A dozen Indian IT players in Ontario, signal the growing opportunity in Canada

30th September 2012
A dozen Indian IT players in Ontario,  signal the  growing  opportunity  in Canada

Bangalore, October 1, 2012: Think Canadian  Infotech and you think of  global names like Research In  Motion , makers of the Blackberry, Autodesk,  famous for the 2D/3D tool, AutoCad, and wireless brands like BelAir Networks, DragonWave, Redline Communications and Sierra Wireless
Canada's ICT sector includes 31,400 firms employing nearly 45,000 and  accounting for an R&D budget of $ 4.34 billion explained Prashanth Nair,  Canadian Trade Commissioner ( ICT Sector) during a recent roadshow in Bangalore,
In fact, in  Canada’s most IT-intense region, Ontario,   home to 11,196 Firms with 138,200 jobs, you will find familiar Indian names like include Aditya Birla-Minacs, Educomp, L&T Tech, Infosys, Hexaware, Rolta, Tech Mahindra, Polaris, HCL, TCS, Wipro and Zylog, companies who run successful Canadian operations.
In addition to  global companies such as Siemens, Intel, Google, IBM and Cisco, there are approximately 18,000 information and communications technology firms in Ontario in 2011, up 3.1 per cent from 2010, explained Aaron Rosland, Counsellor (Commercial - Ontario) at  the Canadian High Commission. 249,000+ people work in Ontario’s ICT Industry, he explained,  with a well-established education infrastructure producing  a steady stream of new graduates from 44 universities and colleges with thousands of students enrolled in degree and certificate programs in computer science, engineering, and related IT degree and certificate programmes.
And in a recent initiative, six  students from India will have the opportunity to take their digital ideas to Toronto and explore the potential for creating businesses as the result of a new programme  at Ryerson University’s dynamic Digital Media Zone (DMZ)... a joint intiative of Ryerson with  the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. 
The Ryerson DMZ Fellowship programme is offering six fellowships, valued at approximately Rs. 595,000 each ($12,500 CDN), supporting the students for a four-month term in Toronto with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation in the digital economy. Students selected for the fellowships will have the opportunity to be a part of Ryerson’s hub for student digital entrepreneurs, the Digital Media Zone. 
 Last month, Ontario's technology industry got  a boost with the opening of a $90-million data centre in Barrie, Ontario. The new IBM Canada Leadership Data Centre will support a landmark partnership between Ontario, IBM, and seven Ontario universities to create a  world-class virtual Research and Development Centre in Ontario. The new data centre allows IBM to provide advanced data storage space, security and disaster recovery services. In time, the centre will include 'cloud' computing capabilities to help support ongoing research initiatives at the IBM Canada Research and Development Centre.
The India connection is apparent in many of Ontario's acacemia-industry partnerships -- like the $6 Million research grant from Ontario Centre of Excellence for the project “Large-Scale Photovoltaic Solar Power Integration in Transmission and Distribution Networks”, led by Dr. Rajiv Varma of the University of Western Ontario. The  project has 16 faculty members – 10 from Western and 6 from University of Waterloo  and  is supported by four major industries/ utilities – Hydro One, Optisolar Farms Canada, London Hydro and Bluewater Power, Sarnia.  Central to the project is a new technology of utilizing PV solar farms in the night,  developed by Dr Varma.

Indian IT professionals and corporates who want to check out the Canada opportunity  may find a useful networking  event when  the 18th World  Congress on Information Technology (WCIT 2012) comes to Montreal  later this month  between October 22 and 24. http://www.wcit2012.org/en/

Further reading: Smart Grid Is Taking Center Stage In Ontario http://www.renewgridmag.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.8860