By Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
Companies are looking to Ontario for a brighter future. Not only does the province have a stable, safe and secure business environment, it also has world-class talent, a strong research and development ecosystem, and everything companies need to grow. In fact, the province led Canada in job creation in October, with nearly half a million jobs created since our government first took office in 2018.
The Ontario government is working closely with our partners both in the province and around the world to build Ontario, especially key sectors that will secure our position as a global leader. This includes automotive, aerospace, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and IT, which remains one of Ontario’s fastest growing sectors.
Building the Cars of the Future
Ontario’s automotive sector is back, and we’re building the cars of the future. In less than two years, we have attracted $16 billion in transformative investments by global automakers and suppliers of electric vehicle batteries and battery materials. This includes a string of billion-dollar investments from industry giants such as LG Energy Solution, Stellantis, GM, Honda, Ford and Umicore. With these investments, the message is loud and clear: Ontario is uniquely positioned to lead the transition from the combustion engine era to a low carbon emissions future of transportation.
We all know that you can’t make electric vehicles with dirty steel. Our Driving Prosperity plan will support the shift to low-carbon steel production, which is critical as automakers and other manufacturers look to reduce emissions all along their supply chains.
Ontario has the largest environmental and clean technology sector in Canada, and since we do not generate any electricity from burning coal, we also offer the cleanest energy mix of any auto jurisdiction in North America. In fact, over 90 percent of our electricity is generated emissions-free.
We are also currently the only place in North America where five major automakers, Honda, Toyota, Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, build vehicles. Ontario’s auto supply chain is comprised of more than seven hundred parts firms and more than five hundred tool, die and mold makers. These companies are here for the long term. From access to natural resources, and proximity to market, to a pipeline of top-class talent and an ecosystem of world-leading vehicle assemblers, Ontario has been meeting the needs of international customers for more than 100 years.
Taking Life Sciences to the Next Level
Life sciences, and in particular, biomanufacturing, is another key sector that Ontario is investing in for growth. The province is the largest life sciences jurisdiction in Canada, generating 59 percent of the overall Canadian life sciences revenue and employing 54 percent of Canada’s life science’s personnel.
We have some of the brightest minds in the world researching and developing next generation health products and services, and we need to ensure that our innovators and entrepreneurs have the support they need to bring their ideas and prototypes from the lab to the marketplace. That is why we launched a new $15 million Life Sciences Innovation Fund that will foster more innovation and ensure Ontario continues to lead the pack in the life sciences sector.
We all know that innovation that leads to breakthroughs in life sciences requires an ecosystem of partners—hospitals, research centers, universities, technology incubators, start-ups, scientists, and domestic and multinational companies—and every day, cross-sector collaboration is happening right here in Ontario.
There is a reason global leaders like Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, Resilience and Roche have chosen to expand their business in the province. Continuing to grow our life sciences sector willhelp support our economic recovery, strengthen our pandemic preparedness, and build a stronger, healthier future for our population.
The Strongest Tech Job Growth in North America
The world’s most innovative technologies and companies thrive in Ontario: from cyber security to quantum computing, Amazon to Google, this is where cutting-edge thinking is powered by a dynamic ecosystem, where startups and multi-nationals grow side-by-side. Ontario has a robust pipeline of fast-growing companies raising hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital funding that has contributed to the breakout of 10 unicorns since 2019. We rank first in Canada in number of venture capital deals and total capital raised, making up 50 percent of total Canadian investment at $8.4 billion in 2021 (a 170 percent increase from $3.1 billion in 2020).
Ontario is home to the birthplace of modern artificial intelligence, which has quickly become the bedrock of contemporary business operations. This is why companies continue to flock here to join the world’s highest concentration of AI start-ups, in what has been called the largest AI hub outside of China and Silicon Valley.
Supported by a tech workforce of more than 408,000 employees, Ontario ranks second in North America, after California, in terms of the number of information and communications technology establishments. Our expansive IT corridor runs from Windsor and Waterloo in the West to Toronto in the center and Ottawa to the East. This innovation highway covers two of the three most concentrated tech markets in North America and two of the largest startup ecosystems in the world.
Learn How Ontario, Canada Can Help Your Business
Ontario was recently named the most competitive jurisdiction in Canada to invest in. By investing in Ontario, companies benefit directly from our unparalleled quality of life, highly skilled talent pool, competitive business costs, access to global markets and our strong innovation ecosystem.
Whether you’re already acquainted with the province, or you’re considering Ontario for the first time, we look forward to welcoming you to the next generation of innovation.
Contact us today to learn more about Ontario.