Corridor for Advancing Canadian Digital Media’ will be Canada’s largest concentration of digital media R&D and commercialization expertise
Waterloo ON – Communitech and the Stratford Institute of the University of Waterloo have been awarded $10.7 million from the Minister of State (Science and Technology) to establish the Corridor for Advancing Canadian Digital Media (CACDM), which will focus on commercialization and research.
The digital media sector is one of the fastest growing industries in the knowledge economy, expected to reach US$2.2 trillion worldwide in the next five years. Digital media is created by using visual images and video, as well as sound and user interaction software, to communicate and use information from large data sources.
The CACDM, which will provide a common space for the corporate and academic communities to come together around digital media, will have hubs in Kitchener and Stratford, ON:
* The Digital Media Convergence Centre, based in Kitchener, ON, will bring together the Waterloo Region’s expertise in digital media and mobile technology. It will generate new digital media products, applications and businesses. The centre will house digital imaging, projection and studio technologies that previously have only been available to large companies and institutions.
* The University of Waterloo’s Stratford Institute is a forward-looking research, education and convergence centre that will drive the next generation of digital media applications and content models. The institute will draw leading researchers, businesses and entrepreneurs to create, examine and commercialize opportunities in the digital media field in a global economy. It will quickly become a centre piece for collaboration, learning and sharing through conferences and workshops.
“The Corridor for Advancing Canadian Digital Media will strengthen domestic collaboration and optimize resources to create the scale and focus that will brand Canada as a leader in digital media,” says Iain Klugman, president, Communitech. “It is an exciting new venture that will attract world-class talent and investment, will create new companies and jobs, and will help existing companies innovate and grow.”
“This new centre will help Canadian researchers and entrepreneurs get more of their innovations from the lab to the marketplace,” says Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). “Our government is committed to investing in research and development in order to create jobs, improve the quality of life of all Canadians and strengthen the economy for future generations.”
The scope of digital media extends well beyond film, TV and videogames with a growing number of applications in medical imaging, 3D cinema and animation, virtual prototyping in manufacturing, virtual reality environments for enhanced education and financial modelling.
“This federal investment represents a major vote of confidence in Canada’s digital media sector and in our area’s emerging strengths in the field,” says Ken Coates, dean of arts at the University of Waterloo. “By supporting the Corridor for Advancing Canadian Digital Media (CACDM), the Government of Canada is providing the support needed to keep our country in the forefront of this crucial economic field.”
Today’s announcement builds upon more than $50 million in cash and in-kind support from The Corridor for Advancing Canadian Digital Media partners that include Open Text, Christie Digital, Research In Motion, Agfa Healthcare, COM DEV, and Tech Capital Partners.
“The explosion in digital media and mobile computing applications will dramatically change the way we work and interact in the decades to come,” says Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of Open Text. “The Waterloo Region has the critical mass of expertise, leading tech companies and educational institutions that can drive this global revolution in the years to come. But we have to move quickly to build on this foundation and create the right conditions for this sector to bloom. The federal government clearly sees the opportunity with its support for the Corridor for Advancing Canadian Digital Media.”
Waterloo Region has a strong legacy in digital media and the sector continues to grow. Several of its digital media companies compete internationally and have strong, international partnerships.
“Christie is pleased to be one of the sponsors of the Digital Media Convergence Centre (DMCC) and to offer its expertise in strengthening Canadian digital media,” remarks Gerry Remers, President and COO of Christie Digital Systems Canada, Inc. of Christie’s involvement in the Corridor. “Digital media are transforming the way we access and interact with digital content. Both public and private environments are going to be imbued with new display technologies that are intelligent, immersive and three dimensional. The DMCC will foster new company growth, provide access to tools and technology, and will help brand Waterloo Region as one of the top digital media centres in the world.”
The community expects that the Corridor for Advancing Canadian Digital Media will lead to the creation of new jobs, new companies and will position Canada as a global digital media leader.
“Today’s announcement is further evidence of the continuing momentum of Waterloo Region’s technology community,” adds Klugman. “Despite the current economy, there are more than 2,000 technology positions currently available. Earlier this week, Agfa Healthcare announced plans to hire an additional 100 people in Waterloo Region. The Region’s tradition of reinvention and its highly aggressive model of commercialization and collaboration have proven to be a strong engine for economic growth.”
Communitech is the regional hub for the commercialization of innovation, creating economic prosperity by removing barriers to the creation and growth of technology companies. Its goal is to create more successful global businesses for Canada.