From the start, it has been our practice at Invest Ottawa to focus our activities around a theme. In 2012 that theme was “transformation”, in 2013 it was “results” and in 2014 our theme was “collaboration”.
In just the last six months or so, we have been fortunate to participate in a number of collaborative proposals and projects that promise to enhance Ottawa’s innovation ecosystem in a significant way.
In August, the federal government announced that it was investing $14.9 million in the Medical Devices Commercialization Centre to help accelerate medical device innovation get to market by creating a collaborative network to remove roadblocks to commercialization for devices designed and produced in Canada.
In October, Invest Ottawa played host to the Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament (Ottawa-Orleans) and the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), for the announcement of $7.7 million in government funding ($24 million total over five years) for a partnership involving Wesley-Clover that will deliver incubator-accelerator services to support entrepreneurs and startups in the enterprise software market through L-Spark. Companies that make it through the program will emerge ready to compete at an international level. We think L-Spark has the potential to be one of the best programs in North America.
On the heels of the L-Spark announcement came the launch event for the Centre of Excellence for Next-Generation Networks (CENGN). CENGN brings together representatives of every link of the supply chain as well as researchers to accelerate the commercialization of new network technologies. The federal government has awarded this consortium with $11.7 million in government funding ($46m total over seven years).
In November, stakeholders in Ottawa’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem came together to present a comprehensive week of events for the annual celebration of entrepreneurs, Global Entrepreneurship Week. Once again Ottawa was among the top cities in Canada with 80 events on the calendar, just a few shy of first place Vancouver.
In December, Royal Galipeau again announced funding for a Network of Centres of Excellence, BioCanRx, to support collaborative research aimed at developing novel Canadian personalized therapies to fight against cancer. The Ottawa Hospital will play host to the this new network which will be led by Dr. John Bell, a senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and professor at the University of Ottawa.
In support of all of these tremendous collaborative partnerships to further innovation and research, accelerate the commercialization of new technologies and fast-track the growth of globally competitive companies, Ottawa’s four post-secondary academic institutions have come together to promote their co-op programs, encourage local companies to hire co-op students locally and to prompt those business who don’t currently hire co-op to add it to their hiring plan.
One of my favourite quotes is “no one succeeds unless a lot of other people want them to.”
I see an ever increasing mood of collaboration in Ottawa where each group in our complicated business ecosystem is working hard to see the other groups succeed. Just the way it should be.
I’m optimistic that Ottawa’s is on a sharp upward trajectory, enjoy the ride.
Always happy to hear your comments, input, suggestions and ways we can help.
President and CEO