NEWS: Canada and UCI Applied Innovation Formalize Agreement of Collaboration

Canada has become a hotbed of innovation activity lately. Tech, lifescience and cannabis companies are flocking to list on the Toronto Stock Exchange (for more established companies) and its second tier, the TSX Venture Exchange (for pre-revenue/early-stage companies).

Montreal is becoming a mecca for AI startups, based on the combination of universities and companies there, as well as Canada’s “ethos of cooperation among elite minds,” according to news reports. (see article here)

To scale up this innovation, the Canadian government has joined with UCI’s innovation center, Applied Innovation, to foster collaboration on both sides of the border. Both entities have entered into a formal agreement that covers four areas. (see details below)

The agreement was formally signed at an event at the Cove last night, presented by the TMX Group, the parent company of the exchanges. The Cove is the physical space of Applied Innovation, in UCI Research Park.

The agreement has been in the works for about a year, Frederic Fournier, consul and head of office for the Consulate of Canada, told OC Startups Now. It addresses four issues:

  • promoting Canadian organizations that can benefit startups and organizations at the Cove
  • creating a bridge for Canadian startups to be in OC. The agreement gives the Canadian consulate access to facilities and resources at the Cove, Fournier said. “That adds value because startups don’t always have a lot of money.”
  • the Canadian consulate now has one seat on Applied Innovation’s board, which provides access to the larger OC startup ecosystem
  • this last one is still in the works, said Fournier, who’s based out of San Diego. It’s creating a bridge in the other direction for companies at the Cove to gain access to incubators and other resources in Canada, like mentorships, strategic development and equipment. This will be achieved on a case-by-case basis for companies at the Cove, Fournier said. Incubators in Canada have expressed interest in being involved, but this prong of the agreement is only at the exploratory stage now, he added. Canada can offer resources in multiple areas including lifesciences, ocean tech, and IT.

“We have good innovation and ideas,” Fournier said. “Commercialization expertise is what we lack. That’s why we partner with American partners.”

For Applied Innovation, a spokesperson said it’s aware of the potential of UCI and the surrounding community that’s growing rapidly through its efforts.

“(We’re) excited by this opportunity to collaboratively partner with the government of Canada to work together to build an ecosystem that accelerates this growth,” said Kate Klimow, chief administrative officer and director, external relations. “The power of a strong innovation ecosystem cannot be underestimated.”

As far as the Canadian capital markets are concerned, they’ve come a long way from their historic dominance in gas, oil and mining. They’ve diversified considerably and more outside companies are looking to Canada to go public, Fournier said.

These stats, provided by Canadian officials and the TMX Group, at the event last night, back that up.

  • A total of $55 billion in equity capital was raised on both the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) in 2017
  • more than 100 tech IPO’s and other new listings have occurred since 2015
  • and, more than 25% of IPO’s and new listings since 2015 came from outside of Canada

The point person in SoCal for the Canadian capital markets is Delilah Panio, vice president, capital formation, SoCal.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

Post a Comment

You don't have permission to register