Source: Ottawa Business Journal

At Invest Ottawa, our activities focus around a theme. In 2012 that theme was “Transformation”, in 2013 it was “Results” and in 2014 our theme was “Collaboration”. In just the last six months, we have been fortunate to participate in a number of collaborative proposals and projects that promise to enhance Ottawa’s innovation ecosystem in a significant way.

In August, the federal government announced a $14.9 million investment into the Medical Devices Commercialization Centre. The centre will help medical device innovations get to market faster, by creating a collaborative network that removes commercialization roadblocks, for devices designed and produced in Canada.

In October, Invest Ottawa played host to another important federal government announcement. $7.7 million in funding ($24 million total over five years) for a partnership involving Wesley-Clover that will deliver incubator-accelerator services to support entrepreneurs and start-ups in the enterprise software market through L-Spark. Companies that make it through the program will emerge ready to compete at an international level. L-Spark has the potential to be one of the best programs in North America.

On the heels of L-Spark, came the launch for the Centre of Excellence for Next-Generation Networks (CENGN). CENGN brings together representatives of every link of the supply chain as well as researchers to accelerate the commercialization of new network technologies. The federal government has awarded this consortium with $11.7 million in government funding ($46m total over seven years).

In November, Ottawa’s innovation ecosystem came together to present a comprehensive week of events for the annual celebration of entrepreneurs, Global Entrepreneurship Week. Once again Ottawa was among the top cities in Canada with 80 events on the calendar, just a few shy of first place Vancouver.

In support of all of these tremendous collaborative partnerships, Ottawa’s four post-secondary academic institutions have come together to promote their co-op programs, encouraging local companies to hire locally and prompt business who don’t currently hire co-op, to add it to their hiring plan.

One of my favorite quotes is “no one succeeds unless a lot of other people want them to.” I see an ever increasing mood of collaboration in Ottawa where each group in our complicated business ecosystem is working hard to see the other groups succeed. Just the way it should be.