Durham Region: A Thriving Hub for Tech Start-ups

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The Region of Durham’s Economic Development and Tourism division, known as Invest Durham, along with a coalition of partners, made a triumphant return to the prestigious Collision Conference in Toronto. From June 26 to 29, they showcased their innovation community and unveiled the remarkable Project Arrow—an all-Canadian, zero emission connected vehicle that stole the spotlight at Durham’s pavilion.

Working in collaboration with Durham Region’s eight municipalities, Durham College, Ontario Tech University, Trent University Durham GTA, Spark Centre, 1855 Technology Accelerator, Ontario Power Generation (OPG), and the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association’s (APMA) Project Arrow, Invest Durham activated booth E157. Together, they presented the thriving tech ecosystem of Durham Region at the 2023 Collision Conference.

Durham Region, recognized as the Clean Energy Capital of Canada, proved to be an ideal location for inventing, engineering, and testing clean, connected, and electric technologies.

The booth at the conference displayed several exciting attractions:

– Project Arrow: The first all-Canadian, zero emission, connected vehicle, designed and manufactured at Ontario Tech University’s ACE Climatic Aerodynamic Wind Tunnel.

– OPG: Attendees enjoyed an exhilarating and competitive racetrack experience while learning about the innovations and technologies driving electrification in a single generation.

– Durham College’s Mixed Reality Capture Studio added a touch of playfulness to the exhibition.

The event also presented ample opportunities for entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts to establish and grow their businesses in Durham, such as:

– Durham Regional Technology Development Site, a key component of the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN).

– Access IO, highlighting the Future of Energy at Ontario Power Generation.

The Invest Durham team at the Collision Conference extended their support to businesses, assisting them in exploring opportunities to develop and test electric and green technologies in Durham Region. They facilitated connections within incubators, hubs, and programs, helped find ideal properties or office spaces, and supported businesses in establishing themselves in Canada.

Regional Chair and CEO John Henry expressed Durham’s leadership in clean, connected, and electric technologies, highlighting the region’s role in driving innovation, growth, and productivity in the tech sector.

Simon Gill, Director of Economic Development and Tourism, emphasized the pivotal role of Durham Region’s innovation community in the clean energy and automotive sectors, making the conference an exceptional platform to showcase the region’s growing tech ecosystem.

Flavio Volpe, President of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, conveyed his excitement about presenting Project Arrow and ensuring Durham Region’s prominent representation in this groundbreaking vehicle.

Dr. Les Jacobs, Vice-President of Research and Innovation at Ontario Tech University, underlined the university’s contribution to the all-Canadian Project Arrow and its commitment to Canada’s net-zero future.

Steve Gregoris, Chief Nuclear Officer at Ontario Power Generation, declared the company’s mission to electrify life within a single generation, highlighting their status as Ontario’s largest clean energy generator.

As the largest municipal region in Ontario, Durham Region provides an attractive lifestyle and seamless access to Canada’s technology ecosystem. With a burgeoning population and a strong presence of post-secondary institutions, the region is a hub for tech-related jobs and a center for technological innovation.

Durham Region’s supportive business ecosystem and its emerging technology cluster, combined with below-average industrial development charges, make it a highly sought-after destination for technology companies.

Thriving as one of Canada’s fastest-growing communities, Durham Region fosters a culture of innovation, creativity, and industry, propelling new ideas forward and embracing a bright future. For more information please visit www.durham.ca/en/economic-development