FedDev Ontario announces major investment in six Toronto-based organizations

Backgrounder

FedDev Ontario is investing a combined total of up to $53,340,000 in six leading-edge organizations to lead projects that will support 870 companies, create and maintain more than 7,500 quality jobs, sustain economic growth and drive innovation across the region.

Recipient: Innovate Cities

Funding amount: $11,100,000

FedDev Ontario is investing up to $11.1 million towards Innovate Cities, a consortium of seven information and communications technology (ICT) companies involved in Smart Cities technology launching a four-year made-in-Canada initiative to provide safer, more accessible and more energy-efficient spaces for all Canadians.

Through this first-of-its-kind collaboration, Innovate Cities will develop a full stack,, cloud-based Community Hub platform for innovative start-ups and scale-ups rapidly design and deploy new capabilities for our communities. These will be installed in real-world environments to demonstrate outcomes, de-risk further investments and accelerate adoption at scale. Innovate Cities will contribute to standard setting and protocols around the management, use, sharing and sovereignty of data collected through the cluster, while ensuring data privacy and security. Furthermore, a Centre of Excellence will be launched to educate customers, governments and citizens on the emergence of smarter and more resilient communities, demonstrate our region’s strengths in innovation, and attract talent and investment. It is anticipated that this project will create hundreds of new, highly skilled jobs, provide skills development opportunities for the middle-class workforce and foster an ecosystem to scale up small and medium-sized Canadian enterprises to compete globally. In line with the Government of Canada’s Digital Charter, this project will focus on ensuring the ethical use of data in order to promote openness and improve the lives of Canada’s citizens, an essential aspect in developing Smart Cities technologies.

“Canadians know there is boundless potential for sustainable development and this investment demonstrates the federal government’s commitment to ensure our Canadian network of innovators, dedicated to development innovative technologies, are well placed to lead the future of working communities. I would like to thank the government for their support of our objectives, to create safer, more accessible, energy-efficient spaces that benefit all citizens, while delivering economic diversification and job-creation.”
-   Mikele Brack, Executive Director, Innovate Cities

Recipient: Yves Landry Foundation (YLF)

Funding amount: $11,000,000

FedDev Ontario is providing the Yves Landry Foundation (YLF) with up to $11 million to extend its Achieving Innovation and Manufacturing Excellence (AIME) Global initiative into 2021. AIME Global provides support for small- and medium-sized manufacturers in southern Ontario to undertake training or skills development activities so they can scale up and become more globally competitive.

Since 2009, FedDev Ontario has provided investments totalling $27 million for YLF to support training in southern Ontario, which has advanced the skills of more than 20,800 workers with 735 manufacturing companies, and resulted in over 5,400 jobs created and maintained. Under this new project, YLF will prioritize companies that are adopting clean technologies and those providing training opportunities for Indigenous, women and youth, to support broad representation in the next generation of manufacturing. Under the AIME Global initiative, projects may include training to adopt new technology, processes or procedures to support innovation, or to develop highly skilled personnel, including new engineering skills, training in the use of new software, or other areas that would make a company more competitive in the global marketplace. This funding is expected to support 200 export-oriented companies to train more than 12,600 workers, and create and maintain nearly 4,430 jobs.

“We, at the Yves Landry Foundation, are delighted that the government continues to invest in upskilling and retraining of workers in southern Ontario. In order for manufacturers to compete on a global scale, they must be laser-focused on innovation, automation and differentiation. This can only be achieved by having a highly qualified workforce, and we are very pleased that the government continues to support our AIME Global program.”
Karyn Brearley, Executive Director, Yves Landry Foundation

Recipient: Toronto Global

Funding amount: $10,000,000

FedDev Ontario is contributing up to $10 million towards Toronto Global, a not-for-profit organization that aims to increase global investments across the Toronto region. This funding will enable Toronto Global to pursue its mandate over the next five years, building on a successful initial three years made possible with $6 million in support from FedDev Ontario in 2017.

Through this new funding, Toronto Global will promote and market the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) as a preferred destination for investment by foreign-owned corporations in the North American, European and Asia-Pacific markets. With additional support from the Government of Ontario, the cities of Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton, and the regional municipalities of Halton, York and Durham, it will work to diversify strategic economic clusters and strengthen value chains in the GTA and across southern Ontario. Efforts will focus on sectors such as advanced manufacturing, information and communication technology, life sciences, financial services, food and beverage processing, clean technology, aerospace and automotive. FedDev Ontario’s support will help Toronto Global attract another 175 new investments over the next five years from new foreign companies as well as foreign companies already established in the region. This project will also build 30 new partnerships, support 100 businesses and create and maintain 1,225 jobs. This is in addition to the 60 new investments that Toronto Global has brought into the Toronto region, valued at $495.6 million, and nearly 3,500 jobs created between 2017 and 2019.

