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Southern Ontario Spotlight

Southern Ontario Spotlight

FEDDEV ONTARIO’S FOCUS ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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The Southern Ontario Spotlight will be on hiatus for the summer and will resume in September 2022. Thank you to our readers for your continued patronage and support.

JUNE 2022

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Making Headlines

Regional Quantum Initiative launches in southern Ontario

Regional Quantum Initiative launches in southern Ontario

Quantum technology is at the leading edge of science and innovation, and will have a transformative impact on the computing, communications and security sectors. To ensure Canadian entrepreneurs are well-positioned to take advantage of these opportunities, the Government of Canada is making strategic investments to grow quantum-ready technologies and solidify Canada’s global leadership in this area.

Businesses can now apply to the Regional Quantum Initiative (RQI) in southern Ontario. FedDev Ontario is delivering more than $23 million over six years to support eligible businesses to advance and commercialize their quantum products and solutions for domestic and global markets. This investment is an important next step in advancing a National Quantum Strategy. Repayable contributions of up to $5 million will be provided to projects that involve quantum technologies and solutions.

“Southern Ontario is home to many competitive advantages, including world-leading research centres and high-potential quantum companies, and is well-positioned for quantum breakthroughs. The launch of the Regional Quantum Initiative will provide businesses in this sector with the support they need to commercialize their technologies and bring them to market, helping make Canada a world leader in advancement of quantum technologies.”

– The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Applications can be submitted until September 20, 2022. For more information on eligibility and to apply, visit FedDev Ontario’s Regional Quantum Initiative web page. A detailed tech briefing is scheduled for July 14; click here to register.

Support for the aerospace sector

Support for the aerospace sector

Aerospace is a pillar of the economy and of innovation in Canada. It is one of the most research-intensive and export-focused manufacturing industries, employing thousands of highly qualified people across the country. Through the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI), the Government of Canada is helping the Canadian aerospace sector recover from pandemic-related setbacks and build the capacity to compete on the global stage.

On June 30, FedDev Ontario announced over $7 million in ARRI support for Firan Technology Group Corporation (FTG) to enhance productivity and expand offerings. FTG is a leading Canadian supplier of electronic products and subsystems to the global aerospace and defence markets and, through this support, FTG will invest in numerous automation upgrades to improve efficiency, green its operations and reduce its environmental footprint. The project will help to increase domestic and international sales and enable the company to pursue new initiatives and gain a competitive advantage as the sector recovers, and will add or maintain up to 300 jobs in the region. ARRI applications are currently being accepted. Information on the program and application process can be found on FedDev Ontario’s website.

Continued support for southern Ontario’s tourism sector

Continued support for southern Ontario’s tourism sector

The Government of Canada continues to provide vital support for the tourism industry, through the $500-million Tourism Relief Fund (TRF), helping businesses and organizations recover from the pandemic and empowering them to create new or enhance existing tourism experiences and products to attract more visitors. FedDev Ontario is delivering nearly $120 million of the TRF across southern Ontario.

In June, we commemorate National Indigenous History Month, taking time to recognize the rich history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples across Canada. Through the TRF, $50 million is allocated nationally to supporting Indigenous-led projects or Indigenous-focused projects. With a recent investment of $3.5 million, Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) provided non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000 to Indigenous businesses, not-for-profit organizations, Band Councils and Indigenous communities to invest in new or enhanced tourism experiences, upgrade tourism assets, and attract domestic and international tourists. To date, over $1.7 million in funding has been delivered to 20 Indigenous tourism organizations in Ontario.

FedDev Ontario also announced a total investment of over $10 million to support the Ottawa Bluesfest and three Ottawa-based tourism operators. Ottawa Bluesfest − a 10-day, multi-staged music festival − is one of the city’s top attractions, known for welcoming some of the world’s highest-profile talent and hundreds of thousands of tourists annually, and pandemic-related cancellations in 2020-21 resulted in significant losses for the local economy. Ottawa Bluesfest is receiving an investment of over $9.8 million, through the Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative (MFESI), to help the festival return to its pre-pandemic scale, as well as support the expansion of the mainstage area. An additional investment of more than $250,000 through the Tourism Relief Fund is supporting three tourism businesses in the region: Haunted Walks Inc., Alicja Confections Inc. and Escape Tours and Rentals, as they recover from the pandemic and attract visitors through new products and services.

