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Southern Ontario Spotlight

Southern Ontario Spotlight

FEDDEV ONTARIO’S FOCUS ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

APRIL 2021

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Making Headlines

Follow FedDev Ontario on Facebook for news and announcements!

Follow FedDev Ontario on Facebook for news and announcements!

FedDev Ontario continues to work closely with southern Ontario businesses, communities and innovators, and we’ve added a new platform to keep you more connected than ever. Follow us on Facebook for news, updates and announcements via live stream on FedDev Ontario projects and innovations in the region.

FedDev Ontario invests over $23.5 million in innovation and technology

Blood cultures are loaded into an analyzer at Hamilton Health Sciences' medical laboratory.

FedDev Ontario invests over $23.5 million in innovation and technology

With a focus on innovation and technology, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario Mélanie Joly recently undertook a two-day virtual tour where she announced over $23.5 million for businesses and organizations in Hamilton, Toronto and Burlington.   

An investment of $6 million was announced for Hamilton-based catalyst Innovation Factory, which will work alongside the Synapse Life Science Consortium to launch the Southern Ontario Pharmaceutical and Health Innovation Ecosystem (SOPHIE), a full-service innovation hub in Hamilton. SOPHIE will connect healthcare entrepreneurs and start-ups with the expertise and guidance needed to accelerate the commercialization of their products. Support through SOPHIE is expected to create 50 new jobs, maintain an additional 100 jobs and encourage 100 firms to either establish themselves or grow in southern Ontario. 

Burlington-based AceAge Inc. and Gerrie Electric Wholesale Limited (Gerrie Electric) received a combined $2.9 million to better compete and enter new markets. AceAge Inc., a healthcare technology company, recently developed and commercialized the Karie™ in-home medical device that organizes and dispenses medication and schedules refills and deliveries. The $1.5-million investment will help AceAge Inc. scale its operations to meet increasing demand in Canada and Europe, and facilitate a U.S. launch. Gerrie Electric, a women-owned wholesale distributor and retailer specializing in electrical, industrial automation, data communication and lighting products, supplies a wide range of sectors from industrial to retail. FedDev Ontario’s repayable investment of $1.4 million will allow Gerrie Electric to consolidate its distribution operations into a new 76,000 square-foot facility in Burlington, as well as update equipment to cutting-edge Industry 4.0 technology.

Minister Joly also announced a total FedDev Ontario investment of $14.6 million to support the growth of six Toronto-based tech firms. The contributions will support advancements in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud-based and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, specialized software and the establishment of a new manufacturing facility to mass produce nanosatellites. In total, these six projects are expected to create 128 skilled jobs.

$11.4 million invested to support southern Ontario manufacturers

Kumi Canada's advanced injection molding technology.

$11.4 million invested to support southern Ontario manufacturers

The Government of Canada continues to provide strategic support for the advanced manufacturing sector to help companies remain competitive and resilient in the face of COVID-19, and FedDev Ontario remains committed to delivering this funding throughout southern Ontario.

A FedDev Ontario contribution of $5 million will support Valbruna ASW Inc., a significant employer in the Niagara Region and Canada’s only specialty steel producer. With this investment, the company aims to add 15 new jobs and maintain 110 existing jobs.

FedDev Ontario also announced a total repayable contribution of $3.9 million to support the scale-up and growth of two leading Vaughan area manufacturers: Kumi Canada Corporation (Kumi Canada) and York Metal Products. Kumi Canada is a supplier of injection molding and assembly products for the automotive sector, and with $2 million in FedDev Ontario support, will expand its Bradford facility by 60,000 square-feet to accommodate new equipment and increased production capacity. York Metal Products is a metal fabricator supplying a wide range of sectors, and the $1.9 million in FedDev Ontario support will allow the company to purchase advanced robotic equipment to scale up production. These two projects will add over 90 skilled jobs in Bradford and Concord.    

Techo-Bloc Inc., a leading manufacturer of permeable pavement, an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional concrete, recently received a FedDev Ontario repayable contribution of $2.5 million. With this investment, Techo-Bloc Inc. will open a new production facility in Ayr that will employ state-of-the-art production equipment and research facilities and add 50 high-skilled jobs to the area, helping build resilience for the future.

Support for regional air transportation sector

Support for regional air transportation sector

Recognizing the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the air transportation sector, the Government of Canada recently introduced the Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI) to help businesses and organizations in regional air transportation ecosystems to remain operational through these difficult times and continue to support the economic growth of our regions.

