Innovacorp’s Science and Technology Advisory Council comprises researchers and industry experts in fields related to Innovacorp’s focus industries, including information technology, clean technology, life sciences and ocean technology. Members provide independent, strategic advice about relevance, quality of science, and commercialization potential of technologies evaluated by Innovacorp and its clients. The council is also a platform for assessing emerging science and technology issues important to Nova Scotia’s economic future.
Gordon Agnew, PhD
Dr. Gordon Agnew received his PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo in 1982 and joined the university’s department of electrical and computer engineering the same year. In 1985, Gordon was a founding member of the data encrypton group at the University of Waterloo. This group’s work led to significant advances in the area of public key cryptographic systems, including the development of a practical implementation of elliptic curve-based cryptosystems. His areas of expertise include cryptography, data security, protocols and protocol analysis, electronic commerce systems, high-speed networks, wireless systems and computer architecture. Gordon is also a foundation fellow of the Institute for Combinatorics and its Applications, a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and a co-founder of CERTICOM Corp., a world leader in public key cryptosystem technologies.
Rob Ellison is the vice president of technology for Xylem’s analytics aivision. Xylem is a global water and smart infrastructure technology company with solutions addressing all aspects of the water cycle. Rob’s focus is on the development of sensing & process automation solutions for environmental and industrial water markets. He manages a R&D team of over 180 engineers and scientists based at 10 locations in North America, Europe and India. Rob has over 25 years of experience in developing innovative sensing solutions with a focus on in situ sensing technologies that enable high resolution data collection to enable more informed decision making. Rob has a master’s degree in biological oceanography from Old Dominion University and bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in marine science from Boston University.
T. Forcht (Teo) Dagi, MD, DMedSc, MPH, FAANS, FACS, FCCM, FRCSEd
Dr. T. (Teo) Forcht Dagi is a distinguished scholar and professor at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and teaches at Harvard Medical School. He received an MD and MPH from Johns Hopkins and a DMedSc from QUB, completed neurosurgical training at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and held the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Fellowship at Harvard University. For the past two decades, Dr. Dagi has focused on surgical innovation and invested venture capital in biomedical companies. He has taught at Harvard Business School and the National Venture Capital Institute, and served as a director of numerous private and public companies in the U.S. and Canada, as well as the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, The Georgia Institute of Technology and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has chaired scientific advisory boards for DuPont, Lundbeck U.S. and the Royal Bank of Canada, among others. An editor of Neurosurgery, he has authored seven books and over 250 publications. Among other honours, Dr. Dagi holds the Humanitarian Service Medal and a fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh.
Ian Hill, PhD
Dr. Ian Hill received his B.Sc. in engineering physics (1993) and PhD in physics (1997) from Queen’s University. From 1998-1999, he was a visiting research fellow in the department of electrical engineering at Princeton University. From 2000-2003, Ian worked as a technical staff member at the Sarnoff Corporation (formerly RCA labs) in Princeton, N.J., before returning to Canada to join the faculty of Dalhousie University in the department of physics and atmospheric science, where he is currently employed. His expertise spans many fields of both physics and electrical engineering, including electronic materials and devices, micro and nano electronics, flat-panel display technologies, thin-film transistors, and photovoltaic devices. Ian has authored over 50 peer-reviewed research papers that have been extensively cited throughout scientific literature. He also holds patents (five issued; four pending) in diverse fields, including display technologies, nano electronics, robotic vision systems and electronic textiles.
John Kehoe has worked in information technology (IT) for more than 35 years. He started his IT career with General Motors in Windsor, Ontario, and retired from Bell Aliant as chief IT architect in 2015, after 30 years. In that role, John defined and implemented IT strategy and supporting architectures and governance. His industry experience includes strategy development, architecture definition, software procurement, application development, network technologies (voice, internet and TV) and standardized software integration. In 2015, he formed his own consulting company specializing in IT. He received a bachelor of science in computer science from Acadia University in 1980. In 2002, he earned his master's of engineering degree in internetworking from Dalhousie University.
Diana Pliura, PhD
Dr. Diana Pliura is president of ALBRY Inc., a provider of strategic advisory and management services for emerging life sciences companies, investors, technology transfer offices, and established companies undergoing transition. Most recently, she co-founded MyndTec Inc. and served as the company’s CEO from the start-up phase in 2011 through to market launch and commercialization in Canada. Previously, Diana held positions as entrepreneur-in-residence with HTX, the Health Technology Exchange; executive vice president at YM BioSciences; founding CEO of DELEX Therapeutics Inc.; company creator for the Eastern Technology Seed Investment Fund; scientific advisor to MDS Capital Corp.; vice president of research at Hemosol Inc.; and head of the division of general biochemistry at Syntex (Canada) Research. In various senior executive roles, she has led the development of innovative life sciences projects through all stages of development, has participated in securing more than $100 million in equity financing from the private and public capital markets, and has led or assisted companies through acquisitions, partnerships and IPOs.
James Taylor received his B.Eng. in mechanical engineering from Dalhousie University in 1978. For the first half of his career, James helped design and construct coal plants in Nova Scotia. The second half has been focused on the optimization and operation of the generation facilities and the transformation of Nova Scotia Power Inc. (NSPI) from its heavy reliance on coal to a balanced portfolio of prime energy sources. In 2010, James was recognized by Canada’s marine energy industry association, OREG, with the navigator award for his efforts in moving the industry forward. James retired from NSPI in 2011 and was named one of Canada’s Clean 50 by the Corporate Knights. Subsequently, he formed a consulting business, Quadrule Services Inc.
As the national technology officer for Microsoft Canada, John Weigelt drives the company’s strategic policy and technology efforts. In this role, he is the lead public advocate on issues such as the development of a national technology policy and the use of technology by government, education and the healthcare community. He is also responsible for the development and implementation of strategies that strengthen the company’s relationships with the Canadian technology industry at large. Prior to joining Microsoft, John was senior director of architecture, standards and engineering, at the Chief Information Officer Branch of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. There, he was responsible for the development of the Government of Canada Enterprise architecture, which provided the foundation for Canada’s Government On‐Line initiative and Treasury Board’s information management and information technology standards, and provided support for the Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Policy. John holds a master’s degree in computer and communications security engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada.
Harold Wodlinger, PhD
Dr. Harold Wodlinger is a biomedical engineer with 30 years of experience in developing and commercializing medical devices. He currently acts as a consultant to medical device companies and sits on five boards of directors. Four previous board positions have resulted in successful exits. Harold is also an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto IBBME, teaching a graduate course in medical device development. Prior to becoming a consultant, Harold founded Biomedical Instrumentation, a company that developed and manufactured cardiac electrophysiology equipment. The company sold more than 500 systems in 20 countries and was acquired by Quinton Instrument Company of Seattle.
Rob Ellison is the Vice President of Technology for Xylem’s Analytics Division. Xylem is a global water & smart infrastructure technology company with solutions addressing all aspects of the water cycle. Rob’s focus is on the development of sensing & process automation solutions for environmental and industrial water markets and manages a R&D team of over 180 engineers and scientists based at 10 locations in North America, Europe and India. Rob has over 25 years’ experience in developing innovative sensing solutions with a focus on in situ sensing technologies that enable high resolution data collection to enable more informed decision making. Rob has a master’s degree in biological oceanography from Old Dominion University and bachelor’s in biology with a concentration in marine science from Boston University.