Speech Article from  Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Archived - Investing in Commercialization Partnerships Funding Announcement for the Governing Council of the University of Toronto (SOSCIP)

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Speaking Points

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Toronto, Ontario

April 28, 2015

Check against delivery

Length: approx. 8 minutes

Hello. Bonjour. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for joining us.

I am very pleased to be here today at the Ontario Centres of Excellence Discovery conference, standing among a diverse and talented group of people. Today is a great day to showcase and acknowledge the work of our skilled researchers, academics and innovators and our very resourceful entrepreneurs and business leaders. You should all be very proud of your contributions to growing our innovation ecosystem here in Canada.

Looking around this venue today, which is showcasing more than 400 exhibits and demonstrations on some leading-edge innovations, is very eye opening. You have shown, through your successes to date, the great potential of Canadians to be global leaders in the areas of health, energy, cities and water.

Today is about addressing the challenges and achievements of our innovative community - and recognizing the fine work that results from smart, collaborative partnerships. This afternoon's high performance computing session will be very useful in highlighting how smart computing is a key component of discovery and embracing new areas of advanced research and development.

The Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP) consortium in particular, is a great example of a collaborative group that is drawing on its impressive technological and research expertise to support important collaborations in a number of key sectors.

This commitment to knowledge and innovation is what sets our businesses on the path of commercial success. The type of work that is happening here today, and with the SOSCIP consortium, plays a very important role in helping our country succeed in today's competitive global economy.

Let me emphasize that jobs, growth and prosperity remain top priorities for our Government. We have set the right macro-economic conditions to ensure our businesses succeed and we are dedicated to making our economy stronger.

As my colleague, Joe Oliver, stated on Tuesday, our Government will fulfill its promise to balance the budget in 2015. Canada's Economic Action plan will continue to implement strategies for prudent fiscal management, including a low-tax plan for jobs, growth and security.

Our Government is cutting red tape and improving tax services of the Canada Revenue Agency. We are also introducing changes to the Canada Small Business Financing Program.

Transforming ideas into high value goods and services means more opportunities for businesses to develop and grow. Canada's 2015 Economic Action Plan will demonstrate our Government's support for innovation and job growth. We will invest in growing trade and expanding markets, which will maximize job-creating opportunities and support businesses development. Our Government is committing $152 million in trade promotion investments over the next five years, as well as the creation of an export market development program, to support Canadian businesses as they work to expand their global market reach.

Our Government recognizes the need to invest in smart companies and partnerships so that they can find the right tools, and implement the right changes, to make their business grow and prosper in a competitive, global market.

With this in mind, I'm pleased to announce a new investment for the region – one which will allow an impressive consortium to keep its momentum going.

I am pleased to announce that FedDev Ontario is providing the University of Toronto, on behalf of the Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform consortium, an investment of up to $20 million to implement upgrades to its supercomputing infrastructure and support new collaborative projects.

Led by the University of Toronto, a consortium of 11 post-secondary institutions plus OCE and IBM Canada Ltd., their lead industrial partner, this project will increase access to a collaborative research and innovation platform, through upgrades to existing operating systems and hardware. This will support the addition of 40 new collaborative projects in the areas of mining, advanced manufacturing, digital media and cybersecurity. These efforts will position southern Ontario at the forefront in big data analytics.

This contribution is through FedDev Ontario's Investing in Commercialization Partnerships initiative, which is designed to support partnerships that turn discovery and innovation into commercially successful products and services. The nature of the collaborative work between research institutions and small and medium sized companies is what leads to the evolution of new products and services—and ultimately to more job creation.

The researchers and companies that are connected to the consortium will be able to use advanced computing and big data analytics platforms to analyse and interpret large volumes of data – which will be used to help develop and create new products and services in some very important sectors.

This funding will also raise awareness about the value of using advanced computing and big data analytics by small and medium-sized businesses – which can play a significant role in strengthening these businesses and will allow them to remain competitive on a global scale.

This consortium is expected to create or maintain close to 100 jobs by the project's completion, including 80 new training and skills development opportunities for the next generation of workers in advanced computing and big-data analytics.

It's predicted that there will be a global shortage of big data talent in the future. As such, it's important that we nurture the big data talent here in this region, so that future employees will be able to effectively use and incorporate big data analytics in their work.

It is also important to note that Canada has demonstrated great leadership in the information and communication technology sector, here in southern Ontario. The increased access to big data analytics, and an advanced computing structure, will give this sector a notable boost. The collaborative opportunities, being proposed under this project, will offer great opportunities for Canadians to apply their strengths in these areas, and develop some highly useful resources, services and products, with great commercial promise.

As many of you have had the chance to see on the Discovery show floor today, big data analytics is an impressive means of tackling big issues and uncovering important trends and patterns, which, in turn, leads us on the path of spurring innovation and discovering solutions and building new support systems for a number of big issues.

Congratulations to all of the partners involved in this project. I look forward to seeing the ground-breaking work that will stem from these important partnerships.

Thank you. Merci.

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