For over 34 years, OCI has played a key role in the innovation ecosystem, from catalyzing innovation through programming and supporting industry-academic partnerships to connecting players across the province, with the vision of increasing prosperity through innovation.
An innovation-first mandate has been especially vital this year because the COVID-19 global pandemic forced many businesses to rethink their service delivery and pivot almost overnight. Finding innovative ways to maintain relevance and continue to collaborate with stakeholders, as the economy continues down an uncertain path, is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have.
OCI’s unique position as a pan-provincial innovation collaboration platform with reach across all industrial sectors, ability to convene the right players at the table, and track record of driving “where next happens” is now more critical than ever before.
This strategic plan builds on OCI’s more than three decades of success and will guide and drive OCI’s overall strategic focus, priorities, and operations over the next five years in delivering on its mandate to support Ontario’s innovators.
The key components of our strategic plan are summarized in the following diagram, which reflects OCI’s existing mandate and outlines a new vision and mission supported by our corporate values and a new set of strategic goals, objectives, and performance measures.
Our strategic plan is a living document – one that puts strategy into action. OCI will review and update this plan on a regular basis to continuously reflect our progress made, and to adapt to changing market realities, program requirements, and innovation ecosystem needs.
Message from the Chair of the Board and CEO
It is with great pleasure that we share the Ontario Centre of Innovation’s (OCI) five-year strategic plan.
As Ontario’s economy has begun to recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, this is an exciting time for OCI as we build on our strong foundation of past achievements to meet new challenges and capitalize on new opportunities in advanced and emerging technologies.
For over three decades, OCI has been proud to work in close partnership with industry, academia, and government – harnessing the potential of Ontario’s innovators and driving tangible economic outcomes – to catalyze the creation and retention of tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in private sector investments in innovation.
This plan reflects input from partner engagement and consultation with stakeholders across industry, academia, and government, as well as our Board of Directors and staff. We are committed to working together with our partners to deliver on our priorities while ensuring that our road map reflects the needs and expectations of our stakeholders; to stay agile, we will revisit it as required to respond to the changing needs of our community and emerging opportunities.
We offer our sincere thanks to the Government of Ontario for entrusting us with the important mandate of developing and delivering programs that accelerate the development, commercialization, and adoption of advanced technologies to create jobs and build a strong knowledge-based economy in Ontario.
We would like to thank everyone who shared their time and input with us. As we implement our new strategic plan, we will continuously seek input and chart our progress to ensure that we achieve our goals. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with all our stakeholders because their success is Ontario’s success.
Message from the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
Our government recognizes the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) as a key partner in the development, commercialization, and deployment of made-in-Ontario technologies.
Its ongoing collaboration with industry, government and academia is a great example of how partnerships can spur innovation, grow economic ecosystems and create opportunities in new markets around the globe to drive economic success at home.
The results of OCI’s efforts for 2020-2021 are impressive. Despite the challenging circumstances of the past year, OCI, industry and partners invested close to $234 million into collaborative R&D and commercialization projects across the province.
As a result, Ontario’s innovation ecosystem delivered the following impressive outcomes:
- 5,644 jobs created and/or retained across Ontario’s small and medium-sized enterprises and large firms.
- $265.2 million in incremental sales revenues reported by supported start-ups.
- $503.3 million in company generated follow-on investments.
As OCI and our government continue to work closely to drive prosperity, we want to continue to prime Ontario companies for success by accelerating their development of innovative products and solutions.
Advanced technologies initiatives, such as the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), are helping equip Ontario companies to grow and compete globally.
By working together, we will unleash our economy, support recovery, create jobs for the people of Ontario, and help our province maintain its place as the economic engine of Canada.
The Strategic Plan
Our five-year strategic plan defines our future direction and priorities. It confirms our mandate, vision, and mission, and defines the strategic goals, objectives and performance measures that will guide the ongoing operations and assessment of OCI’s performance. All of which is supported by our corporate values.
This plan clearly demonstrates our value proposition to the ecosystem, our core business offerings, and our hopes and aspirations for the future of innovation and technological advancement and adoption in Ontario.
The mandate identifies the shared priorities and objectivities between OCI and its government partners.
“Develop and deliver programs that accelerate the development, commercialization, and adoption of advanced technologies to drive job creation.”
As OCI looks towards the future, its new vision statement reflects the role it aspires to play in Ontario’s innovation ecosystem.
“To be at the centre of innovation in Ontario – driving economic growth and job creation through investments in the commercialization and adoption of new technologies.”
OCI’s mission statement describes the daily activities and operations needed to catalyze its vision and deliver on its mandate to the benefit of all of our Ontario.
“To bring industry, academic, and government partners together and invest in collaborative R&D, technology development, and commercialization opportunities that will generate the highest return on innovation for Ontarians.”
Trust and respect are at the heart of OCI’s values. Without them, none of the other values can be realized. We conduct ourselves with the highest standards of professionalism and act in ways that earn the trust and respect of our internal and external stakeholders. We foster an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued, respected and supported.
OCI is committed to being an inclusive organization and strongly believes that the diversity of race, gender, ethnicity, demographic, and opinion helps create a more equitable and vibrant innovation ecosystem in Ontario. We will actively assess every aspect of our business, as well as our internal and external interactions, to implement changes that ensure that diversity and inclusion are driving our decisions.
Strategic Goals and Objectives
The strategic goals define the “buckets of activity” that, acting together, will drive the future success of OCI in delivering on its vision and mission. Each goal is supported by several key objectives that will guide the ongoing organizational focus and allocation of resources.
The goals and objectives are interconnected. They do not exist in isolation from one another and should be considered in terms of their collective contribution to delivering on OCI’s mandate, vision, and mission. They will be supported by detailed implementation activities as outlined in OCI’s annual business plan.
Measuring Success – The Return on Innovation
OCI works to address barriers to innovation and commercialization and drives measurable economic impact in Ontario. The key economic outcomes that OCI measures include the number of high-quality jobs created and/or retained, incremental sales generated by client companies, and follow-on investment attributed to program funding. The OCI The purpose of OCI’s strategic plan is to drive measurable results that benefit all of Ontario. Over the life of the plan, OCI will assess its success by focusing on the following measures and targets:
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