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Table of contents
- Minister's message
- Results at a glance and operating context
- Results: what we achieved
- Analysis of trends in spending and human resources
- Additional information
- Appendix: definitions
The Honourable Mélanie Joly
Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
It is my pleasure to present the 2019-20 Departmental Results Report for FedDev Ontario. As the Department continues to mobilize industry and the research community to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, the various organizations in the ISED Portfolio have coordinated their efforts to position Canada as a global innovation leader and shape an inclusive economy for all Canadians.
The effects of COVID-19 on southern Ontario's economy have been widespread and significant. FedDev Ontario has responded to the challenge by pivoting operations to support businesses, organizations, and communities impacted by the pandemic and transitioning its workforce to telework to continue delivering on its mandate to foster economic development in southern Ontario. With the creation of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), RDAs are delivering $962 million in recovery funds to businesses and organizations across Canada that are experiencing financial pressures due to the pandemic, and have been unable to access adequate funds through existing measures. FedDev Ontario is supporting southern Ontario small and medium-sized enterprises through $213 million in RRRF funding, with an additional $39.4 million being delivered through the Community Futures Development Corporations to provide targeted support to small, rural businesses and organizations. FedDev Ontario also introduced flexibilities for its clients in the wake of COVID-19, including repayment deferrals. The Agency acts a pathfinder helping local businesses and organizations get the Government of Canada resources and programs best suited to their needs during this time.
Throughout the year, FedDev Ontario has supported businesses and organizations in southern Ontario through its three core funding streams as well as national programs and business services tailored to fostering economic growth and diversification, in line with Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan. The Agency continues to support businesses to create jobs and new innovative products and services while growing and contributing to the economy.
For examples of FedDev Ontario's work on behalf of Canadians regardless of their background, region or generation, I invite you to read this report and learn more about how we are fostering economic development in southern Ontario.
|2019–20 total actual spending||2019–20 total actual full time equivalents (FTEs)|
FedDev Ontario's core responsibility is economic development in southern Ontario, which is demonstrated through three departmental results:
- Businesses in southern Ontario are innovative and growing;
- Communities are economically diversified in southern Ontario; and
- Businesses in southern Ontario invest in the development and commercialization of innovative technologies.
In support of these departmental results and its core responsibility, in 2019-20, FedDev Ontario:
- FedDev Ontario supported projects that created 4,758 jobs and maintained 4,790 jobs;
- Contributed to the Government of Canada's commitment to clean growth through FedDev Ontario investments of over $12.5 million in 50 clean tech projects;
- Facilitated greater participation of under-represented groups in southern Ontario's economy in support of the Government of Canada's inclusive economic growth priority through strategic investments of over $70.3 million in 189 projects that support Indigenous people and/or women;
- Promoted the Government of Canada's priority of rural economic growth with investments of over $102.1 million in 202 rural projects. FedDev Ontario provided funding to 37 Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) which created 1,493 jobs and maintained an additional 2,967 jobs in rural southern Ontario communities;
- Launched the Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF) that invested $4.8 million in 64 projects to support southern Ontario's tourism sector to innovate, grow and drive visitors into smaller, tourism-dependent communities. CEF projects reported the creation of 419 jobs and maintenance of 157 jobs. LGBTQ2+ training was provided to 364 businesses and organizations and market readiness training to 226 Indigenous businesses through CEF;
- Supported Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs) through delivery of the Economic Development Initiative (EDI). The Agency invested $0.8 million in five projects to address challenges faced by Francophone communities in accessing business training and development. These five projects delivered 253 training/networking sessions with 1,349 people receiving training/mentorship over the course of the year;
- Engaged with 45 growth-oriented businesses through the Accelerated Growth Service initiative to grow, innovate, and increase their capability to succeed in global markets, bringing the total of supported clients up to 227 since 2016;
- Promoted the Industrial and Technological Benefits program in southern Ontario by holding 277 meetings with firms, 141 meetings with major defence contractors, and 30 meetings with industry associations; and
- Responded to 15,674 enquiries and completed 346 secondary market research requests through Small Business Services.
Southern Ontario is a key contributor to the Canadian economy. The region is home to 13.4 million people, representing over a third of Canada's growing and increasingly diverse population. Ontario also generates $857.4 billionFootnote 1 in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which accounts for nearly 40 percent of Canada's GDP and domestic exports. The province also produces close to half of all Canadian manufacturing exports.
The region has a rich industrial heritage including world-leading strengths in traditional, globally-integrated sectors such as finance, automotive, aerospace, life sciences, information and communications technologies, and agri-foods. Emerging strengths in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, big data, cyber-security, quantum computing and regenerative medicine, all have a footprint in southern Ontario. The region is a strong enabler of economic growth due to a diverse innovation ecosystem with over 100 incubators and accelerators and a highly educated labour force with 35 post-secondary education institutions. The region is also home to aspiring entrepreneurs and venture capitalists that contribute to its economic growth.
Notwithstanding these strengths, the southern Ontario economy is transitioning as it adapts to the rapid pace of technological and digital innovation, globalization, climate change and social challenges such as an aging population and uneven distribution of economic growth. While southern Ontario leads Canada in research and development (R&D), with nearly half of all Canadian private sector R&D performed in Ontario, opportunities for growth remain. Investments to improve the rate of commercialization, to match those of global peers, is a key driver of future success.
The last quarter of fiscal year 2019–20 saw unprecedented economic disruptions that stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in reduced economic output and a shock to supply chains, forcing many companies across the country to lay off employees or temporarily halt business. The economic crisis associated with the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted the region's traditionally underrepresented groups including women, Indigenous people, Francophone communities, recent immigrants, visible minorities and youth.
