Blue Sky Net (BSN) has landed $1.9 million in federal funding to enhance information and communications technology (ICT) through the region.
Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Anthony Rota made the announcement on Sept. 6.
Based in North Bay, Blue Sky Net facilitates the development of ICT projects throughout Northern Ontario.
Of the funding, $1 million will support ongoing operations of Blue Sky Net over a three-year period to help businesses through the Nipissing-Timiskaming, Sudbury East, Manitoulin and Parry Sound East regions.
The organization will collaborate with local stakeholders to assess ICT trends and talent gaps, identify and implement solutions to increase skilled talent to support digital industries, co-ordinate local and regional broadband deployment, and help increase digital technology adoption and awareness.
The remaining $890,000 will enable BSN to administer its Business Technology Improvement Fund in its service area.
The fund provides capital to small and medium-sized businesses with high growth potential. Businesses can receive up to $25,000 in non-repayable contributions to support the purchase of digital technologies and other hardware and software solutions.
“The Government of Canada, through FedNor, is a strong supporter of ICT Networks and the work we do to spur innovation, support skills training and help businesses adopt new technologies and processes,” Susan Church, executive director of Blue Sky Net, in a news release.
“These strategic initiatives will help us improve connectivity and access to technology for business and residential consumers by expanding infrastructure, increasing knowledge, developing applications and investing in businesses.”
Funding for the two projects is being provided through FedNor’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program, which supports the growth of Canadian businesses, their expansion into new markets and their adoption of new technologies and processes.