Southern Ontario Spotlight

Southern Ontario Spotlight

FEDDEV ONTARIO’S FOCUS ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

NOVEMBER 2020

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GOVERNMENT OF CANADA NEWS AND UPDATES

Digital Main Street helps thousands of Ontario small businesses and students to weather COVID-19 and prepare for a more stable future

"The Digital Main Street program changed the way we think about and approach digital solutions to many of the challenges our retail business faces today.” – Marc and Paul Brombal, owners Sidonio's/Art of Denim

Digital Main Street helps thousands of Ontario small businesses and students to weather COVID-19 and prepare for a more stable future

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on main street businesses, with changes in the way Canadians shop, eat and do business. With $42.5 million in FedDev Ontario support through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), many main street businesses are pivoting their operations from brick and mortar to the digital marketplace with the help of the Digital Main Street program.

Since this investment was announced just five months ago, more than 6,900 businesses have received support to pivot their operations, ultimately helping them to regain lost revenue and become more resilient. More than 1,000 students have gained valuable work experience, creating online storefronts and offering tailored advice to small businesses.

This month, Minister Joly and Parliamentary Secretary Kate Young hosted a roundtable discussion with Digital Main Street program partners, recipients and students in the Guelph region to hear about their experiences with the program, which is expected to support nearly 22,000 businesses across Ontario as we work toward economic recovery. 

Earlier in the month, Minister Joly spoke with chambers of commerce CEOs from the eight members of the Canadian Global Cities Council. She heard firsthand the challenges in their communities, particularly in urban centres as the pandemic impacts many local storefronts and restaurants, reiterating the importance of safely supporting local businesses.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund extended and expanded in southern Ontario

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund extended and expanded in southern Ontario

Since the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund was launched in May, FedDev Ontario has provided critical liquidity support to nearly 26,000 southern Ontario businesses and organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes support for those vital to the region’s economy and hit hardest by the pandemic, from main street and rural businesses to the tourism, technology and manufacturing sectors to women-led businesses.

With the second wave upon us, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister Joly announced an additional $600 million through the RRRF; $184 million of which will be delivered by FedDev Ontario.

Eligibility parameters have also been expanded and extended to provide support to more businesses and organizations in southern Ontario.

“With the second wave upon us, we’ve heard clearly from businesses and workers that more support is needed. That’s why we’re enhancing and expanding the RRRF to help even more Ontarians. Our message to them is clear: we’ve been here for you with significant measures, we’re here for you now and we’ll get through this, together. We’re working with you to support good, local jobs and help our economy come back strong.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

New applicants or RRRF recipients in need of additional support can apply through a simplified application. Applications submitted that have not received a decision will be considered under the expanded parameters and do not need to be resubmitted.

For more information, review the program guidelines.

Economic growth in Hamilton and Windsor

Minister Joly and MP Kusmierczyk virtually toured Hawk Plastics to witness state-of-the-art equipment in action, including the new KUKA injection molding robot.

Economic growth in Hamilton and Windsor

As the nation’s most diversified economy and an opportune location for national and international trade, Hamilton is a key contributor to Ontario’s economy. That is why the Government of Canada has officially designated Hamilton as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) point.

Minister Joly made the announcement on November 10 as part of a virtual visit to the region. As the third FTZ point announced in Ontario and one of 14 in Canada, Hamilton can now offer a single point of access to resources and information relating to programs that relieve duties, tariffs and taxes for business, in turn attracting more foreign direct investment, creating local jobs and boosting trade and export opportunities.

Minister Joly also announced a $3.9-million investment for HT Productions Inc. (Whitebird), which will create 45 skilled jobs and maintain another 105 in Hamilton. She later met with business representatives in the area to hear about the impact of COVID-19 on Hamilton’s key sectors, and opportunities for continued support.

Minister Joly also had the opportunity to deliver some good news for Windsor-Essex, announcing $6.3 million to support four leading manufacturers: Pancap Pharma Inc., Crop Defenders Ltd., Hawk Plastics Ltd., and Whitfield Group.

These investments will support technological advancements, scale-up and growth, while creating 80 quality jobs and maintaining 30 more in the region.

FedDev Ontario supports innovation and job creation in southwestern Ontario

FedDev Ontario supports innovation and job creation in southwestern Ontario

This month, Parliamentary Secretary Kate Young announced a combined $8.6 million in FedDev Ontario investments in southwestern Ontario.

