Coral CEA revs Open Innovation engine

With $9.3 million in funding over five years from Ontario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation, today Coral CEA is celebrating solid success in the creation of 7 new Ontario companies and 34 new jobs in the field of CEA.
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Ottawa - Ontario - Canada

April 12, 2011 - PRLog -- OTTAWA ON – April 12, 2011 – Launched in 2010 with $9.3 million in funding over five years from Ontario’s  Ministry of Research and Innovation, today Coral CEA is celebrating solid success in the creation of 7 new Ontario companies and 34 new jobs in the field of Communications Enabled Applications (CEA) as well as a new online showcase ( of 22 new products, services and software development projects. Coral CEA funds began flowing from the province of Ontario nine months ago, and are being leveraged by private sector investments of a further $19.6 million.

Communications Enabled Applications give software programs a voice via human interaction. With CEA, software programs can solicit spontaneous human input, exchange information and participate in decision-making real-time. CEA marries the network capabilities and intelligence of voice technology with the rich world of information technology to create entirely new user experiences.

Similar to Eclipse, a founding investor, Coral CEA is a developer network focused on product commercialization through the build-out of a member-based software ecosystem. Unlike Eclipse’s open source model, Coral CEA pursues commercialization through Open Innovation – a business model that combines best practices from both Open Source and commercial development to allow developers to share risk and return on the creation of new software. Once they become members, software companies can both take advantage of and contribute to Coral CEA technology to accelerate development and market entry. Coral CEA administers the code in a software repository, provides testing, developer tools and professional services, and is also capable of providing project-related funding to Ontario companies.

“Coral CEA is proud of the accomplishments of our first nine months,” says Brian Forbes, Executive Director of Coral CEA. “In addition to the companies and jobs we’ve already helped create, we are confident that as our ecosystem builds, Ontario will become a global destination for Communications Enabled Applications expertise. As with any commercial ecosystem, our best ambassadors are our existing members, and we urge prospect companies to check them out in our new online showcase that also includes rapid commercialization tools and services.”

“Coral CEA was the catalyst for Videotelephony’s development of Global Interpreters Network (GIN),” says Maciek Kozlowski, founder and President of Videotelephony Inc.. a Coral CEA member. GIN’s web site functions as a meeting place and on-demand services delivery platform for interpreters and clients from all over the world. A social networking feature lets interpreters post their qualifications and search for work while clients post available jobs. “We received $30,000 from Coral CEA in funding and we contributed $90,000 in in-kind services as a lead project.  We found great expertise at Coral CEA, and that is paramount to a small company. Without their support there was no way we could have undertaken the level of development work that brought GIN to life.”  

Robert Poole, CEO of FreeBird Solutions Inc., signed on his company as a Coral CEA member in 2010 as a result of his involvement in Carleton University’s Technology Innovation Management Program. FreeBird is a “collaborative intelligence platform” aimed at government customers that combines visual analytics with information dashboards, collaboration, and social media. The product integrates an Open Innovation Web conferencing capability called “Big Blue Button” that allows a Web conference to be recorded and then tied directly to relevant data and knowledge created with FreeBird. “Coral CEA is truly a community of technology entrepreneurs breaking new ground in Communications Enabled Applications,” says Poole. “We are learning every day from the diversity of business models and technologies we are encountering among other Coral CEA members – it’s definitely helped us accelerate our commercialization phase.”

Another Coral CEA member, PatientWay Inc., has worked with Coral CEA to add voice technology to its self-service hospital check-in system. The PatientWay Access Management Platform now allows patients to initiate calls from the Web-based system, collects interactive prompts from the listener and forwards all that information back to PatientWay.  As with many technology projects by Coral CEA Members, this voice-enabled capability, called i-Vox, is now available to other Member companies within the Coral CEA ecosystem. The Coral CEA team ensures i-Vox software is stored and documented in its software resource repository and can be easily licensed to drive new innovation for developers of other applications.  

PatientWay’s CEO Jay Lawrence expects i-Vox to drive $250,000 of new revenue over the next two years as his company anticipates a 10-fold increase in annual company revenues to four or five million. Lawrence says, “I think one of Coral CEA’s big benefits is the technology community that they’re creating. Members should take every opportunity to tap into the community with an open mind on how to contribute to each other’s success.”

About Coral CEA:  
Coral CEA assists its Members with the creation of new products, services and companies in the new multi-billion global market for Communications Enabled Applications (CEA). The organization serves as an Open Innovation network that is Member-led, technology-neutral, industry-driven and non-profit. Coral CEA provides governance and operational oversight over various CEA Platforms, Processes, Knowledge Libraries and Commercialization Services on behalf of its Members. Coral CEA is also a Sector Innovation Centre jointly funded by the Ontario Government Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI), Carleton University, Eclipse, GENBAND, IBM and ITAC. For more information, visit

For more information please contact:

Brian Forbes - 
Executive Director
Coral CEA
Phone: 613-828-6274 ext. 274

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Coral CEA is a not-for-profit open innovation network composed of member companies and organizations focused on the commercialization of Communications Enabled Applications (CEAs).

Coral CEA was founded by the Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI), Carleton University, IBM, GENBAND, Eclipse and ITAC.

Our vision is to create sustainable companies and knowledge jobs in the global market for CEAs. Coral CEA supports members in the commercialization process of new CEA products and services. This includes business development, distribution and brokering of alliance and capital relationships.
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