Swedish design house arrives in Ottawa, expects to hire 120 within five years

The Swedish celebration in Ottawa Thursday involved more than just the return of a beloved hockey star.

On the same day Daniel Alfredsson announced his retirement, Swedish design house Syntronic was also in on things, officially opening its new research and development office at 555 Legget Drive in Kanata.

“We invited him to come to ours, but he had to decline,” said hardware R&D manager Darrell Wellington with a laugh.

The company, which does electronics, electro-mechanics and software design for a number of industries, has actually been in the capital since September.

Mr. Wellington was its first Canadian employee, interviewing for the position one day after being laid off by BlackBerry.

With 27 other staff already in place, Syntronic is looking to hire another 30 people in the near future and 120 within five years. The company has several other offices in Europe, China, Malaysia and Indonesia, with more than 400 staff worldwide.

Mr. Wellington said the focus now is on software as the company is actively recruiting a software development manager. The hardware team will be expanded as well.

Ottawa is its first office in North America. Mr. Wellington said the company felt it needed a North American presence to be truly global and started thinking about finding a location two or three years ago.

“They considered a number of different locations and we do have some key customers that are global so talking with those customers that we already have in Sweden … the one they liked the best for us to be in was Ottawa,” he said.

The company also liked the large number of global and local companies doing business in the sectors on which it focuses, Mr. Wellington said, and the huge talent pool also made it a good draw.

A customer introduced Syntronic to Invest Ottawa. Mr. Wellington said the organization was instrumental in the office launch, both professionally and personally as they assisted managing director Hans Molin and his family settle in after their move from Sweden.

A number of dignitaries were on hand for the reception, munching on Swedish Christmas treats, meeting the team, and touring the lab.

“Ottawa is the logical choice as a gateway to the North American market,” Mayor Jim Watson said in a statement. “This celebration is a credit to the hard work of Invest Ottawa and is the kind of success we anticipated when the organization was conceptualized."