Electronic Products & Technology

Hardware Catalyst Initiative lands further funding

ventureLAB’s hardware-focused incubator aims to attract global tech firms

January 25, 2022  EP&T Magazine

ventureLAB and the Regional Municipality of York have partnered to expand the Hardware Catalyst Initiative, Canada’s only lab and incubator for hardware and semiconductor companies. York Region’s investment of $1.5 million over five years leverages the Government of Canada’s investment of $9.7 million through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and continues to build a globally competitive cluster for hardware and semiconductor research, innovation, design and manufacturing centered in York Region.

This investment will enable ventureLAB to increase its capacity to assist homegrown innovation and commercialization opportunities and help international hardware and semiconductor companies establish and grow their businesses and teams in York Region. It will also create approximately 145 new jobs in York Region over five years.

“ventureLAB has gained strong momentum as Canada’s Hardware Hub through the success of the Hardware Catalyst Initiative,” said Melissa Chee, President and CEO, ventureLAB. “We look forward to continuing to work with York Region to build a globally competitive semiconductor ecosystem that bridges research and commercialization, builds a strong domestic talent pool of highly qualified professionals and creates a connected, sustainable, resilient ecosystem for tech firms who choose the Region to build, grow, and scale.”

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Demand for semiconductors, chips and sensors continues to surge

Semiconductors power virtually every modern-day technology and product, from consumer electronics to home appliances to transformative technologies like electric and autonomous vehicles, life-saving medical devices like ventilators and in cybersecurity and national defense, and they enable innovations in traditional sectors like mining, energy, agriculture and many more. As the demand for semiconductors, chips and sensors continues to surge, the global shortage of chips continues to impact the automotive industry, medical devices and consumer electronics supply chain.

“York Region is home to one of Canada’s largest tech hubs and we know supporting the growth of innovative companies is key to strengthening York Region’s economic vitality,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “Our investment into the Hardware Catalyst Initiative will help ventureLAB expand its capabilities, attract top talent and jobs and continue to demonstrate that York Region is a global destination of choice for entrepreneurs and investors.”

Partners have committed over $50 million in resources

“Today’s announcement builds on the Government of Canada’s initial investment in ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI). The HCI is creating opportunities for Canada to be a global leader of semiconductor products and we are proud to support Canadian businesses in this important sector,” said the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

With this investment, York Region joins ventureLAB’s global network of over 35 industry leaders, including Siemens, Silicon Catalyst, TSMC, Arm, and many more. Together with eight founding partners including AMD, Synopsys, and others, and leveraging FedDev Ontario’s initial investment, Hardware Catalyst Initiative partners have committed over $50 million in resources, equipment, expertise, and mentorship for the participating companies to enable a new generation of founders to commercialize their products and scale their companies in a way not previously possible in Canada.

 


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