Yesterday Cisco outlined an investment target of up to $455 million over the next five years to support R&D in the Ontario Technology Corridor, specifically Toronto and Ottawa. The investment focusses on key strategic areas for Cisco including core routing and switching, collaboration, data centre virtualization and cloud, and video.
The province of Ontario has committed $25 million to this project to support Ontario’s leadership as a global centre for the development of transformative communications technologies.
From Cisco's news release about this announcement, posted at The Network - Cisco's Technology News site:
"Ontario has long been globally recognized as a centre of excellence for IT innovation. Both the Province and Cisco share a dynamic vision for building on the substantial IT R&D capability resident here and we see a key opportunity to join forces to further Ontario’s innovation machine. This collaboration and co-investment is an excellent example of how governments can partner with industry to help drive innovative strategies."
John Chambers, Cisco Chairman and CEO
The government of Ontario is an active player in the province’s innovation economy. The Ministry of Research and Innovation is investing $3 billion to bolster Ontario’s world-class education system, highly skilled workforce, creative environment and diverse culture. Ontario has a vast talent pool for IT companies looking to expand or relocate to Ontario Technology Corridor cities, and 55% of Ontario residents aged 25-64 have advanced education certificates, diplomas or degrees – compared to 51% for Canada as a whole and 39% for the U.S.
The Ontario Technology Corridor also boasts a talent engine fueled by 11 universities and 11 colleges – many offering extensive internship and co-op education programs highly responsive to technology industry needs.
As reported in ITWorld Canada's recent story: This “massive” new investment will create 300 jobs in Ottawa and Toronto. From this same article, Chambers affirmed that Cisco looks for specific conditions for investment: a skilled workforce with a solid education base; solid infrastructure; and entrepreneurial spirit in both business and government when they invest in expansion.
“Canada's been very good to Cisco,” said Chambers, naming Canada the company's third-largest market. He also called Ontario “an amazing location in the world in terms of your IT workforce.”