Looking forward to 2010s
Many of us are likely happy to see 2009 behind us. But despite global economic challenges and the evolving face of Ottawa’s technology sector, current indicators suggest that 2010 is going to be an exciting year for Ottawa.
As the lead economic development agency for Ottawa, OCRI is committed to working with companies, research institutions, clusters and business leaders to move our economy forward. Together, we’re able to identify and capitalize on opportunities to propel Ottawa into the next level of leadership in terms of the research, development and commercialization of innovative projects, programs and technologies that will improve the quality of life for everyone who lives in, works in or visits the Ottawa region.
In 2009, Ottawa collected several international accolades. Named to the Smart21 by the Intelligent Community Forum, Ottawa was recognized for its ability to respond and adapt to change, leverage collaborative partnerships and promote technology entrepreneurship. Our unique and successful Ontario Technology Corridor partnership was awarded the Regionalism and Cross-border Collaboration honour by the International Economic Development Council Ontario. In his book, “Who’s your City?” Richard Florida, identified Ottawa as the top creative class city in Canada with the highest proportion of creative class workers. Of note, Ottawa also beats New York, San Francisco and London, England.
OCRI’s 2009 Knowledge-based Industry survey is further evidence of our stability. Our employment numbers and the number of companies across 13 key industry sectors remain strong. As anticipated in previous years, the area with the greatest growth in both the number of companies and employees is our clean-tech sector. Close to 200 Ottawa-based companies have identified digital media as either their primary or secondary industry and as a result, a formalized cluster was created. We do report a notable drop in the number of wireless companies, but many of those now consider themselves in the digital media sphere.
Over the year, the community has truly rallied and is committed to creating an environment in which our young companies and entrepreneurs can grow and thrive. We’ve watched entrepreneurial activity hit an all time high with a fantastic array of programs and partnerships ranging from business accelerators to bootcamps.
Ottawa is better positioned than ever as a global technology leader. As we head into 2010, we can certainly look forward to ongoing strength, presence and success from our promising clusters and enhanced performance and profile for our MNEs on the global stage.
The innovation strategy working group, comprised of representatives from technology, government and academic institutions continues to work diligently to formalize Ottawa’s Innovation Strategy which will play a key role in the City’s refreshed economic development plan and set a clear path for Ottawa to become Canada’s Creative Economy Capital.
We are very proud to work in partnership with the Ottawa Business Journal to produce the 2010 edition of the Ottawa Technology Magazine. For a complete listing of the city’s knowledge-based companies, please visit www.ottawaregion.com. Claude Haw President and CEO OCRI