Ontario’s Innovation Ecosystem

Regional Innovation Centres (RICS)

TechPlace which is part of the HalTech Innovation Centre

Ontario’s innovation ecosystem has a number of different vehicles to support entrepreneurship and the development of unique Intellectual Property (IP) which will help create game-changing technologies for the future. 

The RIC centres listed below are a great first stop for founders who want to get assistance in commercializing their business idea and getting it in front of mentors who can provide feedback. Often situated adjacent to universities and colleges, there are a number of ways to get involved with a RIC, either by attending a basic workshop, all the way up to renting office space at the centre at a subsidized rate. 

Altitude Accelerator – Brampton

Communitech (RIC) – Kitchener-Waterloo

Green Centre Canada – Kingston

HalTech Innovation Centre – Halton Region

Innovation Factory (RIC) – Hamilton

Innovation Guelph (RIC) – Guelph

Innovation Initiatives Ontario North – North Bay

Innovate Niagara (RIC) – Niagara Region

Invest Ottawa (RIC) – Ottawa

Launch Lab (RIC) – Kingston

MaRS (RIC) – Toronto

Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT) (RIC) – Sudbury

Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre (RIC) – Thunder Bay

Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) – Across Ontario 

Productivity & Innovation Centre – Timmins

Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (RIC) – Sault St. Marie

Spark Centre (RIC) – Oshawa and Whitby

TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario (RIC) – London

Venture Lab (RIC) – York Region, Simcoe County, Muskoka District and the Greater Toronto Area

WEtech Alliance (RIC) – Windsor


Accelerators serve a similar function as the RICs in that they support and mentor startups. However they are unique in that they offer programs on a condensed timeline (as they name suggests). Accelerators often run in a cohort-based model.

Accelerator Centre – Kitchener-Waterloo and Stratford

Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator – Windsor

DreamBuilder Studios – Cornwall

Haliburton County Development Corporation – Haliburton County

Hamilton Technology Centre – Hamilton

Lawson Health Research Institute – London

Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Center – Sarnia-Lambton

YEDI – North York