“The Toronto Region is the business and financial capital of Canada and has emerged on the world stage as a global centre for investment, talent and innovation. Representing the Cities of Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton, and the Regions of Halton, Durham, and York, Toronto Global has partnered with the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to provide international investors with a customized experience as they expand their businesses into one of North America’s hottest markets. Our partnership with FedDev Ontario has been instrumental in helping the Toronto Region compete on the international stage. Thanks to their support, Toronto Global is able to promote a regional value proposition that is second to none, and represent a unique place that is so much greater than the sum of its parts.”
Toby Lennox, Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Global

Recipient: University of Toronto

Funding amount: $10,000,000

FedDev Ontario is contributing up to $10 million to the University of Toronto to transform its Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP) into a first-in-Canada artificial intelligence (AI) innovation platform completely dedicated to helping businesses as they adopt AI. This project will also strengthen Canada’s position as a hub for multinational enterprises looking to anchor and expand their AI presence here and around the world.

SOSCIP, a 17-member collaborative research and development consortium, will provide a single point of contact for companies to work with researchers and students to solve business challenges by leveraging the power of AI along with the powerful computing resources and expertise within its network. With this funding, SOSCIP will work over the next three years to help 150 small- and medium-sized enterprises to adopt AI technologies into their products and operations, leading to the commercialization of 80 new innovations. At least 1,000 students and researchers will receive training and gain work experience within the AI industry, developing in-demand skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Nearly 500 high-quality Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) jobs will be created and maintained, including opportunities for women and other under-represented groups. The consortium will also grow to include four new post-secondary institutions from across southern

Ontario and up to three new multinational enterprises with an AI presence in the region. This funding comes in addition to $20 million provided by FedDev Ontario to establish SOSCIP in 2012, and a second $20 million contribution from FedDev Ontario in 2015.

“FedDev Ontario’s generous investment will renew SOSCIP's mandate for more than 400 additional collaborative projects. It will allow us to leverage further investment by industry and directly contribute to the growth of innovative Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises. This investment will further reinforce SOSCIP’s position as the leading research and development consortium harnessing advanced computing to drive industry innovation.”
Professor Vivek Goel, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives, University of Toronto and co-chair of the SOSCIP Board of Directors

Recipient: Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO)

Funding amount: $6,240,000

FedDev Ontario is investing up to $6.24 million for the Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO©) to boost investment, market access and mentorship opportunities for companies across southern Ontario looking to commercialize their medical innovations.

With this funding, OBIO will work over the next four years to enhance and expand its Capital Access Advisory Program (CAAP ©) and HealthMINT™ program (HealthMINT) to increase access to capital for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the health and biosciences sector that are moving beyond the seed stage of financing, and deliver training programs and business development support to companies. OBIO will launch a Technology Early Adoption (TEA™) program to support companies as they engage with health organizations to test and develop their technologies and accelerate innovation adoption. OBIO will help over 400 companies connect with financing, markets, networking and coaching opportunities to commercialize innovative technologies and scale up, effectively establishing a pipeline of market and investment-ready health and biosciences companies in southern Ontario. Supported companies are expected to generate $25 million in new sales revenues, and over 990 skilled jobs are expected to be created and maintained across the region—bolstering Ontario’s, and Canada’s, world-recognized health and biosciences cluster. FedDev Ontario previously supported OBIO with a $3.89 million investment to expand the CAAP program.

“Building the health sciences industry is an important part of building Canada’s economy and our future. With the support of FedDev Ontario, OBIO® is excited to expand our work with health science companies seeking to access the capital and markets needed to commercialize their leading-edge innovations here at home and globally.”
Gail Garland, President and CEO, Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO)

Recipient: Palette Skills Incorporated

Funding amount: $5,000,000

FedDev Ontario is investing up to $5 million in Palette Skills Inc. to help rapidly growing companies in southern Ontario address critical labour shortages in the advanced manufacturing and information and communications technologies sectors.

Palette will use this funding over the next three years to support the up-skilling of mid-career workers affected by restructuring and downsizing in traditional industries. It will consult closely with high-growth companies in need of talent, pairing them with workers and helping to identify the training needed to enable them to occupy hard-to-fill skilled positions. Once up-skilling is complete, workers will undertake a three- to four-month work experience with the company, with the potential of longer-term employment. This project is expected to create 220 jobs and support 100 businesses across southern Ontario, with a focus in the Windsor-Essex and Durham regions.

“We’re creating new pathways for mid-career workers to use their existing skills and talents to access new opportunities in the digital economy. FedDev Ontario’s funding will allow Palette to expand our impact by targeting and upskilling displaced or underemployed high potential workers to meet the talent needs of fast-growing companies in southern Ontario."
A.J. Tibando, Executive Director, Palette


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