010.

Most recently head of NZi3 - New Zealand's ICT Innovation Institute and of the former Communications and Information Technology Ontario (CITO), Dr. Graham replaces Phil Baker, founding President and CEO, who recently announced his retirement after 10 years of service.

"Dr. Graham is the ideal person to lead ORION," said Maxim Jean-Louis, Chair of the ORANO Board of Directors and President and CEO of Contact North.

"He brings the breadth of knowledge, entrepreneurial approach and collaborative leadership experience that will guide ORION to the next stage as the critical enabling platform of Ontario's research and education communities," he said.

"Darin has acute insight in the role of ICT and advanced technologies in driving and supporting research, education and innovation. He will be a great asset, not just to ORION, but to our stakeholders as we support the Government of Ontario's ambitious Open Ontario Plan," he added.

Dr. Graham was Director of NZi3, New Zealand's ICT Innovation Institute at the University of Canterbury at Christchurch, where he was invited to establish the institute as an innovation centre and global 'hothouse' of strategic ICT research, moving ideas from the lab across the innovation gap into industry and commercialization.

He was also president and CEO of CITO - one of the original Ontario Centres of Excellence, which supported leading-edge research and academic and industry collaboration. CITO and other Ontario Centres of Excellence were subsequently consolidated into a single organization.

As president of Innovation Initiators Consulting Inc., a private sector firm, he assisted in the development of several projects, including Ottawa's Innovation Hub, the Regional Innovation Development Program linking Ontario's Technology Corridor (Ottawa, Waterloo, Toronto) and supported 10 Ontario colleges to create the College Network for Industry Innovation (CONII). Working with Scottish Enterprise, Scotland's main economic, enterprise, innovation and investment agency, he also helped establish the strategic and operational plans for its Digital Media Innovation Technology Institute.

Dr. Graham has a Ph.D. and a Masters of Engineering from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo.

    
    About ORION
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Hundreds of times faster than the Internet, ORION is Ontario's ultra high-speed research and education network. Established as a not-for-profit corporation in 2001, ORION links 1.7 million Ontario researchers, scientists, students, teachers and staff who depend on ORION for teaching and learning and to enable their research collaborations and discoveries in physics, cancer research, environmental science and technologies, social sciences and the humanities and multiple other disciplines. It connects users and institutions to each other, and through CANARIE - Canada's advanced research and innovation network - to high-capacity research and education networks, partners and collaborators across Canada and around the world. Visit www.orion.on.ca.

SOURCE Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION)

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Tamara Stoll, Communications Officer, 416-507-9860 ext. 224, tamara.stoll@orion.on.ca

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Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION)

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