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Making Ideas Happen – Spark Centre


Spark Innovations is an award-winning physical product design company that specializes in the development of innovative products and inventions. Their team of industrial designers and mechanical designers have taken thousands of products from the early stages of an idea to the mass market whether it be electronic consumer goods, housewares, sports and industrial equipment and more.


The company was started by Robert Dickie (now retired) back in 1989 with the goal of helping companies and innovators with brilliant product ideas overcome challenges like not knowing where to start or being stalled in development. The first product that was invented and developed by Spark Innovations was the ‘flat plug’ which allowed for furniture to be placed flat against the wall without the plug being in the way.

In 2017, Gary Vilinsky, CPA, CGA, who has over twenty-five years of experience in Accounting and Finance, and Chris Pearen, an Industrial Designer with over twenty-five years’ experience in design for manufacturing, took over the ownership of Spark Innovations to continue its legacy of developing ideas into reality.


“The thrill of being part of the team that’s solving something on a project that has not been done before is what inspires us.”


How does Spark Innovations do this? Through a series of intricate steps that include research, concept development, ergonomics, aesthetics and styling, mechanical design, patenting, prototyping, packaging and more.

Spark Innovations first gathers information about a client’s product idea and the problem it solves, then, after brainstorming, focus groups, market research and experimentation, they develop preliminary design concepts to ensure that all design concepts can be translated into feasible solutions.

During the ergonomics process, the team studies how the intended users interact with that design to ensure the product works the way it’s meant to. The product then moves into the styling process where the team optimizes the product’s appearance through sketching, 3D modeling, prototyping and computer surface modeling, creating aesthetics that will appeal to the target market. Of course, throughout the entire process, Spark Innovations’ product design team ensures that these product concepts have

functionality and manufacturability with sophisticated software that creates highly accurate models and assembly parts to test the product’s integrity.

Spark Innovations has worked on an astonishing number of projects since its beginnings in 1989, but a few stand out to Vilinsky to this day including: the Indigo shopping cart, AudioConexus, Blazing Bull BBQ, Starlink: Battle for Atlas and the Alea Air Smart Vent — which transforms basic HVAC systems into smart vents that track and adjust temperature, monitor air quality and save energy.

When asked what his biggest advice would be for innovators, Vilinsky said that patience is key.

“Take the time to learn from the parts of the design that don’t work and why.” he added, “It is through solving the hard stuff that innovation is born.”


To learn more about Spark Innovations visit https://www.sparkinnovations.com








Original Article on Spark Centre

Spark Centre
Helping innovative companies start, grow and succeed. Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre is one of eighteen not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centres (RICs) that form part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). The centre works to improve competitiveness and visibility of Durham Region and Northumberland County as a world-class innovation cluster. Spark Centre works with clients to develop individualized plans for success. We connect start-ups to business and research networks, learning tools, business coaching, mentorship, and access to funding and investment.

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