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Government of Canada invests in Ryerson University through Canada accelerator and incubator program

Ryerson leads collaboration with Simon Fraser and University of Ontario Institute of Technology to establish a national research driven incubator network

The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today announced the Government of Canada’s investment in Ryerson University through the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP) at the university’s Digital Media Zone.

With CAIP’s investment over the next five years, Ryerson University, in collaboration with Simon Fraser University and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, will receive up to $10.7 million in funding to establish a national research-drive incubator network - Zones of Innovation and Incubation (ZI2) - to amplify the Universities' existing research and incubator facilities and to create an expansive ecosystem which will drive technology-enabled innovation, productivity and job creation.

The Pan-Canadian project targets digital technology and gaming leveraging deep research expertise at the partner institutions and will create soft landing support for Canadian companies going global and international companies investing in Canada.

"Digital technology and gaming are driving growth in Canada's information and communications technology sector and enabling productivity improvements and innovation in virtually every other sector whether health care, advanced manufacturing, financial services, entertainment or the public sector," said Sheldon Levy, President Ryerson University.  "Thanks to this strategic investment by the Government of Canada Our ZII network will support market-driven research, deepen links to domestic and international markets, grow new ventures and create jobs.”

ZI2 will leverage and expand existing applied research and commercialization-focused infrastructure at consortium partners, all of which co-locate technology development and business space, students, researchers, businesses, potential customers and financiers.  The new CAIP funding at Ryerson will be allocated to expanding its existing digital technologies and gaming-focused research groups and incubation zones such as its Ryerson Centre for Cloud Computing which includes the Advanced Manufacturing, Design and 3D Printing Lab and the Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Science Technology (iBEST) partnership with St. Michael’s Hospital, and towards growing new gaming and simulation projects.

Over the next five years ZI2 will support approximately 375 companies, resulting in hundreds of direct jobs and indirect jobs, countless new products and services, and will be sustainable. Through this program, the institutions will be able to unlock federal and provincial investments in innovation and educational capacity through direct access to top student and faculty talent, the creators and enabled of IP and technology transfer.  They will also bridge the commercialization gap to increase the ability of startups and small to medium sized enterprises to secure management and key talent, access investment capital, and commercialize products.


About CAIP

On June 20, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced fifteen incubators and accelerators chosen to advance in the selection process for CAIP, which is designed to help outstanding small and medium-sized Canadian enterprises to grow, prosper and create jobs.  Delivered by the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), CAIP provides support in the form of non-repayable contributions to a small and select number of best-in-class accelerators and incubators. Recipients will be required to demonstrate matching contributions on at least a 1:1 basis during the period of the contribution funding.

About Ryerson University

Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 38,000 students, including 2,300 master's and PhD students, nearly 2,700 faculty and staff, and more than 165,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past four years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit


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