Feds announce $52 million network connecting Ontario's top innovation hubs

Apr 17 2019, 4:22 pm

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Liberal government is investing $52.4 million in a new network that would connect Ontario’s top innovation hubs.

The network is expected to create nearly 20,000 jobs in Waterloo, Toronto, and Ontario.

Trudeau announced the investment on Wednesday, which would bring together three top innovation hubs—Communitech, MaRS Discovery District, and Invest Ottawa.

As part of the investment, Communitech will receive $18 million, MaRS Discovery District will receive $17.5 million, and Invest Ottawa will receive $16.9 million.

“Canada’s strong start-up culture makes our country one of the most innovative and prosperous places in the world,” said Trudeau.

“Today’s announcement is about making sure Canadian businesses have the support they need to thrive, compete globally, and create jobs for people from coast to coast to coast.”

The funding will help implement the “Scale-Up Platform” program that will help innovative companies grow more quickly and create 18,000 high-quality, skilled jobs.

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Through the platform, which is said to be the first of its kind in Canada, the three organizations will pool their resources to help 30 Ontario companies scale up and achieve revues of $100 million or more by 2024, as well as provide services to thousands of others, according to a release from the Federal government.

Businesses will receive the tools they need to grow, including coaching and advice to greater access to capital, talent, and global markets.

The platform will also strengthen partnerships with post-secondary institutions, “preparing young Canadians for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

“For the first time in decades, we have a crop of scale-ready firms that are on the path to $100 million. Our job — through the Scale-Up Platform — is to help those high-growth firms find the talent and capital to accelerate their growth,” said Iain Klugman, President and CEO, Communitech.

“We need to pool our expertise, our networks, and our resources to help them compete globally and create good-paying jobs for Canadians.”

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