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FedDev Ontario wishes you a happy holiday season.
The Southern Ontario Spotlight will return in January 2023.
In this issue November 2022
- FedDev Ontario announces new investments in women entrepreneurs
- Minister Tassi visits Hamilton, Aylmer, Niagara and Oshawa
- Support for Indigenous tourism operators
- FedDev Ontario supports the return of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
- Government of Canada support for southern Ontario tech sector
- New funding announced for businesses in Kingston, Peterborough and Lindsay
Feddev Ontario recipient news and updates
- Power distribution company Argentum Electronics wins ventureLAB’s 2022 HardTech pitch competition
- GreenCentre Canada’s Advance-ON program continues to accelerate southern Ontario cleantech companies
- Clearpath Robotics named on Communitech’s Team True North list
- Vineland Research and Innovation Centre develops virus-resistant tomato crop
Social media highlights
FedDev Ontario announces new investments in women entrepreneurs
On November 19, Canada celebrated Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, a day to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of women entrepreneurs who are essential to creating jobs, driving economic growth and making Canada’s communities dynamic and vibrant. In recognition of this important day, FedDev Ontario Minister Filomena Tassi made several announcements highlighting funding for women-led companies and projects across southern Ontario.
Indigenous Experience’s Mādahòkì Farm, a 165-acre Indigenous women-led tourism destination based in Ottawa’s greenbelt, received a non-repayable investment of $750,000 to construct and install a four-season venue to host agriculture and culinary tourism events, and undertake improvements to make its facilities more accessible and inclusive. The project will also provide a year-round permanent Indigenous Marketplace for Indigenous artists, creators, and farmers, and a permanent home for endangered Ojibwe Spirit Horses. This investment was part an investment of over $2.7 million for 14 women-led tourism businesses through the Tourism Relief Fund.
A combined investment of $7 million was announced for three women-owned and/or operated businesses in the food processing and/or packaging sectors: Sheen Legend Packaging Corp., Summer Fresh Salads Inc. and Tempo Flexible Packaging Inc. This support was part of a larger $12.7-million investment, through the Jobs and Growth Fund and the Business Scale-up and Productivity stream, for several companies in the southern Ontario food sector to enhance their technologies and increase production, which will lead to the creation of over 180 jobs.
Since November 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested more than $490 million in over 300 women-led projects, creating over 11,600 jobs and maintaining over 10,500.
Minister Tassi visits Hamilton, Aylmer, Niagara and Oshawa
Minister Tassi recently visited Innovation Factory, where she met with key stakeholders, toured The Forge, which previously received a $1.2-million FedDev Ontario investment, and saw firsthand the positive impact of the Agency’s $6-million investment to launch Innovation Factory’s Southern Ontario Pharmaceutical and Health Innovation Ecosystem (SOPHIE).
In the afternoon, in Aylmer, the Minister announced a $2.5-million investment for Sante Manufacturing Inc. to establish itself as the first fully-integrated, large volume soap manufacturer in Canada. With this support, Sante will improve production capabilities by 50 percent, decrease order lead time by 30 percent, and create 50 new jobs in the London region.
In the Niagara region, the Minister visited several of the more than 300 recipients receiving support through the My Main Street Initiative, a program supported by a $23.25-million Agency investment to help revitalize southern Ontario neighbourhoods and their main street businesses. While in the region, she toured the Validating, Prototyping and Manufacturing Institute (VPMI) at Brock University, which received a $5-million investment in 2019 to establish the VPMI as a single-site resource to help businesses in the growing bioproducts, bioscience and chemical manufacturing sectors to scale up and become more competitive.
In the Durham Region, the Minister toured the Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) at Ontario Tech University where a $9.5-million Agency investment helped the organization improve research capabilities and create many jobs for the region. After the tour, the Minister participated in a roundtable discussion with local businesses and organizations hosted by Ontario Tech University at the Brilliant Catalyst hub where they discussed how businesses in the region can be supported so they can realize their potential and help make Canada a leader in the industries of tomorrow.
Support for Indigenous tourism operators
The unique histories, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs of Indigenous communities are woven into the fabric of our country, and the Government of Canada remains committed to working in partnership with Indigenous businesses and communities to create economic opportunities including supporting the Indigenous tourism sector and community infrastructure.
On November 18, FedDev Ontario announced a total investment of over $9.6 million for 23 Indigenous-led projects that will support community infrastructure enhancements, tourism recovery and economic development. The announcement was hosted by Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation, which received a non-repayable investment totalling more than $500,000, through the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF), to develop and market virtual reality experiences at Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks and Chiefswood National Historic Site. In addition, with support through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF), Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation will make improvements to Chiefswood Park, including facility renovations, construction of a new pavilion and meeting space, installation of a new splash pad, and the construction of eight glamping units with roof-top solar panels.