Although recent provincial growth had been fairly strong, averaging 2.5 percent per annum from 2014 to 2018, the COVID-19 pandemic has halted one of the province's longest periods of sustained economic growth. Experts are projecting that Ontario's GDP is forecasted to contract by 6 percent in 2020 and the provincial unemployment rate is expected to reach 9.5 percent in 2020. The economic impacts of the pandemic have negatively affected all sectors, particularly technology, tourism, hospitality, main street businesses, and manufacturing. Some firms have been forced to close while many others grapple with supply chain challenges and rapidly changing demand. The manufacturing sector alone is facing the sharpest decline in output since the 2008 financial crisis, with automotive sales down 36 percent and 33,100 jobs lost between February and March 2020. However, given southern Ontario's relative strengths and global competiveness, and with government support, the region's economy is well positioned for a broad-based rebound.
In the 2019–20 Departmental Plan, FedDev Ontario identified the changing economic environment as a key risk to the effective delivery of funded projects and full realization of their expected outcomes.
Southern Ontario relies heavily on access to markets, particularly in the United States, and on foreign investments for its economic prosperity. Shifts in the global market, changes to southern Ontario's market access and/or slower economic growth affected investment decisions, growth and exports of southern Ontario businesses, and as a result funded projects. To mitigate this risk, FedDev Ontario undertook rigorous due diligence on funded projects and consulted broadly with regional stakeholders and recipients. The Agency also performed timely analysis and research to ensure that programming was reflective of government priorities and responded to regional challenges, opportunities and the diverse needs of southern Ontario's traditionally underrepresented groups including women, Indigenous people, Francophone communities, recent immigrants, visible minorities and youth. FedDev Ontario also mitigated this risk by engaging in continuous dialogue and collaboration with a range of regional stakeholders.
The unexpected economic disruptions of the rail blockades and the COVID-19 pandemic in the last quarter of the 2019–20 fiscal year presented significant impacts on small and medium-sized businesses, including disrupted supply chains, increased costs and decreased revenues, with some businesses forced to close their doors temporarily. FedDev Ontario took immediate actions in response to these risks. As a first step, the Agency offered a range of flexibilities to clients, including providing repayment relief and easing reporting timelines to help alleviate immediate financial pressures.
For more information on FedDev Ontario's plans, priorities and results achieved, see the "Results: what we achieved" section of this report.
Results: what we achieved
Economic development in southern Ontario
FedDev Ontario promotes an innovative and inclusive southern Ontario economy through investments in regional growth, commercialization and adoption of technologies, as well as community diversification.
The Agency works towards achieving its core responsibility by fulfilling three departmental results and measures progress through nine associated indicators that are part of its reporting framework. Many of these indicators are macro-economic and stem from priorities outlined in the Government of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan. The achievement of targets for the macro-economic indicators is dependent on a number of factors, FedDev Ontario's intervention being one of them.
As part of the Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) portfolio, FedDev Ontario is a key partner in delivering the Government of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan (Plan) in southern Ontario. This whole-of-government, multi-year Plan intends to establish Canada as one of the most innovative countries in the world. The Plan fosters new partnerships to leverage Canada's innovation strengths to bridge the gaps from science, to commercialization, to investment and scale-up. By delivering this Plan, FedDev Ontario aims to ensure that southern Ontario has regionally tailored support to seize opportunities created by the innovation economy.
FedDev Ontario delivered innovation programming through two programming streams: Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSUP) and Regional Innovation Ecosystem (RIE).These program streams foster an environment conducive to starting and growing businesses, and help create the conditions for building a strong, dynamic and inclusive regional innovation ecosystem in southern Ontario. The Agency also invested in projects supporting community economic development through the Community Economic Development and Diversification (CEDD) program stream. CEDD aims to develop, diversify and transform local communities by promoting small business development, creating and retaining employment in rural communities and supporting community innovation and strategic collaborations. Together, the three complementary program streams offer a continuum of support for businesses and organizations in southern Ontario.
FedDev Ontario also played an important role in delivering national initiatives in southern Ontario. These initiatives included the Community Futures program that supported rural communities to develop and sustain their local economies; the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy that supported women entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses through access to financing, networks and advice; the Economic Development Initiative that supported Francophone and bilingual organizations in Official Language Minority Communities; the Steel and Aluminum initiative aimed at supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating within Canadian steel and aluminum supply chains; and the Canadian Experiences Fund that assisted Canada's tourism sector to grow and innovate.
According to analysis conducted by Statistics Canada in 2019Footnote 2, the Agency's direct business recipients, since 2010, have grown employment by 18 percent, revenue by 14 percent, productivity by 4 percent, and expenditures on R&D by 38 percent per year, on average, three years post funding. Results for similar businesses not funded by FedDev Ontario are negative 0.6 percent for employment, negative 0.4 percent for revenue, 1 percent for productivity, and negative 6 percent for R&D.
The Agency continued to leverage its role as convenor, co-investor, pathfinder and champion for the region. The Agency approved projects aligned with the Government of Canada's priorities on clean technology and rural and inclusive economic growth, by providing support to underrepresented groups, such as women, Indigenous People and Francophone entrepreneurs.
