../Morning Post
Posted November 9, 2009
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Digital Rise - What's it all mean?

Ontario and Waterloo's Tech Community Gives Boost To Digital Economy - Government Helps "The Hub" Grow Companies And Jobs

Kitchener - Ontario is supporting a new commercialization centre that will help digital media entrepreneurs build new companies and create jobs.

The province plans to invest more than $26 million in The Communitech Hub: Digital Media & Mobile Accelerator (“The Hub”), a new centre that will help emerging digital media companies grow and succeed in the global market. In particular, The Hub will look beyond the entertainment sector to focus on companies creating hardware and software for industries, including advanced manufacturing, healthcare and finance.

Based in Waterloo Region, The Hub expects thousands of jobs could be created over the first five years by serving entrepreneurs across the province.

This investment supports Ontario’s Innovation Agenda, the province’s plan to make innovation a driving force of Ontario’s economy.

Ontario And The Communitech Hub: Digital Media & Mobile Accelerator

The digital media and mobile computing sectors are among the fastest growing industries in the world economy. Ontario’s digital media industry already generates more than $1 billion annually – and is growing fast.

In order to take on competing jurisdictions, Ontario needs initiatives that will help emerging companies get to market fast – if not first. That’s why Ontario intends to invest up to $26.4 million to help launch The Communitech Hub: Digital Media & Mobile Accelerator.

Located in Waterloo Region and serving technology companies provincewide, The Hub will help hardware and software entrepreneurs bring new tools, technologies and applications to market. The Hub will focus on commercialization, business development, access to financing and connecting clients with other digital media hubs across Ontario and Canada. It will offer state-of- the-art research and development tools and lab space, with equipment and support provided by industry leaders including Open Text Corporation, Christie Digital Systems Canada Inc., Intel, Agfa Healthcare and Research In Motion.

The Hub represents a government-industry-academic partnership. Ontario is providing 24 per cent of the funding for the $107-million project, with the rest coming from private sector partners and other levels of government. Several postsecondary institutions are also involved: the University of Waterloo and the Stratford Institute, Conestoga College, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the Ontario College of Art and Design.

Today’s investment in The Hub supports Ontario’s Innovation Agenda. Backed by more than $3.2 billion, Ontario’s Innovation Agenda supports world-class researchers and innovative companies in areas where the province already is, or can be, a global leader. Ontario’s priorities are:

Advancing the digital universe through new information and communications technologies

Tackling climate change through bio-based, environmental, alternative energy and clean technologies

Conquering disease through life sciences, biotechnology, advanced health technologies and pharmaceutical research.

Recent provincial support for information and communications technology and other high tech companies includes: $10 million to support the creation of the Stratford Institute, a University of Waterloo initiative dedicated to the advanced study in global business and digital media

$9.3 million to support the Ottawa-based Coral CEA, an initiative that will help Ontario companies compete for a part of the growing global demand for Communications Enabled Applications

$4.5 million to support ten start-up high tech firms across the province through the Investment Accelerator Fund

Launch of the $250-million Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund, designed to help innovative technology companies find the capital they need to grow in Ontario. This complements the $205-million Ontario Venture Capital Fund, a partnership between Ontario and leading corporate and institutional investors that is investing in venture capital and growth equity funds that support innovative, high-growth companies

“The Hub”: What it Means to Tech Sector Leaders

Kitchener - “Open Text is more than pleased to contribute to and participate in the activities of The Hub. This will prove to be a key incubation site for creative businesses that will accelerate new products in the digital media and mobile applications space. Canada needs this kind of support and Ontario is playing a leading role in enabling the digital economy to become a reality.”

Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman & Chief Strategy Officer Open Text and
Chair of the Canadian Digital Media Network Advisory Board

“As the leading company in digital projection technology, Christie Digital Systems is committed to encouraging high-tech innovation in digital media. This is both a creative and a technical market space and the environment being created at The Hub will enable collaboration between entrepreneurs, designers, and technicians to develop next-generation concepts.”

Gerry Remers, President and Chief Operating Officer, Christie Digital Systems Canada, Inc.

“Agfa HealthCare is a leading provider of IT-enabled clinical workflow and diagnostic imaging solutions.  The use of Digital Media in the HealthCare sector looks to bring information to the fingertips of health care providers with an aim to improve patient care here in Canada.  We look forward to contributing to the ongoing success of The Hub.”

Jeff Nesbitt, Vice President Government Relations and Strategic Programs, Agfa HealthCare

“One of the reasons that Intel is located in Canada is the goldmine of high-tech innovation and resources here. The Hub is another Canadian asset that will benefit the high-tech sector overall and serve as the core of the Canadian Digital Media Network connecting entrepreneurs, educators, industry and government across the country. It’s a welcome addition to the tech community.”

Doug Cooper, Country Manager, Intel Canada

“Given my focus on new venture creation at Wesley Clover, I’m delighted to see the Ontario government’s investment in The Hub which will serve as an incubation platform for new businesses. This is the kind of commitment needed to ensure a strong high-tech sector for Canada and a positive climate for entrepreneurial ventures.”

Andrew Fisher, Executive Vice-President, Wesley Clover

“The City of Kitchener is a proud supporter of The Communitech Hub: Digital Media & Mobile Accelerator which will further enhance the strong high-tech community in this region, and enable business and job creation. Kitchener and Waterloo Region have the resident talent, spirit of innovation, and expertise to ensure that digital start-ups succeed and thrive as so many of our established companies have done.”

Mayor Carl Zehr, City of Kitchener


“Ontario is already recognized as a global leader in the digital media sector and today we are sending a clear signal to digital entrepreneurs everywhere – Ontario means business. The Hub will strengthen our ability to support innovators across the province, as they work to turn new ideas into new jobs and globally competitive businesses.”

Minister of Research and Innovation John Milloy

“Waterloo Region is a perfect fit for The Hub. We are home to globally-recognized research and industry leaders, a highly-skilled workforce, and now – the business development and commercialization muscle that we need to help build Ontario’s digital economy.”

Leeanna Pendergast, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga

“Digital media and mobile computing are the future of Canada’s technology industry. The Hub is a place where entrepreneurs and business leaders can make connections, start companies, and create jobs for Ontario.”

Iain Klugman, president and CEO, Communitech

The Hub will focus on commercialization, business development, and access to financing. It will offer state-of-the-art tools and lab space, with equipment and support provided by industry leaders including Open Text Corporation, Christie Digital Systems Canada Inc., Intel, Agfa HealthCare and Research In Motion.
Worldwide, the digital media sector is one of the fastest growing industries in the knowledge economy, and its double-digit growth rate will help drive the global media market up to US$2.2 trillion by 2012.

Ontario has the third-largest entertainment and creative sector in North America, after California and New York. Ontario’s digital media industry generates more than $1 billion annually.

Submit press release to pressrelease@exchangemagazine.com - Editor Jon Rohr - Content published on this site represents the opinion of the individual/organization and/or source provider of the Content. ExchangeMagazine.com is non-partisan, online journal. Privacy Policy. Copyright of Exchange produced editorial is the copyright of Exchange Business Communications Inc. 2009/*.*. Additional editorials, comments and releases are copyright of respective source(s) and/or institutions or organizations.

 


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