Showing posts from September, 2012

The real gap between London and Waterloo in FedDev fundings

Getting back to FedDev and the differences in funding between Waterloo and London (see "Gap between FedDev spending in Waterloo and London not as large as it looks," September 10)—a discussion initiated by a couple of stories in the London Free Press.

The Free Press tried to aggregate all FedDev money going to Waterloo and London over the last three years—and didn't do it well. But even if you could do it well, it's an approach that's going to hide more than it reveals.

FedDev's focus has changed significantly over that period. Early on, funds went to municipalities to help them upgrade their recreation infrastructure—arenas, swimming pools, sports fields, and so on. Just in Southwestern Ontario alone that amounted to more than $40 million.

More recently, there's been an emphasis on providing (repayable) funds to businesses to help them attract investment and improve competitiveness. So if you're looking to draw conclusions about support for business—…

Highlights of Ontario commercialization/innovation spending, FY2012

The Public Accounts of Ontario for fiscal year 2012 (ended March 31) have been released, showing—among other things—the transfer payments made by the Ontario government to various organizations though the year.

Some highlights from the commercialization/innovation sector:

Some of these dollars are passed through to other organizations, but that level of detail isn't provided. Many of these organizations receive other Ontario government funds, but these are the direct transfer payments recorded in the public accounts. Several of these fundings were through the Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE) program, which has about another 10 months to go under existing contracts.

Overall, the top recipients as shown in the public accounts for the research and commercialization sector were the Ontario Institute For Cancer Research ($82.1 million), Hospital For Sick Children ($49.6 million) and the University Of Toronto ($42.6 million). OCE was fourth.

Gap between FedDev spending in Waterloo and London not as large as it looks

I've used government disclosure statements as the basis of reports for years, but I still get a little uneasy when I do. They're almost never as clear or detailed as you'd wish, and can be a minefield for the unsuspecting.

A story last week in the London Free Press (a follow up on an earlier story I hadn't seen) compares contributions made by FedDev in the Waterloo and London areas—a story based on FedDev disclosure statements over the years.

On the one hand, it concludes that Waterloo Region is more aggressive about pursuing government funding than the London area, and that's been my experience as well—specifically, in the tech sector.

But the story manages to fall into some of the traps that await readers of disclosure statements. And in so doing, I think it misses the interesting story that the FedDev numbers point to—one that's a bit concerning from a London perspective (which I'll save for another time, since my blog posts are usually way too long).


IRAP Q1 contributions in Southwestern Ontario include RDM, ExactEarth, Systems Logic, Compudata

Waterloo Region's RDM and ExactEarth were among the companies in Southwestern Ontario that received IRAP contributions in the first quarter of FY2013. The largest project was from Essex County's Concours Mold.

Disclosed Q1 contributions:

Concours Mold Inc.Lakeshore (Essex)  $200,000MDL Doors Inc.Brussels (Huron)$85,246Apogee Engineered Ceramics Inc.Brantford$50,000Blue North Strategies Inc.Guelph$50,000ExactEarth Ltd.Cambridge$50,000RDM CorporationWaterloo$50,000Systems LogicBrantford$50,000Pavaco Plastics Inc.Guelph$45,751Ramstar Carbide Tool Inc.Windsor$40,000Bluestreak Equipment Inc.Delhi (Norfolk)$39,528Ball Media Corp.Brantford$30,000Compudata Systems London Inc.London$30,000
There was also an expansion of a project with Guelph's Biorem that began last year. Contributions below $25,000 are not disclosed.