ENCQOR 5G EXCEEDS THE BAR OF 500 SMES

This remarkable milestone illustrates the significant footprint of the ENCQOR program in the development of a dynamic, diverse and innovative 5G ecosystem in Canada

Montreal (Quebec), March 18, 2021 – ENCQOR 5G is proud to announce that over 500 SMEs have now joined the program since its launch in 2017. The SMEs involved in ENCQOR 5G are using 5G network solutions to modernize and transform a wide variety of sectors, including telecommunications, multimedia and entertainment, transportation, smart cities, health, advanced manufacturing, agriculture, and mining. ENCQOR 5G is an initiative led by a consortium of five anchor partners (CGI, Ciena, Ericsson, IBM and Thales), provincial governments Quebec and Ontario, and the Government of Canada.

"The achievement of this remarkable new milestone illustrates ENCQOR's strategic importance and impact in the development and testing of new 5G technologies in Canada. With more than 500 SMEs involved in the program, ENCQOR will have created a dynamic, diversified and innovative 5G ecosystem in just a few years, thus contributing to giving a strong impetus to the development of this technology in our country," said Mr. Germain Lamonde, Chairman of the Board, Innovation ENCQOR.

The initiative, implemented by the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) in Ontario and by Innovation ENCQOR, Prompt and ADRIQ in Quebec, provides a pre-commercial platform for Canadian businesses to develop and test the next generation of 5G technology solutions.

“With more than 500 SMEs now engaged in ENCQOR 5G, we can see how our 5G testbed, accessible free of charge, is playing a major and essential role in the development of 5G technology in Canada. And that is without counting the 5G development work carried out by our anchor partners, with the support of thousands of high-level researchers and developers. The academic community, particularly through internship programs in SMEs and large companies involving hundreds of graduate students and dozens of supervising professors, also makes an invaluable contribution to ENCQOR 5G. It is with pride that we can affirm today that our program is a resounding success, made possible by a formidable combination of forces, talents and expertise ”, said Pierre Boucher, General Manager of ENCQOR 5G.

A 5G testbed at the cutting-edge of technology

The SMEs involved in ENCQOR are able to access ENCQOR's high-performance testbeds at no cost, which which are currently available at five innovation centers: Quebec City (Institut intelligence et données), Montreal (Centech), Ottawa (Invest Ottawa), Toronto (MaRS) and Waterloo (Communitech). ENCQOR is the only pre-commercial network in Canada that offers access to all three 5G frequency ranges, allowing researchers and developers to test a very wide range of applications and take full advantage of the possibilities offered by this technology.

Due to the pandemic, businesses are now more dependent on high-performance connectivity than ever before. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the ENCQOR 5G team has been able to keep the 5G testbed accessible. These efforts have enabled the program to continue its successful deployment and reach the 500 SME milestone with the support of all its partners, including the essential support of its founding partners - CGI, Ciena, Ericsson, IBM and Thales.

More information is available on the ENCQOR 5G website on reaching this important 500 SME milestone (including short videos on the achievements of some SMEs).

Quotes from the three governments participating in the ENCQOR 5G program

François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“The pandemic has reshaped how many Canadians live and work, and never before has technology and connectivity been more important to us. Our government is committed to making our country a leader in 5G and this world class 5G network is helping to ensure Canadian businesses succeed in the global innovation race.”

Vic Fideli, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade
“It’s great to see so many SMEs leveraging this opportunity to tap into 5G network solutions. Ontario is already a leader in innovation, and ensuring our companies have access to the latest advancements will strengthen our competitive edge and assist in our economic recovery from COVID-19.”

Luc Sirois, Quebec’s Chief Innovation Officer
"Companies must always try to be at the forefront of major technological and social transformations, to innovate and grow, as well as to be in a position to see the coming of rising waves and ride them out. Better still, truly successful SMEs are the ones who actually decide to make the next big transformations happen. This is what 500 companies in Quebec and Ontario had the foresight to do with the ENCQOR 5G initiative, and with the support of the Quebec, Ontario and federal governments. 500 companies that chose to test what the future will look like, upstream. 500 companies that chose to invent what the next connected world could be, for Quebec, Canada and the rest of the world. Congratulations to all these visionary SMEs. Thank you to all ENCOR partners and coordinators who made this possible."

