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Economic development initiatives

Business Assistance Program

The Business Assistance Program assists businesses wishing to improve client services in English and French. The program, funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, is the result of a needs assessment undertaken by the City of Ottawa. Small businesses indicated that they needed help to improve their services, advertise their products and recruit qualified bilingual staff. Activities for the Business Assistance Program are now being managed and coordinated by the Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la Capitale nationale (RGA).

Through this program many businesses and associations including Business Improvement Areas, shopping centres as well as associations related to the hotel industry and chambers of commerce will be provided with practical tools to help them provide services in English and French.

Practical tools

The Business Assistance Program is at your service:

  • Reduced cost translation service – the BAP can cover up to 60 per cent of the cost; it will cost you only 8 cents per word
  • Spoken French workshops, tailored for the service industry; $15 per person for a 3-hour-season in groups of 5
  • Help to recruit bilingual staff. No-cost service in partnership with the University of Ottawa Career Services and Université de Québec en Outaouais
  • A few useful tips and resources

For more information, visit the Business Assistance website at
or contact:

Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la capitale nationale
Telephone: 613-744-3037
Fax: 613-744-3572

Business Outreach Program

The Economic Development and Innovation Department meets one-on-one with businesses to provide strategic advice, information, and the resources necessary to expand and prosper. Services are provided in the following areas:

Issue Resolution

  • Provide assistance to companies to resolve any municipally related issues or inefficiencies
  • Ensure business needs are represented at the municipal level
  • Answer questions related to municipal operations, processes or strategies
  • Facilitate interactions for issues with the Provincial or Federal Government

Expansion/Growth Support Services

  • Facilitate introductions, business to business linkages and other networking opportunities
  • Site selection assistance and guidance
  • Support with commercial and industrial development projects
  • Accelerator programs and entrepreneurship workshops, seminars and services
  • Government financial incentive programs
  • Workforce development and talent management

Statistics and Market Data

  • Detailed Ottawa business sector profiles
  • Up-to-date comprehensive business statistics, data, demographics and benchmarking
  • Ottawa area studies including the City of Ottawa Annual Development Report and Employment Survey Results

Marketing Resources

  • Discover Ottawa App
  • Ottawa brochures, pamphlets and information packages
  • Presentation templates
  • Videos

If you are interested in participating in our Business Outreach Program, please contact Economic Development and Innovation at 613-580-2424 ext. 22339

Capital Investment Track Program (CIT)

The Capital Investment Track Program (CIT) guides investments deemed a priority by the Economic Development and Innovation Department through all aspects of City approvals and requirements in order to ensure timely and customer-sensitive service. The Program also allocates City resources toward strategic investments, rather than on a "first-come, first-served" basis.

The CIT Program will classify a project, investment or development as "strategic" based on a combination of the following factors:

  • the number of jobs protected or created (minimum 100 jobs potential);
  • the quality of jobs protected or created (knowledge-intensive, above-average remuneration);
  • the sectoral benefit of the investment (contributing to Ottawa's sector strategies); and

Once identified as a CIT project, a member of the Economic Development and Innovation Department will be assigned as the Account Manager, and will be responsible for guiding the investment through all City requirements including any combination of the following:

  • planning approvals;
  • infrastructure needs;
  • bus routing;
  • signage;
  • operating permits;
  • development Charge determinations;
  • tax estimations/ranges; and
  • any other requirements specific to a given project.

For more information on this program, please call 613-580-2424 ext. 22339

India Mission 2016

Team Ottawa Mission to India 2016

From April 18 to 22, 2016, Mayor Jim Watson will lead an important trade mission to India, to showcase Ottawa’s collective strengths in economic development.

This mission will visit New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

The mission will provide the opportunity for:

  • Companies to cultivate relationships with prospective customers, partners and investors in India, and pursue new business opportunities
  • Post-secondary institutions to identify and meet with prospective research and educational collaborators, and explore mutually beneficial partnership opportunities
  • Delegates to work together to promote Ottawa as an ideal tourist destination for Indians, and a preferred Canadian destination for outbound foreign direct investment by India.

 Why India?

India represents an important partner and global market for our region, boasting strong economic growth rates over the last two years. The Indian economy also has the potential to become the third largest economy in the world by the next decade. According to the International Monetary Fund, the outlook for short-term growth is also positive as the Indian economy represents a bright spot in the global economic landscape. India also topped the World Bank’s growth outlook for 2015-16 for the first time, with an economic growth rate of 7.3% in 2014-2015, and projected growth rates of 7.5% to 8.3% in 2015-2016.

Who should register?

  • Companies doing business and those looking to start doing business in India, particularly in the areas of:
    • Cleantech
    • Communication technologies
    • Digital media
    • Film and TV
    • Life science
    • Professional services
    • Security and defence
    • Software
  • Academic institutions seeking prospective research and educational collaborators
  • Members of the tourism industry


  • New Delhi: Located in the Delhi National Capital Territory and home to the Indian federal government, the Canadian High Commission to India and other embassies from around the world.
  • Mumbai: Capital city of the state of Maharashtra, it is the financial epicenter of India and home to the Bollywood film industry.
  • Bangalore: The hub of India’s IT industry, its well-developed private sector industries are similar to those that are dominant in Ottawa. Many of the world’s leading companies, such as Intel, Microsoft, Bosch and Cisco, have made Bangalore their home in India.

