KITCHENER, Ont. – (April 21, 2014) – Christie® Chief Technology Officer Paul Salvini has been appointed chairman of the board of directors for the GRAND NCE, a federally-funded organization set up to drive research and development and the commercialization of Canada’s thriving digital media sector.
A founding director of GRAND, Dr. Salvini was named chair at a board meeting in late March, and immediately assumed his duties. Founding chairman Dr. Ian Kyer is providing guidance during the transition, and Salvini is also working closely with incoming scientific director Dr. Eugene Fiume, a University of Toronto professor.
"2014 is a renewal year for the organization, so this is an ideal time to make this transition," said Salvini, explaining the organization’s first five-year funding cycle will be completed this year and GRAND is now preparing for its second five-year cycle.
"We’ll be making the case in Ottawa that we need to continue to boot-strap the research and drive ideas to commercialization, so that Canada continues to be a leader in digital media, and doesn’t instead fall behind," explained Salvini.
Salvini’s day job is guiding R&D for Christie, broadly recognized as one of the most innovative visual technology companies in the world. Christie’s product line ranges from state-of-the-art cinema projection systems to mission critical command center display walls and systems. Much of that work emanates from Christie’s R&D hub in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.
GRAND NCE is a Network of Centres of Excellence that supports 23 research projects, divided into seven cross-pollinating themes that involve researchers at 27 universities across Canada. The organization has more than 60 industry, government, and non-profit partners. The goal of the GRAND NCE (Graphics, Animation and New Media / Graphisme, animation et nouveaux médias NCE Inc.) is to address complex issues in digital media, and transform multidisciplinary research into user-centred solutions. GRAND was created to explore the use and application of digital media in a variety of settings including entertainment, healthcare, education, environmental sustainability, and public policy.
Broadly, GRAND is helping drive the digital media sector forward by fostering a robust policy environment, focusing R&D on solution-driven products and services, encouraging collaboration, and both teaching and mentoring the next generation of digital media innovators.
"Paul Salvini has been a strong supporter and advocate for GRAND in his role on the board of directors," said GRAND’s current scientific director, Dr. Kellogg Booth. "We look forward to Paul’s continued leadership as the new chair of our board. Christie Digital is a key international player that is a valuable partner for GRAND. This type of engagement with the receptor community is essential for GRAND’s ongoing success." GRAND does its work across seven cross-pollinating themes that have been identified as the GRAND Challenge areas that will be the focus during the second five-year funding cycle.
Salvini said the next period for GRAND will be very much about building on the world-class work done since inception. “We’ve done some remarkable research work across the country, and we’ve generated some highly qualified individuals,” he explained, “and now it’s time for them to create some real innovation either working with existing companies or building something on their own.”
"In our second five-year cycle GRAND will place increased emphasis on the needs of its industry partners,” said Dr. Eugene Fiume, who will assume the role of scientific director for GRAND next January. “We will be looking to Paul and others for guidance for how to best achieve the goals we have set."
Some of the exciting work emerging from GRAND programs will be on display in Ottawa next month at GRAND 2014, the network’s fifth annual conference and a showcase for the full range of multi-disciplinary digital media research and innovation work that’s spanning 27 universities across Canada.