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April 19, 2006
New cluster development strategy bolsters Toronto region’s ICT sector
  
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector received a shot in the arm with the release of ICT Toronto, a strategy that will help strengthen the Toronto region’s position as a leading international ICT centre. The ICT Toronto strategy is the cornerstone of a renewed, energetic movement to mobilize and push forward a number of dynamic initiatives to bolster the region’s sector locally and globally. The presentation of the strategy was made by ICT industry leaders from across the Toronto region at an event hosted by ICT Toronto - a newly formed ICT multi-stakeholder reference group - and supported by the City of Toronto.

“The ICT sector is vitally important to our economy,” said Mayor David Miller. “This strategy will reinvigorate the industry in Toronto and help us to remain at the forefront of leading-edge technology and investment.”

The strategy’s vision is that:

“The Toronto Region will become, and be acknowledged globally, as one of the 5 most innovative, creative and productive locations in the world for ICT research, education, business, and investment by 2011.”

To achieve this, the cluster development strategy identifies the need to proactively engage the ICT industry stakeholders in initiatives to retain and increase employment, attract new investment and achieve greater business opportunities in the face of increased global competition. The 110 page report is the culmination of a year’s worth of industry consultation and joint effort by the ICT Toronto Strategy Advisory Committee comprised of 40 representatives from ICT businesses, education institutions and government across the Toronto region, funded jointly by the three orders of government.

“The ICT sector in the Toronto region has largely rebounded from the tech bubble and has achieved a tremendous amount of growth in recent years,” said Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby, Chair, City of Toronto Economic Development and Parks Committee. “We must ensure that we don’t rest on our laurels but continue to press ahead in the commercialization of new technology, and most importantly, to communicate these achievements and our abilities to the rest of the world.”

“We have worked hard together on the ICT Toronto strategy for the past year,” said Frank Maw, President, Alexander Consultants (former President, Motorola) and ICT Toronto Committee member. “The strategy provides us with the vision and the targets to achieve success and we have the talent, intelligence and energy to realize our goals. Now, we need to make the commitment to work together to market ourselves internationally and improve the long-term competitiveness of our sector.”

The Toronto region ICT sector is the largest in Canada and is one of the region’s largest private sector employers with a core of around 3,300 firms and 148,000 employees. Annual sales are estimated to be in the $30 to $35 billion range and upwards, with exports in the neighbourhood of $6 billion. It is also the third largest ICT sector in North America, behind San Francisco and New York, based on employment.

To support the future growth of the cluster, the Strategy has established four goals:
  • increase collaboration among ICT stakeholders
  • increase the profile of the sector within Canada and abroad
  • increase the competitiveness of the sector
  • retain and attract ICT business investment in the region.


These goals will be accomplished by implementing the strategy’s 13 Recommendations and 17 Actions. “ICT Toronto” a new multi-stakeholder partnership will serve as an Advisory/Reference group and potential ICT Think Tank and will play a key role in implementing the strategy.

Copies of the ICT Toronto strategy are available on the City of Toronto’s website at http://www.toronto.ca/business.


Media contact:

Alicia I. Bulwik
MRAIC, MCIP, RPP
Project Manager
City of Toronto Economic Development
416-392-1289


 

 

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