Archived — Government of Canada Invests in Southern Ontario's Future Science and Tech Innovators

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For immediate release
February, 22, 2012

Waterloo, Ontario — Students and graduates in the Waterloo area and across southern Ontario, will benefit from nearly $2.5 million to help stimulate innovation through skills training. This funding, announced today by Peter Braid, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), will enable the University of Waterloo, Shad Valley International, and University of Waterloo Commercialization Centre to expand their diverse programming in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

"Our government is committed to fostering innovation and creating jobs and growth in southern Ontario," said MP Braid. "We are proud to partner with institutions like Shad Valley International, University of Waterloo and University of Waterloo Commercialization Centre as they help students, from kindergarten through to university and beyond, pursue careers in scientific fields and bring new ideas to the marketplace."

Thanks to these investments, the three institutions will be providing young people with new opportunities to build careers in STEM fields, by offering them access to summer programs, fellowships, and internships. These contributions are being provided through the Youth STEM, Graduate Enterprise Internship, and Scientists and Engineers in Business initiatives, delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario's (FedDev Ontario).

"For over 30 years, Shad Valley has motivated top youth to pursue their highest levels of educational and career achievement relating to STEM fields," said Barry Bisson, president of Shad Valley. "Shad Valley participants are Canada's future innovation leaders, and FedDev's investment in them will help create a more vibrant future for southern Ontario."

"We're very pleased that FedDev Ontario selected the University of Waterloo to administer the Graduate Enterprise Internship program. Funding from this program will give added incentive for employers to offer internship opportunities to graduate students and recent graduates," said Peggy Jarvie, Executive Director of Co-operative Education & Career Services at Waterloo.

"These fellowships will provide the financial support for Waterloo graduate and alumni entrepreneurs to get their innovations off the ground and build successful new businesses that will, in turn, generate new employment opportunities for Southern Ontario," said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo.

For more information on these projects and the initiatives, please see the backgrounder.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region's businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit www.feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

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For more information, contact:

Stephanie Thomas
Special Assistant – Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
613-960-7728

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
519-571-6879


Backgrounder

FedDev Ontario is providing three non-repayable contributions totaling up to $2,474,500 to the University of Waterloo, the University of Waterloo Commercialization Centre and Shad Valley International to allow these institutions to offer summer programs, fellowships, and internships to youth and young adults who are interested in or are starting a career or business in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

The following provides details on the contributions and funding initiatives:

Contribution to Shad Valley International

Based in Waterloo, Shad Valley International offers a four week summer enrichment program to high-school students in partnership with host universities across Canada. Through FedDev Ontario's Youth STEM initiative, the organization is receiving a contribution of up to $475,000 to enhance its activities in southern Ontario. This includes: growing the number of participating students; growing the number of small and medium-sized enterprises that donate resources to support delivery of Shad Valley programs; creating a new two day annual symposium to build on the summer learning program; and hiring a director for southern Ontario programming.

Youth STEM is designed to encourage young people to pursue further studies and careers in the STEM fields, creating a future talent pool that is well-positioned to fuel business innovation and growth in southern Ontario.

Contribution to University of Waterloo

Through FedDev Ontario's Graduate Enterprise Internship initiative, the University of Waterloo is receiving up to $1,369,500 to place up to 109 recent graduates in internships with small and medium-sized enterprises in southern Ontario. Interns will benefit from working with business leaders who will share their knowledge and entrepreneurial expertise. Businesses will also benefit from the technical knowledge and skills of the interns, providing them with additional capacity to innovate.

These internships will provide graduates with practical experience in the workplace, which may lead to permanent jobs or to the interns starting their own businesses.

Graduate Enterprise Internship is designed to build a pool of highly skilled workers in southern Ontario by providing business and management experience to graduate students and recent graduates of STEM programs.

Contribution to University of Waterloo Commercialization Centre

Through FedDev Ontario's Scientists and Engineers in Business initiative, the University of Waterloo Commercialization Centre is receiving a contribution of up to $630,000 to award up to 20 fellowships to recent STEM graduates. These fellowships are designed to better equip the students to develop their business ideas and help them to bring their product or service to market.

Scientists and Engineers in Business is designed to improve the success rate of start-up businesses in southern Ontario by developing business skills of young entrepreneurs in the STEM fields and providing targeted support to help them bring innovative ideas and products to market.

For more eligibility and application information on any of these FedDev Ontario initiatives, please refer to www.feddevontario.gc.ca.

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