Nokia Canada confirmed Monday its intent to transform its existing facility in the Kanata North Business Park into a “world-leading, sustainable research and development (R&D) hub,” with construction slated to begin next year.
The company said the hub will significantly expand its capacity in next-generation information and communications technology (ICT) and cyber security innovation, creating more than 340 jobs and helping attract skilled global talent to Canada’s tech ecosystem.
Nokia Canada plans to begin site construction at the March Road location in 2023 and expects to open the new facility in 2026. In documents filed with the City earlier this year, Nokia Canada laid out its plans to tear down its existing campus and replace it with a new 500,000-square-foot office complex, including about 35,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial and retail space, and as many as 11 residential highrises containing up to 1,900 units.
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According to the company, the project will transform Nokia Canada’s 26-acre campus at the Kanata North Business Park into a “sustainable, accessible mixed-use corporate, residential and commercial hub where nearly 2,160 local employees, Ottawa residents and businesses and Canada’s entire tech ecosystem can collaborate, innovate and drive Canadian and global well-being and prosperity.”
The campus is expected to enable Nokia Canada to grow its Ontario-based team by more than 340 positions to 2,500, 2,160 of which will be based in Ottawa. Nokia Canada said it plans to invest more than $340 million in labs and equipment, labour and operating costs between 2023 and 2027.
“This world-class, sustainable R&D hub will be one of Nokia’s most dynamic developments — and I’m proud that it will benefit the people of Ottawa also,” said Pekka Lundmark, president and CEO of Nokia.
“The project we’re announcing will help connect Canadians to the jobs of today and tomorrow. It will bring economic benefits to the National Capital Region and stimulate Canada’s tech ecosystem,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Not only will this see more cutting-edge R&D taking place in Ottawa, it will lead to a more sustainable mixed-use campus for Nokia, while creating hundreds of new jobs and co-op/intern positions,” said Mayor Jim Watson.
The new R&D hub will broaden the company’s expertise in 5G, cyber security, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, accelerating growth in cloud software, and enhancing digital identity management and security for devices connected to critical networks, according to the news release.
The new development would add thousands of additional residents to an area that’s already among the city’s fastest-growing neighbourhoods. Kanata North Business Association told OBJ in May that the development could play a big part in the tech park’s “necessary transformation” into a mixed-use district with vibrant commercial and residential components.
Nokia Canada said the new facility will support the company’s global target of 50 per cent greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030 by implementing sustainable technologies.
The federal government is finalizing plans to provide up to $40 million through its Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), while the province, through Invest Ontario, will provide $30 million. The City of Ottawa, through Hydro Ottawa, will make a capital contribution of $2 million for control system upgrades.
“This monumental investment from Nokia shows once again that there is no better place for businesses to grow and jobs to be created than here in Ontario,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford.