Ontario’s Ecosystem

Ontario’s automotive and technology expertise, top academic institutions, and robust innovation ecosystem make a top global destination for automotive and smart mobility technology to thrive.

Ontario’s Strengths

As the automotive and mobility landscape converges with the technology sector, Ontario is uniquely positioned to lead this transformation. More than 300 Ontario-based companies are already tapping into Ontario’s robust network and developing technologies that are shaping the future of the automotive and mobility sector.

Strong Automotive Cluster

Ontario has a large industrial footprint of automotive and parts manufacturing, as well as a geographic advantage due to its shared border with Michigan, America’s automotive hub.

Strengths in ICT

Ontario has the second-largest information and communication technology (ICT) cluster in North America, with more than 20,000 ICT firms.

Car and crane

Key Supports & Resources

Ontario is home to world-class academic institutions, R&D centres, innovation hubs and connected and autonomous (C/AV) testing facilities.


Proactive Government Policies

The federal and provincial governments demonstrate support for the future of the automotive and mobility sector through multiple programs and funding sources. It enables the creation of a robust cross-stakeholder network including industry, government and academia.


Skilled Labour Force

The concentration of technology talent across Ontario is one of the highest in North America. This sizeable concentration of tech talent creates an environment conducive to innovation and is also a determinant of growth potential of the sector.


Multiculturalism & Social Strengths

Ontario’s quality of life, reasonable cost of living, health care coverage, and Canada’s approach to multiculturalism and inclusion, has supported attracting and retaining diverse talent, with several Canadian cities ranking within the top 10 on the 2019 Global Liveability Index.

Key Stakeholder Groups

Ontario’s automotive and mobility ecosystem consists of four key stakeholder groups who play important roles in supporting the development of advanced automotive and smart mobility technologies:


Several government entities are responsible for developing policies and frameworks to support the automotive and mobility sector. These entities operate at the federal, provincial and municipal level and collaborate with one another to support and fund R&D, as well as develop relevant codes, standards, frameworks and regulatory policies.

Academia & Research

Ontario’s post-secondary institutions (PSIs) work towards developing their students as future-oriented and adaptive leaders, by giving students the opportunity to test various smart mobility technologies onsite and collaborate with industry partners on practical use cases in areas of transit and mobility. PSI’s also collaborate with industry on R&D projects.


Ontario’s automotive and mobility industry comprises of a broad range of companies and sector groups that vary in terms of their products, services, market focus, size and maturity. It includes original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), parts manufacturers, major technology companies and auto-tech focused start-ups and small-medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as investors.

Accelerators & Innovation Hubs

Ontario is home to 17 Regional Innovation Centres (RICs) and many economic development organizations and entrepreneurial accelerators. They are responsible for supporting various SMEs, companies, and start-ups, fostering relationships and managing large scale programs in collaboration with the government to help accelerate technology start-ups.

Academic and Training Institutions 

Ontario is a highly skilled province with world class universities, colleges and training institutions that contribute significantly to creating a strong pool of technology talent. 


colleges and universities in Ontario of which 6 are in the top 300 global universities


yearly graduates in fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

4 & 14

are the ranks of Toronto and Ottawa among the top tech talent markets in North America in 2020, respectively


Ontario colleges and 11 universities offer auto-related research initiatives and training programs

Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network

The Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) capitalizes on the economic potential of automotive technologies and smart mobility solutions and is catalyzing the growth of a vibrant and diversified automotive and mobility sector.

R&D Funding

Funding to support projects related to the development, testing, validating, prototyping, and demonstration of advanced automotive and smart mobility technologies, including funding for talent development.

Regional Technology Development Sites

Locations across Ontario that enable entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs to develop, prototype and validate new technologies, access specialized equipment and obtain business and technical advice. 

Central Hub

A focal point for all stakeholders across the province – driving public education, research and thought leadership, convening stakeholder groups, bridging collaborative partnerships, and serving as a concierge for new entrants into Ontario’s ecosystem.

Want to learn more about Ontario’s ecosystem?

Visit the OVIN ecosystem map