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Joyce Poon
Joyce Poon, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at U of T and a MaRS Innovation inventor. Photo courtesy of the University of Toronto.

Professors Joyce Poon and Hossein Rahnama, who each have inventions within MaRS Innovation’s portfolio of spin-off companies and licenseable technologies, have been named to the MIT Technology Review‘s prestigious 35 Inventors Under 35 list for 2012.

Poon, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Toronto, was recognized for, according to MIT’s Technology Review, “creating new optical modulators with microscopic loop-the-loops through which light can shuttle data between servers and even from chip to chip within a single server.” She is working with MaRS Innovation to license her technology.

Hossein Rahnama, CEO of Flybits Inc. and professor at Ryerson University
Hossein Rahnama, CEO of Flybits Inc. and professor at Ryerson University. Photo courtesy of Ryerson University.

Rahnama, research and innovation director of the Digital Media Zone and a professor at Toronto’s Ryerson University, was recognized for his MaRS Innovation spin-off company, Flybits. According to his Technology Review profile, as CEO Rahnama “is laying the technical groundwork for a wave of mobile software that can identify and respond to contextual cues like location and time of day—and integrate them with information” customized from an individual user’s needs.

Flybits has developed several transit applications, including mobile apps for GO Transit (available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry users) and the Paris Metro. The company currently employs 26 people, most of whom are Ryerson grads.

Poon and Rahnama are two of three Canadians recognized on the list. Their achievement received coverage in The Globe and Mail,, Electronic Products & Technology and the Toronto Star.

CBC’s “Metro Morning” also interviewed Rahnama about his technology and his remarkable achievement (interview starts at 15:33 mark).

Posted by Elizabeth Monier-Williams, marketing and communications manager.

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