Frank Bouchard: Wipebook
This article was originally written and submitted as part of a Canada 150 Project, the Innovation Storybook, to crowdsource stories of Canadian innovation with partners across Canada. The content has since been migrated to Ingenium’s Channel, a digital hub featuring curated content related to science, technology and innovation.
Frank Bouchard recognized the need for a low-tech solution to a common problem – giving learners and creators erasability. His Wipebook invention is a reusable, recyclable dry erase paper notebook that allows users to create, solve, erase and start again. Developed initially as an entrepreneurial class project at the University of Ottawa, consumer demand for Wipebook was overwhelming. When Mr. Bouchard started a crowdfunding campaign to raise $4,000 in pre-orders, the campaign raised an astounding $424,000 in under 30 days. Today, Wipebook is sold in over 340 retail locations across Canada including chains such as Staples and Walmart and is shipped to 68 different countries.
The key innovation of this film technology, setting it apart from traditional lamination, is the inclusion of the aqueous water base layer, which prevents permeability. The synergy of this base layer with the UV coating mimics the properties of conventional whiteboards for a wide variety of applications from post-it notes to notebooks to flip charts.
Mr. Bouchard is committed to seeing Wipebook become a sustainable alternative to disposable notebooks and to ensuring that those students who could benefit most from it, have access to it.
Mr. Bouchard was a 2016 Manning Innovation Award winner. At the 2016 Manning Innovation Symposium, hosted by Dalhousie University, Mr. Bouchard shared his story of innovation (watch it here: https://youtu.be/i3JSlhqnnow).
2016 Manning Innovation Award Winner, Frank Bouchard