Innovation space opens in Ottawa
A brand-new innovation centre has opened in Ottawa, aiming to provide businesses in the region with access to the technology and expertise they need to create jobs, grow and compete in the global marketplace. The facility was made possible through a partnership with Ontario Centres of Excellence, IBM Canada and Invest Ottawa — is part of the IBM Innovation Incubator Project.
Announced in 2016, the project helps small- and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs) fast-track the launch of new technologies and products to international clients by leveraging IBM’s technical resources. This includes cognitive business technology and a cloud-based development platform, as well as its physical space and network of customers. The project is expected to help SMEs create up to 2,600 jobs by 2020.
Fostering innovation and growth is part of the plan to create jobs, grow Ontario’s economy and help people in their everyday lives, according to Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science.
“Our government is committed to boosting innovation in Ontario through strategic partnerships, in order to help Ontario’s growing businesses scale up,” says Moridi. “These kinds of collaboration spaces help entrepreneurs access expertise and advanced technologies they otherwise might not have access to, allowing our province’s innovators to test, develop and commercialize their ideas and connect to markets worldwide.”
- Ontario invested $22.75 million through the Jobs and Prosperity Fund for the IBM Innovation Incubator Project, supporting an additional investment of $24.75 million from IBM. With expected investment leveraged by participating new and emerging companies, the total investment is expected to exceed $410 million.
- Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) will oversee the operations of the IBM Innovation Incubator Project and coordinate industry partnerships. OCE is a provincial coordinator and member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneursthat works with industry, academia and government to stimulate business-led innovation.
- The IBM Innovation Incubator Project includes five co-located innovation spaces across Ontario.
“The IBM Innovation Spaces offer small- and medium- sized enterprises access to the state-of-the-art technologies that disruptors who want to participate in the innovation economy need to compete. The Government of Ontario, IBM and OCE are also providing support and mentorship, as well as access to global networks and large customers that will help Ontario SMEs to scale-up and enter markets around the world,” says Allen Lalonde, senior innovation executive, IBM Canada.