Government of Canada

Government of Canada

January 10, 2014 13:00 ET

Harper Government Invests in Ocean Technology and Commercialization Centre

Support to Ensure More Ideas Get to Market

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Jan. 10, 2014) - The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today visited the Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre at the University of Victoria, a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) that was recently awarded federal funding.

"The Government of Canada invests in R&D to support jobs, growth and the long-term prosperity of all communities across Canada, including here in Victoria," said Minister of State Rickford. "The Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research program endeavours to bridge the gap between ideas and the marketplace by providing support for product and business development early in the innovation process and by strengthening relationships among private sector, academic and government players."

On November 13, 2013, Minister of State Rickford announced $22.2 million over five years through the CECR program for the renewal of three centres: the Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre, the GreenCentre Canada and the Canadian Digital Media Network.

The CECR program matches research expertise with the business community to share knowledge and resources. The program invests $30 million per year in Canadian innovation through a portfolio of 21 active centres across the country. Since 2008, CECRs have helped launch more than 100 new companies and leveraged $420 million in partner contributions.

"One of the strengths of this program is the high level of private sector involvement, both in the operation of each centre and in the peer review process," said Janet Walden, Chief Operating Officer of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. "This helps ensure that the program will bring Canadian research breakthroughs to market in the short term and that the centres will sustain their impact after the government funding period has ended."

Established in 2009, the Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre commercializes marine monitoring technologies used in underwater ocean observatories. The Innovation Centre also works with partners to market a suite of products and services designed to benefit sectors as diverse as marine safety and security, energy, and transportation management. Through the CECR program, the Innovation Centre received a funding extension of $4.4 million over five years, bringing its total funding support to nearly $11 million.

"We're very grateful to the Government of Canada for its continuing support of Ocean Networks Canada and its pioneering work in ocean science and technology," said University of Victoria President Jamie Cassels. "With this new funding, the Innovation Centre will continue to mobilize its expertise to support growth in the Canadian ocean technology sector over the long term."

For more details, read the attached backgrounder.

BACKGROUNDER

Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research Announcement

The Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program bridges the gap between research and commercialization. The program matches clusters of research expertise with the business community to share the knowledge and resources that bring innovative products and processes to market faster. Centres advance research and facilitate commercialization within four priority areas: the environment; natural resources and energy; health and life sciences; and information and communications technologies.

Centres adopt different models to best serve the commercialization needs of their sector, including acting as investors, incubators or service providers. With revenue sources that range from fee-for-service and membership fees to product sales, royalties and equity in start-up companies, each CECR has a mandate to become self-sustaining while maximizing economic impact for its partners.

The CECR program was created in 2007 and currently supports 21 active centres across the country.

The CECR competition resulted in three applicants receiving additional funding totaling $22.2 million over five years (2014-2018):

  • Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre - ONCIC ($4.4 million)
    The Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre commercializes and applies the world-leading marine monitoring technology used by Ocean Networks Canada in its VENUS and NEPTUNE ocean observatories. The Innovation Centre also works with partners to market a suite of products and services designed to benefit sectors as diverse as marine safety and security, energy, and transportation management.

  • The Canadian Digital Media Network - CDMN ($8.7 million)
    The Canadian Digital Media Network helps bring digital media technologies to market in areas such as health care, education, entertainment, financial services, energy and advanced manufacturing. CDMN is dedicated to establishing Canada as a world leader in digital media and has created a network of 25 commercialization hubs across the country.

  • GreenCentre Canada - GCC ($9.1 million)
    Green Centre Canada transforms research breakthroughs in green chemistry, an area of research that develops processes and products to reduce or eliminate hazardous substances. By supporting the development of innovative green chemistry, GCC provides the industry with sustainable alternatives that meet market demands while improving human health and driving the economy.

Contact Information

  • Mary Ann Dewey-Plante, Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Greg Rickford
    Minister of State (Science and
    Technology) (Federal Economic Development
    Initiative for Northern Ontario)
    613-943-6177

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    613-943-2502
    1-800-328-6189
    media-relations@ic.gc.ca