FedDev Ontario announces major investment in six Toronto-based organizations

News release

$53.3 million to drive innovation and growth in key sectors, provide skills development opportunities, attract investments to the region and create jobs of the future

August 27, 2019 Toronto, Ontario

As Canada’s business and financial capital, Toronto is an economic powerhouse benefitting all Canadians. Through strategic investments, the Government of Canada is building on regional strengths to help secure our position as a world leader in innovation and create the right conditions for continued growth in our evolving economy.

Today, Marco Mendicino, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Eglinton–Lawrence, announced a combined FedDev Ontario investment of up to $53.3 million for six Toronto-based organizations to create good jobs, support sustained economic growth, and continue to drive innovation across the region. This announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, at The Bentway, a unique and innovative public space that transforms  1.75 kilometres underneath the Gardiner Expressway into a new gathering place for Toronto’s growing population.

FedDev Ontario’s investments include:

  • Up to $11.1 million for Innovate Cities to develop a made-in-Canada Smart Cities Innovation Cluster to connect data from commercial and residential buildings with public spaces to create safer, more accessible and more energy-efficient spaces for all Canadians;
  • Up to $11 million for the Yves Landry Foundation to extend its Achieving Innovation and Manufacturing Excellence (AIME) Global initiative into 2021, with a focus on support for companies that are adopting clean technologies and those providing training opportunities for Indigenous peoples, women and youth;
  • Up to $10 million for Toronto Global to continue to promote and market the Greater Toronto Area as a preferred destination for investment by foreign-owned corporations in the North American, European and Asia-Pacific markets;
  • Up to $10 million for the University of Toronto to transform its Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP) into a first-in-Canada artificial intelligence (AI) innovation platform that will help 150 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt AI technologies;
  • Up to $6.24 million for the Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO to expand its Capital Access Advisory Program (CAAP) and launch its Technology Early Adoption (TEA) program to connect 400 health science companies with capital access coaching and market readiness support to commercialize innovative technologies and scale up; and,
  • Up to $5 million for Palette Skills Inc. to help address labour shortages in the advanced manufacturing and information and communications technologies sectors by supporting the up-skilling and transition of workers from traditional industries.

In total, these six investments are expected to create and maintain more than 7,500 jobs in southern Ontario. The projects are spurring growth across key sectors, including digital technologies, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing and health and biosciences. These investments are also supporting Canadian businesses to scale up and access international markets, while helping to prepare workers with skills for the new innovation economy and attracting foreign investment to sharpen the region’s competitive edge. 

For more information on these FedDev Ontario-funded projects, please see the backgrounder.


“The investments announced today are great news for Toronto, for southern Ontario, and for all of Canada. Investing in innovative organizations and supporting them as they seek to harness the power of our digital economy and the wealth of skills, knowledge and talent in our region is critical to remaining on the leading edge of innovation and economic growth. I look forward to seeing how these organizations, and those who access their services, continue to grow and prosper.”
Marco Mendicino, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Eglinton–Lawrence

“Canadians have long been leaders in innovation, and the Toronto region in particular is a recognized centre of talent, growth and discovery. Today’s investments by the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, build on this region’s competitive advantages, and will support many local organizations as they drive employment, growth and economic success in the new innovation economy.”
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario

Today’s announcement is an important investment in technology and innovation in Toronto and continuing our city’s prosperity. This funding will help us continue our status as Canada’s economic engine. It is another example of how we are working with the federal government to create jobs here in Toronto and attract investment from around the world.”
His Worship John Tory, Mayor of the City of Toronto

Quick facts

  • The Toronto region is the economic engine of Canada. It is the country’s largest financial contributor, accounting for 20 percent of our gross domestic product, and is home to more than 40 percent of Canada’s business headquarters.

  • The Waterloo–Toronto Innovation Corridor currently ranks as one of the top 15 start-up ecosystems in the world.

  • Though based in Toronto, each funded organization has reach across southern Ontario. The projects announced today will support 870 companies, while creating and maintaining thousands of good jobs across the region.

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

  • Today’s investments align with Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, which addresses the changing nature of the economy and seeks to create new opportunities for  businesses, as well as Canadians, to participate in the innovation economy, giving them access to the tools, training, support and investments needed to succeed.

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