SOURCE: Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI)

February 06, 2008 08:55 ET

Ottawa's Record Technology Employment Population of 82,000 Injects Swagger Into Silicon Valley North Entrepreneurs

82000reasons.com Uses Web 2.0 Tools to Expand Canada's Innovation Capital

OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwire - February 6, 2008) - The tech bust is a fading memory in the minds of technology leaders in Ottawa -- Canada's innovation capital -- as the region celebrates a record 82,000 technology workers. To celebrate this employment milestone, the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI) is rolling out a Web-based promotion campaign called 82000reasons.com that gives tech employees and companies an RSS, blog and viral video platform to share their successes with a global audience.

Drawing on a population of 1.3 million, Ottawa boasts the highest percentage of university graduates in Canada and the second largest concentration of science and technology employment of 316 North American cities, surpassed only by California's Silicon Valley. Virtually 100 percent of Ottawa's schools, universities, hospitals, libraries, research institutes and municipal facilities are wired with high-speed Internet access -- ranking Ottawa first among Canadian cities for Internet use.

"We've traditionally relied on the telecom sector," says Michael Darch, Executive Director of Ottawa Global Marketing. "When telecom crashed seven years ago, we took a 25 percent hit on employment, but our tech entrepreneurs dug in to create new clusters in clean technologies, security and defense, wireless, life sciences and photonics. The result is that our employment levels have roared back in a far more diversified mix of companies. And while Ottawa companies aggressively expand operations around the world, multi-nationals like IBM, RIM and Cisco are setting up shop to take advantage of our incredible talent base."

Darch's Ottawa Global Marketing team tirelessly represents the region at economic forums and trade events around the world. Now for the first time they are harnessing the interactive power of Web 2.0 tools like RSS feeds, blogs and YouTube videos. The result is a new website called 82000reasons.com.

"In the era of user generated content, every one of Ottawa's technology success stories can be told, tagged and distributed online to a global audience," says Darch. "82000reasons.com leverages our greatest asset, our people, to tell the 'Why Ottawa?' story. They are better qualified than anyone to describe Ottawa's lifestyle and technology strengths so we can attract the people and investment dollars we need to fuel our growth."

The best stories contributed to 82000reasons.com will qualify for prizes, including round trip tickets on a new Ottawa-to-Frankfurt direct flight starting June 1st, 2008, courtesy of Air Canada, and BlackBerry Smartphones, courtesy of Research In Motion.

Already, Ottawa companies including Enablence Technologies Inc., Liquid Computing Corp., Macadamian, March Networks Corp., Fuel Industries, and QNX Software Systems have added either blog profiles or YouTube videos to 82000reasons.com.

The 82000reasons.com website is opening its Web 2.0 doors for business as of today. Participation is also being promoted to the Ottawa tech community by banner ads on Facebook, plus local print, banner ad and radio advertising.

About OCRI:

OCRI (Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation), the city's economic development corporation, is leading the way for Ottawa. OCRI is the rallying point to bring business, education, research and talent together to create the winning economic conditions that allow Ottawa's technology companies to thrive locally and compete globally. At OCRI we promote sustainable economic development to maintain our high quality of life. For more information on OCRI visit our website at www.ocri.ca and for more information on the Ottawa Region please visit www.ottawaregion.com.

Contact Information

  • For information contact:

    Kim Cunningham
    Manager, External Communications
    OCRI
    Office: (613) 828-6274 ext. 256
    Cell: (613) 851-0768
    Email Contact

    Jill McCubbin
    Conversation Architect
    market2world communications inc.
    Office: (613) 256-3939
    Email Contact