The Government of Canada and Industry Partners Contribute $6.6+ Million to Fuel Next-Gen Smart Mobility Solutions, Exports and Jobs
Ottawa, Ontario – January 31, 2023: Area X.O, the R&D complex for next-generation smart mobility, autonomy, and connectivity founded and established by Invest Ottawa, today announced more than $6.6 million in new investment that will accelerate the safe and secure development, commercialization, and adoption of new smart mobility technologies. This will help companies in Canada’s Capital and across Ontario accelerate their time to market and export, attract new investment, and create hundreds of jobs, fuelling commercial success and regional economic growth.
This investment includes:
- Almost $5.4 million from the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southwestern Ontario (FedDev Ontario); and
- $1.25 million in in-kind contributions of technology, services and expertise from partners including Ansys.
It will help more companies capitalize on the lucrative global smart mobility market, which is expected to exceed USD $250 billion by 2030. The new technology and business capabilities at Area X.O will increase the customer, investment and market-readiness of innovators, founders, SMEs and their collaborators. They will also help catalyze new smart mobility applications in sectors such as telecom, smart agriculture, defence, security and public safety, unmanned aerial vehicles, and smart cities.
This investment will enable:
- New simulation capabilities that will help companies in Ontario and across Canada conduct initial tests and demonstrations remotely, saving money, time and effort; increasing their productivity; and accelerating their technology commercialization and time to market.
- The creation of the first advanced robotic and unmanned aerial systems testbed of its kind in Canada. Mirroring a high-tech obstacle course, it will accelerate the safe development, testing, demonstration and application of Canadian unmanned ground robot and drone solutions, and the growth of the companies that create them.
- New smart mobility R&D projects and collaborations among local, provincial, national and global innovators and companies that catalyze new partnerships, client attraction, market opportunities, revenues and investment. This includes new channels to global markets with collaborators such as the World Economic Forum, and their broad international network of decision-makers, prospective customers and investors, driving global exports and trade,
- The development and commercialization of new Canadian smart mobility solutions and applications for the defence, security and public safety sectors. This will leverage Invest Ottawa’s recent certification as a Public Research Institution under the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) Industrial Technology Benefits (ITB) Policy and Invest Ottawa’s Global Expansion team which is dedicated to foreign direct investment and business retention and expansion.
This new investment in Area X.O builds on anchor support from the Government of Canada through FedDev Ontario, the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) and founding industry partners over the last three years, creating an R&D complex currently valued at more than $51 million.
Moreover, it will build on the strong collaboration established between Area X.O and Invest WindsorEssex (IWE), a fellow OVIN Research and Technology Development Site (RTDS). It will enable more companies to put the unique technological capabilities of both hubs to work in their R&D and business. This increases the impact and return on related private and public investment in both regions.
The Honourable Filomena Tassi, the Minister Responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southwestern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced this new investment during a celebration of the 10-year anniversary of Invest Ottawa, and the six-year anniversary of Bayview Yards, Ottawa’s innovation hub, with more than 300 founders, startups, industry leaders and fellow stakeholders.
“Congratulations Invest Ottawa on 10 years in Ottawa and six years with Bayview Yards! With today’s investment in Area X.O, we will continue working together to boost production of made-in-Canada products and solutions while increasing the meaningful participation of underrepresented Canadians.”
The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Agency for Southern Ontario
“Congratulations Invest Ottawa on 10 years in the Ottawa region. As Area X.O continues to set roots in Nepean, today’s Government of Canada investment will support this growth while boosting the local economy and providing valuable opportunities for local entrepreneurs, including underrepresented Canadians. We look forward to seeing what the next 10 years has in store for you!”
Chandra Arya, Member of Parliament for Nepean
“It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Invest Ottawa on their 10-year anniversary, including six years with Bayview Yards. The Government of Canada continues to support Ottawa-area businesses and entrepreneurs through Invest Ottawa and today’s announcement for Area X.O will boost growth in important emergency sectors while strengthening our regional economy and increasing the participation of underrepresented Canadians.”
Yasir Naqvi, Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre
“Today’s investment in Area X.O will boost the meaningful participation of underrepresented Canadians, support our emergency sectors with the vital job of protecting Canadians, and will provide our local innovators with tools and resources they need to thrive.”