Lastly, FedDev Ontario announced an investment of over $480,000 through the Tourism Relief Fund for three Renfrew County tourism organizations to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and position for future growth. Friends of Bonnechere Parks, a not-for-profit supporting tourism to Bonnechere River Parks, is receiving a non-repayable contribution of nearly $340,000 to create a new one-km trail and improve accessibility features at the cultural centre. In addition, family-owned Lakepoint Cottage Resort is receiving a non-repayable investment of $100,000 to expand and winterize its facilities to support year-round tourism, and Snow Country Snowmobile Region, a not-for-profit organization that promotes safe and environmentally responsible snowmobile tourism, is receiving a non-repayable investment of almost $46,000 to create enhanced maps and signage for snowmobile trails located in eastern Ontario.

Government of Canada announces support for LGBTQ2+ tourism

Government of Canada announces support for LGBTQ2+ tourism

Pride season is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & 2-Spirit (LGBTQ2+) peoples in Canada and around the world. The Government of Canada is committed to helping businesses and organizations that recognize the important contributions of Canada’s LGBTQ2+ peoples, as they safely welcome back visitors to celebrate diversity, inclusion and pride.

On June 27, FedDev Ontario announced a Government of Canada investment of nearly $487,000 in Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce to support inclusive tourism. Through this non-repayable Tourism Relief Fund investment, the Chamber will deliver inclusion workshops to increase education in the tourism industry, and will also deliver the Destination Audit program, which helps tourism destinations assess their LGBTQ2+ travel or tourism strategies. This project will also provide Rainbow Registered accreditation for businesses across southern Ontario demonstrating LGBTQ2+ inclusive policies and practices to meet industry standards.

"The global LGBTQ+ travel market is estimated at $220 billion USD. As businesses become increasingly aware of the potential of this growing market, they have realized the unique needs of this diverse community. In response, our team in partnership with Tourism HR Canada, worked to create the Rainbow Registered accreditation program, Canada's first national standard for safe and inclusive spaces for the LGBTQ2  community. This program, in addition to a number of our development and training resources for the LGBTQ2 community, are now able to be rapidly rolled out to businesses and organizations across southern Ontario - all thanks to the support of the federal government. This fantastic show of support will create a lasting legacy of inclusivity for LGBTQ2 visitors, customers and employees throughout the region."

- Darrell Schuurman, CEO of Canada's LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce

FedDev Ontario announces support for Black artists and entrepreneurs

Artist: Ayodele Ojo

FedDev Ontario announces support for Black artists and entrepreneurs

The Government of Canada’s Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP) provides over $400 million to support the long-term success of Black entrepreneurs and business owners, with Canada’s regional development agencies responsible for delivering the BEP’s Ecosystem Fund through select partner organizations. FedDev Ontario is a proud partner of the Black Entrepreneurship Program, and this month the Agency engaged in a number of BEP-related events.

FedDev Ontario Minister Helena Jaczek recently provided remarks at the Federal Black Entrepreneurship Program Ecosystem Conference to congratulate the recipients of the BEP Ecosystem Fund support and reiterate the Government’s commitment to an inclusive economic future. More than $95 million has been invested in more than 40 projects across Canada through the BEP Ecosystem Fund to help Black-led organizations offer increased access to mentorship, networking opportunities, financial planning services and business training. Specifically in southern Ontario, more than $50 million has been announced in support of 21 projects.

Ògo Tàwa Inc., with a non-repayable contribution of $2 million from the Agency, is enhancing the skills and opportunities available to Black artists and entrepreneurs. With this BEP Ecosystem Fund investment, Ògo Tàwa is delivering the Artrepreneur program, which will provide business training, mentorship and advisory services to 315 creative Black entrepreneurs and artists, in addition to creating an online marketplace dedicated to helping 135 Black artists market their creations to North American customers. The investment will support the creation of 50 full-time and 11 part-time jobs, and will reinforce the Government of Canada’s commitment to removing barriers to success for Black artists in Canada.

