November 15, 2012      

THE RECORD: Two growing Kitchener technology companies, Clearpath Robotics and Miovision Technologies, received more $300,000 in federal funding on Tuesday.

Clearpath Robotics, which specializes in the design and manufacture of unmanned robot vehicles, was launched in 2009 and now employs 25 people.

It got over $200,000, about half of which comes from the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), to help the company develop the next generation of its robotic control capability. The other half, from the Digital Technologies Adoption Pilot Project program of the National Research Council, will help the company improve its manufacturing information technology infrastructure.

The IRAP funding will help the company as it develops the next generation of the robot brain, said Matt Rendall, president of Clearpath Robotics. “We have learned a lot over the past three years since we started the business but now we want to take everything we have learned and make a completely new robot brain.”

Meanwhile, the funding that improves the information systems infrastructure will make the company more productive as it scales up the sales of its robots, Rendall added.

Miovision Technologies also got almost $100,000 from the Digital Technologies Adoption Pilot Project to improve that company’s information systems infrastructure.

Miovision sells automated traffic data collection and analysis systems. It only had a handful of people when it emerged out of the University of Waterloo in 2005, but has grown to employ about 90 people on Manitou Drive.

Kurtis McBride, chief executive of Miovision, said the funding will be invested in software systems that run the company, connecting everything from sales all the way through to tracking the manufacturing and delivery of the equipment, he said. “We are investing in making that a lot more efficient so that we can do more with the people we have.”

Menzies, the minister of state for finance, lauded the innovation at both companies. “It’s exciting to see the fruits of the investment in research and development,” he said.

Albrecht said both companies are well-positioned for growth and the government is ready to help them capture new markets and create jobs in the south Kitchener technology cluster.