Earlier this year, Cisco opened its CAD$100m innovation center in Toronto, Canada, one of nine worldwide. This is the culmination of several years of Cisco’s investment in the country, including its Canada Innovation Program, which is investing up to CAD$$150 million in Canadian companies and venture capital funds; the establishment of 12 university research chairs across Canada and its R&D job creation initiative with the Province of Ontario.
Why Toronto? Well, when we visited the city in March this year, we were rather surprised to learn that not only is Toronto is Canada’s largest tech hub, which you might expect, but that it is also the third largest in North America, according to Matt Switzer, of the Invest in Toronto agency. The region claims to have 100 percent access to high-quality broadband, with its tech sector generating CAD$52 billion in revenues annually from 15,000 companies in 3,362 tech facilities.
From a research and development perspective, over CAD$13.6 billion of industrial and university-based research is performed in Ontario (which Toronto falls in) each year in several areas of technology, especially in broadband, satellite, mobile, wireless communications and next generation e-devices. This is probably a result of Canada’s flagship ‘SR&ED’ program which claims to offer the most generous R&D credits in the G7, reducing the cost of CAD$100 in R&D to CAD$52 or less for smaller firms; the country also claims to have the G7’s lowest costs in R&D-intensive sectors (up to 15.8% lower than the US average).
To learn more about the key technology sectors in Toronto – including fintech, biotech, cleantech, and its creative and media industries, as well as a snapshot of the city’s startup ecosystem click here (PDF document).
[Photo courtesy of Invest in Toronto]