CDI Corporation

Ontario partners with IBM to boost IT innovation, jobs

The Ottawa government recently announced a partnership with IBM to boost job creation and innovation in the information technology sector.

The government announced that it invested nearly $22.75 million in the IBM Innovation Incubator, also known as the I3, reported the Ottawa Business Journal.

The I3 allows businesses to leverage the networking power of IBM Watson and the tech company’s IT tools such as its cloud-based development platform. IBM will also invest $24.75 million, and the project is anticipated to add 2,600 jobs to the province, the source noted.

The funds will be drawn from the Jobs and Prosperity Fund of the province and will be used to “help up to 500 small- and medium-sized enterprises create jobs, embrace next-generation technologies and compete in the global marketplace.”

The announcement comes as recent studies show that Canada may face a shortage of qualified IT workers in the coming years. IT World Canada reported that the country needs 182,000 people to fill jobs in information systems analysts and consultants, computer and network operators, Web technicians, software engineers and others by 2019. In December 2015, there were 811,200 information communication and technology workers employed in Canada.