A first group of MBA students, comprising Arjun Balaram, Doug Obare, Ivana Pavic, Jennifer Sweezie, Samer Forzley and Sheriff Abdou, undertook substantial market research for the project. In 2006, a second group comprising Sheriff Abdou and Ivana Pavic developed a commercialization feasibility study for the Zone Comfort technology. Finally, in 2007, MBA student Stacey Nunes used the research and feasibility study to construct a go-to-market plan.
The MBA groups’ market research and go-to-market recommendations, especially the advice to do a pilot installation in a new multi-unit dwelling, and have energy-savings instrumented and documented, proved valuable. The pilot project was completed, energy savings documented, and the technology has since been successfully rolled-out in new construction projects across southern Ontario.
On the basis of the success of this "triple-helix" project, the NRCan team has now been recently recognized with an Innovation and Energy Technology Sector Merit Award.
“The Zone Comfort project is an excellent model of how industry, government and academia can work together to take an interesting concept through the development cycle” said James Glouchkow, Team Leader at CanmetENERGIE, Natural Resources Canada.