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January Wrap-Up: New Year, New Heights

Waterloo made headlines in January for major investments and developments in tech, healthcare, quantum and more. Read the full wrap-up to learn more.

Waterloo is kicking off 2024 with a burst of innovation and investment.

Last month, major funding spurred economic growth in the region, boosting business investment, medtech and quantum technology projects. If January’s developments are any indication of what’s to come, we’re in for an exciting year ahead.

Here are the top stories of January 2024:

Rising to the top 

In CBRE’s Tech-30 2023 report, Waterloo was named the #1 market to watch, surpassing Calgary, Ottawa and several US cities. CBRE also named us the top tech talent market in North America last year.

The Tech-30 report, released in January, highlights top tech markets, offering insights into the most innovative cities in North America. Our “high-tech service employment” and “concentration of office employment” helped Waterloo break the first-place tie with Ottawa from last year.

$25M investment strengthens medtech scene

The year started strong, with FluidAI Medical announcing a $25M investment in its Kitchener operations. The funding will be used to research product improvements and build an automated assembly line to meet growing international demand. The expansion will also create 38 new jobs.

Ontario is supporting FluidAI’s expansion with over $1.4M in funding from the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness stream of the Regional Development Program, which helps companies expand their operations within the province.

New funding fuels growth in Waterloo

The Government of Canada announced a nearly $3-million investment in Waterloo EDC to boost economic development and support local businesses.

The funding will enhance supply chain and business investment opportunities in key sectors like automotive (including EV), cleantech and agri-food, benefiting both Waterloo Region and its rural townships.

A quantum leap for Waterloo 

The Ontario Government is investing up to $14.9M to support programs at Quantum Valley Ideas Lab (QVIL). The independent research lab focuses on accelerating the commercial use of quantum technology.

The grant comes from the Critical Technology Initiatives program which supports projects that accelerate the use of critical technologies such as 5G, blockchain, quantum and robotics. QVIL will use the funding to develop lab infrastructure, advance research goals and offer additional co-op and internship programs.

Where manufacturing meets tech

Waterloo’s expertise in tech and innovation is driving growth in another key industry: manufacturing. With over 1,400 companies, including giants like ATS Corporation, Héroux Devtek and Toyota, Waterloo has a rich manufacturing history and robust workforce.

We released a new video in January showcasing showcases this dynamic ecosystem and the collaborative spirit fueling innovation and quality in the region. Watch the video to see firsthand how we’re inventing the future of manufacturing.

Skilled Trades Campus enters phase two 

Conestoga College is moving into phase two of their Skilled Trades Cambridge – Reuter Drive Campus. Last year, we had the chance to tour the first building, phase one of the campus. With its modern facilities and in-demand programming, the campus will help tackle skilled labour shortages in Canada.

Sustainability is a focus for the second building, which will use geothermal energy to offset heating and cooling costs. When completed, the campus will be Canada’s largest and most modern trades facility. Doors are expected to open in 2026.

The brain in technicolour

Vena Medical, a startup from Velocity, UWaterloo’s startup incubator, is revolutionizing stroke diagnostics. The company’s tiny camera provides real-time, full-colour images from inside the brain’s blood vessels, allowing doctors to pinpoint the cause and treat patients within an hour. The technology is now in use at The Ottawa Hospital, making it a world first.

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