The Ontario government released its Budget 2018 a few days ago, which promised boosts to the tech sector!
The Ontario Government indicated there will be an investment of $350 million in industries like artificial intelligence, 5G wireless communications, autonomous vehicles, advanced computing, and quantum technologies. Best of all the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program is getting a boost. Here’s some more details…
Artificial IntelligenceOntario stressed its support for the AI-focused Vector Institute, with a $30 million investment to prompt students to study AI.
NextAI,an accelerator dedicated to supporting AI-based startups, will be receiving $15 million over the next three years from Ontario.
“These additional resources will allow us to do more to support the growth of new AI ventures in Ontario,” said NEXT Canada CEO Sheldon Levy. “Ontario’s public and private sectors have been working closely together to make this province an emerging leader in the field of artificial intelligence, this announcement strengthens Ontario’s position.”
FinTechThe government shared its plan to open a FinTech Accelerator Office to support FinTech businesses, and inform government policies on creating more growth in the FinTech sector. According to the budget, the Office’s function will offer support with:
The government is committing up to $50 million in venture capital funds focused on life sciences, and plans to leverage additional capital from private-sector partners such as corporations, pension funds, and banks. The province also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work with Quebec on the development of a joint Life Sciences Venture Capital Fund.
Ontario renewed a 10-year agreement with the University of Guelph, investing over $700 million in agri-food education, research, and innovation.
Investing in CybersecurityThe Ontario budget indicates there will be an investment of $64 million over three years to attract cybersecurity talent to the region, using new recruitment methods that include partnerships with postsecondary institutions. Ontario will also commit to enhancing the cybersecurity of the province’s private financial institutions.
Tax CreditsTo support large businesses investing in research and development, the government has proposed an enhancement to the Ontario Research and Development Tax Credit (ORDTC) which is claimed with SR&ED.
The ORDTC is a 3.5 percent non-refundable tax credit on eligible R&D expenditures; companies that qualify for the ORDTC would be eligible for an enhanced rate of 5.5 percent on expenditures over $1 million in a taxation year. The $1 million threshold would be prorated for short taxation years.
The Ontario Innovation Tax Credit is an eight percent refundable tax credit for small to medium-sized companies on eligible R&D expenditures as part of the SR&ED program. For eligible R&D expenditures incurred on or after March 28, 2018, if a company qualifies for the OITC and has a ratio of R&D expenditures to gross revenues that is:
7 Ways to Boost Your Creativity.
By Victoria Munro
“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns."
~ Edward de Bono
Entrepreneurship and creativity should go together. But it’s easy to get caught up in the daily routine of running a business and handling the related challenges. We can get stuck in a repetitive rut and forget to keep those creative juices flowing. In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s important to keep fanning that flame of creativity within.
Raising your creativity can increase profits, give your fresh motivation and make life and business more enjoyable. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a naturally creative person, you have imaginative, resourceful abilities inside just waiting to be ignited. Below are seven ways to boost your creativity:
1. Input the right stuff. Be thoughtful about what you feed your mind. Make a point to read, watch and listen to creative, innovative, inspiring material. Visit a museum or art gallery, or go places you’ve never been before.“Are you feeding your brain protein every day, or are you just giving it candy? Most Americans sustain their brains solely on candy—that is, useless television shows, news and gossip. Are you stimulating yourself with big ideas and new learning?”
~ Jim Rohn
2. Take a day away to think. No phone, just you, a notebook and a pen. If a day, or even half a day a week, sounds like too much, start with an hour or two. During the week, make note of questions and ideas that come to mind, as well as problems and challenges you run into. Then use your think time to come up with innovative solutions. Keep a journal or notebook to record your thoughts. Taking time out just to think may seem like a waste of time, and it’s not easy. Henry Ford said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few people engage in it.”
3. Be ready to capture creative ideas. Always carry a notebook and pen. You never know when you might have a brilliant idea or hear something you’d like to further explore. Write it down quickly; don’t lose it. Leonardo da Vinci was famous for keeping a journal of his ideas. Today, those notebooks containing his creative ideas, drawings, scientific diagrams and genius thoughts are priceless.
4. Exercise your brain—train your mind to think, question and evaluate. Commit to learn something new this year. Take a class. Try something you’ve never done before. Do crossword or Sudoku puzzles. Welcome and ponder ridiculous, off-the-wall ideas rather than judging them. When approaching problems, try to think of solutions that are unique or different.
5. Ask questions. Become curious about the world around you. Stop occasionally, look around and ask why? How? And what if…? Talk to people—perhaps people you wouldn’t normally connect with, ask searching questions, listen attentively and learn from them. Read some books in a totally different genre from your usual fare.
6. View problems as opportunities to be creative. When challenges arise that weren’t in your game plan, see them as possibilities in disguise. After taking his dog for a hike, Velcro® inventor, George de Mestral, returned home covered with burrs. Intrigued, he inspected one of the many burrs in his microscope and saw thousands of tiny hooks that caused it to cling to the loops in the fabric of his pants. As a result, he designed the well-known two-sided fastener—one side with stiff hooks like the burrs and the other side with soft loops.
7. Believe that you are creative. Think of yourself as a creative person. Webster’s Dictionary defines creativity as creative ability or intellectual inventiveness. We all possess this to some extent and we can all improve our ability to create. Becoming more creative will take determination and practice, but the results will be worthwhile and rewarding.
About the Author: Victoria Munro is co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small-business owners through creatively designed programs and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses. To receive FREE business success articles with tips to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at: www.Make-it-Fly.com, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.
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