Mission Program Fee

Mission program fee of $500 for three cities includes:

  • Hospitality events with government and business leaders
  • B2B meetings and academic roundtables
  • Ground transportation for mission related activities
  • Business announcements and agreements

Not included in the mission program fee:

  • Travel to and from India, and air transportation between mission cities in India
  • Any personal travel expenses, such as hotels, meals (except for mission-related events) and other incidentals on this mission.
  • Government fees and processing expenses to obtain visas


Please visit the registration site, hosted by our partners TiE Ottawa to register for the mission:

Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards

A video clip showing the future Innovation Centre as it exists today and future design concepts. For more information and to be part of this exciting initiative set to open in 2016 get in touch via

Information about the project

You May Be Asking Yourself ‘What Exactly is an Innovation Centre?'

An innovation centre is a dynamic and energized place that brings together innovators, entrepreneurs, industry leaders, investors and community members to:

Harness creativity and imagination…. explore, experiment and invent…learn, exchange and collaborate…develop, validate and translate new ideas into technologies, products and services…launch and grow successful technology companies of the future

It is the ultimate one-stop shop and ‘mash-up’ of technical, business and market capabilities, resources and expertise that helps technology entrepreneurs and companies launch, grow and thrive. It’s a powerful intersection that brings all ingredients for commercial success under one roof – from incubation and meeting space to market information; business acceleration and investment programs; tools and technologies for the design, manufacture, test and commercialization of new products; linkages to customers, investors and markets around the world; training and events; functional business experts in sales, marketing, IP and finance – just to name a few. And it puts these capabilities within the financial reach of companies as they are taking flight and throughout development. The benefit to the community? New jobs, products, firms and investment that fuel the growth of the regional economy, and increase quality of life for citizens.

So, What Will Make our Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards Unique?

Our people! The Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards will be the first entrepreneurial hub of its kind in Ottawa, and base camp for some of our greatest homegrown technology talent, capabilities and companies. This federally-incorporated, non-profit agency will equip our most promising entrepreneurs and technology firms with the technical, business and market capabilities they require to take on the world! It will serve as a springboard for these ventures, helping them to reduce risk, accelerate growth, and spur commercial success and economic development in our community.

Leveraging $30 million in public investment to date (including $15 million in funding and donated real estate from the City of Ottawa, and $15 million from the Government of Ontario), the Innovation Centre will be located within hundreds of feet of an LRT station and feature:

  • A renovated 46,000 square foot municipal building located at 7 Bayview Road that will serve as the epicentre for entrepreneurial programs and services; it is scheduled to open in fall 2016
  • An adjacent, 12-storey business tower proposed for development subsequent to opening of the first facility; the tower will offer highly professional, leased office space to paying private sector firms, and house select graduating companies that emerge from Innovation Centre incubators.

In 2016, come step inside our doors and discover the industry-calibre tools and equipment, expertise, and connections that will help our firms chat a path from idea to global market.

Stop by the water cooler for chats with technology gurus, big brands and rising stars, angel investors, visionaries and artists…and immerse yourself in possibility. Bring us your biggest entrepreneurial challenge and let us help you tackle it head-on. Design, build and demonstrate the next great technology – all in our Digital Media Lab and Maker Space. And glow with pride as you marvel at the achievements of our innovators, entrepreneurs and community – and the new jobs, companies and investment that spring from them.

Would you like to learn more about the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards? Please visit or contact Sonya Shorey, Communications Strategist at or 613-851-9416.

For more information:
Twitter: # IC_Bayviewyards

Smart City 2.0 – Ottawa’s Smart City Strategy

Learn More

Social impact awards

The Ottawa Social Impact Awards are recognizing and celebrating the leaders in our community who are making a positive social impact through innovative, collaborative, and scalable initiatives and enterprises.

A partnership between Impact Hub Ottawa and the City of Ottawa, the inaugural Awards seek to:

  • Highlight new Ottawa-based community initiatives and social enterprises that have significant potential for growth and lasting impact;
  • Emphasize the power of the collective rather than the individual; and
  • Recognize social innovation in our community that is turning the status quo upside down

Nominations are currently being accepted for the Awards' two categories:

  • Community-based initiative
  • Social enterprise

Nominations will close on October 28th, 2016 and the public will have an opportunity to vote for the nominees that they feel are the best for Ottawa. The 5 nominees that receive the most votes in each of the two categories will become finalists. The top 10 finalists will be reviewed and evaluated by our independent panel of judges who will announce one winner from each category at this year’s Social Enterprise Unleashed conference on November 17th, 2016. The Ottawa Social Impact Awards aims to elevate the recipients' profile, expand their network, and enhance their capacity to do good better. The winners (of each category) will receive:

  • A one-year membership to Impact Hub Ottawa, a community of creative and entrepreneurial changemakers, and access to its collaborative workspace and resources
  • A meeting with senior City staff to exchange ideas and explore opportunities for collaboration
  • An opportunity to be featured on
  • Two tickets to Social Enterprise Unleashed, Ottawa’s premiere Social Enterprise conference, where the Awards will be presented to the winners

The Ottawa Social Impact Awards are a legacy initiative of One Young World, the preeminent global forum for young leaders aged 18-30. The 2016 One Young World Summit is taking place in Ottawa September 28- October 1, 2016.

Have your say - nominate and vote at