Canada to Fund Commercial Open Data Exchange


The Canadian government has announced that it will provide funding for a federal open data exchange in an effort to support the commercialization of open data projects in the country. The government will spend up to $3 million for Communitech Corporation to establish the Open Data Exchange (ODX), which will be located in Waterloo, Ontario.

“The creation of an open data institute in Waterloo will allow the project to leverage the extensive knowledge and resources already in the region, while benefiting the information communications technology cluster,” said Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board of Canada in a statement.

The $3 million award will be given out over the course of three years. The project is expected to result in the incubation of 15 new data-driven companies. Funding for ODX is being provided through a non-repayable contribution under FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Commercialization Partnerships initiative.

Communitech is partnering with Desire2Learn, OpenText Corporation and the University of Waterloo, and will be matching FedDev Ontario’s $3-million contribution to bring initial project financing to $6 million. Communitech is an association that supports Waterloo Region’s technology sector.

In addition to the government funding, Canada expects to get up to another $50 million in venture dollars flowing to companies on the exchange.

The ODX will support the development of industry standards for open data, build a national marketplace where commercialization of open data can flourish, and support a pan-Canadian open data innovation community.