Thursday, February 28, 2013

FedDev Q3: Big contributions for Southwestern Ontario topped by Western's $13.7M

FedDev has disclosed its contributions for the period ended December 31 and it was a strong quarter for Southwestern Ontario, which accounted for five of the top seven new fundings.

The largest contribution in the province was the $13.7 million for Western University to go toward the Fraunhofer Project Centre and a new centre for commercialization of advanced manufacturing technology. That funding, under FedDev's Prosperity Initiative, was announced in November.

FedDev's second largest funding in the quarter also went to Southwestern Ontario—$7.3 million to the University of Windsor, also under the Prosperity Initiative program. I haven't seen an announcement for that one yet. Windsor had been looking for FedDev funding for its new Institute for Border Logistics and Security, but I don't know if this is related to that or something else. [UPDATE: That's what it was. It wasn't announced until October ... seven months after I posted this.]

Disclosed FedDev fundings in Southwestern Ontario:

University of Western OntarioLondon$13,700,000
University of WindsorWindsor$7,291,785
CommunitechWaterloo$6,448,772
Lambton ConveyorChatham-Kent  $3,111,667
exactEarthCambridge$2,490,740
Waterloo Accelerator CentreWaterloo$945,000
Wilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterloo$216,842
Southwestern Ontario Angel Group  London$100,000

The third largest contribution was announced last week: Communitech receiving $6.4 million under the Technology Development Program to go toward the development of two new satellites. Cambridge's exactEarth is receiving a $2.5 million repayable contribution for a related project (last week's news release has the details).

The $3.1 million repayable contribution to Lambton Conveyor to help it set up a new facility in the Wallaceburg area of Chatham-Kent was announced in December. That was also under the Prosperity Initiative.

The other big contribution in Southwestern Ontario in the quarter was $945,000 given to the Accelerator Centre in November as part of FedDev's Scientists and Engineers in Business program, which helps STEM grads and grad students launch startups. Under the same program, Mississauga's RIC Centre received an additional $2.5 million in the quarter, which is on top of the $5 million it was given just over a year ago. The RIC Centre has worked with startups in Waterloo Region and across Ontario through its VentureStart program, and Waterloo's Canadian Innovation Centre has also been involved in the delivery of that FedDev-funded program. Also falling under the Scientists and Engineers in Business program was an additional $500,000 in the quarter for OCE. It was originally allocated up to $1.1 million a year ago.

Under FedDev's Applied Research and Commercialization program, which provides funding to universities and colleges to do research-related work on behalf of companies, the University of Windsor saw its funding bumped by $250,000 in the quarter, which means that its total funding under the program ($1.5 million) is now on par with that provided to UW, Conestoga College, and University of Guelph (which received an additional $50,000 in the quarter)—and well above that received by Western University. That's particularly impressive given that Western initially received 55% more funding than Windsor, but while Western had the biggest drop between initial and extended funding among all ARC-funded universities in Ontario, Windsor clearly made the program work and had the biggest gain.

The $216,842 received by Laurier in the quarter was under FedDev's Graduate Enterprise Internship program, which helps companies hire recent STEM graduates. There was some rejigging of the amounts allocated under that program in the quarter, with the Research Park in London (-6.2%) and the University of Waterloo (-9.5%) both showing small reductions to their funding, but with the new money provided to Laurier.

Bolton-based PerspecSys ($742,500) and Toronto's TopHatMonocle ($750,000), which both have Waterloo connections, received funding under FedDev's Investing in Business Innovation program, which partially matches angel group/VC investment in companies. The same program provides funding to angel groups, and London's SWOAG got its $100,000 during the quarter.