“Black artists and mainstream art organizations have recognized there has been a shortage of sufficient and appropriate support, for artist entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and increase their revenues. We are so thrilled to be accepting this funding through FedDev Ontario, which is going to enable Ògo Tàwa to work with more Black artists to enhance their business endeavors, reach a wider audience, and grow their revenues."

- Khalidah Bello, CEO and Founder, Ògo Tàwa Inc.

Minister Jaczek also provided remarks at the Developing Economic Prosperity Celebration event, hosted by the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce, and discussed the Government of Canada’s continued support of Black entrepreneurs and celebrated the successes of the Elevate Black Business program. This program is partially funded through a $5-million FedDev Ontario investment and offers services and support to hundreds of Black entrepreneurs and business owners in communities across Canada.

Clear Blue Technologies receives FedDev Ontario support for cleantech innovation

Clear Blue Technologies receives FedDev Ontario support for cleantech innovation

On June 28, FedDev Ontario announced an investment of $4 million for Clear Blue Technologies Inc. (Clear Blue) to expand its production capacity, support the commercialization of its new Pico-Grid technology and enhance its sales and marketing strategies.

A woman-led company based in Toronto, Clear Blue provides sustainable, off-grid solar and hybrid power systems to remotely monitor and control devices such as streetlights, security and traffic cameras, and telecommunications through cloud-based technology and software platforms. The company’s energy-efficient control and management functions make off-grid devices powered by alternative energy more cost-effective and practical for clients. With this funding, the company will be able to expand into new global markets and create over 90 new jobs.

Clear Blue was recently named among the fastest growing sustainable Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs this year in Corporate Knights’ 2022 Future 50 list. Focused on companies that are gaining significant traction in the fight against carbon emissions, the list features clean tech and sustainability innovators from across many sectors that are contributing to a cleaner, greener future.

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FEDDEV ONTARIO RECIPIENT NEWS AND UPDATES

FedDev Ontario funding recipients named in Communitech’s Team True North list
FedDev Ontario funding recipients named in Communitech’s Team True North list

FedDev Ontario funding recipients named in Communitech’s Team True North list

Leading technology hub Communitech recently assembled Team True North – a data-driven initiative identifying high-performing Canadian tech firms on track to $1 billion in annual revenue. Each company on the roster meets strict criteria developed by Communitech and verified through comprehensive analysis by data science firm Two Sigma, and the first cohort had a combined annual revenue of $5.1 billion in 2021.

Past recipients of FedDev Ontario support are among the companies in the inaugural roster, including ApplyBoard, eSentire, Ada, Ecopia, and League. For more information on Team True North and the selection criteria, read Communitech’s media release here.

WES recipient NACCA celebrates success of Indigenous women entrepreneurs in Canada
WES recipient NACCA celebrates success of Indigenous women entrepreneurs in Canada

WES recipient NACCA celebrates success of Indigenous women entrepreneurs in Canada

The Government of Canada's Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) is a vital source of support to Canadian women entrepreneurs, increasing women-owned businesses' access to the financing, talent, networks and expertise needed to start up, scale up and access new markets.

The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) is a network of over 50 Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs) dedicated to stimulating economic growth for all Indigenous people in Canada. WES funding through FedDev Ontario helped support the creation of the NACCA’s Indigenous Women’s Entrepreneur Program to provide tools, resources, and supports for Indigenous women to build or grow their businesses. The association recently released a series of profiles celebrating successful Indigenous women who have received support from the AFI network and found success in a variety of industries.

These profiles can be found on the NACCA’s website. FedDev Ontario is proud to support the Indigenous Women’s Entrepreneur Program and extends congratulations to all of these incredible women for their accomplishments!

Southern Ontario technology accelerators currently accepting applications
Southern Ontario technology accelerators currently accepting applications

Southern Ontario technology accelerators currently accepting applications

Canada is positioning itself to be at the forefront of global innovation, and two southern Ontario accelerators focused on cleantech and agri-tech are providing high-potential businesses with opportunities to build, grow and scale their technologies.

