Ontario unveils £137m digital war chest

Ontario unveils £137m digital war chest

By Rob Crossley

August 5th 2009 at 6:01PM

Games developers to benefit from new Canadaian Emerging Technologies fund

Canada’s Ontario province has set aside a substantial £137 million war chest to help stimulate investment in “next-generation companies”.

Develop understands that game companies in the region will indeed be eligible for the financial boost, as the Canadian province looks to bolster its presence in the games industry.

Ontario recently revealed that it had struck a deal with Ubisoft to build a major games studio in its city of Toronto, creating some 800 jobs for games developers.



Ontario’s new scheme – entitled The Emerging Technologies Fund – is a co-development deal, which means that a portion of the £137 million pot will be given to selected companies on the proviso that the investment is matched by venture capitalist funding. 



The wider aim of the deal is to stimulate venture capitalist investment in the region, potentially halving the risk involved in financially stimulating businesses.



The current global recession has seen a rapid downfall in business investment, however, Canada has in recent times become the envy of the international game community with its tax-relief policies – where developers can claim back as much as 40 per cent of total development costs.



Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation, John Milloy, said that the deal will “help ensure that innovative people and companies have access to the capital they need to continue growing their business and creating jobs in Ontario.”