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July Wrap-Up: Waterloo tops the charts

A round-up of business and investment news stories from Waterloo, Canada in July 2020, including big news from Communitech, Axonify, KA Imaging and more.

There is a lot to be proud of in the month of July. Businesses are re-opening and reporting positive momentum.

Local public health authorities have declared that the first wave of COVID-19 in Waterloo is over after just one case was reported in the last five days of the month.

This month saw Waterloo top the charts as North America’s best “opportunity market,” local tech companies receiving funding through a variety of programs and continued research on the COVID-19 virus.

Here are the top business and investment stories from July 2020:

Waterloo Region named North America’s top emerging tech talent market

CBRE released its 2020 Scoring Tech Talent report this month and identified Waterloo as North America’s fastest-growing “opportunity market.” Our community has seen a 51 percent growth in tech jobs over the past five years and has surpassed other Canadian cities including Quebec City, Edmonton, Halifax and Winnipeg. See our breakdown of the report here.

Eight local companies receive $30M in federal funding

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) has announced $30 million in funding for eight companies across Waterloo Region. This funding is meant to help innovative companies scale quickly and is expected to create around 500 new jobs and maintain 300 existing jobs. The funding recipients include Axonify, Onward Manufacturing, Dejero Labs, Intellijoint Surgical, SSIMWAVE, KA Imaging, TeTechS and Shimco North America.

Toronto-Waterloo Corridor dominates AVIN program

Out of the ten companies named to the second cohort of the AVIN Waterloo Ventures at Communitech program, nine of them are part of the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor. Each company in this program receives $50,000 towards product development as well as mentorship from experts in their specific industry. The full list of companies can be found here.

Local health science innovators selected in new project

The Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO) has launched eight new Early Adopter Health Network (EAHN) innovation projects. This program helps Canadian health technology companies establish themselves locally before expanding globally. The two Waterloo Region companies included in this program are Huron Digital Pathology which uses artificial intelligence to connect pathologists with colleagues to improve patient care and KA Imaging which has developed the world’s only portable x-ray device.

Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology spraying away COVID-19

Researchers at the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology are working on producing a spray that would kill the COVID-19 virus upon contact. This research is being done in collaboration with the University of Waterloo and SiO2 Innovation Labs and is about six or seven months away from being brought to market.

Provincial government creates an IP framework with innovation hubs

The Ontario government has committed to working with post-secondary and research organizations to develop a framework that will strengthen intellectual property (IP) in Ontario. This initiative is focused on generating, protecting, and commercializing IP in the province and supporting startup and scale-up companies.

Mapping out the universe

A team of international researchers led by a University of Waterloo astrophysicist has collaborated to create the largest 3D map of the universe. This map will allow scientists to better understand the galaxies and the physics involved in the universe.

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