Case Studies

The case studies presented on this site represent the hard work of many people and the cooperation of visionary organizations. To learn about these organizations, please visit the Partners page.

In each case study, Dr. James Doran was a member of the project team and often the project leader. Some of the case studies occurred before the creation of Doran Strategic Consulting when Doran worked at the Ontario Centres of Excellence; at Innovation Guelph; or acted as an advisor or team member for a community project. The case studies that occurred since March 2016 have been done via Doran Consulting / Doran Strategic Consulting.

Every effort has been made to give credit where credit is due. If you’re reading this and feel that an organization or person was missed, please let us know.

Thank you to everyone who contributed in any way to these case studies. Together we continue to drive research and innovation in Canada for the betterment of all Canadians.

We are proud of these great stories and look forward to telling more in the coming years.



CS25: Community Minds Grow Gardens

Community Minds Grow Gardens (CMGG) is a newly formed not-for-profit organization established to address a pressing need in the Ugandan Canadian population of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). CMGG received funds from Employment and Social Development Canada: Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative, to establish a community garden in Mulmur, Ontario. The garden has been built and has produced its first season of vegetables and benefits for the community.

CS24: Georgian College-FSC: Digital Transformation Project

Georgian's Digital Transformation Project, funded by Future Skills Centre Canada, is helping the College 'level-up' their students, staff, and faculty with new skills and knowledge of extended reality (XR) technologies. The project has helped deploy over 300 VR headsets, launched a virtual campus, and is conducting research on the use of VR for teaching and learning.

CS23: Tulmar

Tulmar, located in Hawkesbury, Ontario, was looking to establish and Innovation Program and develop an IP Strategy. The company leveraged funding from IRAP to cover the project costs. DSC worked with senior members of the Tulmar team to create an IP Strategy that aligns with Tulmar’s with corporate vision, mission, quality objectives, and strategic goals.

CS22: Neeb Engineering

Neeb Engineering has developed a clean water supply and water security technology that will be brought to market by a new company called STORMWELL. DSC worked with Neeb over several years to take the technology from the concept to commercialization stage. Several projects helped take the technology from the fabrication and testing phase to commercial demonstrations. The final part of this work was to develop an investment strategy.

CS21: 1st Canadian Global Impact Competition

GIC’s were held in over 15 different countries during the spring of 2014. The 1st Canadian GIC was held on April 2nd, 2014. Innovation Guelph and a team of committed organizers designed and organized Canada’s first ever GIC. The top prize, valued at $30,000 USD, was awarded to Tamara Etmanski from Calgary, Alberta.

CS20: Guelph Water Alliance

The Guelph Water Alliance (GWA) is a collective of water sector businesses, experts & others, working together to develop & commercialize water innovations in Guelph and the surrounding region.

CS19: Connect Guelph-Wellington - BR&E Study

Grow Guelph led a business retention and expansion (BR&E) study of approximately 60 companies in Guelph, ranging in size and by industry sector. The standardized data allowed Grow Guelph to better understand the make-up of businesses in the region as well as their top challenges. It also supported the development of concepts related to establishing a larger innovation zone in Guelph.

CS18: Community Builders – Innovation Guelph

Community Builders was a stakeholder engagement event that formed part of Innovation Guelph’s efforts to build an innovation zone in the region. In November 2013, Innovation Guelph (IG) and partners held the Community Builders event at the Delta Hotel where more than 100 participants, comprised of community members, industry and municipal leaders, and academics, explored six key opportunities that will shape the business climate of Guelph in the coming decade.

CS17: OCE Connections Program

The OCE Connections Program supported small-sized industry-academic research projects occurring at Ontario Colleges and Universities. During its height (2012), it supported 26 academic institutions, 300+ projects, 2000+ students, and involved close to 250 industry partners. Doran managed this program from 2009 to 2012 helping the institutions grow Connection’s impact across the province.

CS16: The Bigger Picture Series

The Bigger Picture Series is a long-running speaker & workshop series offer through CBaSE at the University of Guelph. Parts of this series were also developed and delivered independently of CBaSE by Dr. James Doran. The series’ goal was to help students, approaching graduation, to better understand the realities of their career paths post-graduation, and to impart some new skills and knowledge that would help them maximize their career potential.

CS15: Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) – 2018 Co-op Curriculum Roll-out

The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) will launch the 2018 Cooperative Education Curriculum in September 2018. Doran worked with the SCDSB to design two consultation sessions, one for industries that hire co-op students and one for co-op teachers and administrators. A variety of tools and criteria were developed that can be used to help students, employers and teachers plan and monitor placements to ensure that they are enriching for all. A single powerful vision statement was proposed for the program.

CS14: St Lawrence College – Low-Carbon Building Skills Programs

SLC, working with Doran, developed programs under each of the three Provincial Low-Carbon Building Skills (LCBS) funding streams. All three applications were approved. SLC’s three new powerful initiatives include: A) LCBS Passive House; B) LCBS Symposium & Curriculum; and C) LCBS Local Success Stories. The programs also draw on partnerships with Queen’s University, Carleton University, Algonquin College and Fleming College; and many community partners.

