UPDATED: DMZ could benefit from 2017 federal budget

The Liberal government has put an emphasis on innovation in their second budget, and that could mean good things for Ryerson’s students and digital media zone (DMZ).

The budget, released today, stated that “an innovative Canada is a healthier, stronger, more prosperous Canada.”

The government proposes to invest $950 million over five years towards “superclusters” of innovations, like the DMZ.

The DMZ is ranked the top university-based tech innovator in North America and has developed almost 300 startups since its start in 2010.

Adbullah Snobar, the executive director of the DMZ, is optimistic about what the budget means: “With the 2017 federal budget’s focus on funding superclusters, teaching digital skills to youth and providing scaleup support to startups, the DMZ looks forward to the future of innovation in Canada.”

Advancing young entrepreneurs in Canada also made it into the budget. It proposes that $14 million be invested in Futurpreneur Canada, a not-for-profit organization supporting the mentoring of young entrepreneurs.

In a statement to the Ryersonian,  Trisha Rinneard, the manager of government relations said, “Ryerson University welcomes the federal government’s investments in innovation and students that were announced in yesterday’s 2017 budget.  These are important steps in building a strong economy for all Canadians and we look forward to working with the federal government on these initiatives.”

Finance Minister Bill Morneau also emphasized how important digital innovation — and in particular, artificial intelligence — is for Canada.

“Canada can be a world leader in digital innovation … we can’t afford not to be,” he said while introducing the budget in the House of Commons today.

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