The Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) has been working for nearly five years now to help support, grow and commercialize digital media across the country.
An $8.75-million funding extension will allow the network and its 25 hubs -- including the University of Waterloo Stratford campus -- to continue that work over the next five years.
“This is wonderful news,” said CDMN’s vice-president of external relations Avvey Peters Friday. “The extended mandate and additional funding allows us to continue supporting commercialization at all of our centres, Stratford included.”
Greg Rickford, the federal Minister of State for Science and Technology, announced the $8.75 million in funding earlier this week in Kitchener.
The local share works out to about $1.75 million, which will be used by the University of Waterloo Stratford campus to continue its work with the Stratford Accelerator Centre over the next five years.
That Wellington St. centre provides mentorship and coaching for tech-related startups, including some University of Waterloo Stratford campus students, and helps to connect them to the resources they need to grow their fledgling businesses.
Mayor Dan Mathieson said the funding announcement underscores the growing importance of digital media in the new economy.
“It really shows the commitment from the federal Centres of Excellence program to not only the CDMN and the work it does, but also the commercialization of the research and possible businesses that can flow out of the university,” he said.
He pointed to Waterloo and its burgeoning tech sector as an example of the kind of economic impact a university and an accelerator centre can have.
It’s an impact that the city, the University of Waterloo Stratford campus and the Stratford Accelerator Centre are hoping to replicate here.
The partners have already taken some strides in that direction.
Since February, the local accelerator centre has worked with a total of 13 early-stage technology companies and budding entrepreneurs.
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