Fanshawe College’s Innovation Village is supporting London’s innovation ecosystem, offering a hub for students and community members to access expert resources and cutting-edge technologies and equipment. With a $3-million FedDev Ontario investment, Fanshawe College will establish specialized industry-relevant capabilities, assisting 40 businesses, producing 10 new products and services, creating eight new jobs and directly supporting 28 student entrepreneurs within the first three years of full operation. This hub will support the recovery and momentum of key economic sectors in London, while helping entrepreneurs gain experience and commercialize their ideas more quickly.

Earlier in the month, Parliamentary Secretary Young announced $5.6 million for Oxford Pallet & Recyclers Inc., Factory Bucket and Titan Trailers. These investments will create 115 local skilled jobs in Norwich, London and Delhi.

In the Halton region, Karina Gould, Member of Parliament for Burlington, announced $3.1 million for Formula Solutions Inc. (FSI) to acquire new equipment and establish a highly-automated production line, also creating 70 new high-quality jobs in Burlington.

Join the 50 – 30 Challenge for inclusive growth

“The 50 – 30 Challenge will act as a framework in adopting new actions. I recognize that many companies have already taken a leadership role in adding diverse voices within their organizations, but I know we can do more.” - Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Join the 50 – 30 Challenge for inclusive growth

Canada’s greatest resource is its people. Their ideas will guide the future success of Canadian businesses and the economy, and in order to stay ahead of the curve, businesses must anticipate the needs and wants of our diverse population. Companies that are more diverse are more likely to meet or exceed financial targets, achieve better outcomes, and generate fresh insights and creative solutions. Yet, the reality is that the rich diversity of our country is still underrepresented in positions of economic influence and leadership.

 

The 50 – 30 Challenge is an initiative between the Government of Canada, business and diversity organizations to improve access for racialized persons, people who identify as LGBTQ2, people living with disabilities, as well as First Nations, Inuit and Métis people to positions of influence and leadership on corporate boards and in senior management. As the name suggests, the objective of the initiative is for organizations, over time, to reach 50% gender parity and 30% representation of under-represented groups in senior positions.

 

We are seeking your participation to build a more diverse, inclusive and vibrant economic future for Canadians.

Companies, not-for-profits and other organizations can sign up by filling in the 50-30 Challenge form. Those that sign up before the official launch later this month may be featured in the announcement.

 

For more information on this important initiative, please read the Prospectus.

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FEDDEV ONTARIO RECIPIENT NEWS AND UPDATES

Official launch of Lab2Market
Official launch of Lab2Market

Lab2Market is a 16 week program to help researchers validate their ideas to find business and commercial value.

Official launch of Lab2Market

Minister Joly recently announced the official launch of the Lab2Market (L2M) program, led by Ryerson University in southern Ontario. L2M gives researchers access to world-class mentors, a community of like-minded entrepreneurs and funding to explore their work’s commercial potential. With $1.3 million in FedDev Ontario funding, Ryerson will lead 40 teams of students, researchers and experienced advisors to develop, test and commercialize innovative ideas. Through the program, Ryerson will support 30 business ventures, 20 new commercialized technologies, five commercial licensing agreements with industry, and close to 10 partnerships with businesses and university-based incubator-accelerators.

L2M is being run in collaboration with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), which is also providing a $1.3 million contribution to Dalhousie University to deliver the program in Atlantic Canada. Together, these partnerships help nurture promising ideas, create opportunities for young researchers and support advancements that benefit all Canadians.

Digital mental health provider MindBeacon launches new therapy to help manage COVID-19 stress
Digital mental health provider MindBeacon launches new therapy to help manage COVID-19 stress

MindBeacon Group, a leading digital mental health provider in Canada, launched a new capability within its BEACON® service to help Canadians successfully manage stress in healthy ways.

Digital mental health provider MindBeacon launches new therapy to help manage COVID-19 stress

Stress and anxiety have seen a significant increase as primary mental health concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. FedDev Ontario funding recipient MindBeacon Group, a leading Canadian digital mental healthcare provider, is launching a new therapy capability within its existing BEACON® service to help Canadians effectively manage stress during these challenging times.

The Managing Stress digital therapy will give individuals access to one-on-one guidance from a registered therapist to learn valuable strategies to protect their mental well-being.

BEACON® guided digital therapy is available to Ontario residents free of charge during COVID-19, funded by the Government of Ontario.

FedDev Ontario funding recipients contribute to COVID-19 testing advancements
FedDev Ontario funding recipients contribute to COVID-19 testing advancements

Nicoya's talented team of engineers, scientists, and designers help scientists succeed in over 40 countries.

