About Us

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. Our comprehensive program suite covers almost all stages of business development and career advancement.

In partnership with industry, OCE co-invests to commercialize innovation originating in the province’s publicly funded colleges, universities and research hospitals. We also support and invest in early-stage projects, where the probability of commercial success and potential total return on innovation are substantial. Another expanding focus for OCE is the development of the next generation of innovators through our entrepreneurship fellowships and programs for students and youth across Ontario.

Our efforts are focused on sectors of the economy with the greatest potential to drive Ontario’s future prosperity and global competitiveness: energy and environment (including water); advanced manufacturing; advanced health technologies; and information, communications technologies and digital media.

A trusted partner of government in program delivery, we are committed to advancing a whole-of-government approach as a means of streamlining funding application processes for companies and entrepreneurs. 

OCE's Whole of Government Approach

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), Connect Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) are federal partners helping OCE create a streamlined, efficient process for our clients to access complementary innovation services and funding. 

How we do it

OCE works directly with academia and industry to bring prospective partners together to turn ideas into income. We deploy experienced teams of Business Development Managers to all corners of the province. They find out what’s needed by industry and literally explore the halls and labs of academe to find out about the latest breakthroughs from researchers. 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

Ontario Centres of Excellence’s (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.

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