Industry Canada

Industry Canada

October 19, 2006 16:30 ET

Minister Bernier Announces R&D Investment in Next-Generation Communications Networks

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 19, 2006) - The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, today announced a $7.1 million repayable investment in research and development (R&D) to improve the way banking, medical and other electronic services are delivered to Canadians. The funding is part of a $29.8 million project by Ottawa-based Zarlink Semiconductor Inc.

"Finding new ways to improve existing technology can reduce costs and improve the quality of services for Canadian consumers and businesses," said Minister Bernier. "Innovative companies like Zarlink are reinforcing Canada's reputation as a global telecommunications leader."

This investment is part of a multi-year project to advance the development of cost-effective, easy-to-use solutions that will address some of the fundamental technology issues facing voice and data communications network operators as they make the transition from traditional to next-generation networks.

In addition to increasing economic growth and creating jobs, this project will improve the competitiveness of network equipment suppliers and service providers, which in turn, lowers costs and improves services for business and residential users.

"We are happy to partner with the Government of Canada on this important research and development project. This investment will help Zarlink develop an innovative solution to a key problem faced by service providers today, and continue generating highly skilled technology employment opportunities in our region," said Kirk Mandy, President and CEO, Zarlink Semiconductor.

This repayable investment is being made through Technology Partnerships Canada, an agency of Industry Canada, using a new model contribution agreement (http://tpc-ptc.ic.gc.ca/epic/internet/intpc-ptc.nsf/en/hb00526e.html) that emphasizes enhanced transparency and accountability.

The news release and other documents are available on the Technology Partnerships Canada website at http://www.tpc-ptc.ic.gc.ca.

Backgrounder

Canada's New Government Invests in Next-Generation Communications Networks

The Government of Canada will invest $7.1 million in a $29.8 million project being undertaken by Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. to develop next-generation semiconductor chips, improving the efficiency and quality of broadband networks over which internet, voice, video, banking, and medical services are delivered to Canadians.

Global voice and data communications networks are rapidly evolving from traditional Circuit-Switched Networks to Packet-Switched Networks based on Internet Protocol (IP) transmission technology. The adoption of IP as a common technology is helping network operators to lower their operating costs and branch out into other services such as voice, data and video services.

The switch to IP poses challenges for operators due to the fact that fundamentally different networking technologies must co-exist and work together. Zarlink's chip technology will facilitate an easier transition by synchronizing the timing between the two networks, enabling operators to continue using their old equipment as they make the move to IP technology.

Zarlink, an Ottawa-based company, has research and development centres in several countries and employs approximately 750 people globally. It specializes in semiconductor solutions for voice, enterprise, broadband and wireless communications.

This repayable investment is being made through Technology Partnerships Canada, an agency of Industry Canada, using a new model contribution agreement that emphasizes enhanced transparency and accountability.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
    Minister of Industry
    Isabelle Fontaine
    613-995-9001
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502