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October Wrap-up: Opportunity Knocks in Waterloo

Read the October News Wrap-Up for the latest local development, industry and academic partnership news from this past month in Waterloo.

Waterloo’s success in October was no trick – it was all treat.

Last month, our region collected handfuls of awards and achievements that are sure to give our competitors a fright. But there are no spooky illusions or disguises here – Waterloo is the real deal.

PWO Canada announced a major local expansion, a new AI hub is set to launch in Waterloo, Mastercard and the University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) partnered up on cybersecurity… and more.

Here are the top stories from October 2023:

Local companies shine on national list

Seven local companies snagged a spot on the Globe and Mail’s “Canada’s Top Growing Companies” list for 2023. The report ranks 425 private and public Canadian businesses that “will give you expansion envy.” Though any company can apply, only the ones with “staggering three-year growth rates” make the final cut.

Check out the full list here, which includes familiar names like Bridgit, Prime Automation Inc. and Mappedin Inc.

Millions in funding raised

PWO Canada, a subsidiary of the German automotive manufacturer PWO Group, has invested $9.6M in its Kitchener facility which will add 27 jobs. The investment will be supported by a $1.5M investment from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) and will support the creation of a customized assembly line featuring cutting-edge robotics, vision systems, and II0T (industrial Internet of things).

Miovision, a traffic management innovator based in Waterloo, has secured an additional $36M CAD in its second funding round, bringing the total round to $296M. The company plans to use the funding to fuel organic and inorganic growth and continue to capture a growing share of the traffic management market.

Meanwhile, FuelPositive is slated to receive up to $1.9M from the Government of Canada, supporting the adaptation and innovation of their technology for the agricultural sector. Their solution aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions while boosting farmer profits and productivity.

Lastly, Velocity company FluidAI raised $15M in Series A funding. The local company, which was based out of UWaterloo’s incubator for six years, aims to use its unique AI system to monitor post-op patients and prevent complications. FluidAI says that the funding “underscores the industry’s pressing need for innovative solutions that can ensure patient safety, reduce hospital stays and cut down health care costs.”

Mastercard and UWaterloo collaborate on cybersecurity

Mastercard and the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute (CPI) at UWaterloo are teaming up to develop research and advance talent in cybersecurity.  The $550,000 partnership will support projects that increase “Trust in Data” around fingerprinting, identification and validation and data protection.

The partnership will not only bolster Waterloo’s robust cybersecurity ecosystem – it will “advance research and commercialization efforts to prepare the next generation of industry innovators in cybersecurity,” according to Professor N. Asokan, CPI Executive Director at the UWaterloo.

New AI datacentre opens in Waterloo

Columbia Data Vault has officially opened a state-of-the-art datacentre in Waterloo, designed to accommodate the high demands of artificial intelligence (AI) workloads. The facility, which took over a former BlackBerry flagship datacentre known for its dependability and robust infrastructure, has been transformed into a next-generation AI hub.

Columbia Data Vault is at the forefront of the AI revolution, supporting businesses in their journey toward AI-driven success. The datacentre symbolizes the company’s dedication to excellence, security and innovation, as it aspires to reshape AI infrastructure and innovation in the region.

Employment park launches in Waterloo

The region’s newest employment park officially launched in Waterloo last month, with 98 acres of fully serviced industrial lands. Generation Park will be one of Canada’s first zero-carbon ready industrial parks, with a host of sustainability standards and environmental principles in place.

The City of Waterloo hopes to attract forward-thinking businesses who share a commitment to the planet and future generations. Generation Park is surrounded by green space, new residential communities, diverse retail options and provincially protected farmland and forest.

UWaterloo is #1 in computer science

The Cheriton School of Computer Science at the UWaterloo has ranked number one in Canada for the fourth year in a row, according to the Maclean’s 2024 university rankings released last month. UWaterloo shared the podium with the University of Toronto based on program reputation and with the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia based on research reputation.

“We are extremely fortunate to have a virtuous circle of talent in play in which our reputation in computer science attracts the best students and faculty… and the excellence of our students and faculty is precisely why our School has this reputation,” said Raouf Boutaba, Professor and Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science.

Waterloo EDC announces 5-year plan

Here at Waterloo EDC, we’re inventing the future. During our first six years, we’ve delivered more than $1.6B in new investment for Waterloo Region, creating over 4,700 jobs and helping to retain thousands more.

To maintain this momentum, we’ve developed a five-year plan that outlines our main priorities, including continued industry support and regional promotion. Read the full report to learn more.

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