Leading The Global Digital Economy



    McGuinty Government Supporting Research To Create Jobs, Stronger Economy

    WATERLOO, ON, Sept. 30 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    The McGuinty government is helping Ontario stay ahead of the curve in the
booming digital media market.
    Ontario is investing $3.5 million in digital media research projects that
will power new technology, build new products and create new jobs. Promising
research projects receiving funding include:

    
    -   Creating the next generation of wireless communications, led by
        Dr. Slim Boumaiza
        (http://www.ece.uwaterloo.ca/People/NewFaces/Boumaiza/)
        (University of Waterloo (http://www.research.uwaterloo.ca/)), and

    -   A partnership with Silicon Knights (http://www.siliconknights.com/)
        to develop "serious games" that make history come alive for Ontario
        students, led by Dr. Kevin Kee
        (http://kevinkee.ca/?page_id=8) (Brock University
        (http://www.brocku.ca/researchservices/)).
    

    The global digital media market - everything from special effects, to
cell phones, to electronic art - is projected to reach US $1.48 trillion by
2009. With 800 firms employing 18,000 people, Ontario is well positioned to
take advantage of this emerging market.
    Supporting innovation is part of the McGuinty government's five-point
plan for growing Ontario's economy (http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/budgetsplash/).

    QUOTES

    "Today's investment is an important part of our government's $3-billion
Ontario Innovation Agenda - our plan to make innovation the driving force of
the provincial economy. We are committed to help our top researchers turn
their best ideas into new products and services that will lead to good-paying
jobs right here in Ontario," said Minister of Research and Innovation John
Wilkinson (http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/about/MinisterBio.asp).

    "Our brightest researchers are contributing to the success of our red hot
digital media industry and creating a stronger future for our province," said
Aileen Carroll (http://www.culture.gov.on.ca/english/about/bio.htm), Minister
of Culture.

    "University research and discoveries are important engines of economic
growth in today's global, knowledge-based economy," said Paul C. Genest
(http://www.cou.on.ca/_bin/staffDirectory/managementProfiles.cfm), President
of the Council for Ontario Universities.

    
    QUICK FACTS

    -   Today's announcement is part of $37 million worth of investments that
        the government is making this fall through the Ontario Research Fund
        (http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/default.asp). The funding will
        support the efforts of more than 1,800 researchers working on more
        than 200 projects at 17 institutions across Ontario.

    -   The province's entertainment and creative cluster is the third
        largest in North America by employment after California and New York
        State. Over the past five years, nearly every film nominated for a
        special effects Oscar (http://www.oscars.org/) has used technology
        developed in Ontario.

    -   DALSA (http://www.dalsa.com/dc/index.asp) is just one example of an
        Ontario-based company that started as an idea in a lab at an Ontario
        university and is now a global industry leader, employing more than
        1,000 people that design, engineer and manufacture some of most
        advanced imaging technology in the world. The next James Bond motion
        picture, "Quantum of Solace," starring Daniel Craig as James Bond,
        will feature a complex visual effects shot captured with eight DALSA
        4K Origin cameras.

    LEARN MORE

    Learn more about the Ontario Research Fund
    (http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/default.asp).

    Learn more about Ontario's Innovation Agenda
    (http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/oia/program.asp).

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                                                  ontario.ca/innovation-news
                                                      Disponible en français


    BACKGROUNDER
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                       BUILDING THE JOBS OF THE FUTURE

           Driving the Next Generation of Digital, Information And
                         Communications Technologies
    

    ECONOMY

    Ontario is committed to supporting research and innovation as a means of
turning global challenges into our next generation of jobs - and most
importantly, to create a higher quality of life for Ontario families.
    Ontario's $3-billion Innovation Agenda
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/oia/program.asp) is about making
investments in our greatest assets - our people and our best ideas - to make
this province healthier, greener and to strengthen our economy. We are focused
on supporting innovation that will tackle climate change, lead to better
health care, and ignite growth in the industries that will shape our future.

    LEGACY

    Ontario has a legacy of research excellence and innovation, of turning
our best science and ideas into world-leading vaccines, better ways to treat
and prevent disease, and health technologies.
    Ontario created IMAX and the Blackberry. We invented the pacemaker. And
right now Ontario companies are building cleaner ways to generate the energy
we need, by engineering new technologies that do a better job of tapping into
the power of the sun, wind, and water. From stem cells and insulin to the
science and technology that helped put a man on the moon and robots on Mars,
Ontario ideas, discoveries and inventions are revolutionizing the world.
    And with support from the Ontario government, innovative people and
companies are developing the technologies of the future to turn global demand
- for fast, integrated information and communications technologies
applications, digital and social media - into good-paying jobs in Ontario.
    Research is the foundation of this innovation, and the jobs of the
future.

