Strategic Innovation Fund—ENCQOR Investment

Speech

Speaking Points

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, PC, MP
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Ottawa, Ontario
March 19, 2018

Check Against Delivery

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

I’m really pleased to be here today.

First, I’d like to thank Mona Fortier for that kind introduction.

I see a lot of familiar faces in this room. Thank you for being advocates and partners.

I’m here today, joined by Minister Moridi of the Government of Ontario and Quebec Deputy Premier Dominique Anglade, to announce our joint investment in next-generation wireless systems known as 5G.

The ENCQOR project, I’m excited to point out, is the world’s first public-private partnership in the 5G market, bringing together governments, SMEs and academics.

ENCQOR will link research facilities and laboratories, allowing them to collaborate on developing 5G technologies.

So why does 5G matter?

Think of a world where you start your day off right because you’ve got everything you need to make breakfast and lunches for the family.

Why? Because your refrigerator has tracked your food inventory and has ordered replacement items for you.

A little while later, your commute is now productive time as your self-driving car transports you to work while you pay your bills online.

Traffic? Not an issue.

Your self-driving car is navigating a smart city—a city where 5G provides enhanced traffic control, automated toll collection and hyperconnected public transit. And it will even help you find a good parking spot!

5G is the gateway to the future, but we are just on the brink of this technological revolution.

To harness 5G for the future, we’ll need to be bold, visionary and decisive.

That’s why this government is investing in ENCQOR—because it will give us a competitive edge in this market.

This will position Canada as an attractive place for global companies to invest.

Our combined government investment of $200 million will be matched dollar for dollar by the private sector, for a total of $400 million.

And—I’m really excited about this—an estimated 1,000 SMEs will be able to plug into this 5G platform and access this research and technology to help them innovate on a grander scale.

By testing their products and services on 5G networks before 5G networks are even built, Canadian SMEs will be leading new markets as the entire world shifts to 5G.

And that’s a good thing because the global 5G-enabled Internet of Things market is projected to hit $1.5 trillion by 2026.

You know, we’re working hard to make Canada a global innovation leader, and attracting investment in 5G is a part of our strategy.

Our investment in the ENCQOR project marks one of the first projects funded through our Strategic Innovation Fund.

The fund is designed to attract investments, help companies scale up, encourage collaboration between public and private sectors, and create jobs and skills development opportunities for Canadians.

The ENCQOR project will secure over 4,000 good middle-class jobs, including more than 1,800 specialized 5G jobs, over the next five years.

These are resilient jobs that Canadians can build a career on. Build a life on.

Canadians have always been pioneers of the digital revolution, starting with the Communications Research Centre here in Ottawa.

It established the first international connection to the precursor of the Internet.

Canada has some of the world’s most advanced and efficient telecom networks.

Virtually all Canadians have access to the latest wireless technologies.

And Canada’s wireless networks are fast.

So, as we enter the next phase of the digital revolution, I am proud to say we are well positioned to lead again.

This time in 5G technology research, thanks to the people in this room.

Congratulations to our provincial partners and Ericsson, Ciena Canada, CGI, IBM Canada and Thales Canada.

I look forward to hearing about your progress in the weeks and months to come.

Thank you.


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