Program streams can contribute to more than one departmental result; however, for ease of comprehension, program stream results are reported generally under one departmental result. Programming delivered through the Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSUP) program stream is reported generally under the "Businesses are innovative and growing in southern Ontario" departmental result, whereas programming delivered through the Regional Innovation Ecosystem (RIE) program stream is reported generally under the "Businesses invest in the development and commercialization of innovative technologies in southern Ontario" departmental result. Results achieved through Community Economic Development and Diversification (CEDD) program stream are generally reported under the "Communities are economically diversified in southern Ontario" departmental result.
Departmental Result: Businesses are innovative and growing in southern Ontario
In 2019–20, FedDev Ontario invested $47.7 million in a portfolio of 59 projects under the Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSUP) program stream to accelerate business growth, assist businesses in scaling up, and enhance business productivity and competitiveness in both domestic and global markets. These multi-year projects are in areas of competitive advantage for southern Ontario and the Agency priority sectors of advanced manufacturing, manufacturing, and disruptive technologies. Some of the companies supported under BSUP have emerged out of the RIE projects that the Agency continues to support, including the Scale-Up Platform, Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform Consortium (SOSCIP), and the Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO). As of March 31, 2020, BSUP program stream projects leveraged $5.3 for every dollar invested by the Agency, supported 79 businesses, reported over $134 million in sales resulting from innovations commercialized, created 1,059 jobs and maintained 882 jobs.
In support of Government of Canada priorities, FedDev Ontario through the BSUP program stream invested $8.9 million in 18 clean technology projects, invested $4.1 million in five women-led businesses, and invested $9.2 million in nine rural projects to foster economic growth in rural areas.
FedDev Ontario also provided assistance to 81 SMEs in the steel and aluminum sector by investing $39 million in the Steel and Aluminum Initiative aimed at supporting SMEs operating within Canadian steel and aluminum supply chains, helping them to respond to global market dynamics by enhancing productivity and increasing competitiveness. The Steel and Aluminum Initiative leveraged $2.0 for every dollar invested by the Agency and reported the creation of 309 jobs and maintenance of 972 jobs.
New-Form Tools Ltd. (NFT)
- New-Form Tools Ltd., located in Stratford, is a family-founded and run manufacturer of speciality saw blades and cutting systems for high-strength steel materials. The company serves a range of industries including oil and gas and automotive, both in domestic and overseas markets.
- FedDev Ontario funding of $950,000 has allowed the company to expand its facility by 22,500 square feet and acquire advanced manufacturing equipment. These new capabilities facilitated the addition of a new line of tungsten carbide-tipped (TCT) circular saw blades, and allowed for an increase in the production of High Speed Steel (HSS) circular saw blades and the re-sharpening of used blades on a larger scale.
- The project enabled the company's efforts to scale up operations, expand capacity, and become more innovative and competitive to expand its reach in global markets. FedDev Ontario's repayable contribution also allowed New-Form Tools to create nine new skilled jobs in the city of Stratford.
FedDev Ontario is also a pathfinder, convenor and champion for the region, working across federal departments and other levels of government to align efforts for economic growth and development across southern Ontario.
FedDev Ontario continued to deliver the Accelerated Growth Service (AGS), offering a coordinated and client-tailored service model to support Canadian businesses as they grow, innovate, and increase their capability to succeed in global markets. Launched in 2016, this Government of Canada initiative supports growth-oriented Canadian businesses as they expand by helping them access the key government services they need to grow, such as financing, access to global markets, innovation and business advice. As of March 31, 2020, FedDev Ontario has supported 227 clients through AGS since 2016. In 2019–20, FedDev Ontario engaged with 45 companies, connecting high-growth firms in southern Ontario with relevant government programs and services available in the region.
FedDev Ontario leveraged economic benefits for southern Ontario from Canadian defence procurements in line with Canada's Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy. In 2019–20, FedDev Ontario held 277 meetings with firms in the region, 22 meetings with post-secondary institutions, as well as 141 meetings with major defence contractors and 30 meetings with industry associations. The Agency responded to 11 separate requests from defence contractors to identify possible southern Ontario suppliers, facilitated 172 introductions between companies and promoted southern Ontario at 17 trade shows and events. FedDev Ontario also hosted a "Women in Defence and Security" (WiDS) professional mentoring session at the annual Best Defence Conference, to support fostering and retaining talent in Canada's defence and security sectors. The Agency also organized and hosted four supplier events to introduce southern Ontario stakeholders to defence contractors for potential business opportunities. FedDev Ontario's ITB team also hosted a workshop for southern Ontario SMEs to provide information on the ITB policy and on doing business with large defence contractors.
FedDev Ontario also continued to provide business information and services to entrepreneurs and small businesses across southern Ontario through its Small Business Services (SBS), previously known as Canada Business Ontario. Through the work of SBS, FedDev Ontario supported entrepreneurs in business development by providing information on federal and provincial programs, services and regulations, and secondary market research, all free of charge. The team responded to 15,674 enquiries and completed 346 secondary market research requests during 2019–20. Ontario clients generated 641,403 visits to the Canada.ca/business website and 441,939 visits directly to the SBS website. In 2019–20, SBS strengthened its engagement with underrepresented groups, including women, youth, Francophone communities and Indigenous people. The team had over 4,323 direct interactions at 85 events across Ontario in 2019–20.
In 2019–20, firms supported by FedDev Ontario programs reported 8.27 percent revenue growth rate, exceeding the 1.6 percent target. Similarly, the value of exports of goods from the region was $204.4 billionFootnote 3, above the target of $183.0 billion. For the third indicator, the value of exports of clean technologies from southern Ontario in 2019–20 was $6.6 billionFootnote 4. This is a new indicator and no target was set due to unavailability of baseline data. Lastly, the number of high-growth firms in southern Ontario was 4,190 in 2019–20, slightly below the target of 4,200.
