Accessible Mobility:
Towards a Zero-Barrier Mobility

Register to participate in the Accessible Mobility Pitch-Off Competition!

Pitch your user-centric solutions for accessible mobility!

OVIN and General Motors Canada (GM) are inviting post-secondary students currently enrolled at an Ontario institution to participate in Accessible Mobility: Towards a Zero-Barrier Mobility Pitch-Off Competition. This challenge provides an opportunity for teams of one to three students to pitch their solutions to achieve accessible mobility for people with disabilities and the elderly. Multi-disciplinary teams are welcome! Please note that it is the responsibility of the students to create their own teams. Submissions with larger than three students as representatives will be disqualified.

The deadline to submit proposals is January 30, 2022, 11:59 PM EST. If you plan to submit a solution, please register to sign up for the challenge. Upon registration, you will receive the challenge statement with submission instructions. Mentorship sessions are also being offered with the competitors. If you are interested in being paired with a mentor, be sure to indicate through your registration. 

Short listed students will be contacted via email by February 5, 2022 to present their solutions at a live virtual event to a panel of judges on February 9, 2022. Details of the live event will be shared closer to the event date.

Important dates

  •  January 30, 2022: Deadline for proposals
  •  February 9, 2022: Short-listed teams will present at a live pitch-off event

Important links

Challenge Objective

The objective of this competition is twofold: (1) to raise public awareness of the mobility barriers that face physically challenged individuals and the elderly in their daily life and (2) to motivate students and researchers to identify and work on innovative user-centric solutions, which can empower these people and handle their mobility barriers.

To cover different types of disabilities and aging barriers, the challenge has the following four tracks with each targeting different user segments, but rooted in a common question: “How might we use user-centric technologies to achieve accessible mobility?” 

Track 1: How might we help elderly and people with mobility impairment? 

Track 2: How might we help visually-impaired individuals? 

Track 3: How might we help hearing-impaired individuals?

Track 4: How might we help cognitively-impaired and people with intellectual disablity?

Resources

Eligible Projects

  • Minimum one applicant and primary partner. An Applicant is an SME (generally defined as having fewer than 500 full-time employees) with a minimum 2:1 cash match by applicants and/or partners.
  • Applicants and partners are required to have operations in Ontario and must carry out their projects in the province
  • Projects can last up to 24 months in duration
  • This program is not intended to prove feasibility or for basic technology research. Projects should be at Technology Readiness Level 5-7 (5: component and/or validation in a simulated environment; 6: system/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a simulated environment; 7: prototype ready for demonstration in an appropriate operational environment).
  • Typical project activities include technology/product/service validation, testing, demonstration and prototyping


Eligible Partners

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • SMEs may be Primary or Secondary Partners on multiple concurrent projects
  • National and multinational enterprises (NE and MNEs)
  • NEs and MNEs can be Primary or Secondary Partners on multiple concurrent projects
  • Publicly funded post-secondary institutions
  • Municipalities
  • Indigenous communities
  • Not-for-profit organizations

Projects must be carried out between one SME, the applicant and one partner from the Participants list. Additional partners can also join the project. There is no limit on the number of partners. Partnerships should represent significant potential commercial opportunities for all industry applicants and partners.

Get Inspired

For more on barrier-free mobility solutions watch OVIN and GM Canada's webinar with Suzette Malek, Senior Manager, Global Societal Trends & Innovation Insights at GM below. 

Questions about the Challenge?

For general inquiries, reach out to Ghazal Momen at gmomen@oc-innovation.ca

Additionally, the following mentors can be reached out to for questions and clarifications, when needed. If you would like to be paired with a mentor for a one-on-one coaching session, indicate in your registration. Please direct your question to only one of the mentors below:

  1. Alaa Khamis, Smart Mobility Technical Lead, GM Canada. Email: alaa.khamis@gm.com
  2. Marc Boismenu, Head of Academic Strategy at GM Canadian Technical Centre, GM Canada. Email: marc.boismenu@gm.com
  3. Mahmood Nesheli, Project Manager, CSA Group. Email: mahmood.nesheli@csagroup.org