Ontario Marks Grand Opening of Innovation Space in Markham
New Space Will Help Businesses Take New Technology to Global Markets
Ontario has partnered with IBM Canada, Ontario Centres of Excellence and ventureLAB to open the IBM Innovation Space-Markham Convergence Centre that will provide businesses access to the technology and expertise they need to grow and compete in the global marketplace.
Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science attended the grand opening today with Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth and Michael Chan, MPP for Markham-Unionville.
This centre is part of the IBM Innovation Incubator (I3) Project, which will help small and medium-sized enterprises fast-track the launch of new technologies and products to international clients by leveraging IBM's technical resources. This includes cognitive business technology and a cloud-based development platform, as well as its physical space and network of customers. The I3 project is expected to create up to 2,600 jobs by 2020.
Fostering innovation and growth is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- Ontario invested $22.75 million through the Jobs and Prosperity Fund for the IBM Innovation Incubator Project, supporting an additional investment of $24.75 million from IBM, for a total project value of $410 million.
- Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) will oversee the operations of the IBM Innovation Incubator Project and coordinate industry partnerships. OCE is a provincial coordinator and member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs that works with industry, academia and government to stimulate business-led innovation.
- Studio1Labs is a start-up already using IBM Watson’s artificial intelligence capabilities at the IBM Innovation Space-Markham Convergence Centre. The company is developing bed sheets that ultimately will help to save babies’ lives using fabric sensors that can detect when a child’s breathing changes.
- The IBM Innovation Incubator Project includes co-located innovation spaces across Ontario, such as locations at the DMZ and MaRS in Toronto.
“Our government is committed to boosting innovation in Ontario through strategic partnerships, in order to help Ontario’s growing businesses scale up. These kinds of collaboration spaces help entrepreneurs access expertise and advanced technologies they otherwise might not have access to, allowing our province’s innovators to test, develop and commercialize their ideas and connect to markets worldwide.”
“Entrepreneurship and innovation are at the heart of our government’s plan to create jobs and grow our economy. That's why we are pleased to support IBM innovation spaces, which will help Ontario businesses access the tools they need to scale up quickly to meet demand in a fiercely competitive global economy.”
“This is exciting news for Markham businesses who will gain access to the support, resources and partnerships they need to bring their innovative ideas to market and gain a competitive edge in the global economy. The launch of the IBM Innovation Space will help to further boost our City's reputation as a future-focused, thriving high-tech hub and a desirable place to live, work and play.”
“Small and mid-sized technology companies often face a number of challenges when looking to grow and develop new products and services. Today's announcement will give these businesses the opportunity to access support and advice from IBM’s industry experts and its network of collaborators.”
Dr. Helena Jaczek
“The IBM Innovation Space-Markham Convergence Centre offers small and medium-sized enterprises access to the state-of-the-art technologies that disruptors who want to participate in the innovation economy need to compete. The Government of Ontario, IBM and OCE are also providing supports and mentorship, as well as access to global networks and large customers that will help Ontario SMEs to scale-up and enter markets around the world.”