$7 million brings enhanced capabilities to the first integrated test facility of its kind in North America, helping SMEs commercialize transformational technologies and create 200 jobs
October 13, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario
With decades of globally recognized strengths in communications technology, a highly skilled talent pool and unique network infrastructure, Ottawa is a leader in autonomy and mobility innovation. These transformational technologies, including connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV), intelligent transportation and smart city solutions, have the potential to make our world safer and more efficient, while also offering new economic opportunities and environmental benefits, and creating good jobs for Canadians.
Safe development of new technologies
As we move towards a more connected future, testing and validation of these technologies is critical to safe and secure implementation and adoption. Led by Invest Ottawa, Area X.O (formerly known as Ottawa L5) provides a world-class test environment that enables researchers, entrepreneurs and businesses to create, commercialize and adopt breakthough innovations in mobility, autonomy and connectivity. Comprised of a public and private test track, Area X.O is equipped with advanced telecommunications and networking infrastructure that make it the first integrated test facility of its kind in North America.
Investing in the next generation of technology solutions
Building on this solid foundation, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, along with the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, today announced a FedDev Ontario investment of $7 million for Invest Ottawa to bring new, globally unique capabilities to Area X.O and create 200 skilled jobs and maintain 230 jobs in the region.
In collaboration with the City of Ottawa and major industry partners, Invest Ottawa is implementing advanced network technologies at the test sites, as well as an additive manufacturing (3D printing) platform for specialized prototyping. The project includes a new, fully equipped mobile command centre that can bring a secure network to any location, without external connectivity. This will support rural innovation by allowing small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in smaller communities across the region test and validate their solutions right in their own location. The project also creates a cybersecurity innovation lab to help SMEs proactively identify vulnerabilities and enhance security of their technologies.
These enhanced capabilities will give SMEs on-the-spot access to the tools they need to accelerate development of their next generation technologies across many sectors, including telecom, smart agriculture, defence, security and public safety, unmanned aerial vehicles and smart cities. The project will help these companies to increase competitiveness in the global marketplace, while the globally unique technologies enabled by FedDev Ontario’s support are expected to attract investment, companies and talent to the region, driving economic growth.
The Government of Canada is committed to helping businesses to adapt for the future and thrive. Through strategic investments like this, the government is building on regional strengths to help secure our position as a world leader in innovative technologies and create the right conditions for growth in the post-COVID-19 economy.