Steer­ing into the fu­ture

— ON TRACK AND ON TAR­GET

Ottawa Business Journal - Techopia - - Front Page - WRIT­TEN BY CLAUDE HAW, PRES­I­DENT AND CEO, OCRI

2010 was the ex­cit­ing year we hoped it would be. Many of you will re­call the suc­cess reel pro­duced for the Cel­e­brate Ot­tawa event in Novem­ber that high­lighted 75 ma­jor wins for Ot­tawa and Ot­tawabased com­pa­nies in 2010 alone. Ac­cord­ing to the Con­fer­ence Board of Canada, 2010 could be the year of great­est growth in 10 years in Ot­tawa and we look for­ward to the con­fir­ma­tion of this pre­dic­tion.

Ot­tawa com­pa­nies in the se­cu­rity, wire­less, tele­com, clean-tech and life sci­ences sec­tors achieved great milestones and sig­nif­i­cant wins. The dig­i­tal me­dia sec­tor grew 54 per cent and is poised for strong growth again this year.

The city, as a whole, con­tin­ues to be rec­og­nized for its qual­ity of life, tal­ent com­pa­nies rack­ing up in­ter­na­tional, na­tional and re­gional ac­co­lades.

It’s hard to pre­dict what the fu­ture will bring to Ot­tawa but 2011 be­gins with sev­eral in­ter­est­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in fast-for­ward mode – tablets, mo­bileapps, e-com­merce and clean tech. Dur­ing 2010 the foun­da­tion was laid for new de­vel­op­ments and we’re sure to see a surge in competition and creativ­ity as they be­come more main­stream and ma­ture. Dig­i­tal me­dia and clean tech con­tinue to ex­pe­ri­ence the area’s high­est growth in terms of both num­ber of com­pa­nies and num­ber of em­ploy­ees. Dig­i­tal me­dia, the re­gion’s new­est clus­ter, was formed two years ago and the num­ber of com­pa­nies in the sec­tor grew by more than 50 per cent last year. Clean tech re­mains a pow­er­ful emerg­ing sec­tor in world mar­kets, and Ot­tawa is be­com­ing a sig­nif­i­cant player in this in­dus­try.

We’ve had a good year but can’t be sat­is­fied with the sta­tus quo. Be­ing poised for growth is a good start­ing point, but it isn’t good enough – we need to push for suc­cess. We must fo­cus on three key ini­tia­tives that re­main at the heart of OCRI: de­vel­op­ing our en­tre­pre­neur­ial cul­ture and tal­ent base, at­tract­ing in­vest­ment to the re­gion, and pro­mot­ing Ot­tawa as a pri­mary des­ti­na­tion for busi­nesses around the world.

By help­ing en­trepreneurs start their own busi­nesses and fa­cil­i­tat­ing in­tro­duc­tions that fos­ter de­vel­op­ment and in­no­va­tion in the re­gion, Ot­tawa will con­tinue to gen­er­ate a solid base of dy­namic young com­pa­nies. A num­ber of ini­tia­tives have been es­tab­lished be­tween OCRI and strate­gic part­ners over the past 12 to 16 months that are be­gin­ning to stim­u­late more in­vest­ment into our early-stage com­pa­nies. And we will con­tinue to bring our port­fo­lio com­pa­nies to the global in­vest­ment stage.

In­ter­na­tional mar­ket suc­cesses were im­pres­sive in 2010, and we see po­ten­tial for growth in Asia in the com­ing years. Our tal­ent, ac­cess to North Amer­i­can mar­kets, as well as our re­search and de­vel­op­ment ca­pa­bil­i­ties make us very ap­peal­ing to large com­pa­nies. The city is a log­i­cal ac­cess point for those look­ing to break into these mar­kets.

With the Nor­tel sit­u­a­tion com­ing to a close, we wel­come the four multi-na­tional com­pa­nies to the re­gion – Eric­s­son, Ciena, Avaya and Gen­band. We look to growth in these com­pa­nies as they be­gin to re­al­ize the ben­e­fits of work­ing with the re­gion’s highly mo­ti­vated and knowl­edge­able tal­ent pool.

Ot­tawa is on track for con­tin­ued growth. Our city is driven by in­no­va­tion, in­ven­tion, ideas, creativ­ity and in­ge­nu­ity. Our en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit is sec­ond to none. We need to set an ag­gres­sive pace, main­tain the mo­men­tum and sus­tain the in­ter­est in Ot­tawa to make us one of the world’s most valu­able strate­gic part­ners.

We are very proud to work in part­ner­ship with the Ot­tawa Busi­ness Jour­nal to pro­duce the 2011 edi­tion of the Ot­tawa Tech­nol­ogy mag­a­zine. OCRI col­lects and ver­i­fies in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by each com­pany for the Knowl­edge-based In­dus­try Sur­vey in or­der to re­flect the most com­plete pic­ture of Ot­tawa’s tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try in light of to­day’s cre­ative econ­omy across 12 unique in­dus­try sec­tors.

For a com­plete list­ing of the city’s knowl­edge-based com­pa­nies, please visit www.ot­taware­gion.com.

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