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Ontario’s research and education network names new head


Toronto, ON – Dr Darin Graham, an international information communications technology and innovation leader, has been appointed president and CEO of ORANO and the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION), effective August 1, 2010.

Most recently head of NZi3 – New Zealand’s ICT Innovation Institute and of the former Communications and Information Technology Ontario (CITO), Dr Graham replaces Phil Baker, founding president and CEO, who recently announced his retirement after 10 years of service.

“Dr Graham is the ideal person to lead ORION,” said Maxim Jean-Louis, chair of the ORANO board of directors and president and CEO of Contact North. “He brings the breadth of knowledge, entrepreneurial approach and collaborative leadership experience that will guide ORION to the next stage as the critical enabling platform of Ontario’s research and education communities.”

Dr Graham was director of NZi3, New Zealand’s ICT Innovation Institute at the University of Canterbury at Christchurch, where he was invited to establish the institute as an innovation centre and global ‘hothouse’ of strategic ICT research, moving ideas from the lab across the innovation gap into industry and commercialization.

He was also president and CEO of CITO – one of the original Ontario Centres of Excellence, which supported leading-edge research and academic and industry collaboration. CITO and other Ontario Centres of Excellence were subsequently consolidated into a single organization.

As president of Innovation Initiators Consulting, a private sector firm, he assisted in the development of several projects, including Ottawa’s Innovation Hub, the Regional Innovation Development Program linking Ontario’s Technology Corridor (Ottawa, Waterloo, Toronto) and supported 10 Ontario colleges to create the College Network for Industry Innovation (CONII). Working with Scottish Enterprise, Scotland’s main economic, enterprise, innovation and investment agency, he also helped establish the strategic and operational plans for its Digital Media Innovation Technology Institute.

Dr Graham has a PhD and a master of engineering from the University of Toronto.