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 – Ottawa, 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. 

Karen McCrimmon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Kanata–Carleton, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible FedDev Ontario, was in Ottawa to announce the $16.9 million that Invest Ottawa 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

“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. 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.”
– Karen McCrimmon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Kanata–Carleton

“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. 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. 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.”
– Michael Tremblay, President and Chief Executive Officer of Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards

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, Invest Ottawa will receive $16.9 million, Communitech will receive $18 million and MaRS Discovery District will receive $17.5 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 2012, Invest Ottawa has worked with thousands of start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs; helped firms to attract more than $565 million in capital; contributed to the creation of more than 7,670 jobs; and attracted $446 million in domestic and foreign direct investment.

  • 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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