Ontario economy’s two of the mainly focused sectors, high tech and automotive have converged in the southern Ontario for forming an economic cluster, which is completely exclusive in North America. This convergence has been mainly driven by availability of the software developers as well as other tech talents. Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research’s managing director, Ross McKenzie had mentioned in an interview in the Autotech Symposium of Waterloo University that they have a lot of universities that are delivering lot of qualified scientists and engineers who would be willingly taking up the challenges.
Car companies required software engineers as there was addition of more sensors and computers to the vehicles for assisted parking and driving, navigation and entertainment. The convergence of high tech and automotive sectors accelerated with needs for more driverless, autonomous and connected vehicle technology. Growth of research and development centers from three to ten was observed in the past three years.
Expansion of Automotive Corridor of Ontario to Be Significant for Waterloo Centre
Automotive corridor of Ontario stretches 450kms together with the 402 from the Windsor towards Oshawa as well as is inclusive of over 10 research & development centers, 5 powertrain facilities, 13 assembly lines and 700 parts manufacturers for parts makers. The auto industry of the province directly takes on 125,000 people.
As stated by the McKinsey & Company, high-tech counterpart of automotive is Toronto Waterloo Corridor that has over 15,000 tech firms and over 205,000 tech workers that generate and predictable 17% of the gross domestic product of the country. McKenzie further mentioned that this has been the only jurisdiction in the North America where competition is at its peak and players on both the sides do know and have been familiar with each other. This in turn proves holistically beneficial for driving collaborations.
Furthermore, many information technology firms have been willing to operate in mobility as well as more automotive firms demanding hardware and software expertise. Companies such as Musashi had released North American tech center in Waterloo. Musashi had witnessed quick expansion and has been a keen supplier to Suzuki, Toyota and Honda.
For hired nearly 400 engineers from the QNX unit of BlackBerry, locating around 30 in Oakville, 130 in Ottawa and 120 in Waterloo. The rest are situated in United States. According to Ross McKenzie, filling positions in Waterloo as well as in Ottawa would only move at a gradual pace.
Many tech companies such as Google, Apple, Cisco and BlackBerry amongst others have surged the mobility and automotive related research in Toronto Waterloo Corridor.