Departmental Result: Communities are economically diversified in southern Ontario
FedDev Ontario invested $57.9 million in 29 projects under the Community Economic Development and Diversification (CEDD) program stream to develop, diversify and transform local communities by promoting small business development, creating and retaining employment in rural communities, enhancing the access smaller and mid-size cities have to innovation supports through investments in new commercialization projects, facilitating participation of under-represented groups in local economies, and supporting community innovation and strategic collaborations. As of March 31, 2020, CEDD program stream projects leveraged $2.1 for every dollar invested by the Agency, supported 146 businesses and organizations, created 470 jobs and maintained 771 jobs. Further, in support of the Government of Canada priorities, FedDev Ontario invested $56.9 million across 27 rural projects, $18.9 million in 20 Indigenous people and women-led projects, and $1.9 million in 19 clean technology projects, through the CEDD program stream.
Niagara Falls-Ryerson Innovation Hub (NFRIH)
- With cutting-edge research, a highly skilled workforce, world-class post-secondary institutions and an ideal geographic location, the Niagara region has tremendous potential for innovation and growth. With an investment of nearly $3 million from FedDev Ontario, the City of Niagara Falls, in partnership with Ryerson University and Spark Niagara, have established the Niagara Falls-Ryerson Innovation Hub, a business incubator focused on digital media technologies. Ryerson's successful Digital Media Zone (DMZ) serves as the model and key resource for designing NFRIH programming and services, while Spark Niagara's existing partnerships and company pipelines help attract and refer clients.
- The hub offers access to expertise, mentorship, research and development and international partnerships to incubate and accelerate the growth of promising digital media start-ups. Between 2019 and 2023, the funding is expected to support 85 companies, commercialize 12 new innovations and stimulate diversification of the Niagara Falls economy.
- Through strategic investments such as this, the Government of Canada has capitalized on Niagara's strengths to spur growth in digital technologies, while enhancing collaboration in the region, and provided new opportunities for businesses to grow and succeed. Supporting communities across the country to build on regional strengths helped our evolving economy thrive, and helped secure our position as a world leader in innovation.
FedDev Ontario continued to invest in rural communities by supporting the operational costs of 37 Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) in southern Ontario under the Community Futures program (CFP). The lending and business advisory services provided by CFDCs are key to supporting the growth of SMEs in rural communities across southern Ontario. In 2019–20, southern Ontario CFDCs provided $61.0 million through 809 loans to rural businesses that leveraged an additional $97.7 million. CFDCs reported these investments created 1,493 jobs and maintained an additional 2,967 jobs. The CFDCs also provided business services in the form of business counselling and support to 5,225 clients over the course of the year.
A 2019–20 analysis of data from CFDCs regarding their loan clients, compared to similarly sized and located companies contained in Statistics Canada's database, demonstrated continued outperformance by CFDCs, as followsFootnote 5:
- In terms of employment growth from 2012 to 2017, CFDC-assisted firms increased their number of employees by 5.7 percent compounded annually compared to 1.6 percent in non-assisted firms.
- In terms of sales growth from 2012 to 2017, CFDC-assisted firms exhibited 6.6 percent compounded annual sales growth rate compared to 5.8 percent for non-assisted firms.
- CFDC-assisted firms exhibited significantly stronger longevity at 75 percent for a five-year survival rate than non-assisted firms at 51 percent.
An evaluation of the Community Futures (CF) program was completed in 2019–20, which found that there is a strong need for continued federal economic development programming in the communities served by CFDCs, particularly smaller and more remote communities. The evaluation found that the CF program achieved many of its intended outcomes, especially those related to its loans and business support services. These include strengthened business practices, economic stability, growth, job creation, and diversification of rural economies. The evaluation recommended that Regional Development Agencies should continue their efforts to provide a comprehensive national picture of the results and build on existing good practices to develop strategies to address federal requirements for inclusiveness.
FedDev Ontario supported Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs) through delivery of the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) during the current 2018–23 mandate. In 2019–20, the Agency invested $0.8 million in five projects to address the specific needs identified by OLMCs, such as entrepreneurship skills development (including those of social enterprises), and providing micro loans to women entrepreneurs and newcomers to Canada. The funding also helped to address challenges faced by Francophone communities in accessing business training and development. As of March 31, 2020, the five active EDI projects leveraged $2.5 for every dollar invested by the Agency, created 25 jobs and maintained 21 jobs, and delivered 253 training/networking sessions with 1,349 people receiving training/mentorship over the course of the year.
Canada's Regional Development Agencies (including FedDev Ontario) continued to deliver the Women Entrepreneurship Fund (WEF) and the Ecosystem Fund, as part of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). Launched in 2018 and led by Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), WES is a comprehensive, whole-of-government plan totalling nearly $5 billion in federal investments to help women grow their businesses through access to financing, talent, networks and expertise. In 2019–20, FedDev Ontario invested $7.6 million in 101 projects under WEF, leveraging $2.2 for every dollar invested by the Agency. These investments enabled 101 women entrepreneurs to pursue opportunities in domestic and global markets. WEF created 367 jobs and maintained 581 jobs. WES also invested $4.2 million in three national and 15 regional projects under the ecosystem fund to support starting new businesses, providing business advisory services, and assisting companies in growing their business abroad. In 2019–20, ecosystem fund projects supported 205 women entrepreneurs in starting a new business, provided business advisory services to more than 3,700 women entrepreneur clients, and assisted 164 women entrepreneurs in growing their business abroad.
