Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a FedDev Ontario investment of $52.4 million to bring together three innovation hubs—Communitech, MaRS Discovery District, and Invest Ottawa. Together, they will implement the Scale-Up Platform to help innovative companies grow more quickly and contribute to the creation of 18,000 high-quality, skilled jobs.
“Together with MaRS and Communitech, and 10 partners across Eastern Ontario, we are proud to contribute to the first scale-up platform of its kind in Canada,” said Michael Tremblay, president and chief executive officer of Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards.
“Ottawa is a hot bed of disruptive technology capability with decades of internationally recognized expertise, and the highest concentration of tech talent in North America,” Tremblay added. “This critical funding from FedDev Ontario will enable us to leverage these strengths, accelerate the growth and global success of more scaling firms, and help to create high value jobs that fuel our economy.”
Through this platform—the first of its kind in Canada—the three organizations will pool their resources to help 30 Ontario companies scale up and achieve revenues of $100 million or more by 2024, as well as to provide services to thousands of others. From coaching and advice to greater access to capital, talent, and global markets, the platform will give businesses the tools they need to grow. It will also strengthen partnerships with post-secondary institutions, preparing young Canadians for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
Karen McCrimmon, parliamentary secretary to the minister of public safety and emergency preparedness and member of parliament for Kanata–Carleton, announced the $16.9 million that Invest Ottawa is receiving as part of the overall funding. She also highlighted the impacts that this new partnership will have on the region.
“Ottawa has a proven track record of building start-ups into world leaders. This support, through FedDev Ontario, is combining our strengths with those of Toronto and Waterloo to ensure the next generation of entrepreneurs have the networks and expertise they need to grow into global companies,” McCrimmon said. “We look forward to seeing the substantial impact this globally recognized tech network will have in anchoring the innovation ecosystem in the region and beyond.”
The Waterloo–Toronto innovation corridor currently ranks as one of the top 20 technology clusters in the world. This investment will leverage the strengths of the Ottawa region and link it to the corridor, creating economic growth by combining forces.