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Four key lessons from ESCRYPT/Bosch’s move to Waterloo

ESCRYPT, a subsidiary of Bosch, expanded to Waterloo to tap into talent, expertise and location advantages to grow their embedded security business.

In 2016, Bosch became the latest of an impressive list of global companies choosing to invest in Waterloo, through a wholly owned subsidiary called ESCRYPT Canada.

This subsidiary is a leader in the area of embedded security, with a focus on secure connected vehicles, smart cities and Internet-of-Things (IoT) security. Today, their Waterloo location is the company’s technical headquarters for North America.

Editor’s note: ESCRYPT is now called ETAS

Why did they come to Waterloo and how did they become established so quickly?

Here are a few key learnings from their recent experience:

1. If you want to innovate, you need access to talent and research expertise

One of the reasons Bosch chose Waterloo was for its talent and research expertise, especially in the areas of automotive and security.

“The University of Waterloo provided access to talent in various disciplines—from cryptography, to software design and development, math and security,” says Sherryl Petricevic, Manager of Outbound Marketing and Community Development for ESCRYPT Waterloo.

The University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) is the top technical university in Canada, with the #1 engineering program and #2 computer science program. It also has the world’s largest collection of math and computer science talent, and is home to WatCAR – the largest university-based automotive research centre in Canada. Download a free guide to tech talent in Waterloo here.

2. Location and proximity to markets is still important, no matter how high-tech your product is

One of the key considerations in the decision to locate ESCRYPT Canada in Waterloo was its prime location.

“The automotive industry is a primary focus of our business. In Waterloo, we benefit from both a strong tech culture and proximity to the critical automotive hub in Southern Ontario,” says David MacFarlane, General Manager for ESCRYPT Waterloo. “The location is ideal to allow us to access auto manufacturers and parts suppliers in Ontario as well as the manufacturers and designers located just down the road in Michigan. We are close to key customers and important partners.”

In the heart of North America’s automotive corridor, Waterloo is one of the few places in the world to have existing strengths in both automotive and technology, making it an ideal location for developing new autotech products from concept to commercialization. Waterloo also has access to more than 150 million consumers in one day’s drive (1200km; 745mi). Learn more about our location advantage.

3. Local leadership is important when you’re starting from scratch

When coming to Waterloo, Bosch made the important decision to hire local leadership, which helped the company establish itself quickly.

“My local network was invaluable for finding office space, establishing our legal entity and hiring the first few people,” says MacFarlane.

Within a few months ESCRYPT Canada was able to establish a corporate structure, hire an engineering team and develop a prototype.

4. The community matters

Now that they’re established in Waterloo, ESCRYPT Canada is reaping the benefits of being in one of Canada’s most dynamic business ecosystems.

“Waterloo used to be primarily driven by BlackBerry, insurance and education, but now you’re seeing a larger variety of companies including technology development, software, hardware, future-focused development, manufacturing and professional services,” says MacFarlane. “There are now many more opportunities for businesses of all kinds to tap into the local ecosystem, and leverage the support offered by individuals, companies and associations.”

Supercharge your R&D capacity

Want to learn more about the community assets that make Waterloo a great place for security and automotive companies?