Rockport receives $12 million government investment for data storage project


Ottawa-based SaaS startup Rockport Networks has received a $12 million investment from the federal government to support the company’s $49.9 million Networking at the Edge (NATE) project.

“Our investment is not only making sure Canadians’ data is more secure, but also helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Through this project, Rockport aims to create software-enabled network systems for data storage, in order to make them faster and more secure, while using less electricity. This government investment in Rockport Networks is being made through the Strategic Innovation Fund, which opened its fifth stream for organizations leading partnerships with various industry stakeholders, in June.

“In partnership with the Canadian government, specifically, visionary programs like the Strategic Innovation Fund, Rockport Networks will deliver world-class networking solutions to the global marketplace,” said Doug Carwardine, co-founder, president, and CEO of Rockport Networks. “Our innovation will drive the need for hundreds of additional knowledge-based jobs, inventing and applying new intellectual property to create sustainable network technology and new levels of cybersecurity protection.”

Founded in 2012, Rockport has developed a new networking model aimed at ushering in a faster, more efficient, and cleaner approach to data centre connectivity. NATE is intended to reduce the copious amounts of energy consumed by data centres, and therefore improve energy efficiency and the environment.

“As Canadians turn to data storage and networks more frequently in their lives, they need to be confident that they can quickly and securely store and access their data,” said Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development. “Our investment in Rockport Networks is not only making sure Canadians’ data is more secure but also helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, solidifying Canada’s position as a world leader in digital network technologies.”

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The company had previously received about $4 million in funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada as part of a $45 million investment in cleantech projects across Canada. More recently, the company received a loan from FedDev Ontario totalling to nearly $3 million to support the commercialization of its autonomous networking solution. The government said at the time that the loan would leverage about $5.4 million in private sector investment.

“Innovative companies like Rockport Networks are demonstrating every day how the environment and the economy go hand-in-hand,” said Catherine McKenna, MP for Ottawa Centre and minister of environment and climate change. “Our government is happy to support Rockport’s project that will bring important innovations to network systems, reduce greenhouse emissions, and support hundreds of jobs right here in Ottawa.”

Image courtesy Rockport Networks via Twitter

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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