Ottawa companies receive FedDev funding for AI, semiconductor, biotech work

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with Filomena Tassi, the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.
FedDev invested nearly $20 million across nine Ottawa-based companies.

Federal ministers went on a tour of the nation’s capital on Monday to announce nearly $20 million in investments from The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev) going to Ottawa-based companies. 

“The funding support from the federal government […] will allow us to remove critical barriers to growth for life sciences companies in the region.”
– Jeff Smirle, Capital BioVentures COO

The funding looks to bolster resources for Ottawa-based biotech companies as well as help various tech companies in the region, including semiconductor and artificial intelligence (AI) firms, scale. 

Among the biotech investments are Virica Biotech, Genvira Biosciences, and Capital BioVentures.   

Virica is receiving $1.5 million to support the manufacturing of its viral sensitizers, which the company claims  boost the efficacy of using viruses to help treat cancer, at its facility in Carleton University. FedDev said the investment will help Virica scale to meet increasing demand. Genvira, which builds virus-based biotherapeutics with proprietary engineering technology to help create medicines such as vaccines, is receiving $1.75 million to bolster its biomaterials manufacturing capabilities.

Capital BioVentures, which launched earlier this year, is receiving the largest investment of the batch at $5.5 million. The wet-lab accelerator aims to support early-stage Canadian biotech companies with funding, access to equipment, and lab space across the city of Ottawa. 

“We are incredibly excited to launch Capital BioVentures in Ottawa, as our city is home to some of Canada’s leading life science innovators,” Capital BioVentures COO Jeff Smirle said in a statement. “The funding support from the federal government, and the support of our network of partners, will allow us to remove critical barriers to growth for life sciences companies in the region.”

Six other Ottawa-based firms received repayable investments from FedDev, including semiconductor manufacturer Ranovus, gas detection hardware company Armstrong Monitoring, analytics software firm Larus Technologies, wireless monitoring service ThinkRF, mental health platform TryCycle Data Systems, and edtech gig work platform TutorOcean

RELATED: Canadian government ups semiconductor focus, invests $36 million in Ranovus 

FedDev is providing $4.8 million to Ranovus’ $19-million project that looks to scale the production of its Odin 8 chip at its Ottawa location. The funding follows up on the federal government’s $36-million commitment to Ranovus through the Strategic Innovation Fund in March 2023. Much like this week’s funding, the federal government looked to Revonus to help advance the domestic production and manufacturing of semiconductor products and services. 

TryCycle, which experienced an executive shakeup last month, received $1 million to help scale up its workforce and mental healthtech platforms across Canada and internationally. ThinkRF, which helps wireless network operators analyze radio frequencies, received $2 million to help meet demand for 5G network implementation. 

Meanwhile, Larus received $1.5 million to bolster its analytics software with AI and machine learning, and TutorOcean received $1 million to incorporate AI into its tutoring platform and expand into Europe and Asia. Finally, Armstrong received $700,000 to increase its manufacturing capacity for hazardous gas detectors. 

“The six Ottawa companies highlighted today are leaders in the industry, supporting Canada’s place in growing the critical AI sector and helping to keep our place at the forefront of the world’s advanced economies,” Filomena Tassi, the minister responsible for FedDev, said in a statement. 

Feature image courtesy Flickr

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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