media release

SFU’s role in national initiative to accelerate innovation, new businesses

Partnership with Ryerson University, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology nets $10.7 million in funding

March 16, 2015

Marianne Meadahl, University Communications (to arrange interviews) 778.782.3210/604.209.5770;

Link to govt. news release
Link to SFU President's blog post:

Federal funding announced today will support Simon Fraser University in advancing innovation and entrepreneurship nationally, through its role in Canada’s largest business incubator program.

SFU is partnering with Ryerson University and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology on the Zones of Incubation and Innovation (Z12), targeting sectors in digital technologies and gaming and creating an innovation network that spans the country.

The universities will receive up to $10.7 million over five years, distributed under the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP). The funds will ensure that Canadian entrepreneurs in the sector have access to the resources and expertise needed to develop their business plans, seek follow-on financing and explore new international markets for products and services.

The three institutions will provide university and community-based entrepreneurs in early-stage digital technology companies with critical access facilities, business development resources and world-class mentoring and programs to accelerate their success.

Minister of Finance Joe Oliver, on behalf of Minister of State, Science and Technology Ed Holder, made the announcement in Toronto today.

"SFU’s participation in this initiative reflects our vision to be Canada’s ‘engaged university,’ and our determination to be a leader in showing how universities can play a larger role in supporting economic development and job creation,” said SFU President Andrew Petter.

In addition to its research strengths in digital media, SFU brings its proven innovation model to the Z12 initiative, through its Venture Connection® student and alumni entrepreneurship program and VentureLabs®, a world class technology business accelerator sponsored in part by the BC Innovation Council.

“The Zones of Incubation and Innovation Network will play an important role in SFU’s growing innovation agenda," said SFU VP Research Joy Johnson. "We are pleased to be partnering with Ryerson University and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology on this initiative and grateful for the financial support provided by the Government of Canada through the CAIP program.”

Through CAIP, another $2.7 million is being allocated to The Next 36, a national accelerator and incubator program for Canada’s most promising young entrepreneurs. SFU has been a partner of the program since 2013.

Delivered by the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program, CAIP is designed to help outstanding small- and medium-sized Canadian enterprises to “grow, prosper and create jobs,” by providing support via non-repayable contributions to a select number of “best-in class” accelerators and incubators.

As Canada's engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement.  SFU was founded almost 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is a leader amongst Canada's comprehensive research universities and is ranked one of the top universities in the world under 50 years of age. With campuses in British Columbia's three largest cities—Vancouver, Surrey and Burnaby—SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 30,000 students, and boasts more than 130,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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