Yesterday, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) announced an investment of nearly C$5.4 million in non-profit Invest Ottawa’s Area X.O, a research and development complex responsible for developing and commercializing connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs), aerial systems, communications infrastructures, defence and cybersecurity technologies and more.
Invest Ottawa, which celebrated its 10th anniversary yesterday, has been key to providing businesses and innovators in the Ottawa region with the tools and space required to develop their products and services.
Delivered through the Job and Growth Fund, the investment seeks to expand the capabilities of Area X.O, support 140 companies, create and maintain 745 jobs and accelerate the commercialization of 40 new products and services at the research hub.
Seventy per cent of participating businesses need to be founded, owned or co-led by members of underrepresented groups, including women, racialized Canadians, Black entrepreneurs, Indigenous entrepreneurs, and members of the 2SLGBTQI+ community, Invest Ottawa said yesterday, to advance DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion).
“The work being done at Area X.O will be felt across Ottawa and Canada, as innovators and entrepreneurs aim to bring their solutions to Canadians, create jobs and contribute to our thriving tech industry,” said the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario.
Invest Ottawa will add the following capabilities at Area X.O through this investment:
- Remote simulation to allow entrepreneurs to remotely conduct tests and demonstrations.
- New programming to support companies developing services for essential sectors like defence, emergency management, public safety, security, and disaster preparedness.
- Support the creation of the first advanced robotic and unmanned aerial systems testbed of its kind in Canada.
- Enable increased access to foreign direct investment, particularly in the development of smart mobility, autonomy, and connectivity technologies.
- Improve market access by creating collaboration opportunities across Ontario and internationally.
The announcement builds on a previous C$7 million investment from FedDev Ontario that was instrumental in the creation of Area X.O and support of 35 small-to medium enterprises (SMEs) and creation of 350 jobs in 2020.
FedDev Ontario said in its release that, since 2015, the government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested over C$210 million in more than 200 projects in the Ottawa region, estimated to create nearly 8,000 jobs and maintain over 7,000 jobs.