    ONTARIO RESEARCH FUND

    Through the Ontario Research Fund
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/ResearchFund.asp), we are
strengthening Ontario's legacy of innovation and ingenuity by supporting our
best and brightest researchers, the world-class research institutions that
support their work, and the entrepreneurs that are helping to bring their best
ideas to the global market.
    From Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone to DALSA
Corporation's world-leading imaging technologies, Ontario has been creating
world firsts in the digital media and ICT sector for as long as we've been a
province.
    Third and fourth generation innovations in wireless networks,
telecommunications and information systems and processing are being developed
right here in Ontario. For example, at the University of Waterloo, researchers
are harnessing the power of light by building the next generation of smaller,
faster electrical devices that will revolutionize the way we communicate.
    And advances in ICT are creating new global markets for applications in
diverse fields like health care and energy.
    Ontario is on the leading edge of the latest technologies. Through the
latest round of the Ontario Research Fund, the province is investing close to
$3.5 million in 26 research projects at eight postsecondary institutions
across the province.
    The funds will help support the work of 279 of Ontario's leading
researchers in the fields of digital media and ICT and will leverage some
$5.25 million from the federal government and research institutions.

    ONTARIO INNOVATION AGENDA

    The Ontario Research Fund is an important part of Ontario's Innovation
Agenda. Supported by $3 billion over eight years, Ontario's Innovation Agenda
is focused on supporting world-class research and innovative companies in
areas where the province already is, or can be, a global leader.
    Ontario's priorities are:

    
    -   Tackling climate change through bio-based, environmental, alternative
        energy and clean technologies

    -   Advancing the digital universe through new information and
        communications technologies

    -   Conquering disease through life sciences, biotechnology, advanced
        health technologies and pharmaceutical research.
    

    GLOBAL OPPORTUNITY

    The $1-trillion global digital media market is exploding - and Ontario is
strategically positioned to take advantage of this rapidly growing digital
media sector. Ontario is already home to a growing industry of 800 firms that
employ 18,000 people, and several post-secondary institutions that are
committee to training tomorrow's highly qualified digital media and ICT
workers.

    Interactive Digital Media

    With more than 400 companies, Ontario's robust interactive digital media
sector employs 5400 people and produces over $1 billion in revenues each year.
Ontario is home to 40 per cent of the interactive digital media firms within
Canada, the majority of which are located in the Greater Toronto Area.

    Digital Gaming

    The digital game market has exploded with strong competition for consumer
media spending. Generating $32 billion of revenues in 2006, this global
industry is projected to continue growing at a rate of over 10 per cent
annually over the next five years, a growth rate that is expected to outpace
those of many traditional media industries. Game development in Ontario is set
to take on this global demand. Canada has a growing $2-billion gaming industry
that employs 9,000 people - a sixth of them in Ontario. Forty per cent of
Canada's game companies are also headquartered in Ontario.
    Recognizing the opportunity for Ontario to play a leading role in game
development, our government has helped to grow the industry through various
forms of support. The Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit
(http://www.omdc.on.ca/Page3400.aspx), for example, can refund 30 per cent of
labour, distribution and marketing of games. This and other incentives from
the provincial government cut the cost of doing business in Ontario by nearly
60 per cent.

    Information and Communications Technologies

    Although the ICT sector in Canada consists mainly of small and mid-sized
companies, it generates $140 billion in revenues.
    Accounting for half of the country's ICT activity and 70 per cent of its
ICT research and development Ontario's ICT sector employs over 220,000 people
and is home to 5,000-plus innovative ICT companies, ranging from home-grown
global giants like Nortel Networks, Mitel Networks, Cognos, Research in Motion
and Open Text to foreign multinationals like IBM, Alcatel, Cisco Systems,
Dell, Ericsson, Microsoft, Siemens, Motorola and McAfee.
    And through the province's Innovation Demonstration Fund
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/MRI.asp) and Next Generation of
Jobs Fund (http://www.ontario-canada.com/ontcan/en/nextgen_main_en.jsp),
Ontario is helping savvy entrepreneurs turn their research and ideas into
reality. Here are just a few shining examples:

    
    DALSA (http://www.dalsa.com/)
    GestureTek (http://www.gesturetek.com/)
    RapidMind (http://www.rapidmind.net/)
    RIM (http://www.rim.com/)
    Evertz (http://www.evertz.com/)

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                                                  ontario.ca/innovation-news
                                                      Disponible en français
    





For further information:

For further information: Sandra Watts, Minister's Office, (416)
314-7067; Perry Blocher, MRI Communications Branch, (416) 326-7717

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ONTARIO MINISTRY OF RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

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