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Ontario Centres of Excellence, Business Development Bank of Canada Partner to Simplify Access to Additional Funding

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/14/14 -- Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) have signed a partnership agreement to offer small businesses in Ontario an easier and more convenient way to access additional financing in a one stop application process. The agreement was signed at OCE's Discovery 2014 conference.

"We are pleased that BDC is partnering with us on the Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP)," said OCE President and CEO Dr. Tom Corr. "OCE and BDC share the vision that helping small businesses and entrepreneurs gain access to additional funding and resources is essential to allowing entrepreneurs to reach their full potential."

In keeping with OCE's drive to support its "whole of government approach", collaboration with the BDC will allow both organizations to work together to provide companies with additional resources to confront technical challenges, improve productivity and increase exports; the partnership will also help companies compete in the global marketplace.

"To ensure long-term economic prosperity we need to encourage businesses in Ontario to innovate and grow," said Peter Lawler, Senior Vice President, Financing and Consulting, Ontario. "This partnership will make it easier for entrepreneurs to access the much needed financing that is critical to their future growth and competitiveness."

The BDC debt financing add-on feature is a convenient and valuable option for eligible companies who are applying for the VIP. This add-on component will direct applicants to the BDC website where they simply check off a box and apply online for a loan of up to $50,000. The evaluation process is completed within 48 hours.

BDC joins the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) as well as Connect Canada as federal partners helping to create a simple process for referrals to complementary innovation services and funding.

Eligibility criteria, support guidelines and all funding decisions will be those of the partner organizations.

For more information on the Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP) visit OCE's website.

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. (www.oce-ontario.org)

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and government ministries. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, information and communications technology, digital media, advanced materials and manufacturing, agri-food, aerospace, transportation, energy, and the environment including water and mining. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs and industry rapidly grow their company and create jobs. For more information visit www.onebusiness.ca

About BDC

Canada's business development bank, BDC puts entrepreneurs first. With almost 2,000 employees and more than 100 business centres across the country, BDC offers financing, subordinate financing, venture capital, securitization and consulting services to more than 28,000 small and medium-sized companies. Their success is vital to Canada's economic prosperity. www.bdc.ca

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