TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 17, 2012) - Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and OMERS, one of Canada's largest pension plans, are joining forces to provide early-stage companies with the tools required to build truly global business potential.
Both OCE and OMERS believe there is a wealth of talent in Ontario's entrepreneurial community. This collaborative agreement will provide additional mentoring, relationship-building opportunities, potential funding and other resources to support qualified early-stage companies and entrepreneurs as they develop, commercialize and market their products and services.
OCE's Centre for Commercialization of Research (CCR) has developed an impressive portfolio of some 90 high-potential companies across Canada over the past three years. The companies work in the areas of information communication technology (ICT), digital media, energy and environment, advanced manufacturing and advanced health technology sectors.
OCE President and CEO Tom Corr says the memorandum of understanding brings together two organizations with outstanding track records working together towards a common goal.
"This collaboration really represents a meeting of the minds and we expect it to generate impressive results. OMERS will be working together with OCE and CCR as mentors to help drive economic prosperity and take these entrepreneurial companies to the next level which means new jobs, services and technologies. It's incredibly exciting," Corr said.
OMERS Senior Vice President & Head of Knowledge Investing John Ruffolo echoed Corr's sentiments.
"We will be working hand in hand to mentor and help cultivate the best companies and make them great," Ruffolo said.
The agreement was also greeted positively by Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Innovation Brad Duguid.
"This new collaboration between OCE and OMERS will nurture the spirit of Ontario's innovators and help to create globally competitive companies. This is exactly the type of partnership that Ontario needs in order to build a strong economy, and create jobs," Duguid said.
About Ontario Centres of Excellence (www.oce-ontario.org)
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE through its Centre for Commercialization of Research (CCR), an initiative supported by the federal government, also acts as a catalyst which allows innovative businesses to grow and achieve sustainable commercial success and global competitiveness. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is Ontario's innovation system. The ONE is made up of regional and sector focused organizations designed to help Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their companies, and create jobs. For more information visit www.oneinnovation.ca.
About OCE's Centre for Commercialization of Research (CCR)
Established by Ontario Centres of Excellence in 2008, the Centre for Commercialization of Research (CCR) is a federally-funded Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) under the Networks of Centres of Excellence program. Drawing on its unique approach to commercialization, CCR provides business services and funding to support the growth of early-stage companies whose products or technologies have been developed by publicly funded Canadian academic/research institutions.
OMERS is one of Canada's largest pension funds with over $55 billion in net assets. It provides first-class pension administration and innovative products and services to 420,000 members. Approximately one in every 20 employees working in the province of Ontario is an OMERS member. Through the OMERS Worldwide brand, our team of investment professionals uses a direct drive, active management investment strategy to invest in public and private market assets, including publicly-traded equities, fixed-income, infrastructure, private equity and real estate. For further information visit: www.omers.com or www.omersworldwide.com.