We Are Wavefront is an ongoing series providing an in depth look at the individuals who make up Wavefront. Being a centre of excellence for commercialization and research, there are many facets to the work we do. This month, we sat down to chat with our CEO and Founder, James Maynard.
Tell me a bit about yourself…
Well, I love to travel and enjoy fishing. Lately I’ve picked up the book The Entrepreneurial State by Mariana Mazzucato, highlighting the state’s role in investing around innovation. Another fantastic read is Abundance, by Peter Diamandis – one of the founders of Singularity University. It outlines how technology can solve many of the major problems of the world, as entrepreneurs continue to think and create on a global scale.
Travel-wise, I just returned from Europe for meetings to discuss what’s to come for next generation technologies like 5G. I also spoke in Korea at a conference on Industry 4.0 and digital manufacturing.
How would you describe what you do at Wavefront these days?
I spend a lot of time around strategy development, thinking about ways to take advantage of the new opportunities around industrial IoT and mobile enterprise. With the tremendous success that Wavefront has had in cultivating innovation, our aim is to help large corporations in Canada build their digital competitiveness and digital capacity, and successfully engage in disruption in their industry.
If you look at AirBnB in the hotel market or Uber in transportation, there’s disruption happening in every industry. The question is then, how do we as a Canadian economy prepare ourselves to take advantage of these changes and make sure we’re ahead of the curve three to five years from now?
I’m constantly looking for ways that Wavefront can leverage our expertise and global connections to provide value to business leaders, helping them tap into what’s happening in the innovation community and prepare for the change that’s coming.
What is Wavefront doing to address these next-generation technological changes?
The concept of supporting the whole ecosystem is really important. Our job at Wavefront is to bridge the gap between the startup innovation creation side and the innovation consumption side. There is a need for this intermediary zone between industry and the startup community, and we continue to connect the two so that the innovation process is well managed from inception to adoption.
A real advantage about working with us is that large enterprises are able to adjust and shape the right innovation so it’s ready for their adoption. We help them do this faster and more effectively than what could be done on their own.
What do you see as the future of IoT in Canada, and what is Wavefront’s role in that future?
The changes around 5G and IoT mean incredibly fast connectivity to devices for consumers, new ways of manufacturing for large enterprise, and cities that will be able to deploy better traffic systems with next generation industrial technologies, for example.
With our work around 5G and industrial IoT, we’ve become a valuable resource as these changes unfold. Our core expertise, global perspectives and connections help to shape opportunities so that our partners are well positioned to take advantage of them.
We are also working alongside Canada’s Innovation Agenda to provide value around the six pillars. Among these pillars, our areas of focus are:
- Cultivating entrepreneurship
- Competing in a digital world
- Creating clean and scalable businesses, and
- Fostering world-leading clusters and partnerships
As the government continues to invest in moving this agenda forward, working with organizations like Wavefront who are already positioned to deliver results will lead to quicker outcomes as these changes unfold.
Connect with James on LinkedIn.