Ontario Newsroom

Ontario Helping Businesses Take New Technologies to Global Markets

Archived News Release

Ontario Helping Businesses Take New Technologies to Global Markets

Investment Will Boost Knowledge Economy and Create Up To 2,600 Jobs

Office of the Premier

Ontario is partnering with IBM Canada and Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) to help up to 500 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) create jobs, embrace next-generation technologies and compete in the global marketplace.

Premier Kathleen Wynne was at the DMZ at Ryerson today to announce that Ontario will invest up to $22.75 million through the Jobs and Prosperity Fund in the IBM Innovation Incubator (I3) Project. The I3 Project will help SMEs fast-track the launch of new technologies and products to international clients and further grow the province's knowledge economy. IBM will contribute $24.75 million towards the I3 Project. This project is expected to leverage over $410 million in private-sector investment and create up to 2,600 jobs.

Participating businesses will leverage IBM's technical resources, including cognitive business technology and a cloud-based development platform, as well as its physical space and network of customers to reduce the cost of developing new technologies and help their companies grow and succeed. OCE will oversee the operations of the I3 Project and coordinate partnerships with industry.

Strategically partnering with businesses to drive innovation is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • Ryerson University is one of the 14 academic institutions involved in the I3 Project.
  • 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.
  • The Jobs and Prosperity Fund (JPF) is providing $2.7 billion over 10 years to enhance productivity, bolster innovation and grow Ontario’s exports.
  • The Strategic Partnerships Stream within the JPF provides funding to help create industry-led partnerships focused on the adoption of disruptive technologies including Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data Analytics and Smart Computing technologies, and the creation of next-generation products and services.
  • Ontario’s Business Growth Initiative is helping to grow the economy and create jobs by promoting an innovation-based economy, helping small companies scale up and modernizing regulations for businesses.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Our government has helped transform Ontario into a thriving tech hub by investing in an educated, talented workforce and fostering a culture of innovation. Today’s announcement reinforces our province’s position as an ideal place to develop and launch innovative new technologies and concepts, and will help strengthen our economy and create highly skilled jobs.”

Kathleen Wynne

Premier of Ontario

“Ontario’s economic strength depends on how well we leverage the expertise and technologies of anchor firms like IBM. The I3 Project will give our small and medium enterprises exposure to larger firms and the tools and skills they need to rapidly scale up to meet global demand.”

Brad Duguid

Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure

“Our government is proud to support this unique and cutting-edge collaboration, which will reduce barriers for SMEs to leverage IBM’s expertise and information technology. Combining this access with OCE’s experience in efficient program delivery will make the I3 Project a great example of how to help our businesses spur innovation, increase productivity and connect to new markets around the world.”

Reza Moridi

Minister of Research and Innovation

“We are thrilled to be working with Ontario and OCE on the I3 Project. The province’s contribution, paired with IBM’s own $24 million in-kind investment of cloud and cognitive technologies and associated expertise, will help firms accelerate their innovation cycle. This is a mandate we have continued to support through our unique collaborative research efforts with government, academia and enterprise. Together with our partners, we have a legacy of success, having created 88 research jobs and helping to launch 38 new businesses with an established revenue pipeline of over $2 billion in Ontario. The I3 initiative will enable us to further maximize our impact on Ontario’s knowledge-based economy, so small businesses and start-ups have the best chance possible to grow and compete globally.”

Dino Trevisani

President, IBM Canada

“The I3 Project is a partnership that will see start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs get the tools, technology and expertise they need to grow their business. We are pleased to have the opportunity to oversee this leading-edge initiative and deliver it across the province with our partners in the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs.”

Tom Corr

President, Ontario Centres of Excellence



Business and Economy Government