OCI

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Ontario Centre of Innovation

About

OCI builds bridges between sectors, sparking vibrant collaborations that lead to the creation of products and jobs that make a real impact in the lives of Ontarians — now and into the future. OCI helps ensure Ontario is where next happens. We accelerate job creation through innovation, commercializing game-changing research by connecting industry and academia.

OUR FOCUS

COMMERCIALIZING ACADEMIC IP

OCI supports the commercialization of academic intellectual property (IP), industry-academic collaborations and the development and adoption of emerging technologies. This includes overseeing the execution of advanced technology platforms that will equip Ontario companies to compete in a competitive global digital economy.

SUPPORTING START-UPS

We also support and invest in early-stage projects where the probability of commercial success and return on innovation are substantial. OCI’s strong expertise in de-risking innovation helps attract private investors and other funders to new ventures, bolstering their success.

RETAINING TALENT

OCI contributes to the development and retention of talent to ensure that industry has access to personnel with the most advanced skills and knowledge and that highly trained personnel find opportunities to apply their expertise in Ontario.

Our Expertise

We focus on sectors of the economy that are seen by Ontario’s elected leadership as having the greatest potential to drive Ontario’s future prosperity and global competitiveness.

OCI deploys an experienced team of Business Development Managers across the province to help build industry-academic collaborations and support the launch and growth of businesses. They identify what is needed by industry, exploring the halls and labs of academe to discover the latest breakthroughs from researchers.

OCI also helps SMEs, academic researchers and entrepreneurs access emerging technologies to develop new applications while sharpening competitive edge and building export capacity. These include 5G and next generation network testbeds for the validation of new technologies, applications, and services;  and the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN)  aimed at reinforcing Ontario’s position as a North American leader in transformative automotive technologies

The majority of OCI programs require industry partners to co-invest in projects. OCI-funded projects attract additional funding from other external investors including angel and venture capital investors, which facilitates economic growth resulting in more labour and economic spin off.

Our Impact

An important catalyst in Ontario’s economy, OCI:

  • generates more than double the amount of its original investment in partner co-investments ($165 million in 2020-2021)
  • helps attract follow-on investments in client companies, primarily from angel investors and venture capitalists ($503 million in 2020-2021)
  • helps create or retain thousands of jobs (5,644 in 2020-2021)
  • Through follow-on investment into firms engaged in OCI projects, contributes substantively to Ontario taxes 

OCI’s Whole of Government Approach

A trusted partner of government in program delivery, OCI has adopted a whole-of-government approach to streamline funding application processes for companies and entrepreneurs. 

Participating in this whole-of-government approach are The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), Connect Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).