FedDev Ontario funding recipients contribute to COVID-19 testing advancements

Two Ontario-based biotechnology companies are supporting the fight against COVID-19 with innovative new advancements in rapid testing and laboratory workflow and quality control.

Microbix Biosystems Inc., a life sciences innovator based in Mississauga, recently announced the first shipments of a new class of its quality assessment products (QAPsTM). These products are clinically-relevant inactivated controls that maximize workflow accuracy of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests. Microbix has shipped well over a thousand COVID-19 antigen QAP products internationally for testing on numerous test platforms in relevant clinical lab environments. Like Microbix’s PCR test QAPs, the COVID-19 antigen QAPs will be registered and licenced as in vitro diagnostic (IVD) medical devices for worldwide clinical lab use. Until then, they are being sold to lab accreditation agencies and end users for test development and evaluation, test installation and training purposes.

As well, the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program recently provided Nicoya, a Kitchener-Waterloo-based biotechnology company, with almost $300,000 to develop a portable COVID-19 diagnostic test that will expand testing capabilities in centralized and point-of-care settings such as hospitals, laboratories, clinics and long-term care homes. Nicoya’s innovative new antigen-based rapid test, Atlas, is an inexpensive, single-use portable device that is able to process a saliva sample and upload results to a smartphone app in under 20 minutes.

Ontario Culture Days celebrates successful, expanded 2020 festival
Ontario Culture Days celebrates successful, expanded 2020 festival

Ontario Culture Days celebrates successful, expanded 2020 festival

Ontario Culture Days, normally a one-weekend festival, wrapped up an expanded four-week schedule encompassing over 1,000 digital events celebrating arts, culture and heritage across Ontario.

With a FedDev Ontario investment of $175,000, the celebration was able to use its new extended schedule to shine a light on Ontario’s unique cultural identity through a wide range of in-person and online events. With this new format proving to be a resounding success, Ontario Culture Days is looking ahead to future festivals with an eye on embracing the reach and access the digital space has to offer.

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, said "the Government of Canada is pleased to support the incredible Ontario Culture Days festival through the Canadian Experiences Fund, delivered by FedDev Ontario. Like many other organizations and businesses across the country, Ontario Culture Days has had to pivot in order to continue with their mission. This is a success story of delivering a celebration of arts, culture and heritage to Ontarians at a time when we need it most."

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LinkedIn Highlights

CCRM consists of a group of academic partners and is currently working with Cytiva and the University Health Network to develop the tools needed to manufacture cells for therapeutic use. In the future, CCRM has plans to develop Canada’s first cell manufacturing factory to support the commercialization of cell therapy.

This design won the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association of Canada competition beating out 20 other entries from across Canada. The innovative design includes features such as alternative fuel sources and lightweight technology. The engineering of this vehicle will be led by WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation’s virtual reality CAVE and built by Ontario Tech University.

Innovation Guelph is a recipient of the Enterprise Support of the Year Award! This award recognizes the not-for-profit’s achievements in the entrepreneurship and innovation community and the way it delivered a message of resilience during these times.

York University ELLA Women YU has been awarded the COVID-19 Support Award. This award recognizes ELLA’s achievements in contributing to Canada’s entrepreneurial landscape through its empowerment of women leaders and women-owned businesses. Congratulations to both of these deserving recipients!

Indigenous business Abraflex (2004) Ltd typically manufactures personal protective equipment (PPE) for the nuclear industry. However, after seeing a growing demand for PPE in the healthcare sector, Abraflex wanted to support the fight against COVID-19. With the support of Bruce Power, the company was able to update is production lines to manufacture medical gowns for frontline healthcare workers across Bruce County.

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Upcoming Events

Event September 12

November 17

SPARK 2020 (Online)

 

The Accelerator Centre is pleased to announce SPARK 2020, its annual AC JumpStart Showcase event, to put a public spotlight on southern Ontario’s thriving startup scene and the founders behind it in a reimagined way. SPARK 2020, premiering on Entrepreneurs’ Day on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, will feature AC JumpStart recipients, representing 24 entrepreneurs who are innovating across southern Ontario.

Event September 12

November 17

Business Diversity Economic Expo (Online)

A virtual trade show event spotlighting diverse businesses in Ontario – in particular, Black-owned businesses, Indigenous-owned businesses, People of Colour-owned businesses, Women-owned businesses, LGBTQ2+-owned businesses, and business owned by People with Disabilities.

Event September 12

November 30 - December 4

MaRS Digital Impact Week (Online)

 

Five days of programming related to finding and adopting viable solutions to face our biggest challenges, focusing on CleanTech, social finance, and impactful tech. More information to be released.

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