Valued at $206 million nationally, RATI is being delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies, with FedDev Ontario delivering $24.2 million in southern Ontario to regional businesses and airports that directly contribute to regional air transportation. The initiative is designed to help ensure that regional air connectivity and services, which are critical to economic growth, are maintained and that regional routes are reconnected across the country.

Welcome Parliamentary Secretary Marie-France Lalonde

Welcome Parliamentary Secretary Marie-France Lalonde

On March 19, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment of Marie-France Lalonde as Parliamentary Secretary (PS) to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario and Official Languages).

Marie-France Lalonde was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Orléans in 2019. She has served as a member of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs and the Standing Committee on Official Languages. Her career in politics includes five years with the Ontario Legislative Assembly as the member for Ottawa—Orléans, beginning in 2014. During this time, she served various terms as Minister of Government and Consumer Services, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services and Minister of Francophone Affairs.

Ms. Lalonde’s passion for bringing positive change to her community is evident in her previous career as a social worker, serving in leadership capacities with the Children’s Aid Society, the Ottawa Hospital and in senior management roles in a number of retirement homes in the Ottawa—Orléans region. She was awarded the 2010 New Business of the Year Award from the Orléans Chamber of Commerce for her work as co-owner and Executive Director of Portobello Manor.

FedDev Ontario warmly welcomes PS Lalonde to the team and extends gratitude to PS Young for the work that she has done with us. We wish you all the best in your future endeavours!

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FEDDEV ONTARIO RECIPIENT NEWS AND UPDATES

Supporting advanced computing and electronics manufacturing
Supporting advanced computing and electronics manufacturing

SigmaPoint's specialized electronics assembly facility in Cornwall, Ontario.

Supporting advanced computing and electronics manufacturing

Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the Canadian economy, and the Government of Canada is committed to supporting businesses across the country as they grow and create new jobs.

FedDev Ontario is providing a $4.7-million investment for Markham-based ventureLAB, a leading technology innovation hub and home to the Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI), a state-of-the-art incubator in the hardware and semiconductor space. This investment builds on an initial $5-million investment to establish the HCI in 2019, and will help ventureLAB enhance the HCI lab with advanced computing infrastructure to allow for virtual access and enable entrepreneurs from across Canada to utilize the incubator’s platform remotely. The Hardware Catalyst Initiative’s microchips are an integral component at the core of many emerging industries ranging from electric vehicles to 5G communications and mobile devices.

FedDev Ontario is also investing $1 million for Cornwall’s SigmaPoint Technologies Inc. to scale up production, adopt new lean processes and acquire upgraded Industry 4.0 equipment. SigmaPoint is one of Canada’s largest Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) providers, supplying end-to-end assembly services for specialized products such as servers and monitoring equipment for nuclear power stations. This investment will allow SigmaPoint to improve the speed of its operating line, increasing product output by 15 percent and adding 12 skilled jobs. In addition, it keeps electronics manufacturing in Canada and supports the production of Canadian-made products.

Continued support for southern Ontario businesses through the Digital Main Street program
Continued support for southern Ontario businesses through the Digital Main Street program

Lightspeed POS Inc.'s cloud-based point of sale solution.

Continued support for southern Ontario businesses through the Digital Main Street program

The Digital Main Street (DMS) program continues to be a key initiative for southern Ontario businesses and sectors hit hardest by the economic impacts of COVID-19. In addition to supporting businesses in their transformation to digital platforms, DMS is also forging partnerships with innovative firms to develop tools and solutions to help main street businesses recover and grow.

DMS recently announced a partnership with Montreal-based Lightspeed POS Inc., a cloud-based platform that enables companies to sell across channels, manage operations, engage with consumers and accept payments all in one point of sale solution. This partnership will strengthen Digital Main Street’s already robust suite of tools and support and help position the southern Ontario retail sector for future success and economic growth.

Digital Main Street partners are also being recognized for their impact. Part of the Digital Main Street Community Collaboration Project, tech company EAIGLE recently won the Made-in-York Region Pitch Competition, and was awarded a grand prize of $25,000 to implement its innovative crowd monitoring technology free-of-charge to local York Region businesses. Based out of Markham’s ventureLAB incubator, EAIGLE has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) solution for COVID-19 screening in high-traffic areas, particularly main street and industrial businesses with regular foot traffic. EAIGLE’s AI product screens customers and employees at points of entry in a non-invasive manner, allowing for an uninterrupted flow of traffic and minimal disruptions to businesses.

