FedDev Ontario Supports Growing Advanced Electronics Hub in Southern Ontario

News release

$5 million to create new incubator, supporting over 40 companies and creating over 200 jobs

June 27, 2019 – Markham, Ontario

The Government of Canada is creating the right partnerships for new innovation ecosystems to bridge the gaps between science, commercialization, investment and scale-up, which creates good jobs for today and for future generations.

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion and Member of Parliament for Markham–Thornhill, announced a FedDev Ontario investment of $5 million for ventureLAB to establish the Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI), a state-of-the-art lab and incubator that will help hardware technology companies grow and scale up to become globally competitive. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario.

This project will support companies that produce the foundational technology for high growth areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and quantum computing, which are playing a key role as we drive towards a more connected, digitally enhanced society. Over 40 businesses will gain access to cutting-edge equipment in an expanded facility focused on designing, prototyping and producing innovative new technologies. ventureLAB will also offer specialized programs, training and mentoring services, and connect companies with industry experts to accelerate the commercialization of their technologies at home and compete around the world. This will increase the pool of talent and advance the growth of a regional semiconductor and hardware cluster connected to the Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor.

Today’s investment will lead to the commercialization of 15 new technologies and create over 200 new, highly skilled jobs over the next five years. The project also aligns with the Government’s Economic Strategy Tables, which highlight the benefits of integrating digital technologies across key sectors of the Canadian economy.


“The Government of Canada has an ambitious plan to make Canada a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. Today’s investment in ventureLAB builds on southern Ontario’s, and Canada’s, competitive advantages in advanced electronics, anchoring a strong hub that will help Canadian companies scale up and compete both at home and abroad, while creating highly skilled jobs today and tomorrow.”
- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario

“Through FedDev Ontario's contribution, our Government is supporting cutting-edge companies in advanced electronics to develop and bring new products to market. Today’s investment will support over 40 businesses in our community, create over 200 jobs in a recognized centre of innovation and strengthen Markham’s role in Ontario’s Innovation Corridor.”
- The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion and Member of Parliament for Markham–Thornhill

“The Hardware Catalyst Initiative will enable tech companies to create transformational technologies that form the core of AI, quantum computing, virtual reality, and beyond, powering the future of advanced medical devices, connected transportation and next generation communications in Canada and around the world. With this support from the federal government, through FedDev Ontario, we will be able to leverage York Region’s existing rich history in silicon and hardware to strengthen southern Ontario’s technical and leadership talent, and help tech companies scale locally and compete globally.”
- Melissa Chee, President and Chief Executive Officer, ventureLAB

“I applaud the federal government for making this significant investment in ventureLAB, our leading technology hub and incubator space. Transformative technologies, innovation spaces, entrepreneurship and a free flow of ideas are at the core of our thriving tech ecosystem, anchored by industry leaders and startups that call Markham home. The strong relationships and collaborations we all share have positioned Canada for success on the world stage. Innovation across multiple disciplines and our diverse, strong and skilled talent are fueling economic growth.”
- His Worship Frank Scarpitti, Mayor of the City of Markham

Quick facts

  • ventureLAB supports tech entrepreneurs through programs focused on capital, talent, technology and customers to advance Canada’s economy on a local, national and global scale. Located in Markham within York Region, Canada’s second-largest tech cluster, it operates a 50,000-square-foot innovation hub that is home to over 45 tech companies and innovation partners employing over 300 people.

  • Since it was founded in 2011, ventureLAB has helped over 2,000 tech entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized enterprises create 3,500 jobs and leverage over $100 million in public and private investments.

  • ventureLAB is partnering with global leaders in hardware and silicon technologies to validate new technologies and support growing companies in the advanced electronics sector.

  • This year marks 10 years of FedDev Ontario delivering funding and business services to support innovation and growth in southern Ontario.

Associated links


Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

Toll Free: 1-866-593-5505
Website: www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca

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