Isn't this what Toronto Tech Week ought to be promoting?

Following threads about the traffic-shaping mess that's been unravelling in the media over the last couple of weeks, I happened across a terrific, unrelated piece of news that doesn't seem to have received the attention it deserves (or maybe I just missed it).

On their website, the CATA Alliance (Canada's largest high tech association) points to news of Ontario's Next Generation Jobs Fund - a new $1.15 Billion fund created by the Ontario Provincial government.

The overall goal is to grow Ontario's economy by supporting and funding investments and job creation in leading-edge innovation. Areas targeted include digital media, advanced manufacturing, health and biopharmaceutical research, and clean/green automotive and other technologies. There's a good core of eco-awareness running through the middle of this thing.

The CATA Alliance site includes this call to action:

Dear High Tech Executives

Does your company have a project in the pipeline that will grow your business, create jobs or invest in R&D?

If the answer is yes, talk to Ontario because we can help make it happen.

Ontario's new $1.15 billion Next Generation Of Jobs Fund is a five-year program, which assists innovative companies to develop new technologies and services for world markets, while helping Ontario win investment and create jobs.

  • The fund is designed to be in step with how business works:
  • Fast and flexible - companies are guaranteed a decision within 45 days from the time a complete proposal is received. In many cases, 20 per cent of funding is provided upon signing.
  • Focused - the fund supports investment, innovation and growth in sectors where Ontario is strong or has the potential to become a global leader.

Proven track record - you will be dealing with people who know how to manage these funds effectively and work with business.

++ Action Item

Call us today at 1-800-819-8701 to connect with program staff to discuss your potential project.

If you're in the high tech or general R&D sector in Ontario, it would seem nuts not to explore the potential of this fund.

This strikes me as precisely the sort of initiative you'd think Toronto Tech Week would be getting behind. Ontario's a big place, but there's little doubt that a LOT of that $1.15 billion will end up in Toronto. Toronto is (or, at least, was - according to this data) the third largest technology industry hub in North America (behind San Francisco and New York) - a fact that Toronto Tech Week was, if I understand correctly, created to promote and celebrate.

No mention of this terrific funding initiative on the Toronto Tech Week site (well - there's not really anything of much interest on the Toronto Tech Week site, frankly).

Unless I'm missing something, the Toronto tech community should be jumping up and down celebrating this announcement - and calling that CATA Alliance number to see about getting a piece of the pie. Maybe they are, and I just can't hear them. Either way, this seems like the kind of thing I'd want to be hearing more about from the Toronto Tech Week and ICT Toronto organizations. Not a peep.

I've been trying really hard to suspend judgement of the Toronto Tech Week initiative, but I'm afraid that Joey, David Crow, Mark and others may be right.