Celebrating the contributions of Franco-Ontarians: Journée internationale de la Francophonie
Celebrating the contributions of Franco-Ontarians: Journée internationale de la Francophonie

Celebrating the contributions of Franco-Ontarians: Journée internationale de la Francophonie

March 20 marked the 33rd annual Journée International de la Francophonie (International Francophonie Day), a day of celebration among the 77 member states of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF). Established in1970, with Canada being one of the founding countries and an active member since its inception, La Francophonie became the IOF in 2005. Canada’s participation in IOF enables it to promote its values and advance its foreign policy and development priorities in the Francophone community.

FedDev Ontario is proud to support Francophone entrepreneurs and businesses throughout Ontario, including those in official language minority communities (OLMCs), and provides targeted investments to support the vitality of these communities as part of our core programming and through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund. Among the projects that are making a difference in Southern Ontario's Francophone communities and that have recently received funding is La Cité, which is ranked among the top 50 colleges in Canada for research revenue and supports business innovation in the areas of bio-innovation, intelligent prototyping and food processing. La Cité also aims to expand entrepreneurship programs through its business accelerator, La Factorie Desjardins, a project that was made possible by a total investment of $1.3 million over 5 years from FedDev Ontario.

Also of note is Popsilos, a touristic route of giant urban art murals on grain silos highlighting the rich francophone agricultural heritage of the Prescott-Russell region. In 2019, Popsilos received $100,000 in funding through FedDev Ontario's Canadian Experiences Fund, allowing curators and artists to increase the number of silos adorned with art on the tour and to showcase new farms.

To read more about La Cité and Popsilos, visit FedDev Ontario’s Pivotal Projects page.

Toronto-area entrepreneurs find opportunity in adversity
Toronto-area entrepreneurs find opportunity in adversity

Parkdale Centre for Innovation's headquarters in Toronto.

Toronto-area entrepreneurs find opportunity in adversity

The Parkdale Centre for Innovation in Toronto has been helping entrepreneurs and start-ups launch their businesses since 2017, and the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t slowed the not-for-profit incubator’s momentum. With unemployment numbers peaking in the spring of 2020, several shrewd entrepreneurs with big ideas weren’t content sitting back and waiting, choosing instead to enrol in Parkdale Centre for Innovation’s incubator program to chase their dreams.

Playocity creates and facilitates fun-filled and educational virtual live programs for kids of all ages, and works with schools, childcare centres and families to educate and inspire learners through play, creativity, and social collaboration.

NearMe is an app that connects users to small businesses in their local community, with a focus on real-time discounts and deals.

Parkdale Centre for Innovation aims to bridge the inclusivity and accessibility gap in the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem for traditionally underrepresented groups by providing access to specialized mentorship and programming. FedDev Ontario provided $750,000 in funding for Parkdale to expand its programming and specialized training offerings.

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SOCIAL MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS

The Southern Ontario Pharmaceutical and Health Innovation Ecosystem connects businesses, health care institutions and schools to solve real-world issues impacting healthcare in Canada and around the world! 
 

#ProudtoSupport #HamOnt #WorldHealthDay

Congratulations to our funding recipients who have made the Narwhal List of Canada’s most notable start-ups: @Wealthsimple, @PointClickCare, @MindBeacon, @getmaple, @Nicoya_Life & @D2L! #InvestintheBest

 

SONAMI is reaching new heights by adding a leader in aviation to its network.

Niagara College's SONAMI is welcoming its latest addition: Centennial College! The college has been a leader in the aviation industry for more than 40 years and will use its expertise to help SMEs develop new technologies in the aerospace industry. #proudtosupport

Newsweek has released a list of the World’s Best Hospitals in 2021 and three of the six amazing Canadian healthcare facilities on the list are a part of TIAP - Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners. TIAP brings academic, hospital and business partners together to improve care options, patient outcomes and to reduce costs.

Congratulations to Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto), Sinai Health System and Sunnybrook for being named as three of the World’s Best Hospitals. We are proud to support TIAP through FedDev Ontario funding.

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Upcoming Events

Event September 12

April 20-22

Collision (Online)

This event is a large-scale global technology conference with speakers including high profile global leaders in technology, politics and business.

Event September 12

May 6

Canadian Defence Marketplace (Online)

Canadian Defence Marketplace is a new and innovative global platform giving you access to international buyers, distributors, and decision-makers through virtual B2B/G meetings.

Event September 12

May 25-27

Canadian Immigration Virtual Summit (Online)

This event will discuss the impact that COVID-19 has had on the immigration system, and will discuss how Canada can leverage immigration to speed up economic recovery.

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