Jenna Sudds, Member of Parliament for Kanata–Carleton
“We are incredibly grateful to FedDev Ontario, the Government of Canada, Ansys and all partners for this visionary investment. It will enable more companies to seamlessly access the right capabilities at the right time and accelerate the commercialization and global export of their smart mobility solutions. This will stimulate new jobs, revenue and investment that build our regional economy. It will also bolster our thriving smart mobility cluster which is anchored by world leader BlackBerry QNX, more than 100 tech companies and organizations, and the highest tech talent concentration in North America.”
Michael Tremblay, President and CEO, Invest Ottawa, Area X.O and Bayview Yards
“On behalf of the City of Ottawa, I would like to thank FedDev Ontario and Ansys for their generous investment in our region. This includes high-growth smart mobility and tech companies that are driving innovation, creating new jobs and bringing Ottawa solutions to the world. I recently had the opportunity to tour Area X.O, experience the unique capabilities of this R&D complex, and meet the companies that are harnessing these capabilities to grow their business and our economy. It is impressive and impactful. Area X.O is a truly key differentiator that reinforces Ottawa’s impact as a global tech hub.”
Mark Sutcliffe, Mayor of Ottawa
“Congratulations, Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards, on your milestone anniversaries! Organizations like these help to ensure that Ontario’s world-class tech sector continues to drive global innovation and create new opportunities for people across the province. Our government is proud to support these efforts through our Regional Technology Development Sites, including Ottawa’s very own Area X.O.”
The Honourable Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
“I want to extend sincere congratulations to the many professionals at Invest Ottawa on behalf of the Ontario Government. As you celebrate this milestone, thank you for the tremendous impact Invest Ottawa has had on our local business community and economy. This includes your work in attracting venture capital, foreign direct investment and talent to help build and grow companies here in Ottawa. You are driving entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic growth in our region and province. I wish you many more successes together with our business community.”
Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, MPP for Kanata-Carleton.
“As a scaling tech company, the ability to further develop, test, validate and demonstrate our technology to prospective customers, partners, and investors at Area X.O is invaluable. This R&D complex enables us to collaborate consistently with researchers, regulators, and industry leaders, and access technology infrastructure that doesn’t exist anywhere else. We can test and evaluate the performance of our technology in true four-season Ottawa weather as we move from lab to market. This provides us with critical user feedback that supports the evolution of our product and accelerates our time to market.”
Fahed Hassanat, Co-founder, Chief Operating Officer, and Director of Engineering, Sensor Cortek
“Kirality provides fast, safe and reliable drone logistics platform to transport a variety of goods, including first aid, in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way. Area X.O has a lot to offer new graduates such as myself and my Co-Founder, Mo. It has provided us with the infrastructure and expertise required to test and validate our capabilities and solutions. In addition, it gives us great opportunities to demonstrate our technology for prospective clients and investors.”
Zainab Badawi, Co-Founder, Kirality Drones
“InDro Robotics is the leading Canadian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), ground and sea robotics R&D company, and one of four companies in Canada with Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) certification. Area X.O is an ideal environment for our R&D. We have tens of millions of dollars in technology, capabilities, and expertise right at our fingertips. This was a key driver to our expansion here in Canada’s Capital. The development of a robotic and drone testbed will further catalyze the growth of Ontario’s robotics sector, new market-ready solutions, jobs and companies, including InDro Robotics.”
Philip Reece, CEO, InDro Robotics and CTO at InDroTek & Bravo Zulu Secure
“This critical support will help us to expand our reach and increase our impact on companies in priority sectors across the province. It will enable us to help more firms access Area X.O’s V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) capabilities, deep telecom and cybersecurity expertise, and our communications infrastructure, one of the most advanced in the world. It will also facilitate even more productive R&D collaboration between SMEs, multinational firms, the City of Ottawa and regulators such as Transport Canada. This will fuel the safe and secure adoption of promising Ontario smart mobility solutions.”
