David Johnston Research + Technology Park

Carol Stewart

The David Johnston Research + Technology Park (R+T) is one of the largest research parks in Canada and is uniquely located on the University of Waterloo's North Campus. Designed to accommodate 1.2 million square feet of office space on 120-acres (49 hectares), the Research Park houses thousands of ICT industry researchers, and technology jobs. The Research Park has generated an economic impact of $602 million in spending, $428 million in GDP, and $319 million in labour.

The cornerstone of the park is the Accelerator Centre (AC) which is a world-renowned, award-winning centre for the cultivation of technology entrepreneurship located at the gateway of the R+T Park in Waterloo, Ontario. The Accelerator Centre has graduated over 30 companies from their Accelerator Program , and has been ranked 9/10 for overall experience by their clients. Today the park is home to 50+ companies and almost 3,500 knowledge workers.

Big Data, Big Opportunities

It's a fact that is very nearly overwhelming, but 90% of the data in the world today has been created over the last two years. From social media-based conversations, to YouTube videos, to data generated from online retail transactions, the volume, velocity and variety of data has never presented a bigger challenge - and a greater opportunity for the business enterprise.

In this issue of Watch, we wade knee deep into the data torrent, exploring the issue from academic, commercial enterprise and start up angles. You'll meet two of University of Waterloo's finest data experts, Tamer Özsu and Pascal Poupart, who are focused on understanding how best to present, store and extract knowledge from the data flowing through our lives each day. You'll also hear from the CEO of Accelerator Centre start up In the Chat, who is building a social listening platform that literally can transform the way big companies engage in customer service. And finally, you'll learn how SAP is creating a transformative new database engine purpose-built to enable more efficient and fast storage and retrieval of information from the Big Data goldmine.