The Agency's Community Futures Program, Economic Development Initiative, and Women Entrepreneurship Strategy programming contributes to the Government of Canada's inclusive growth priorities, and enhances the ability of targeted groups such as women, Francophones, and rural entrepreneurs to start, grow and expand their businesses.
In 2019–20, Canada's Regional Development Agencies (including FedDev Ontario) launched the Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF) to assist Canada's tourism sector to innovate, grow and drive visitors into smaller, tourism-dependent communities. CEF focussed on tourism in rural and remote communities, Indigenous tourism, winter and shoulder season tourism, inclusive tourism (especially for LGBTQ2+ community), and farm-to-table tourism, also known as culinary tourism. FedDev Ontario invested $4.8 million in 64 CEF projects. As of March 31, 2020, CEF leveraged $1.42 for every dollar invested by the Agency, created 419 jobs and maintained 157 jobs, and supported 78 businesses and organizations. CEF also provided LGBTQ2+ training to 364 businesses and organizations and market readiness training to 226 Indigenous businesses.
Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation No. 29
- With an investment of $500,000 from FedDev Ontario through CEF in December 2019, The Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation No. 29, located in Bruce County, will develop an Indigenous Cultural Destination that includes the complete restoration of an existing amphitheatre, gardens and hiking trails. In addition, they will create a Visitors Centre with outdoor learning, event and festival space.
- Local Indigenous caterers and service providers will be employed in the Visitors Centre and outdoor space for weddings, festivals and other events, and Indigenous interpreters will be employed to deliver learning activities.
- Over the course of the refurbishment and upgrades to the site, local Indigenous people have been hired and trained in stone masonry, providing them with skilled trade experience and certification.
FedDev Ontario met or exceeded targets set for all three performance indicators under this departmental result (see results achieved table). For the first performance indicator, related to the inclusive participation of women, Indigenous people, youth, visible minorities and persons with disabilities in the southern Ontario economy, the Agency met its targets for all target groups. For the second performance indicator, 36.0 percent of all jobs were professional, science and technology-related jobs in the southern Ontario economy, slightly above the Agency's target of 35.3 percent. Lastly, the amount leveraged per dollar invested by FedDev Ontario in community projects was $2.53 in 2019–20, above the target of $1.00.
Departmental Result: Businesses invest in the development and commercialization of innovative technologies in southern Ontario
In 2019–20, FedDev Ontario made targeted investments in not-for-profit organizations that provided support to businesses at each stage of development in areas where Canada and southern Ontario has the potential to have a leadership position and opportunities for growth. Through the Regional Innovation Ecosystem (RIE) program stream, FedDev Ontario invested more than $59 million in a portfolio of 46 projects to create, grow and nurture inclusive regional ecosystems that supported business needs, and fostered an entrepreneurial environment conducive to innovation, growth and competitiveness. The portfolio includes investments in the Agency's priority areas, and areas of competitive advantage for southern Ontario, including advanced manufacturing, disruptive technologies, and life sciences.
As of March 31, 2020, RIE projects leveraged $1.2 for every dollar invested by the Agency, supported 647 organizations and businesses, resulted in over 300 partnerships/ collaborations, and created 2,072 jobs and maintained of 1,358 jobs. RIE projects strengthened collaboration between the region's businesses, post-secondary institutions and not-for-profit organizations. In support of Government of Canada priorities, FedDev Ontario through the RIE program stream invested $26.3 million in 20 Indigenous and women-led organizations, including $5 million for the Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ICIE) to support Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses, and invested $1.5 million in eight clean technology projects.
The RIE program supported the region's business accelerators and incubators (BAIs) to help foster the growth and scale-up of innovative new companies. In 2019–20, FedDev Ontario invested $17.4 million in 12 BAIs to create environments conducive to innovation, growth and competitiveness.
RIE projects are also strengthening strategic clusters and consortia through more integrated ways of bringing stakeholders together. In the emerging smart cities cluster, the Innovate Cities project joins seven companies to form an ecosystem that will bring innovations to market in safety, sustainability and tenant management for the built environment. In the Advanced Manufacturing sector, the Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation (SONAMI) brings together post-secondary institutions to help small- and medium-sized manufacturers grow their business by adopting advanced manufacturing technologies in their operations. In the Health Sciences sector, the CAN Health Network project is working establish an integrated health network that will facilitate hospitals and leading health organization to procure health care solutions from southern Ontario based companies. The project seeks to identify challenges within the health system, and works with viable companies to commercialize solutions that could be shared across the broad network, providing a network of health care providers to procure their solutions.
- In 2019–20, FedDev Ontario invested $11.1 million in Innovate Cities under which seven companies in the smart cities sector have united to support a four-year project to provide safer, more accessible and more energy-efficient spaces for Canadians.
- Through this investment, Innovate Cities will develop an open-source, cloud-based Community Hub platform for innovative start-ups and scale-ups to prototype and sell their Smart Cities innovations. In addition, it will establish two large-scale demonstration projects to test these innovations in real-world environments. Innovate Cities will also create a Canadian-based Data Trust to manage the use, sharing and sovereignty of data collected through the cluster while also ensuring data privacy and security.
- The project is expected to support 45 companies, develop 10 new patents and create 175 jobs within the Smart Cities ecosystem across southern Ontario.