The Waterloo Accelerator Centre launched the Venture Studio Innovation Program with a $10-million FedDev Ontario investment. The program will help start-up innovation and technology companies across southwestern Ontario scale-up and bring products to market faster through access to mentorship and financial support. The program aims to fast-track the growth of high-potential start-ups in the cleantech, nanotech and health tech sectors, and successful applicants will receive financial support, mentorship, marketing, sales and investment expertise.

Bioenterprise Canada, with a nearly $2-million investment from the Agency, is delivering the FoodShift program. Through this program, agri-business and food processors looking to adopt clean technologies will connect with cleantech entrepreneurs developing technologies that are ready for market, helping Ontario food processors accelerate the adoption of net-zero technologies to increase efficiency and competitiveness. SMEs in the food processing sector will be eligible to receive up to $50,000, matched by the SME, to support the cost of adopting new green technologies. Applications will be accepted starting July 27, 2022, and more information can be found at bioenterprise.ca.

HR software developer Humi raises $31 million in financing
HR software developer Humi raises $31 million in financing

HR software developer Humi raises $31 million in financing

Humi, a Toronto-based developer of an all-in-one HR solution for Canadian businesses focused on employee benefits, business insurance, and payroll, recently announced it has successfully raised $31 million in financing. This funding will be used to support advancements in the company’s cloud-based software, including the acquisition of Ameego, a leading Canadian scheduling software company. Humi hopes to expand support for as many Canadian businesses as possible, with a focus on mobile experience and improvements in hourly-workforce capabilities to meet growing demand stemming from the rapid workplace evolution brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2019, Humi received a $430,000-investment from FedDev Ontario through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to support the business with fixed operating costs to maintain regular operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This investment was critical in supporting Humi's ability to help thousands of businesses across Canada understand, and navigate the impacts of COVID-19, with an emphasis on payroll operations and technology.

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SOCIAL MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS

That is why the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, is providingnearly $585,000 to the AGO - Art Gallery of Ontario for new greenery and seating areas, and installation of a sculpture by Canadian Indigenous artist Brian Jungen.

This project will encourage Canadians to re-engage and explore their surroundings while promoting social interaction.

http://ow.ly/8tSp50JC4YX

Fern is Ontario’s all-inclusive resort! The 125-year-old family-run operation is in the rural community of Ramara along the shores of beautiful Lake Couchiching. Focused on family vacations, Fern offers a safe, comfortable atmosphere that allows families to unwind, play and connect.

Over the last two years, the resort’s revenues were impacted due to COVID-19. With support through FedDev Ontario, Fern Resort was able to cover fixed operating costs and keep staff employed.

#TourismWeekCanada2022 #DiscoverON #SupportLocal #ExploreON
#LakeCouchiching #ontarioslakecountry

That is why on June 17, at the LatAm Startups Conference, MP Dzerowicz announced a Government of Canada investment, through FedDev Ontario, of over $3 million for LatAm Startups.

With this investment, LatAm, in partnership with three regional economic development organizations: TechPlace, Haltech, and Innovation Factory, is delivering Startup Programs to provide eligible international entrepreneurs in key sectors such as manufacturing, cleantech, and health and life sciences access to tailored business advisory services, networking opportunities, coaching and local market insight.

ow.ly/wML2103KnLX

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Upcoming Events

Event September 12

July 12-13

Tech Growth & Innovation Conference (Online)

This event targets technology businesses that aim to drive tech growth and product innovation in order to expand their markets. Topics discussed include how to anticipate disruption, improve buyer experience, and engage partners. The conference will unveil new research trends and offer insight into how to accelerate business growth.

Event September 12

August 15-18

First Nations Economic Advancement Conference (Rama)

Discussion will focus on Indigenous procurement in Ontario with both federal and provincial governments. The event will also feature Indigenous success stories, a community economic development tour, and the return of the OFNEDA EDO Awards ceremony.

Event September 12

September 6-7

International Aerospace Innovation Forum (Montréal)

This event invites international industry experts to showcase Quebec's aerospace cluster, share strategies on how to stimulate aerospace innovation in Quebec, and promotes relationship-building with global partners. Under the theme “Journey to the heart of sustainable air mobility”, this year's forum will focus on recovery via three topics: innovation and inclusion, innovation zones, and emerging technologies.

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