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Supporting Ontario’s Regions through Innovation
Date
February 25, 2021

As communities look to rebuild, economic recovery throughout Ontario will depend on made-in-Ontario solutions – the type of solutions that are already emerging from the province’s network of strong regional innovation ecosystems.

Ontario’s universities are key players in these spaces – conducting the ground-breaking research that fuels the innovation pipeline, as well as partnering with local industry to move this work off the university campus and into the private sector through technology transfer offices.

From Windsor to Thunder Bay and Ottawa to Niagara, regional innovation hubs bring together universities, government and industry leaders with the shared goal of taking ideas to market, advancing local industries and attracting investment to Ontario’s regions. In most cases, these hubs even lay the groundwork for future industries – those that have yet to emerge.

Their collaborations have helped solve challenges within sectors, such as working with farmers in Northern communities to advance local agriculture. They have boosted regional economic activity, such as partnering with economic development offices to stimulate growth in Eastern Ontario and have helped position Ontario as a global leader in artificial intelligence due to early investments in research.

Closing Ontario's Commercialization Gap for the Benefit of Ontario
Read our latest report, Closing Ontario’s Commercialization Gap for the Benefit of Ontario.

The new ideas and novel approaches they foster will be vital in protecting the health of Ontarians, creating new businesses, retooling industries and providing a recovering economy with a strong adaptable workforce.

In fact, the benefits of driving research and innovation at a regional level have ripple effects throughout Ontario’s communities, attracting talent and increasing competitiveness.

By working across disciplines and sectors, regional strengths are leveraged to support small- and medium-sized businesses as they scale and commercialize products, technologies and services, as well as harness the entrepreneurial spirit by enhancing the development of accelerators and incubators.

Ontario’s universities are just one player in the province’s regional innovation ecosystems. Our institutions will continue to conduct ground-breaking research; support communities and partner with industry to take research from campus to private sector; and foster an entrepreneurial spirit in our students through innovative programming.

But more can be done to help strengthen innovation throughout the province. In our latest report, Closing Ontario’s Commercialization Gap for the Benefit of Ontario, we recommend ways the sector can work with industry and government to fully unleash Ontario’s research capacity and its potential for commercialization.

It is critical that this important work can continue to benefit all Ontarians and further increase Ontario’s competitive advantage.

Together, we can build a robust research and innovation ecosystem that supports our communities, the province and all who live here.

Steve OrsiniSteve Orsini
President & CEO
Council of Ontario Universities

Read our one-pager to learn more about the role Ontario’s universities play in strengthening research, innovation and commercialization in the province.