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Government of Canada invests $5.4 million in Ottawa R&D complex

Yesterday, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) announced an investment of nearly $5.4 million in Invest Ottawa’s non-profit Area XO, a research and development complex dedicated to the development and commercialization of connected and autonomous vehicles ( CAVs) are responsible for airborne systems, communications infrastructure, defense and cybersecurity technologies, and more.

Invest Ottawa, which celebrated its 10th anniversary yesterday, has been key in providing Ottawa-area businesses and innovators with the tools and space needed to develop their products and services.

The investment, provided through the Job and Growth Fund, is aimed at expanding Area XO’s capabilities, supporting 140 companies, creating and sustaining 745 jobs and accelerating the commercialization of 40 new products and services at the research center.

Seventy percent of participating companies must be founded, owned or co-led by members of underrepresented groups, including women, racialized Canadians, Black entrepreneurs, Indigenous entrepreneurs and members of the 2SLGBTQI+ community, Invest Ottawa said yesterday in order to advance DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion ).

“The work done at Area XO will be felt throughout Ottawa and Canada as innovators and entrepreneurs strive to bring their solutions to Canadians, create jobs and contribute to our thriving technology industry,” said the Honorable Filomena Tassi, the Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario .

Invest Ottawa will add the following capabilities to Area XO through this investment:

  1. Remote simulation to allow entrepreneurs to run tests and demonstrations remotely.
  2. New programming to help companies develop services for key sectors such as defense, emergency management, public safety and disaster preparedness.
  3. Help create the first-of-its-kind testbed for advanced robotic and unmanned aerial systems in Canada.
  4. Facilitate better access to foreign direct investment, especially in the development of smart mobility, autonomy and connectivity technologies.
  5. Improve market access by creating collaborative opportunities across Ontario and internationally.

The announcement builds on a previous $7 million investment by FedDev Ontario, which was instrumental in launching Area XO and supporting 35 small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and creating 350 jobs in 2020.

FedDev Ontario said in its press release that since 2015, through FedDev Ontario, the Canadian government has invested over C$210 million in more than 200 projects in the Ottawa region, which is estimated to create nearly 8,000 jobs and sustain over 7,000 jobs.

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