Reference books to e-books

Local companies benefit from innovation centre

Tech Now: April 10, 2011

Updated: Sun Apr. 10 2011 4:40:30 PM

Tech companies live and die by the quality of their innovation and new ideas.

Translating ideas into new companies needs support, and a Gatineau firm is on the receiving end of some help from a newly expanded centre that does just that.

CogniLore CEO André Dubé said he believes he can take e-books out of the consumer space and apply it to the huge market that involves medical, legal and similar reference books.

It’s large in size and a market where the content needs to be constantly updated.

What it offers is that capability, plus a sophisticated search process to allow someone to electronically search a book in seconds.

“What we are doing is taking something that is archaic and giving it an update,” said Dubé. “Giving people the information they need to do their job and put it right at their fingertips, be in a tablet or a Smartphone.”

Dubé has been working with the people at the Regional Innovation Centre, getting free advice and direction and putting him in touch with people at Algonquin College where they are refining his software.

“I think the support that I have received is critical,” he said. “When you are running a company you can’t know everything about all aspects and so this way I can get a wide range of help.”

The centre’s managing director Michelle Scarborough said it’s important to have a place where those with very small companies can come together and talk to those with experience in running firms.

The provincial government recently boosted its support to over $2 million to allow for more resources and to extend its reach over Eastern Ontario.

Over the three years of operation Scarborough said they have likely worked with 400 companies.

“Probably half of those companies still exist today,” she said. “Some are growing organically and some are poised that with the right product and the right economic conditions we think they will be ready to take off.”

Dubé’s e-book publishing company is just one of 60 firms now working with the Innovation Centre. He said they’ve helped him in every facet of his company and will be a key part of any success he has later this year when he launches his software upgrades.

Do you work in the legal or medical field?  What do you think of the possible transition to e-books?