A joint policetech and community safety innovation accelerator initiative of the Cobourg Police Service and Northumberland CFDC.

The V13 Policetech Accelerator is a joint initiative of the Cobourg Police Service and NCFDC committed to excellence in policing operations and leadership in community safety innovation. From our centre located at Venture13 (including the mechatronics-focused V13 MakerLab), the Accelerator offers competitively selected researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators the opportunity to validate new approaches to 21st century policing in a controlled and defined small-town, pilot-scale environment.


Policetech ventures working with accelerator gain a valuable opportunity to access critical feedback from frontline officers (the Innovation Platoon) to assess market pull and inform the product design and development process. Companies can even achieve a special certification mark through a pilot or demonstration project: the Policetech Tested Badge™. Events sponsored the Accelerator in collaboration with the regional innovation ecosystem partners include hackathons, workshops and competitions, most notably, the marquee Pitch to the Chief™ competition, now in its Fourth Edition.

The Cobourg Police Service has an established reputation as a leading police service innovator, and through this initiative is contributing to the further development of an ecosystem for policetech ventures in southern Ontario, with implications for global best practices. This includes supporting key academic research to inform policy discussions on critically important issues such as the Ethics of Facial Recognition, and attending major industry events such as the Canadian Congress on Real-Time Crime Center Operations and Tech Integration.

The Accelerator is seeking innovations with the following characteristics, broadly speaking:

  • Solutions that are evidence-based with clear use cases
  • Sensitive to community acceptance/complex social factors
  • Impacting efficiency, cost-savings, financial sustainability, value creation and overall excellence of police operations.

From time to time, specific Challenge Statements may be issued.

The V13 Policetech Accelerator project will encourage innovation along a continuum from ideation to early-stage R&D to validation stage with collaborations and demonstration projects through two principal streams: Start-up and Scale-up. Further collaborative innovation will be driven by Pilot Projects to support early commercialization of market-ready community safety innovation products and services.

Organizations interested in collaboration are encouraged to connect with Accelerator Lead Joe Miller, Business Development Officer at NCFDC, via the contact form below.

Right of First Deployment™

As a result of the dedicated support provided by our Founding Partner, the Cobourg Police Service, project participants understand and agree that the CPS will be granted a time-limited option to be the first police force in Canada to deploy any technologies developed through either of the V13 Policetech Accelerator Start-Up and Scale-Up streams.

First Right of Deployment demonstration projects allow participating companies to generate data and utilize the results of real-world application of their technology as evidence of market validation. This is expected to contribute to the potential for follow-on sales and business growth while also reinforcing the position of the Cobourg Police Service as a leader at the forefront of policetech innovation.

Policetech Accelerator Leadership

About Chief Paul VandeGraaf

Chief Paul VandeGraafPaul VandeGraaf, Chief of Police
Cobourg Police Service

Paul VandeGraaf was appointed as the thirteenth Chief of Police of the Cobourg Police Service on August 15, 2019 by the Cobourg Police Services Board. Paul began his policing career in 1991 as a member of the Belleville Police Service, working as a front-line Constable. Over the course of his career, Paul has held a number of progressively responsible positions including; Community Policing Officer, Bike Patrol, Traffic Services, Criminal Investigations focusing on sexual assault and child abuse investigations, Uniform Staff Sergeant, Inspector and finally was appointed as the Deputy Chief of Police for the Belleville Police in 2010. On November 10, 2014, Paul was appointed as the Deputy Chief for the Cobourg Police Service.

Chief VandeGraaf is a member of the Canadian and Ontario Associations of Chiefs of Police. He currently serves as the Vice Chair of the National Joint Committee of Senior Criminal Justice Officials and a Board Member for the Ontario Police Technology Information Cooperative (OPTIC).

Paul has always been and continues to be a strong believer of community volunteerism and has been an active Rotarian with both the Rotary Club of Belleville and now Cobourg. Paul served as Club President in Belleville in 2013-2014 being recognized with a Presidential Citation with Distinction and being awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship. Currently Paul is honoured to be a member of the YMCA Northumberland Board of Directors and Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre.

In September 2016, Paul was invested as a Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces by his Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, then Governor-General of Canada. Chief VandeGraaf is committed to enhancing the effectiveness of operational policing services through effective deployment of resources in what has become known as “tiered policing”. This shared vision with the Cobourg Police Services Board will ensure that there are long-term strategies to build a strong, innovative and fiscally responsible Service for the Town of Cobourg.


About NCFDC Executive Director Wendy Curtis

Wendy CurtisWendy Curtis
Executive Director, NCFDC

Formerly Director of Trade Marketing, Pillsbury Canada Ltd, Wendy Curtis (Bachelor of Commerce, Queen’s University) is a recognized multi-award-winning leader in our regional innovation ecosystem. Wendy leads progressive, dynamic firms to superior results via management principles that value individuals, teamwork, quality and strategic focus. She is described by the Government of Canada’s Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario as “Northumberland’s Woman of Influence.” The success Wendy has experienced in her career is mirrored with her personal commitment to the community. She is a multiple recipient of the Town of Cobourg’s Civic Awards and was named the Northumberland Business Woman of the Year (2007) by Northumberland Publishers.

Other Terms and Conditions

The V13 Policetech Accelerator is a pilot project and will offer a limited number of spaces to applicants via the Start-Up and Scale-Up streams.

Applicants may be pre-qualified based on a competitive intake process (e.g. “Pitch to the Chief”, Strategy Sprints, TechXpo Hackathon, etc.) or through evaluation of a project proposal and Letter of Intent.

Selected applicants will be invited to participate in the full accelerator program via a Letter of Offer or Letter of Support and may be subject to additional agreements, terms and conditions.

The V13 Policetech Accelerator makes no promise or guarantee to provide any contribution in any amount (cash or in-kind) to applicants or participants in accelerator programming.

All decisions are final and made in the absolute, sole and unfettered discretion of the Founding Partners: The Cobourg Police Service and Northumberland CFDC.

Start-Up and Scale-Up Accelerator participants retain ownership to their own background IP.

The V13 Policetech Accelerator reserves the right to publicly identify individuals or organizations receiving support via this initiative, normally including but not limited to: first name, last name, organization or business name and a short one sentence description of organization or business or the innovative application or solution. Additional information intended for public disclosure may be requested from participants.

“Pitch to the Chief”, “Right of First Deployment” and “Policetech Accelerator” are Trademarks of Northumberland CFDC – all rights reserved.

All applications are subject to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy of Northumberland CFDC.

Policetech Tested™ Badge

In February, 2023 we launched the Policetech Tested™ Badge as part of the accelerator’s Pilot Stream (click here to read the press release). Click here to learn more about the badge.

How to Apply
You can tell us about your proposed Pilot Project, or you can submit a proposal as a Start-up (including research institutions) or as a Scale-up. Follow the links to learn more about each opportunity.

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Contact Us

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Joe Miller
Business Development Officer
905.372.8315 x244

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    739 D'Arcy Street, Suite 120
    Cobourg, Ontario K9A 0H6
    phone: 905-372-8315
    toll free: 1-866-670-1191
    fax: 905-372-2238
    email: info@ncfdc.ca

    Office Hours

    Open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

    Joe Miller (B.Sc., Notre Dame) is an entrepreneur, innovator and intellectual property specialist with extensive experience in technology transfer. Throughout his career he has led strategic ventures at the University Health Network (UHN), the Innovation Cluster, and Ontario Tech, where he was responsible for the University’s IP identification, evaluation, administration and commercialization.

    Areas of expertise include IP value creation, technology evaluation, tech transfer, commercialization grant writing, collaborative strategies and start-up assistance.