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Program aims to accelerate commercialization of new technologies

CENGN and OCE join forces with Government of Ontario to create advanced networking capabilities for innovators, firms across province


CENGN (Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks), a leader in the rapid commercialization of network products, applications and services, and Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) are joining forces to catalyze the development of advanced networking technologies and further establish the province as a global leader in this emerging field. CENGN logo

The Provincial Government formally announced $63-million to launch the Next Generation Network Program (NGNP), to be jointly delivered by CENGN and OCE. This program will facilitate the development of a next generation network (NGN) testbed that connects Ontario’s Regional Innovation Centres, industry and academia. It will equip innovators and companies across the province with new capabilities to collaborate on the creation and commercialization of new and disruptive products, processes, and services.

This program will advance the development of next generation networks and talent, and the many industries that require access to NGN tools, technologies and expertise to succeed in the digital economy. It will help firms to capitalize on new opportunities in fields such as autonomous vehicles (AV), aerospace, public safety, cybersecurity, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), mining, eHealth, and smart agriculture.

Under NGNP, CENGN and OCE will work in collaboration to accelerate the development of highly qualified people with NGN expertise, and the development and commercialization of new products and services with Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Program will enable province-wide NGN proof-of-concept and demonstration projects, and deliver enhanced support for SMEs, academia and public-sector organizations. Moreover, this critical funding from the Government of Ontario will enable even greater collaboration among industry, academia, research, and government in NGN and facilitate the creation of new high-value jobs that will fuel the future growth of the innovation-driven economy.

Minister Moridi launched the NGNP before more than 150 leaders from industry, academia, government and the innovation community at Bayview Yards, Ottawa’s innovation hub and one-stop business acceleration shop. This includes many entrepreneurs and SMEs that will benefit directly from the ultra high-speed digital infrastructure established through this program.

“This ground-breaking initiative will help Ontario’s businesses leverage advanced technologies, turning innovative ideas into next-generation products they can take to global markets,” said Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “Our province is already a leader when it comes to innovative technologies, and this will further cement Ontario’s leadership by giving companies the tools they need to transform society and improve lives.”

“The Next Generation Network Program (NGNP) will extend CENGN’s open, next-generation testbed, enabling many more small- and medium-sized firms across the province to benefit from new NGN infrastructure and services,” said Robert Fitts, interim president and CEO of CENGN. “These capabilities will help companies to commercialize new solutions in communication technologies, smart mining and agriculture, autonomous vehicles, and broadband Internet technologies for rural and Northern Ontario. This project will facilitate the creation of new full-time jobs, internships for students, and hands-on skills training opportunities in emerging NGN technology fields. Together with OCE, CENGN will usher in the next generation of networking in Ontario.”

“Ontario’s position as a leader in driving the innovation economy depends on how we advance our digital infrastructure,” said Dr. Tom Corr, president and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence. “We are excited to be working on behalf of the Government of Ontario with CENGN to help launch the Next Generation Network Program, which will provide vital access to ultra-high-speed networks for Ontario SMEs.”

“inBay partnered with CENGN to help demonstrate the capabilities of secure authentication for access to the CENGN private cloud infrastructure,” said Lamin Sisay, director of business development with Ottawa based inBay Technologies. “Working with a world class partner such as CENGN has gone a long way in helping to solidify our positioning in the marketplace.”

CENGN aims to strengthen Ontario and Canada’s leadership in global ICT and next generation networking. This initiative will enable more SMEs to test their products and services in the CENGN environment, and accelerate their time to market.