The Unlikely Innovators Podcast

Innovation can emerge from the most unlikely places

Each week, Mike Commito and Steve Gravel, two unlikely innovators in their own right, will highlight stories of unlikely innovation in post-secondary education and the private sector. Drawing from their experiences in the college applied research world, they will showcase the bright ideas happening in colleges and communities across Canada.

Mike Commito is the Director of Applied Research at Cambrian College and Steve Gravel is the Manager of the Centre for Smart Mining, Cambrian’s Technology Access Centre.

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Latest episode

Monique Golden on how XPRIZE is rapidly reskilling the workforce

EducationInspirationalSocial good

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On this week’s episode, Mike and Steve welcomed Dr. Monique Golden, Technical Lead for XPRIZE’s Rapid Reskilling Prize, a 30-month competition that aims to rapidly train 25,000 American workers to learn new skills via novel training solutions to obtain living wage jobs in growing industries. Monique talked about the ambitious goals of that competition and how XPRIZE uses large-scale global incentive competitions to crowdsource solutions to the world’s grand challenges. Monique also talked about her PhD research which focused on Black women and perfectionism and her ongoing efforts to close the gender gap in STEM.

All episodes



Danielle Brewin Graham on investing in women entrepreneurs across Canada
BusinessFundingInspirational

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Kyle Haapala on working for a Boston-based startup from Sudbury
BusinessDesignTech

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Flavio Volpe on seizing the EV opportunity for Canada
BusinessEV

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Dale Dye on changing the way Hollywood does war
InspirationalJournalism

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Doris Hiam-Galvez on mining around the world and CIM 2022
BusinessEngineeringMining

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Curtis VanWalleghem on how Hydrostor is enabling the energy transition
BusinessTech

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Roseann O’Reilly Runte on how the CFI enables Canadian innovation
FundingInspirationalR&D

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Dom Kwong on making the future of motorcycling a reality
BusinessDesignStartup

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Minister Jill Dunlop on the importance of Ontario’s colleges
EducationR&D

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Steven Salz on the future of gaming and betting
BusinessDesignStartupTech

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Tim Borgares on combining real-world robotics and eSports
BusinessDesignInspirationalStartup

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Sheri Tomchick on the importance of having a Plan A

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Chris Hadfield on his career as an astronaut and beyond

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Amber Mac on staying on top of tech trends

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Peter Mansbridge on his unlikely journey from baggage handler to Canada’s anchor

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Tim McRoberts on going from the kitchen to the classroom
BusinessEcosystemEducationJournalismR&D

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Terry O’Reilly on how mistakes can lead to success
BusinessInspirationalJournalism

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Samantha Kuula on communicating the science behind SNOLAB
EcosystemEducationEngineeringR&DScience

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Gabrielle Roy on authenticity and pursuing your passion (rebroadcast)
BusinessEcosystemInspirationalStartup

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Kevin Dagenais on turning data into decisions
EngineeringEVMiningStartupTech

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Anthony Prenol on navigating the IP world
EngineeringLawScience

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Scott Everett on how modern tech can solve our most complex problems
BusinessEcosystemEducationEngineeringStartupTech

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Ash Agarwal on solving mining’s “Alexa problem”
BusinessEcosystemEngineeringEVMiningR&DStartupTech

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Ellie Ardakani on crossing the hidden bridge
BusinessEcosystemEducationInspirationalMiningStartupTech

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Victoria Coleman on how Verv helps consumers take control of their own health
BusinessEcosystemFundingHealthR&DScienceStartupTech

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Brian Lee on going from the mining sector to the tech sector
BusinessEcosystemEngineeringScienceStartupTech

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Karim Omri on scaling an engineering firm
BusinessEcosystemEngineeringEVStartup

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Mike and Steve reflect on the podcast journey so far
Education

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Shelby Yee on building a successful tech startup in the mining sector
BusinessEcosystemEngineeringMiningR&DStartupTech

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Charles Nyabeze really digs mining
EcosystemEngineeringEVFundingMiningR&DTech

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Stella Holloway on choosing mining as a career
EcosystemEngineeringEVMiningR&DTech

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Gabrielle Roy on authenticity and pursuing your passion
BusinessEcosystemInspirationalStartup

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Marc Fortin on why Canadian colleges are engines of innovation
EcosystemEducationFundingR&DScience

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Liam McGill on Sudbury’s rise as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship
BusinessEcosystemInspirationalR&D

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Oh, the humanities: Finding a place in STEM as a humanities grad
Education

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It takes a village: Constructing an effective innovation ecosystem
BusinessEcosystemEducationR&D

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Show me the money: Navigating the funding world
EducationFunding

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What is a TAC?
EducationFundingMiningR&DScience

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College Applied Research 101
EducationR&DScience

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Established in 2009, Cambrian R&D is Cambrian College’s applied research and development division. Our mission is to create an environment of partnership, development and learning that will benefit our industry partners, students, faculty and our community.