“The Government of Canada is committed to investing in Indigenous businesses, organizations and communities to achieve their goals, increase their participation in the economy and create prosperity. With investments through the Tourism Relief Fund and Canada Community Revitalization Fund, FedDev Ontario is providing Indigenous tourism owners with support to attract visitors, enhance public spaces, share knowledge and create jobs and economic growth in their communities.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
An additional 19 Indigenous-led community infrastructure and tourism projects are receiving support to recover from the pandemic, safely welcome back visitors and strengthen communities.
FedDev Ontario supports the return of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (The Royal) is the largest combined indoor agriculture fair and international equestrian competition in the world. Pandemic-related closures in 2020 and 2021 resulted in a significant loss of revenue for The Royal, its vendors and exhibitors, and the local tourism and hospitality sectors. Through the Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative (MFESI), the Government of Canada made a commitment to revitalizing major events and festivals such as The Royal, supporting their important contributions to local economies and positioning them for strong futures.
With a non-repayable MFESI investment of over $5 million for the 100th edition of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, organizers were able to make updates to its venue and equipment, including the purchase of new livestock stalls and horse jumps, and the implementation of enhanced health measures to keep visitors safe. The Royal also enhanced and modernized the visitor experience at the fair to include updated signage, improved video production, live streaming technology, interactive mapping software and programming improvements.
The Major Events and Festivals Support Initiative (MFESI) was a $200-million national fund to support major Canadian festivals and events that have been hit hard by the economic impacts of COVID-19 as they adapted and enhanced their events. Through the MFESI, FedDev Ontario provided a total investment of $64.7 million in nine projects in southern Ontario.
Government of Canada support for southern Ontario tech sector
Southern Ontario’s technology sector continues to place Canada at the forefront of global innovation. Strategic investments in small- and medium-sized businesses and start-ups ensures stays competitive and on the leading edge of emerging technology, while creating skilled, good-paying jobs.
On November 17, FedDev Ontario Minister Filomena Tassi announced a combined investment of $4.4 million to support two Ottawa-based tech companies. BluWave-ai Inc., a clean technology company that uses AI to help utility companies optimize renewable energy sources on their electricity grids received $1.7 million, and Tehama Inc., a software company that offers the world’s first Carrier for Work™ platform, an accessible, easy and secure cloud-based remote workplace Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution received $2.7 million. With this investment, BluWave-ai will build and commercialize new software products to support electric vehicle fleet management, and Tehama will integrate new technologies into its cybersecure platform to support global expansion efforts. This combined investment will create over 85 jobs (50 at BluWave-ai, 35 at Tehama), as well as leverage $12.6 million in private sector support to the region.
New funding announced for businesses in Kingston, Peterborough and Lindsay
Last week, Minister Tassi embarked on a tour of the Kingston, Peterborough and Lindsay areas to highlight several new FedDev Ontario investments for the tourism and manufacturing sectors, as well as funding to support Indigenous job seekers.
Starting in Kingston, Minister Tassi announced a total investment of over $9.8 million for 37 projects in Kingston, Frontenac, Lanark, and Lennox and Addington that will support community infrastructure enhancements, tourism recovery and economic development in the region. The announcement was hosted by Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston, which received a non-repayable Tourism Relief Fund investment of more than $300,000 to restore the Museum’s heritage architecture, including exhibit galleries, windows and doors, to attract visitors to the museum and to the region. Renovations will also be made to the historical building of the Kingston Dry Dock national historic site. Later that day, Minister Tassi met with executives at FedDev Ontario funding recipient GreenCentre for a tour of the facility and to learn more about its cleantech accelerator ADVANCE-ON programming, which it launched with support from FedDev Ontario. This was followed by a roundtable discussion at Queen’s University with key economic development stakeholders in the area to discuss their challenges, plans for growth and recovery, and opportunities for collaboration and collective action.
Minister Tassi then headed to Lindsay, Ontario to announce an investment of over $1.5 million for TS Manufacturing Company, a family-owned manufacturer of quality equipment for the forest products industry worldwide. This investment, delivered through the Business Scale Up and Productivity stream, will allow the company to obtain advanced manufacturing equipment to expand production of its first-in-the-world Robotic Lumber Sorter, serving small- and medium-sized customers that are traditionally under-served by equipment manufacturers. This project will boost local supply chain spending, reduce waste in lumber production and strengthen the regional economy in Lindsay and the Kawartha Lakes by adding 10 skilled jobs.
Later that day, Minister Tassi announced an investment of over $1 million, through the Jobs and Growth Fund, for The Pinnguaq Association (Pinnguag), a not-for-profit organization focused on STEM education and digital literacy skills development in rural, remote and Indigenous communities across Canada. This investment will support the development of a two-year project where underrepresented job-seekers in Indigenous communities in southeastern Ontario will receive training to strengthen digital skillsets from basic computer skills to social media, website development and graphic design. Participants will also receive internship opportunities, job placements and targeted recruitment activities, gaining on-the-job experience to prepare for future employment. The project is expected to support 60 Indigenous businesses and create 120 internships and job placements. More information about the programming can be found pinnguaq.
