The Government of Canada, along with the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, has announced the country’s first major public-private partnership aimed at increasing economic growth driven by 5G technology, led by five digital technology heavyweights – Ericsson, Ciena Canada, Thales Canada, IBM Canada and CGI. The CAD400 million (USD306 million) project aims to secure ‘over 4,000 good middle-class jobs, including 1,800 specialised 5G jobs, over the next five years, leading to new innovations in wireless telecommunications’ plus create jobs at an estimated 1,000 SMEs across Ontario and Quebec.
The ‘ENCQOR’ – standing for ‘Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Quebec and Ontario for Research and Innovation’ – project is one of the first programmes to be funded under the federal government’s CAD1.26 billion Strategic Innovation Fund. The governments of Canada, Ontario and Quebec will each contribute CAD66.7 million to ENCQOR, with the private sector investing the other CAD200 million.
The federal and provincial governments, SMEs and academics will collaborate on 5G technology development through linked research facilities and laboratories located in Ontario and Quebec. This network will provide access to advanced technologies such as programmable broadband networks, the Internet of Things, silicon photonics, big-data analysis and cloud computing, a statement from Innovation, Science & Economic Development Canada (ISED) reads.