Ontario Centre of Innovation Launches New Critical Industrial Technologies Initiative with Million Industry Challenge to Drive Innovation in the Construction Sector

MARCH 26, 2024 (TORONTO,ON) – The Government of Ontario, through the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI), takes a bold step forward in accelerating industrial innovation with the launch of the Critical Industrial Technologies Initiative (CIT).

“Through the Ontario Centre of Innovation, our government is investing in the commercialization and adoption of critical technologies across a variety of key sectors where we have a competitive advantage, like advanced manufacturing, mining and AI,” said Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “In addition to advancing Ontario’s dynamic innovation ecosystem, the Critical Industrial Technologies Initiative will play a pivotal role in ensuring our province remains at the forefront of global competitiveness.”

The Critical Industrial Technologies Initiative aims to integrate critical technologies, including 5G, AI, blockchain, robotics, cybersecurity, and quantum, to propel Ontario’s key sectors into a new era of global competitiveness.

“Ontario’s leadership in critical technologies is essential for our province’s economic prosperity and global competitiveness. The Critical Industrial Technologies Initiative represents a significant investment in driving innovation, fostering collaboration, and propelling key sectors into the future,” said Claudia Krywiak, CEO and President of the Ontario Centre of Innovation. “As part of the Critical Industrial Technologies Initiative, OCI is proud to announce the launch of a $1 million challenge statement aimed at driving innovation in the construction industry. This initiative serves as a call to action to catalyze collaborative efforts and promote the development and integration of critical technologies in the construction sector, addressing the urgent housing needs of the province.”

The Critical Industrial Technologies Initiative aims to revolutionize Ontario’s industrial landscape, fostering collaboration and innovation. Focused on key sectors—mining, advanced manufacturing, construction, and agri-food—the initiative seeks to create a dynamic ecosystem, propelling the province to a leadership position in the global economy.

“The launch of the Critical Industrial Technologies Initiative marks a pivotal moment for Ontario’s industrial landscape. By harnessing the power of critical technologies, we will unlock new opportunities, accelerate the development of innovative and cutting-edge technologies, and strengthen Ontario’s global competitiveness in key sectors,” said Raed Kadri, Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives and Business Development at OCI. “This first challenge, part of an upcoming broader series of challenges, targets the construction sector and lays the foundation for a new era of groundbreaking innovation that will support Ontario to meet its domestic housing needs and create an opportunity to export Made-in-Ontario solutions across the world.

Ontario’s Critical Industrial Technologies Initiative underscores the government’s commitment to fostering innovation, propelling key sectors to global leadership, and ensuring Ontario remains a driving force in the ever-evolving landscape of critical technologies.

Challenge Statement: Ontario has set a goal of building at least 1.5 million homes by 2031 and has assigned the province’s 50 largest municipalities with housing targets to help meet this goal. An opportunity exists for transformation through the adoption and integration of innovative critical technologies and automation, aiming to accelerate the building process. Solutions could include, for example, automated manufacturing of prefab housing or improvements through on-site tools, new products, and automation technologies that significantly accelerate the building process.

Timeline: Maximum project duration is up to 1 year
Available Funding: Up to $1,000,000

For more information on CIT and the Challenge, visit: https://www.oc-innovation.ca/programs/cit/

About the Ontario Centre of Innovation

The Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) brings industry, academic, and government partners together to invest in collaborative R&D, technology development, and commercialization opportunities that generate the highest return on innovation for Ontarians.

As an ecosystem connector, OCI initiates unparalleled partnership opportunities, develops and manages successful industry-academic collaborations, supports high-potential SMEs in commercializing ground-breaking research, and provides hands-on training and skills development opportunities for the next generation of highly-skilled talent.

OCI drives economic growth and job creation through investments in the development, commercialization, and adoption of advanced technologies.
For more information: https://www.oc-innovation.ca

Media inquiries, please contact:
Alicia Pereira, Director of Communications