Minister Bains Announces New Growth and Innovation Network to Support Scale Ups in Ontario

News release

$52.4 million to position southern Ontario as global tech leader and help generate 18,000 jobs

April 16, 2019 – Toronto, Ontario

Canadian businesses drive innovation, create good, middle class jobs and generate economic growth that improves the lives of all Canadians. To succeed in the global innovation race, we need to help promising companies take the next step and grow into global firms. That’s why the Government of Canada is investing in a growth and innovation network along the Waterloo–Toronto–Ottawa corridor.

Earlier today, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, announced a FedDev Ontario investment of $52.4 million to bring together three top 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.

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.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible FedDev Ontario, was in Toronto to announce the $17.5 million that MaRS Discovery District is receiving as part of the overall funding, and to highlight the impacts that this new partnership will have on the region.

By making strategic investments in Canada’s technology sector, the Government of Canada is helping secure our position as a world leader in innovation and creating the right conditions for continued growth in our evolving economy.


“We’re providing our homegrown businesses the support they need to succeed because they will play a key role driving our economic growth and creating tomorrow’s good jobs. By partnering with these top innovation hubs with a demonstrated track record of scaling up innovative companies, we are giving innovators in this ecosystem every chance we can to scale up, strengthen their footing at home, and compete in global markets.”
- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“This new commitment from FedDev Ontario is a commitment for the future economy in Ontario and Canada. Our tech industry is the fastest-growing in North America, and this funding helps us ensure that we’re able to continue the momentum and support the growth of innovative companies that are creating the jobs of tomorrow.”
- Yung Wu, Chief Executive Officer, MaRS Discovery District

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, is investing $52.4 million in the Scale-Up Platform over five years. As part of the investment, MaRS Discovery District will receive $17.5 million, Communitech will receive $18 million and Invest Ottawa will receive $16.9 million.

  • The Scale-Up Platform will support 30 companies in southern Ontario to grow and achieve revenue objectives of $100 million or more by 2024.

  • Since 2008, companies supported by MaRS Discovery District have raised $4.8 billion in capital, generated over $3 billion in revenues and contributed over $11 billion to Canada’s GDP.

  • 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.

  • Southern Ontario is among only three start-up ecosystems in the world that is strong in four of the most in demand areas in tech today: financial technology, artificial intelligence and big data, life sciences, and advanced manufacturing and robotics.

  • Through the Innovation and Skills Plan, the Government is making strategic investments to build innovation ecosystems in Canada, including the Innovation Superclusters Initiative, the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative and the Global Skills Strategy.

Associated links


Dani Keenan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

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