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Cambrian College and Sofvie Inc. Partner on Mining Safety Project with support from the Government of Ontario

Posted on Tuesday April 12, 2022

(left to right). Dr. Mike Commito, Director, Cambrian R&D; Gus Minor, Chief Innovation Officer, Sofvie Inc.; Jazmyn Zarichney, Junior Data Analyst, Sofvie Inc.; Cody Cacciotti, Business Developer, Cambrian R&D. Sofvie and Cambrian R&D are testing Sofvie technology that prevents machinery from operating if the employee does not have the proper qualifications. 

SUDBURY, ON – Cambrian College and Sudbury software development company Sofvie Inc. (Sofvie) are teaming up on a research project to help make heavy industry safer.

Cambrian R&D, the College’s Applied Research division, and Sofvie plan to test and refine a Sofvie integration system with an Internet of Things (IoT) device that acts like an electronic “emergency off switch” to prevent unqualified workers from using certain equipment or undertaking specific tasks.

This application is particularly well-suited for heavy industries. It will help sectors such as mining, forestry, construction and auto manufacturing be more efficient and safer, at a time when Canada, particularly Ontario, is poised to be a world leader in BEV technology and the mining of critical minerals.

The two-year project is being made possible through $150,000 in funding from the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Centre for Innovation’s (OCI) Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP) program. This funding was matched with a further $150,000 investment by Sofvie for a total project value of $300,000.

“This is an exciting time in the history of the Ontario's mining industry as our Driving Prosperity auto plan and our first-ever Critical Minerals Strategy will help the province play a massive role in the emerging North American electric vehicle battery industry,” says Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "By positioning our province to leverage its critical mineral wealth, there is an incredible opportunity to connect Northern Ontario and southern economies to build a full end-to-end made-in-Ontario supply chain for emerging technologies."

“OCI is thrilled to support the efforts of Sofvie to commercialize a product which enables critical safety operations within the heavy industry sectors,” says Claudia Krywiak, President & CEO, OCI. “Driving collaborative efforts between academia and industry to produce valuable commercialization outcomes is the essence of the VIP Program.” 

Sofvie’s proposed solution would analyze an employee’s electronic training record while they are attempting to engage with a company’s fleet of vehicles and equipment. The solution works in collaboration with an onboard IoT device installed. The vehicle or equipment will only become operational if the employee’s training records match the threshold of training required for authorized and qualified operation.

“Right now, there is no way, in real-time, to validate a worker’s level of training in the field on a particular process or piece of equipment, which could result in someone who is not properly trained or qualified working in an unsafe situation for them and potentially others,” explains Sofvie Chief Innovation Officer, Gus Minor. “Cambrian R&D is a great partner to test and refine this system, which we believe will lead to safer workplaces, fewer injuries on the job, and reduced costs for equipment maintenance and repairs due to damage from improper use.”

The project will be based at Cambrian College’s Glencore Centre for Innovation and will employ 4 researchers and between 6 and 12 Cambrian students.

One of the students who worked on a previous research project between Cambrian R&D and Sofvie is Jazmyn Zarichney. Originally from the community of Whitefish, Ontario, Jazmyn was hired as a Junior Data Analyst full-time by Sofvie in 2020 upon her graduation from Cambrian’s Health Analytics program.

“Working with Cambrian R&D gave me the tools I needed to get into the workplace,” says Zarichney.

“If granted the opportunity to work in applied research, I would encourage all Cambrian students to take it and get involved.”

“Increasingly, colleges are working with industry and government to drive innovation right across all sectors of the economy,” says Cambrian College President Bill Best. “It’s making industry more effective and efficient, and for students and faculty, it ensures they are up-to-date on the latest trends in technology and innovation. It makes for industry-leading faculty and students with a big competitive edge when it comes to finding employment after graduation. I want to thank the Government of Ontario, OCI, and Sofvie for their support of this initiative.”

For the past 10 years, Cambrian College, through Cambrian R&D, has made the list of Canada’s top 50 research colleges, scoring 18th overall in Canada in the latest rankings, according to Research Infosource.

About Cambrian College

Cambrian College is northeastern Ontario’s largest college, with more than 90 programs. Cambrian’s main campus is in Greater Sudbury, with satellite centres in Espanola and Little Current. For more information about Cambrian College, visit

About Sofvie Inc.

Sofvie Inc. is a Sudbury-based firm that specialized in software solutions designed to improve workplace safety. Sofvie believes everyone has the right to a safe workplace and to go home in the same or better condition than they went to work. By offering as many tools and information as possible to support the workforce to analyze, plan and action their assignments we can drastically reduce the potential harm and increase the safe collaboration in the field.

About OCI

The Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI), maximizes the commercial impact of research developed in Ontario’s colleges, universities, and research hospitals, and accelerates the commercialization of made-in-Ontario intellectual property and technologies. A pan-provincial collaboration platform, with a broad and deep network across industry, academia and government, OCI initiates unparalleled partnership opportunities, develops and manages successful industry-academic collaborations, supports high-potential SMEs in commercializing ground-breaking research, and provides hands-on training and skills development opportunities for the next generation of highly-skilled talent. Learn more about the Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP):

Media contacts
Gus Minor
Chief Innovation Officer
Sofvie inc.
T: +1 (705) 692 2234 x 222
A: 68 Mumford Road Lively, ON P3Y 1L2

Dan Lessard
Manager, Communications
Cambrian College
705-566-8101, ext. 6302 (o), 705-929-0786 (c)



Cambrian College Hands Out the Hardware at its Annual Athletic Banquet

Posted on Monday April 11, 2022
Varsity all sports poster. The background is yellow and three students. One from volleyball, another one from football and the last one from cross-country

SUDBURY –  It was an evening to celebrate varsity athletes and teamwork at Cambrian's 53rd Athletic Ceremony, held Thursday, April 7 at the College’s Student Life Centre.

"The last two years have been challenging to say …

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