FedDev Ontario did not set targets for the two performance indicators under this departmental result (see results achieved table) due to unavailability of baseline data. In 2019–20, the value of business expenditure on research and development by firms receiving FedDev Ontario program funding was $205.9 million. Further, 21.5 percent of companies were engaged in collaborations with higher education institutions in southern Ontario.
|Departmental results||Performance indicators||Target||Date to achieve target||2017–18
|Communities are economically diversified in southern Ontario||Percentage of SMEs that are majority-owned by women, Indigenous people, youth, visible minorities and persons with disabilities in southern Ontario||
At least 15.1% of SMEs are majority-owned by women
At least 1% of SMEs are majority-owned by Indigenous people
At least 16% of SMEs are majority-owned by youth
At least 16.2% of SMEs are majority-owned by visible minorities
At least 0.8% of SMEs majority-owned by persons with disabilities
|March 31, 2020||Not available||
Visible minorities: 16.2%1
Persons with disabilities: 0.8%1
Visible minorities: 16.2%1
Persons with disabilities: 0.8%1
|Percentage of professional, science and technology related jobs in southern Ontario's economy||At least 35.3%||March 31, 2020||35.1%||35.3%||36.0%|
|Amount leveraged per dollar invested by FedDev Ontario in community projects||At least $1.00||March 31, 2020||$2.52||$3.29||$2.53|
|Businesses in southern Ontario invest in the development and commercialization of innovative technologies||Value of business expenditure on research and development by firms receiving FedDev Ontario program funding (in dollars)||TBD2||March 31, 2020||Not available||$100.92M||$205.9M|
|Percentage of companies engaged in collaborations with higher education institutions in southern Ontario||TBD2||March 31, 2020||Not available||21.5%3||21.5%3|
|Businesses in southern Ontario are innovative and growing||Number of high- growth firms in southern Ontario||At least 4,2004||March 31, 2020||Not available||4,1904||4,1904|
|Value of exports of goods (in dollars) from southern Ontario||At least $183.0B||March 31, 2020||$188.5B||$190.5B||$204.4B5|
|Value of exports of clean technologies (in dollars) from southern Ontario||TBD2||March 31, 2020||Not available||Not available||$6.6B6|
|Revenue growth rate of firms supported by FedDev Ontario programs||Greater than 1.6 %||March 31, 2020||7.85%||13.45%||8.27%|
General note: Actual results are based on the latest available data from Statistics Canada. Actual results for previous years were the latest available at that time. Statistics Canada data may have been updated after drafting of this report.
1 Actual results are based on the latest available data from 2017 Statistics Canada survey on financing and growth of SMEs.
2 To be determined (TBD). Target was not set because baseline data was not available when target was established.
3 Actual results are based on the latest available data from 2017 Statistics Canada survey of innovation and business strategy.
4 Statistics Canada has changed its methodology to measure the number of high-growth firms by revenue. The 2019–20 target was set using the previous methodology. Thus, target and actual results are not comparable.
5 Southern Ontario export figures are not yet available from Statistics Canada for 2019 and therefore Ontario data is reported. Over the past five years, on average, southern Ontario has accounted for over 95 percent of Ontario's total exports.
6 Preliminary data from Statistics Canada on clean technologies exported by firms from all sectors in 2018. Southern Ontario figures are not available from Statistics Canada and therefore Ontario data is reported.
Total authorities available for use
(actual spending minus planned spending)
Note: Increased funding is a result of FedDev Ontario's delivery of in-year transfer payment programs, such as top-up to the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy ($3.3M), and the Canadian Experiences Fund ($5M).
Planned full-time equivalents
Actual full-time equivalents
(actual full-time equivalents minus planned full-time equivalents)
Note: The increase in FTEs reflects the work undertaken in 2019–20 to re-align resources to support the delivery of grants and contributions programming at FedDev Ontario.
Financial, human resources and performance information for FedDev Ontario's Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.
Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are:
- Acquisition Management Services
- Communications Services
- Financial Management Services
- Human Resources Management Services
- Information Management Services
- Information Technology Services
- Legal Services
- Materiel Management Services
- Management and Oversight Services
- Real Property Management Services
Human Resources Management remained a key area of focus for FedDev Ontario in 2019–20. The Agency continued to create an environment that is committed to recruitment and retention of talent, and supporting learning, innovation and collaboration in a way that sets it apart as a workplace of choice.
FedDev Ontario was proud to be recognized as one of Waterloo's Top Employers (2020). The Agency was recognized specifically for its employee wellness committee that is dedicated to creating a healthy and positive workplace through a focus on the pillars of healthy minds, healthy eating and healthy body. FedDev Ontario also received recognition for its culture of learning and its recruitment of the next generation through summer employment and co-op work experience programs.
Significant and ongoing work continues to be undertaken to ensure the work environment at FedDev Ontario is respectful, embodies a culture of excellence, and embraces diversity and inclusion. The Agency remains committed to creating an environment where talent is developed and supported by a culture of continuous investment in learning and development. These activities align with the Government of Canada's Beyond 2020 initiative.
The Agency's results from the 2019 Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) include:
- 85 percent of staff reported that the people they work with value their ideas and opinions;
- 81 percent of staff indicated that they were encouraged to be innovative or take initiative at work;
- 87 percent of staff reported that the Agency respects individual differences (e.g., culture, work styles, ideas);
- 82 percent of staff indicated that in the work unit, every individual is accepted as an equal member of the team; and
- 81 percent of staff reported that the Agency does a good job of raising awareness of mental health in the workplace.
The Agency continued to improve internal operations in support of the delivery of its programming to Canadians. This included designing program policies, tools and processes to align with the Agency's new programming, and working with other Regional Development Agencies on the modernization of the Grants and Contributions Program Management (GCPM) system, which FedDev Ontario refers to as Minerva. Minerva is a user-friendly and client-centric grants and contributions management system that will replace multiple legacy systems and provide capability for full project life cycle management.
