WATERLOO, Ontario — July 29, 2020 — Waterloo Region is renowned globally as a leading centre of innovation, talent and growth. Boasting the second highest density of start-ups in the world, it is home to some of Canada’s largest technology companies and leading global brands, as well as many emerging tech companies and innovative manufacturers.
Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, met with Waterloo Region tech leaders and policy thinkers to discuss challenges facing the industry and to explore opportunities for collaboration.

Creating skilled jobs and reigniting the regional supply chain

As part of her visit, Minister Joly announced nearly $30 million in federal funding to support eight innovative companies from Waterloo Region. This funding, from FedDev Ontario, will support companies in the fields of advanced manufacturing, medical technology, information and communications technology and video communications to scale up and grow. These businesses will leverage nearly $95 million in total investment for the community, significantly boost local supply chain spending, create nearly 500 new jobs and maintain an additional 300 jobs in Waterloo Region.

  • With a $7.2-million investment, women-led software company Axonify Inc., which develops corporate eLearning tools and solutions for clients on the frontline, will reach new global export markets, expand into new sectors and create 81 skilled jobs in Waterloo Region.
  • With a $6.1-million investment, gas barbecue grill manufacturer Onward Manufacturing Company Limited will enhance its Waterloo production facility, developing Canadian-made advanced manufacturing through improved equipment, tooling and LEAN processes, creating up to 175 jobs in Waterloo Region.
  • With a $5-million investment, network technology developer Dejero Labs Inc. will extend its leading-edge connectivity software into the Smart Cities space, including implementing improved mobile connectivity for essential services, creating 30 skilled jobs in Waterloo Region.
  • With a $4.8-million investment, medical technology company Intellijoint Surgical Inc. will expand the commercialization of its state-of-the-art HIP and KNEE products to new markets in Canada, the U.S., Australia and Japan. The company expects to create 94 and maintain 60 jobs in Waterloo Region.
  • With a $4.2-million investment, video quality software company SSIMWAVE Inc. will boost its sales and marketing resources and expand its customer base with new demonstration capabilities, supporting 65 skilled jobs in Waterloo Region.
  • With a $1-million investment, X-ray imaging manufacturer KA Imaging Inc. will accelerate commercialization of its innovative, patented portable dual energy subtraction X-ray detector Reveal™ to meet customer demand, including those treating COVID-19 patients. The company will create 10 skilled jobs in Waterloo Region.
  • With a $700,000 investment, advanced manufacturer TeTechS Inc. will further commercialize its plastic measuring machines (to measure the thickness of plastic bottles, vaccine vials, containers and preforms), increase its market share and reduce plastic waste impacts in the production process, creating 19 skilled jobs in Waterloo Region.
  • With a $676,000 investment, manufacturer Shimco North America Inc. will increase capacity to produce next-generation metal surface treatments and curate a global centre of excellence for the aerospace industry, creating 12 jobs in Waterloo Region.

For additional project details, please see the backgrounder.

Quotes

“Canada’s technology sector is a world leader, and Waterloo Region is its beating heart. FedDev Ontario’s investments in these eight innovative companies are a major vote of confidence in the future of this burgeoning sector. As we reopen our economy, these investments will help promising companies scale up, commercialize new technologies, reach new markets and create skilled jobs for Canadians.”- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“Waterloo Region has a strong entrepreneurial spirit which is what makes this region one of the most innovative and prosperous places in Canada. Our government’s investment of nearly $30 million will support these eight innovative businesses to grow and position themselves for success at home and abroad.”- The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and Member of Parliament for Waterloo

“These eight important projects build on Waterloo’s strengths in manufacturing, technology and innovation, and ensure that we keep pushing the boundaries to grow our regional economy. These companies are leaders in their industries and will not only serve to strengthen our supply chain, but also leverage a significant investment for this region, which will aid in our recovery.”- Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario)

“These investments will add nearly 500 good-paying, highly-skilled jobs to our community, and will support our advanced manufacturing, medical technology, information and communications technology and video communications sectors.”- Raj Saini, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre

For quotes from eight funding recipients, please see the backgrounder.

Quick facts

  • In June 2020, Kitchener and Waterloo joined Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE initiative, funded in part by FedDev Ontario, to support more local businesses to sell online.
  • The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce and the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce have launched a new joint free training program, Chamber Business Ready, powered by Axonify Inc., to help businesses train their employees about best practices related to reopening.
  • Today’s investments totalling nearly $30 million are repayable contributions made through FedDev Ontario’s Business Scale-Up and Productivity stream.
    Since November 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested nearly $629 million in 397 tech projects and more than $284 million in 75 manufacturing projects across southern Ontario.
  • Since November 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested nearly $140 million in more than 60 projects in Waterloo Region towards total project costs of nearly $400 million.
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