Communitech Open Data Exchange (ODX): Canada’s Commitment to Big Data Analytics

Ontario Government Grants for small business

This month marks the beginning of a new venture for several Kitchener-Waterloo entities and Canada’s committed to big data analytics. FedDev Ontario has announced up to $3 million for Communitech Corporation to establish the Open Data Exchange (ODX) in Waterloo, Ontario.

ODX is a partnership between Communitech, the University of Waterloo, D2L (Desire2Learn), CDMN (Canadian Digital Media Network), and OpenText; the initiative will evolve over the next three years using FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Commercialization Partnerships (ICP) grants for small business in Ontario, as well as non-profits and post-secondary institutions.

The Mission of Communitech’s Open Data Exchange (ODX)

The Open Data Exchange (ODX) depends on the sharing, distribution, and analysis of large datasets. The founding partners of ODX consist of for-profit businesses, non-profits, and a post-secondary institution, creating a solid foundation of data to build upon. However, it’s up to the local community to sign up as a supplier of data to maximize the impact of ODX. This initiative is interested in collecting data on the following vertical markets in its early stage:

  • Consumer products;
  • Education;
  • Energy (Electricity/Oil and gas);
  • Finance;
  • Health care; and
  • Transportation

The purpose of ODX is to utilize big data in order to catalyse the development and commercialization of new data-drive technologies. The key deliverable of ODX is open data for businesses of all size to exploit the information age, leading to new products, businesses, competitiveness, and productivity for Canada.

Ontario Government Grants for ODX Provided by FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Commercialization Partnerships (ICP) Program

FedDev Ontario created ICP in 2014 as part of the Southern Ontario Prosperity Initiatives (SOPI) to fuel economic growth and support innovation. This program provides Ontario government grants to business-led partnerships that will lead to globally competitive products and services.

Small business funding grants are provided to the partnership, covering up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $20 million; the remaining project costs will be covered by the project partners. ODX is a perfect example of a project that has a global reach through innovative Canadian initiatives. Eligible entities include post-secondary institutions, non-profits, industry associations, and research institutions.

Find Canadian Government Funding

Whether ICP seems like a good fit for your upcoming strategic initiatives or not, there are a wide variety of small business funding grants and loans available to Canadian corporations. We recommend that businesses understand the various types of funding available with our Free Infosheet on Comparing Funding Types. If you have a specific project that you would like to be supported through Canadian government funding, please register for an upcoming small business funding webinar to learn more about your options. I’ll be keeping my Twitter followers up-to-date on the latest funding news, so be sure to follow me on Twitter to stay informed.

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