FedDev Ontario continued to provide employees with enhanced information management and information technology tools to enable an agile, innovative and digital workplace. For example, the adoption of Microsoft Teams allowed staff to connect through virtual meetings and improved client services. Expanded use of digital signatures created efficiencies in approval processes and reduced the use of paper resources. Modern office spaces which meet the Government of Canada Workplace 2.0 standards have been provided to staff, offering open, flexible and mobile work arrangements to promote the ability to work from anywhere at any time. These activities align with the Government of Canada's workplace modernization and Destination 2020 strategy.
In 2019–20, the Agency also built awareness of its programs, support and impact through events, news releases and the use of digital communications platforms. This includes 100 public announcements made by the ministers, Parliamentary Secretary, local MPs, and two by the Prime Minister. FedDev Ontario's website had 41,718 unique visitors, 27,768 visitors to program pages, and 4,115 readers of the monthly Southern Ontario Spotlight newsletter. Average monthly readership increased to 466 in 2019–20 from 297 in 2018–19. As part of efforts to increase awareness of the Agency's work and impact, FedDev Ontario also published 28 new pivotal project profiles in 2019, resulting in 2,548 visitors to the new pivotal projects webpage. Through regular posts on the Agency's LinkedIn account, readers were informed about FedDev Ontario's activities and southern Ontario's key economic news, and followers increased by 133 percent, engagements increased by 48 percent and impressions increased by 58 percent over the previous year. With expanded use of Twitter and Instagram throughout the year, FedDev Ontario followers increased by 12 percent and 36 percent, respectively.
In 2019–20, the Agency also actively engaged stakeholders to seek opportunities for collaboration to advance regional economic priorities, champion the economic potential of southern Ontario and to advance external awareness of FedDev Ontario programs and other federal economic development initiatives. In spring 2019, FedDev Ontario launched a series of roundtables in rural and urban communities. These 20 roundtables enabled the Agency to hear from a broad range of stakeholders, which informed the development of FedDev Ontario's regional growth strategy. This strategy will continue to guide the Agency's policies, investments and engagement with other departments.
FedDev Ontario continued its commitment to finding effective and efficient ways to achieve its departmental results through experimentation and innovation. The Agency leveraged the executive champion roles to support this effort through the launch of "The Great Experiment" by the Champion of Innovation and Experimentation. The resulting series of activities and initiatives supported staff in creating changes to deliver positive impacts. For example, the "Take Me with You," "Follow the Note" and "Open Gallery" initiatives gave Agency employees the opportunities to see the results of their work and experience the decision-making process at the executive level.
The Ontario Federal Council (OFC), chaired by the President of FedDev Ontario, continued to support the collaboration and coordination of government-wide initiatives and priorities in the Ontario region. These actions included advancing Beyond 2020 principles, promoting people and talent management, and encouraging healthy and respectful workplaces. The OFC broadened its reach in the region by championing Communities of Practice, organizing events including the Ontario Region Innovation Fair, and bringing together senior federal officials from multiple departments and provincial ministries to create new avenues for collaboration.
Total authorities available for use
(actual spending minus planned spending)
Planned full-time equivalents
Actual full-time equivalents
(actual full-time equivalents minus planned full-time equivalents)
Note: The decrease in FTEs reflects the work undertaken 2019–20 to re-align resources to support the delivery of grants and contributions programming at FedDev Ontario.
Analysis of trends in spending and human resources
The following graph presents planned (voted and statutory spending) over time.
Departmental Spending Trend Graph
Description of Figure: Departmental Spending Trend
|Core Responsibilities and Internal Services||2019–20 Main Estimates||2019–20 Planned spending||2020–21 Planned spending||2021–22 Planned spending||2019–20
Total authorities available for use
|2017–18 Actual spending (authorities used)||2018–19 Actual spending (authorities used)||2019–20 Actual spending (authorities used)|
|Economic development in southern Ontario||$242,116,200||$242,116,200||$239,480,721||$217,751,623||$254,986,643||$233,600,846||$220,057,754||$254,749,868|
|Budget Implementation vote–unallocated authorities||$3,867,976||$53,590||$0|
Since its renewed funding in 2019-20, FedDev Ontario has a core program budget of roughly $200M per year. To address Government of Canada economic priorities, the Agency receives funding to deliver time-limited programming, such as the Innovation and Skills Plan ($21M/year) and the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy ($5.9M/year). 2019–20 also included the launch of the Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF) and a top-up to the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) that increased spending over the planned authority.
Actual human resources
|Core Responsibilities and Internal Services||2017–18 Actual full‑time equivalents||2018–19 Actual full‑time equivalents||2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents||2019–20 Actual full‑time equivalents||2020–21 Planned full‑time equivalents||2021–22 Planned full‑time equivalents|
|Economic development in southern Ontario||117||112||116||184||172||170|
Note: The decrease in Human Resources for Internal Services and corresponding increase in FTEs for Economic Development in southern Ontario reflects the work undertaken 2019–20 to more accurately attribute and report key business units and resources that support the delivery of grants and contributions programming.
In 2019–20, a realignment of resources from internal services to programs was undertaken to align with the methodology used by the other Regional Development Agencies. Budget 2019 provided FedDev Ontario with permanent funding, enabling the Agency to be a reliable, long-term and trusted partner to southern Ontario communities, businesses and entrepreneurs. This led to an increase in human resources levels in 2019–20 to continue to support Agency priorities and programs.
