Archived — Government of Canada Invests in Jobs, Growth and Innovation in Southern Ontario

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For immediate release
March 16, 2012

Mississauga, Ontario – The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), today announced a contribution of up to $4,999,575 for the Research Innovation Commercialization Centre that will provide graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with the skills and support they need to start their own businesses.

"How do we improve lives, create jobs and economic growth? Innovation. Our government recognizes the importance of investing in the ideas of graduates and providing them with the skills necessary to become innovators and successful entrepreneurs," said Minister Goodyear. "Because innovation is about finding a solution to a problem, taking that idea and bringing it to market and getting it adopted by customers. With this funding, the Research Innovation Commercialization Centre will provide mentoring and financial support for 160 innovative new start-up businesses in southern Ontario, which will create jobs and growth for our people and our communities."

The funding is being provided through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario's Scientists and Engineers in Business initiative, designed to assist graduates and graduate students in STEM fields in developing their business skills and drive them toward commercialization of their product or service idea.

In addition, the Research Innovation Commercialization Centre will use the contribution to provide business skills development and entrepreneurship training to up to 450 graduates, and help them develop their ideas and launch new start-up businesses. This will improve the entrepreneurs' access to the financing and business mentoring needed to commercialize their innovations and successfully manage their businesses.

The Centre has teamed up with the Canadian Innovation Centre and Communitech in Waterloo, MaRS in Toronto, Lead-to-Win in Ottawa, and Conestoga College in Kitchener, to develop and deliver the online tools that will provide learning opportunities and business development support to eligible graduates in all parts of southern Ontario.

"RIC Centre is excited to be providing the VentureStart program, which adds another dimension to our services in helping emerging entrepreneurs shorten the path to market success," said Pam Banks, Executive Director, RIC Centre. "Successful business ventures require the support of an innovation community or ecosystem, and RIC plays an important role in connecting entrepreneurs with critical start-up resources like investment and mentoring."

Entrepreneurs who successfully complete the training may be eligible for up to $30,000 in support to launch their businesses. The Research Innovation Commercialization Centre has deemed 30 entrepreneurs from Ottawa, Toronto and Waterloo as already eligible for support under the program. These entrepreneurs will also continue to receive advisory and business mentoring services.

For more information on the Scientists and Engineers in Business initiative, please refer to 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, 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

Research Innovation Commercialization Centre

The Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre was launched in 2008 as a not-for-profit organization supporting the development of innovation and entrepreneurship in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon. RIC Centre provides commercialization support to help new entrepreneurs and seasoned business people take technical innovations to market.

Through the Scientists and Engineers in Business initiative, FedDev Ontario is contributing up to $4,999,575 for a project coordinated by the RIC Centre that will provide business skills development and entrepreneurship training to 450 graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, leading to the creation of 160 start-up businesses in southern Ontario.

More information about the RIC Centre is available at www.riccentre.ca.

Scientists and Engineers in Business

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.

Not-for-profit Organizations

The initiative provides funding to not-for-profit organizations that administer and/or provide:

  • Business skills development programs, such as training workshops, conferences, peer networks and other learning opportunities focusing on skills needed for entrepreneurs who are graduates or graduate students of STEM programs to start a business; and
  • Seed financing and mentoring services to help entrepreneurs launch sciences or engineering-related businesses.

Not-for-profit organizations are eligible to receive funding of up to 50 per cent of their direct eligible costs, to a maximum of $35,000, for each entrepreneur they support. The remaining 50 per cent of costs must be contributed in the form of cash by the entrepreneur. The STEM entrepreneurs' cash contribution may include contributions from other investors recruited by the entrepreneur (e.g. family, friends, other lenders).

Post-secondary Institutions – Commercialization Fellowships

This initiative also provides funding for post-secondary institutions to support up to 50 per cent of the cost of commercialization fellowships up to $30,000 per fellowship. Fellowships must be focused on assisting recent science or engineering graduates and graduate students to commercialize their innovations and start high-technology firms.

Applications will be accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis and applicants will be notified as their projects are approved. All project activities must be completed prior to March 31, 2014.

For more information, please refer to the Initiative Guidelines available on the web site at www.feddevontario.gc.ca.

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