Ontario works with its Federal/Provincial/Territorial partners to make Canada a powerhouse of innovation

Archived Release

Ontario works with its Federal/Provincial/Territorial partners to make Canada a powerhouse of innovation

VANCOUVER, June 21 /CNW/ - Ontario welcomes the federal goal of making Canada one of the most innovative countries in the world, said Ontario Minister of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation Jim Flaherty today at the conclusion of a Federal/Provincial/Territorial Meeting on Innovation.
"Everyone at the table agreed that to accomplish our shared goal, the federal, provincial and territorial governments must all work together," said Flaherty. "Government, in turn, must work cooperatively with private industry, colleges and universities and public and private research institutions. Together, we can build Canada into a global powerhouse of innovation."
Ontario will host an International Summit on Innovation this fall, as part of its effort to help industry clusters become more productive. Ontario has also established a platform of innovation designed to lead the province through early 21st century advancement.
As part of its commitment to innovation, the Ontario Government announced earlier this week in its 2002 budget that more than $780 million over the next five years will be set aside for science and technology initiatives.
The following are highlights of current Ontario innovation initiatives:

- a $2-billion commitment since 1997 to support research and
development, including research infrastructure and the indirect costs
of research and commercialisation; this investment has leveraged about
$4 billion in investment from institutions, government and the private
sector.

- a $51-million commitment marking the launch of the province's
Biotechnology Strategy, including $20 million for the MARS Discovery
District in downtown Toronto and $30 million to create the
Biotechnology Cluster Innovation Program.

- Premier's Research Excellence Awards are investing $85 million over 10
years to help world-class researchers attract talented people to their
research teams.

- Premier's Platinum Medals for Research Excellence annually provide $1
million each to two of Ontario's internationally renowned researchers.

- development of clusters in key areas such as information and
communications technologies, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and
automotive.

- through the Ontario Innovation Trust, the province invests in research
infrastructure and leverages investments from the federal government's
Canada Foundation for Innovation.

- Formation of the Roger Martin Task Force on Competitiveness,
Productivity and Economic Progress to create a framework to measure
and assess our cluster industries in a North American context.

- a provincially-sponsored forum for angel investors (venture
capitalists) and the Wisdom Exchange, designed to support leaders of
dynamic young growth firms.

"This spring our government reaffirmed its goal of making Ontario the home of one of the top three biotechnology jurisdictions in North America," said Flaherty. "We look forward to working with our partners in government, education and research, and industry across the country as we reach for our collective goal of becoming world leaders in innovation."

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For more information visit www.ontario-canada.com
For further information: Media contact: Dan Miles, Minister's Office, (416) 325-6795, (416) 999-7446 (cell)