Kelly Daize, Strategic Market Director, Area X.O
“Our Invest WindsorEssex team is excited to build on our strong collaboration with Area X.O, combine our unique capabilities and deliver even greater value to the companies we serve. For example, the new virtual simulation capabilities at Area X.O complement the physical simulation capabilities of our IWE Virtual Reality CAVE. We have created a digital model of the Area X.O private test facility, enabling firms to conduct a wider array of tests, and validate key elements of their technology before investing in broader development. This helps to maximize their resources, time and impact.”
Ed Dawson, Senior Manager, Automobility and Innovation – Simulation Team, Invest WindsorEssex
“As the global leader in engineering simulation, Ansys is proud to partner with Invest Ottawa on its Area X.O initiative to propel smart mobility solutions forward. With ADAS and autonomy as key drivers for growth in the automotive industry, we look forward to helping companies simulate, test, and deliver cutting-edge solutions to advance mobility in Canada and beyond.”
Walt Hearn, Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Customer Excellence, Ansys
“We are delighted to welcome Area X.O operated by Invest Ottawa to the World Economic Forum. We look forward to harnessing the unique expertise of this world-class innovation hub in support of our shared goals. This includes strategic global initiatives that bring together innovators, companies, and policymakers and leverage technology to create a more connected, sustainable and equitable world. It was a pleasure to welcome Area X.O leaders to our Urban Mobility Summit in Detroit last fall to share lessons learned and explore opportunities to achieve greater impact as a global community.”
Jeff Merritt, Head of Urban Transformation; Member of Executive Committee, World Economic Forum
“Congratulations Invest Ottawa on this important 10-year anniversary. Today’s Government of Canada investment will further build on the continued Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) partnership, boosting economic opportunities for local entrepreneurs and underrepresented groups. Looking forward to working together for the next 10 years and beyond.”
Claudia Krywiak, President, and CEO of the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI).
The Government of Ontario, through the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), has created the roadmap for our province to lead the future of the automotive and mobility sector – from critical minerals to manufacturing. Our regional technology development site in the Ottawa region, led by Invest Ottawa and centred around Area X.O, is a crucial part of this roadmap. Today’s announcement reaffirms our approach and helps to further cement Ontario’s leadership position on the global stage for years to come.
Raed Kadri, VP of Strategic Initiatives and Head of the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI).
About Area X.O
Area X.O is the R&D complex in Canada’s Capital that enables and accelerates the safe and secure development, testing, and application of next-generation technologies. Combining diverse expertise with Ottawa’s telecom and cybersecurity strengths as a tech hub, Area X.O helps local, national, and global startups, SMEs, multinationals, and governments address grand challenges and opportunities. It fuels the creation, commercialization and adoption of breakthrough innovations in mobility, autonomy and connectivity that benefit our community, economy and environment. These applications span telecom; smart agriculture; defence, security, and public safety; unmanned aerial vehicles; and smart cities. Established and managed by Invest Ottawa and evolving from the Ottawa L5 Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Test Facility, Area X.O leverages critical support from world-class founding partners. These include: the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the City of Ottawa, Accenture, BlackBerry QNX, Ericsson, Microsoft, Nokia, and Ottawa’s post-secondary institutions. For additional information, please visit: www.AreaXO.com
About Invest Ottawa
Invest Ottawa is the lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s Capital, facilitating economic growth and job creation in Ottawa. Guided by a vision to help realize Ottawa’s full potential as a globally recognized, innovative, inclusive, and future-ready city, Invest Ottawa delivers venture development, global expansion and talent programs and services that catalyze the growth and success of entrepreneurs and firms. These include small business training, mentorship, acceleration for technology firms, foreign business and investment attraction, local business retention and expansion in targeted sectors, commercialization, and marketing Ottawa’s diversified economy and high quality of life. Invest Ottawa is also the manager of Bayview Yards, Ottawa’s innovation hub and one-stop business acceleration shop; and founder and operator of Area X.O, the R&D complex for next-gen smart mobility, autonomy and connectivity technologies. Since 2013, Invest Ottawa has supported almost 14,000; contributed to the creation of more than 14,700 jobs; helped domestic companies raise $1.86 billion in capital; and attracted $1.47 billion in domestic and foreign direct investment to Ottawa. For more information, please visit: www.investottawa.ca
Vice President, Strategy, Marketing and Communications
Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards
613.851.9416 [email protected]