Power distribution company Argentum Electronics wins ventureLAB’s 2022 HardTech pitch competition
Innovation hub ventureLAB recently held its annual HardTech conference focused on hardware technology and semiconductor innovation, connecting new and established tech Founders and CEOs, investors, government and media. A key part of the yearly conference is the HardTech Pitch Competition, offering Canadian SMEs the chance to develop their hardware innovations in areas including cleantech, automotive, medtech, agriculture, retail and more. This year’s winner of the competition was Argentum Electronics, a power distribution start-up focused on helping facilities make the switch from AC to DC power sources. Commercial and industrial buildings typically deliver alternating current (AC) power, yet 80% of devices require direct current (DC) power and are required to inefficiently make the conversion, wasting an average of 20 percent of energy consumed. Argentum’s solution implements a DC power distribution system at the source, solving the problem of energy waste.
Argentum Electronics previously won a $250,000-investment from the Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation’s (NCFDC) N100 Evolution start-up competition in 2019. Funding for the NCFDC is provided by the Government of Canada through FedDev Ontario.
GreenCentre Canada’s Advance-ON program continues to accelerate southern Ontario cleantech companies
GreenCentre Canada continues to support the growth of sustainable chemical and materials start-ups and SMEs in southern Ontario through the FedDev Ontario-funded ADVANCE-ON program. Successful applicants to the competitive program benefit from a technical development project completed by GreenCentre valued at $50,000 - $75,000. In GreenCentre’s specialized lab facilities, the Advance-ON team of scientists focus on providing participants with high-value services such as technology validation and screening, product/process development and optimization, and proof-of-concept work. This valuable contribution will drive these early-stage innovations to market faster so their businesses can raise the investment they need to scale and grow. Companies interested in the program can visit the ADVANCE-ON website for information on how to apply.
In October 2022, GreenCentre announced it has accepted five companies into the second round the ADVANCE-ON program. Congratulations to Cnem Corp, Hydrogen Works, Jeosal Materials, Singular Solutions, and Terra Bioindustries for admission into the program. A third cohort will be pitching to the program’s external expert assessment committee in the near future to attain a spot in the next round of ADVANCE-ON programming. Applications for future rounds will begin in late winter/early spring.
Founded in 2009, GreenCentre is a not-for-profit organization with facilities in Kingston and Mississauga. It offers unique services through its team of technical experts and specialized laboratories that support the growth of sustainable chemical and advanced materials companies by advancing their innovations to market. In 2022, FedDev Ontario announced a non-repayable contribution of $2.5 million to GreenCentre, through the Jobs and Growth Fund, to help businesses in the cleantech sector commercialize their products, scale-up their businesses and create jobs in southern Ontario.
Clearpath Robotics named on Communitech’s Team True North list
Communitech recently released its updated Team True North list of tech firms with billion dollar potential, and Kitchener’s Clearpath Robotics and its sister division Otto Motors were among the newest additions. Clearpath Robotics is an advanced robotics company focused on unmanned vehicles for research and development, and OTTO Motors' autonomous robots have seen an increased demand due to unstable labour markets and a desire for automation in new North American factories. OTTO robots deliver material around factory floors and production lines. Demand is so high that approximately 80 percent of Clearpath’s workforce is currently devoted to the production of OTTO Motors vehicles.
OTTO is just one of a fleet of robots manufactured by Clearpath that handle diverse jobs ranging from factory floors to traversing rugged outdoor terrain, as well as utilizing LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology to map landscapes.
Clearpath previously received a $950,000-FedDev Ontario investment to accelerate the development and commercialization of its remote software management system for mobile robots and to develop prototypes for client testing and evaluation. For more information on Clearpath Robotics, read FedDev Ontario’s success story.
Vineland Research and Innovation Centre develops virus-resistant tomato crop
Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (VRIC) is an independent, not-for-profit horticulture innovation and research facility that includes laboratories, farms and greenhouses on its 218-acre campus in the Niagara region. A recent profile in Niagara This Week outlines VRIC’s recent work in combating the tomato brown rugose fruit virus, an invasive virus detected in countries around the world that has the potential to significantly affect crop production and the marketability of tomatoes. VRIC’s recent research has led to the identification of genetic markers for rugose resistance and began breeding it into the existing elite, Canadian-adapted tomato varieties.
Blackberry IVY L-SPARK Demo Day (Ottawa)
A showcase of four companies that accessed BlackBerry IVY to develop high-impact solutions leveraging in-vehicle data. Demo Day is an interactive, in-person event to celebrate the successful conclusion of the BlackBerry IVY L-SPARK Accelerator.
46th Annual Outlook: 2023 (Toronto)
For forty-six seasons, Canadian Club Toronto and the National Post have gathered expert panelists each New Year for a forecast luncheon on the economy, the markets and political issues that will affect Canadians in the year ahead.
ROMA 2023: Breaking New Ground (Toronto)
The 2023 ROMA Annual General Meeting and Conference will be back live and in person for the first time in 2 years. The conference will focus on critical rural municipal issues and innovation.
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