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New Collaboration Space in Markham-Unionville will Bolster Innovation and Drive Economic Growth

Ontario Helping Businesses Accelerate

MPP Michael Chan is pleased to announce that Ontario is helping businesses scale up faster by providing access to the technology and expertise they need to grow and compete in the global marketplace.

Today, the province launched the IBM Innovation Space-Markham Convergence Centre, a partnership with ventureLAB, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and IBM Canada.

This centre is part of the IBM Innovation IncubatorProject, which will help develop and launch new technologies and expand Ontario’s knowledge economy. The project is supported by a $22.75 million grant through Ontario’s Jobs Prosperity Fund and a $24.75 million investment from IBM.

"This is exciting news for Markham businesses who will gain access to the support, resources and partnerships they need to bring their innovative ideas to market and gain a competitive edge in the global economy.  The launch of the IBM Innovation Space will help to further boost our City's reputation as a future-focused, thriving high-tech hub and a desirable place to live, work and play."
— Michael Chan, M.P.P., Markham-Unionville

IBM is co-locating in three innovation spaces in the Greater Toronto Area, including locations at the DMZ and MaRS in Toronto. The new innovation incubators are expected to leverage more than $410 million in private-sector investment and create up to 2,600 jobs by 2020. They are designed to help businesses commercialize their ideas by providing access to services such as:

  • State-of-the-art IBM technologies, like IBM Watson and cloud solutions.
  • Support and advice from IBM’s industry experts and its network of collaborators, including education, business mentorship and legal counsel.

Studio1Labs is a start-up already using IBM Watson’s artificial intelligence capabilities at the Markham innovation space. The company is developing bed sheets that ultimately will help to save babies’ lives using fabric sensors that can detect when a child’s breathing changes.

Fostering innovation and growth is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.


“Our government is committed to boosting innovation in Ontario through strategic partnerships, in order to help Ontario’s growing businesses scale up. These kinds of collaboration spaces help entrepreneurs access expertise and advanced technologies they otherwise might not have access to, allowing our province’s innovators to test, develop and commercialize their ideas and connect to markets worldwide.”
— Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science

“Entrepreneurship and innovation are at the heart of our government’s plan to create jobs and grow our economy. That's why we are pleased to support IBM innovation spaces, which will help Ontario businesses access the tools they need to scale up quickly to meet demand in a fiercely competitive global economy.”
— Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth

“The IBM Innovation Space-Markham Convergence Centre offers small and medium-sized enterprises access to the state-of-the-art technologies that disruptors who want to participate in the innovation economy need to compete. The Government of Ontario, IBM and OCE are also providing supports and mentorship, as well as access to global networks and large customers that will help Ontario SMEs to scale-up and enter markets around the world.”
— Tom Corr, President and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence


  • OCE will oversee the operations of the IBM Innovation IncubatorProject and coordinate industry partnerships. OCE is a provincial coordinator and member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs that works with industry, academia and government to stimulate business-led innovation.
  • The Jobs and Prosperity Fund (JPF) is providing $2.7 billion over 10 years to enhance productivity, bolster innovation and grow Ontario’s exports.
  • Ontario’s Business Growth Initiative is helping to grow the economy and create jobs by promoting an innovation-based economy, helping small companies scale up and modernizing regulations for businesses.


Advancing innovation in Ontario with IBM Watson

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