Province’s collaboration with IBM to boost local SMEs, says Invest Ottawa

Invest Ottawa is one of the organizations that will benefit from the provincial government’s announcement Monday that it invest up to $22.75 million in I3, the IBM Innovation Incubator.

“We are excited about participating in this collaborative provincial-wide initiative to build more innovation capacity leveraging IBM Watson since we are only scratching the surface on what capabilities and potential problems it can solve,” Invest Ottawa’s managing director of innovation Jon Milne said in a statement. “Ottawa startups will also benefit from our local universities who have been developing our next generation of IBM Watson Analytics talent.”

The province said the money, which is coming from its Jobs and Prosperity Fund, will “help up to 500 small- and medium-sized enterprises create jobs, embrace next-generation technologies and compete in the global marketplace.”

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IBM will invest $24.75 million in the project, which is expected to create up to 2,600 jobs.

The Ontario Centres of Excellence will oversee the project in which participating businesses will access IBM’s technology resources, including its cloud-based development platform, to help them spend less developing their new technologies. They can also use IBM’s physical space and networks to help them grow.

IBM Canada president Dino Trevisani said the project will help firms “accelerate their innovation cycle,” adding his company continues to support this mandate through collaboration with government, academia and business.

“The I3 initiative will enable us to further maximize our impact on Ontario’s knowledge-based economy, so small businesses and startups have the best chance possible to grow and compete globally,” he said in a statement.

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