Ottawa invests $10.7 million in digital media commercialization in Waterloo region and Stratford



    
    'Corridor for Advancing Canadian Digital Media' will be Canada's largest
    concentration of digital media R&D and commercialization expertise
    

    WATERLOO REGION, ON, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - Communitech and the Stratford
Institute of the University of Waterloo have been awarded $10.7 million from
the Minister of State (Science and Technology) to establish the Corridor for
Advancing Canadian Digital Media (CACDM), which will focus on
commercialization and research.
    The digital media sector is one of the fastest growing industries in the
knowledge economy, expected to reach US$2.2 trillion worldwide in the next
five years. Digital media is created by using visual images and video, as well
as sound and user interaction software, to communicate and use information
from large data sources.
    The CACDM, which will provide a common space for the corporate and
academic communities to come together around digital media, will have hubs in
Kitchener and Stratford, ON:

    
    -   The Digital Media Convergence Centre, based in Kitchener, ON, will
        bring together the Waterloo Region's expertise in digital media and
        mobile technology. It will generate new digital media products,
        applications and businesses. The centre will house digital imaging,
        projection and studio technologies that previously have only been
        available to large companies and institutions.
    -   The University of Waterloo's Stratford Institute is a forward-looking
        research, education and convergence centre that will drive the next
        generation of digital media applications and content models. The
        institute will draw leading researchers, businesses and entrepreneurs
        to create, examine and commercialize opportunities in the digital
        media field in a global economy. It will quickly become a centre
        piece for collaboration, learning and sharing through conferences and
        workshops.
    

    "The Corridor for Advancing Canadian Digital Media will strengthen
domestic collaboration and optimize resources to create the scale and focus
that will brand Canada as a leader in digital media," says Iain Klugman,
president, Communitech. "It is an exciting new venture that will attract
world-class talent and investment, will create new companies and jobs, and
will help existing companies innovate and grow."
    "This new centre will help Canadian researchers and entrepreneurs get
more of their innovations from the lab to the marketplace," says Gary
Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). "Our government is
committed to investing in research and development in order to create jobs,
improve the quality of life of all Canadians and strengthen the economy for
future generations."
    The scope of digital media extends well beyond film, TV and videogames
with a growing number of applications in medical imaging, 3D cinema and
animation, virtual prototyping in manufacturing, virtual reality environments
for enhanced education and financial modelling.
    "This federal investment represents a major vote of confidence in
Canada's digital media sector and in our area's emerging strengths in the
field," says Ken Coates, dean of arts at the University of Waterloo. "By
supporting the Corridor for Advancing Canadian Digital Media (CACDM), the
Government of Canada is providing the support needed to keep our country in
the forefront of this crucial economic field."
    Today's announcement builds upon more than $50 million in cash and
in-kind support from The Corridor for Advancing Canadian Digital Media
partners that include Open Text, Christie Digital, Research In Motion, Agfa
Healthcare, COM DEV, and Tech Capital Partners.
    "The explosion in digital media and mobile computing applications will
dramatically change the way we work and interact in the decades to come," says
Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of Open Text. "The
Waterloo Region has the critical mass of expertise, leading tech companies and
educational institutions that can drive this global revolution in the years to
come. But we have to move quickly to build on this foundation and create the
right conditions for this sector to bloom. The federal government clearly sees
the opportunity with its support for the Corridor for Advancing Canadian
Digital Media."
    Waterloo Region has a strong legacy in digital media and the sector
continues to grow. Several of its digital media companies compete
internationally and have strong, international partnerships.
    "Christie is pleased to be one of the sponsors of the Digital Media
Convergence Centre (DMCC) and to offer its expertise in strengthening Canadian
digital media," remarks Gerry Remers, President and COO of Christie Digital
Systems Canada, Inc. of Christie's involvement in the Corridor. "Digital media
are transforming the way we access and interact with digital content. Both
public and private environments are going to be imbued with new display
technologies that are intelligent, immersive and three dimensional. The DMCC
will foster new company growth, provide access to tools and technology, and
will help brand Waterloo Region as one of the top digital media centres in the
world."
    The community expects that the Corridor for Advancing Canadian Digital
Media will lead to the creation of new jobs, new companies and will position
Canada as a global digital media leader.
    "Today's announcement is further evidence of the continuing momentum of
Waterloo Region's technology community," adds Klugman. "Despite the current
economy, there are more than 2,000 technology positions currently available.
Earlier this week, Agfa Healthcare announced plans to hire an additional 100
people in Waterloo Region. The Region's tradition of reinvention and its
highly aggressive model of commercialization and collaboration have proven to
be a strong engine for economic growth."
    Communitech is the regional hub for the commercialization of innovation,
creating economic prosperity by removing barriers to the creation and growth
of technology companies. Its goal is to create more successful global
businesses for Canada.





For further information:

For further information: Avvey Peters, Executive Director,
Communications and Government Relations, (519) 888-9944 x 28,
avvey@communitech.ca; Tobi Day-Hamilton, Director of Advancement, University
of Waterloo Faculty of Arts, (519) 888-4567 x 37310, tlday@uwaterloo.ca

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Communitech Ltd.

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