Expenditures by vote
For information on FedDev Ontario's organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2019–2020.
Government of Canada spending and activities
Information on the alignment of FedDev Ontario's spending with the Government of Canada's spending and activities is available in the GC InfoBase.
Financial statements and financial statement highlights
FedDev Ontario's financial statements (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2020, are available on the departmental website.
Financial statements highlights
|Financial information||2019–20 Planned results||2019–20 Actual results||2018–19 Actual results||Difference (2019–20 Actual results minus 2019–20 Planned results)||Difference (2019–20 actual results minus 2018–19 actual results)|
|Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers||$193,965,503||$184,208,737||$141,429,186||-$9,756,766||$42,779,551|
|Financial information||2019–20||2018–19||Difference (2019–20 minus 2018–19)|
|Total net liabilities||$30,966,319||$32,341,310||-$1,374,991|
|Total net financial assets||$28,406,659||$30,451,383||-$2,044,724|
|Departmental net debt||$2,559,660||$1,889,927||$669,733|
|Total non-financial assets||$64,669||$33,043||$31,626|
|Departmental net financial position||-$2,494,991||-$1,856,884||-$638,107|
Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages:
The Honourable Melanie Joly, P.C., M.P.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Order in Council P.C. 2009-1410 dated August 13, 2009, amending Schedule I.1 of the Financial Administration Act to include the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario as a department.
Order in Council P.C. 2009-1411 dated August 13, 2009, whereby the Department of Industry transferred to the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario the control and supervision of the portion of the federal administration in the Department of Industry known as the Southern Ontario Regional Economic Branch.
Year of incorporation / commencement:
Raison d'être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do
"Raison d'être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do" is available on FedDev Ontario's website.
For more information on FedDev Ontario's organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Minister's mandate letter.
FedDev Ontario's Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2019–20 are shown below.
Departmental Results Framework
Core Responsibility: Economic Development in Southern Ontario
Departmental result: Businesses in southern Ontario are innovative and growing
- Indicator: Number of high-growth firms in southern Ontario
- Indicator: Value of exports of goods (in dollars) from southern Ontario
- Indicator: Value of exports of clean technologies (in dollars) from southern Ontario
- Indicator: Revenue growth rate of firms supported by FedDev Ontario programs
Departmental result: Communities are economically diversified in southern Ontario
- Indicator: Percentage of SMEs that are majority-owned by women, Indigenous people, youth, visible minorities and persons with disabilities in southern Ontario
- Indicator: Percentage of professional, science and technology-related jobs in southern Ontario's economy
- Indicator: Amount leveraged per dollar invested by FedDev Ontario in community projects
Departmental Result: Businesses in southern Ontario invest in the development and commercialization of innovative technologies
- Indicator: Value of business expenditure on research and development by firms receiving FedDev Ontario program funding (in dollars)
- Indicator: Percentage of companies engaged in collaborations with higher education institutions in southern Ontario
- Business Scale-up and Productivity
- Regional Innovation Ecosystem
- Community Economic Development and Diversification
Supporting information on the Program Inventory
Financial, human resources and performance information for FedDev Ontario's Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.
Supplementary information tables
The following supplementary information tables are available on FedDev Ontario's website:
- Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
- Details on transfer payment programs of $5 million or more
- Gender-based analysis plus
Federal tax expenditures
The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.
Organizational contact information
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
101-139 Northfield Drive West
Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 5A6
- appropriation (crédit)
- Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
- budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
- Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
- core responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
- An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a core responsibility are reflected in one or more related departmental results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
- Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
- A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a 3-year period. Departmental Plans are usually tabled in Parliament each spring.
- departmental priority (priorité)
- A plan or project that a department has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired departmental results.
- departmental result (résultat ministériel)
- A consequence or outcome that a department seeks to achieve. A departmental result is often outside departments' immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.
- departmental result indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
- A quantitative measure of progress on a departmental result.
- departmental results framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
- A framework that connects the department's core responsibilities to its departmental results and departmental result indicators.
- Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
- A report on a department's actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
- experimentation (expérimentation)
- The conducting of activities that seek to first explore, then test and compare the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform evidence-based decision-making, and improve outcomes for Canadians, by learning what works, for whom and in what circumstances. Experimentation is related to, but distinct from innovation (the trying of new things), because it involves a rigorous comparison of results. For example, using a new website to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new website against existing outreach tools or an old website to see which one leads to more engagement, is experimentation.
- full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
- A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. For a particular position, the full-time equivalent figure is the ratio of number of hours the person actually works divided by the standard number of hours set out in the person's collective agreement.
- gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
- An analytical process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people experience policies, programs and services based on multiple factors including race ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
- government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
- For the purpose of the 2019–20 Departmental Results Report, those high-level themes outlining the government's agenda in the 2019 Speech from the Throne, namely: Fighting climate change; Strengthening the Middle Class; Walking the road of reconciliation; Keeping Canadians safe and healthy; and Positioning Canada for success in an uncertain world.
- horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
- An initiative where two or more federal organizations are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
- non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
- Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
- performance (rendement)
- What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
- performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
- A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
- performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
- The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
- plan (plan)
- The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally, a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead to the expected result.
- planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in Main Estimates.
A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.
- program (programme)
- Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
- program inventory (répertoire des programmes)
- Identifies all the department's programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department's core responsibilities and results.
- result (résultat)
- A consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization's influence.
- statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
- Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
- target (cible)
- A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
- voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
- Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an appropriation act. The vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.