Quotes from the three ENCQOR 5G's mobilization partners

Claudia Krywiak, President and CEO, OCI
“In countries around the world, 5G capabilities are already creating the industries of the future. ENCQOR 5G is giving SMEs the critical tools they need to make Canada a global leader in the development of 5G solutions,” said Dr. Claudia Krywiak, President and CEO, OCI. “Thanks to our Business Development team, working across the province, our ‘boots on the ground’ approach is driving strong participation from Ontario companies as we work with our partners to achieve this significant milestone.”

Madeleine Jean, interim General Manager, Prompt
“At Prompt, we are proud of these results and proud also to be able to actively participate in the expansion of 5G technology in Quebec. This game changing wireless communications technology will significantly impact cutting-edge applications, accelerate businesses digital transformation, and bolster Quebec's competitiveness.”

Pascal Monette, President and CEO, ADRIQ
“The Association pour le Développement de la Recherche et de l'Innovation du Québec (ADRIQ) team enthusiastically welcomes this important milestone in the number of SMEs that have tested the 5G technology for present and future applications. Innovation being at the heart of our mission, we are confident that other SMEs will see the potential of 5G and will dive into this technology with our support and guidance.”

Quotes from managers of SMEs participating in the ENCQOR 5G program

Lois Norris, COO and CFO, SSIMWAWE Inc.
“By partnering with OCI through the ENCQOR 5G program, SSIMWAVE leveraged the 5G testbed to help our anchor customer evaluate video quality impairments on the 5G network both in fixed and mobile environments. This very important initiative is enabling strong tailwinds for SSIMWAVE’s technology and aims to put Canada at the forefront of the 5G revolution.”

Jay Judkowitz, VP of Product, Otto Motors (a division of Clearpath)
“Working with ENCQOR and ENCQOR partners like Ericsson enabled us to invest in 5G before we’d otherwise be able to. This sort of engagement is critical to keeping our competitive edge and maintaining technical leadership.”

Amir Hoss, CEO, EAIGLE
“EAIGLE’s engagement with OCI accelerated the development of a Made-in-Ontario artificial intelligence solution that is scalable and expandable to a variety of applications and industries. Access to OCI’s ENCQOR 5G program helped to optimize our overall system architecture, lower cost of hardware and improve our business model significantly allowing us to expand to smart city applications.”

Jeremy Perrin, President and Co-Founder of Connektica
“Now 5G is on the way, the infrastructure is starting to be deployed, and those who do not take this turn will very quickly be outdated. ENCQOR 5G already allows us at Connektica to familiarize ourselves with the various advantages of 5G and to integrate these technologies into our developments to ensure us a future competitive advantage.”

Abdé Essaidi, Vice-President Axionable Canada
"The complexity behind 5G should not be underestimated. The objective of the ENCQOR 5G program is to provide the right expertise to address this complexity, so that we can focus on our machine learning use case".

About Innovation ENCQOR

Innovation ENCQOR is the Quebec-based partnership coordinator for the Quebec implementation of the ENCQOR 5G program. ENCQOR 5G is funded by the governments of Canada, Quebec and Ontario, as well as key industry players: Ericsson, Ciena, Thales, CGI and IBM. ENCQOR 5G is coordinated by Innovation ENCQOR. It is implemented in Ontario by the Ontario Center of Innovation and in Quebec by Innovation ENCQOR, Prompt and ADRIQ. The program's mandate is to bring together SMEs and academia to contribute to the advancement of research, innovation and application demonstration through a 5G pre-commercial testbed. ENCQOR 5G has 5 innovation centers located in Ontario and Quebec, offering a 5G platform where SMEs can develop and test new solutions.

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Source:ENCQOR 5G

For information:Frédéric Tremblay
ENCQOR 5G
frederic@ryanap.com
Tel.: (514) 874-1909