C13: Pitch It / Start-up Royale

Pitch competitions are common in start-up communities. They are a chance for young or new entrepreneurs to practice their chops, impress investors, win money, and gain valuable contacts and exposure in their business ecosystem. Innovation Guelph developed Pitch It and Start-up Royale to suit the start-up network in Guelph. These unique pitch events sparked a start-up frenzy in Guelph-Wellington and assisted dozens of companies; awarding over $50,000 in seed funds and community support.

C12: The Elevator Project

The Elevator Project was a multi-stakeholder pilot project, supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and led by 10 Carden, a community social innovation organization in Guelph. The purpose of the project was to develop community-led projects aligned with corporate social goals. A staged approach was used to elevate community innovator’s ideas to higher levels of potential and success. The project ran for three years and facilitated hundreds of small community projects that were in turn financially supported by backers in the community (companies and individuals).

C11: B-Corp Bootcamp

B-Corp Bootcamp was a program developed by Innovation Guelph to help companies learn about the principals associated with Benefit Corporations. This series of workshops, and one-on-one mentoring, helped over 25 pursue B-Corp Certification and grow into sustainable businesses that care as much for their bottom line as they do about their employees and community.

CS10: The Rhyze Project

The Rhyze Project was born of Innovation Guelph’s Women’s Economic Advancement Project. Rhyze continues to be an entrepreneurship program supporting business women in Guelph and Wellington County. Doran worked with Kristel Manes to develop the original program concepts and conduct several community consultations that informed Rhyze’s program model. The Rhyze Award became Guelph’s first seed fund for women-led businesses.

CS9: Competitive Smart Manufacturing Program

Georgian College is developing teaching and applied research capacity around Competitive Smart Manufacturing (CSM). CSM is part of Industry 4.0, the application of advanced technologies to traditional manufacturing practices. Georgian is committed to growing their CSM expertise and resources in areas such as automation, computer control, robotics, customization, and adaptability in product & process improvement. Doran is working with Georgian to develop and fund programming centered on CSM.

CS8: Georgian College—SMEs On-Track

On Track is an industry scale-up program offered by the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC), located at the Barrie campus of Georgian College. The program was designed to serve the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by helping them build competitive advantage. Doran worked with HBEC to conduct a Best Practices Study of other College’s applied research and entrepreneurship programs and design a delivery model for On Track that would appeal to SMEs and while also serving the goals of HBEC and the College. The program can serve 50 to 60 companies per year enabling Exploration, Applied Research and Commercialization of their innovative ideas to grow revenue and create jobs.

CS7: St Lawrence College: Sustainable Energy Applied Research Centre (SEARC)

SLC’s Sustainable Energy Applied Research Centre (SEARC) is dedicated to sustainable technology development and testing, including energy systems (e.g. solar power) and clean technologies. To grow to its potential, the program and projects must adapt to the changing demands of businesses across Ontario and abroad. Doran conducted a Program Review and used the results to work with SEARC leadership to develop a Strategic Outlook document and Business Plan that detailed and justified the resources, partners, infrastructure, and funding requirements for the Centre over a five-year period.

CS6: Conestoga College E-Waste & Cyber Security Program

Conestoga College has launched a new program focused on sustainable electronics management & data security innovation. The program is located at Conestoga’s new campus in downtown Cambridge. Doran assisted the College in developing a business case for the program and securing project funding from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE).

CS5: Georgian College Applied Research

Georgian College, with the assistance of Doran Strategic Consulting, are working to develop a 5 to 10- year Strategic Plan for Research & Innovation at Georgian College that considers the College's strengths, industry & community connections, economic trends, enrollment projections, and political drivers; and is tied to a larger goal of building a Research and Innovation Zone in Barrie.

CS4: St Lawrence College Applied Research Program

Doran was engaged to develop a five-year Strategic Plan for SLC's Research program. This work included the development of an Applied Research Model for the College; assets and gap analysis; development of an Operations Plan; a five-year budget forecast; funding roadmap and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

CS3: The Abundance Institute

The Abundance Institute (AI) was a multi-tenant and multi-service Innovation Zone developed through Innovation Guelph for partners in Guelph, Cambridge, and Waterloo. The AI responded to local business’ demand for facilities and resources that support business as a force for good and solve some of the community’s economic development goals.

CS2: Innovation Guelph & The Guelph Innovation Network (GIN)

Innovation Guelph is one of several Regional Innovation Centers in Ontario offering business support services to start-up companies and small-and medium-sized enterprises. The Guelph Innovation Network (GIN) was a regional collective of cooperative business support organizations spanning four counties.

CS1: Central Ontario Research and Innovation Cluster – VISION 2030

VISION 2030 brought together close to fifty industry and community leaders to explore regional challenges and a common vision for building a research and innovation cluster in Central Ontario.