About OCE

What we do

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the development of Ontario’s economy by helping create new jobs, products, services, technologies and businesses. In partnership with industry, OCE co-invests to commercialize innovation originating in the province’s publicly funded colleges, universities and research hospitals.

The commercialization and talent development projects OCE supports are in the segments of the economy that will drive Ontario’s future prosperity and global competitiveness. These segments include energy and environment (including water); advanced manufacturing; advanced health technologies; and information, communications technologies and digital media.

How we do it

The heart of OCE is its ability to work directly with academia and industry to bring prospective partners together to turn ideas into income. Our business development specialists go out and ask industry “What’s needed?” They also literally explore the academic halls and labs and ask researchers “What’s new?” Together, they work through OCE’s tailored programs to commercialize innovations, transfer technologies and develop promising talent. 

With our focus on relationships, OCE has recently evolved into a broker of connections, identifying and facilitating investment transactions in which OCE has no direct financial stake, but which help companies on the road to commercialization.

The OCE story

The Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) not-for-profit program was formally established in 1987 with seven independent centres that evolved and amalgamated into the Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc. in 2004.

Twenty-five years ago, the traditional economic foundation for the province, and for Canada, was shifting from a North American-focused and commodities-based economy to one that is globally oriented and knowledge-based.

Prior to the creation of OCE, there was limited connection between universities, colleges, research hospitals and industry. Consensus was that these academic and research institutions were producing quality research that was not being utilized to its full potential by industry.

OCE was designed to bridge that gap and create productive working partnerships between university and college research departments, research hospitals and Ontario industry.

Today, OCE drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across strategic market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario’s and Canada’s global competitiveness. OCE focuses on areas and projects that will deliver not only the greatest economic benefits but those that will have a positive social impact in communities across the province.

OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario’s industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments.

OCE is funded by the Government of Ontario, is a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) and is a key partner in delivering Ontario’s Innovation Agenda.