The BCIT MAKE+ program empowers entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into reality. This multi-disciplinary Applied Research group (out of the Centre for Applied Research and Innovation) supports businesses of all sizes from the research phase through to product refinement. MAKE+ is comprised of a diverse team of engineers, technologists, industrial designers, manufacturing specialists, and project managers.
“MAKE+ works with our clients to provide product development leadership services,” says MAKE+ Director, Nancy Paris. “In some cases, this entails product design, fabrication, and evaluation, however it may also include the applied research necessary to determine what the problem is that the client is trying to solve to begin with. We work under a design control system that ensures we create a product that solves a problem and is also commercially viable.”
One of the latest applied research projects that the MAKE+ team successfully completed was the BiKube, a revolutionary assistive mobility device. The BCIT team worked with entrepreneurs Jean-Pierre Berger and Gabriele Toffoletti, from the initial research phase all the way to prototyping.
Project lead, Gordon Thiessen’s background in mechanics and robotics came in handy as they worked together bring the complex device to fruition. The resulting product is a testament to Jean-Pierre’s and Gabriele’s ambitious vision and opens up a whole new frontier within the mobility assistance market. “It was really exciting to see the development from start to finish and experience the challenges that come along with developing a new product” says Gordon.
While BiKube hasn’t entered the production phase yet, the company has a website with more information on the product and an eNewsletter sign up option to let interested clients know when product will be going on sale.