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Building Digital Infrastructure in Ontario to Develop New Tech Products

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Building Digital Infrastructure in Ontario to Develop New Tech Products

Province’s Investment Will Grow Digital Economy, Create Jobs

Ontario is building the digital infrastructure needed to help tech companies develop new products in emerging areas such as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and advanced manufacturing while creating more than 3,400 jobs. 

Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, was in Ottawa today to announce Ontario's investment in the Next-Generation Network Program (NGNP) in partnership with the Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks, and the Ontario Centres of Excellence. Through this project, a high-speed network of computers will be built to connect Ontario's Regional Innovation Centres with industry and academia through cloud infrastructure, allowing them all to share resources and high-level services remotely.‎

This investment will allow small- and medium-sized enterprises, government and post-secondary institutions from across the province to develop, test and demonstrate new technologies, software and services to help bridge the gap between research and commercialization. Moving towards the next-generation network will generate value for consumers and help businesses in Ontario innovate faster and compete globally.

Supporting research and innovation is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is investing $63 million in the Next-Generation Network Program (NGNP) in partnership with the Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks and the Ontario Centres of Excellence.
  • The Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN) is a not-for-profit organization made up of industry, academic and research leaders and focused on the commercialization of next-generation communications solutions. It is a consortium of industry, academic and research leaders, including Bell Canada, Cisco, EXFO, Huawei, Invest Ottawa, Juniper Networks, Mitel, Nokia, Ribbon Communications, Rogers, TELUS, and Wind River.
  • Next-generation networks are software-controlled platforms that significantly improve bandwidth and allow for seamless connectivity between all communications technologies.
  • The investment will support CENGN’s Cloud Expansion Project, which will connect 18 innovation centres across Ontario to provide small- and medium-sized enterprises with access to a testbed with advanced networking capabilities. The program will be administered by the Ontario Centres for Excellence (OCE).
  • The NGNP will collaborate with post-secondary institutions to develop technology solutions and provide opportunities for graduate and post-doctoral students to be trained in new technologies. It will connect researchers with leading players in the industry who will guide their work and steer it towards real-world application and commercialization.
  • This investment in next-generation networks is part of a package of investments to accelerate the development and adoption of transformative technologies including artificial intelligence, 5G wireless technologies, connected and autonomous vehicles, big data analytics, advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity.

Additional Resources


“This ground-breaking initiative will help Ontario's businesses leverage advanced technologies, turning innovative ideas into next-generation products they can take to global markets. Our province is already a leader when it comes to innovative technologies, and this will further cement Ontario's leadership by giving companies the tools they need to transform society and improve lives.”

Reza Moridi

Minister of Research, Innovation and Science

“This investment supports critical infrastructure for the economy of the future. It will help our tech companies develop new products, create jobs and compete globally, strengthening Ontario’s position as a leading centre of technology.”

Steven Del Duca

Minister of Economic Development and Growth

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