OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 18, 2012) - Three innovative companies are expanding their businesses and creating nearly 170 new jobs in Oakville, thanks to an investment of up to $3,075,000 by the Government of Canada. The announcement was made today by Terence Young, Member of Parliament for Oakville, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

"Our Government is investing in innovative businesses in key sectors to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for the people of southern Ontario," said MP Young. "This investment will help three companies to enter new markets, compete on a global level, and create quality job opportunities in Oakville."

Through the Investing in Business Innovation initiative, FedDev Ontario is contributing up to $925,000 for Smart Energy Instruments Inc. and up to $500,000 for ARDA Power Inc. This funding will allow Smart Energy Instruments Inc. to further develop, test and bring to market technology for measuring dozens of complex electric power quantities, synchronized across an entire grid and to communicate this information in real time.

"This funding will help us to bring unique technologies to the world market," said Dr. Jeff Dionne, CEO of Smart Energy Instruments. "We are optimistic that this chipset and the advantages it brings will be a game-changer for how electric grids are monitored and controlled."

ARDA Power Inc. will use this investment to accelerate the commercialization of its high-efficiency, low-cost solar power converter systems, bringing them to the global renewable energy market.

"This funding will further enhance the commercialization of our proprietary direct current (DC) conversion technology and take this innovation globally," said Clemens van Zeyl, CEO of ARDA Power. "We are very excited and confident that our DC technologies and solutions will have a positive impact in the solar power industry, as well as in the broader power systems industry including energy storage."

Through the Prosperity Initiative, FedDev Ontario is contributing up to $1,650,000 for VAC Developments to accelerate an upgrade to its technology and train its employees with the goal of attracting larger contracts for the precision mechanical components and assemblies in the growing and competitive aerospace market.

"This new partnership with FedDev Ontario marks another important advance in our progress," said VAC Developments President Bill Hristovski. "With it, we will be able to further expand our capabilities and capacities, generating many new high-quality employment opportunities that will be sustainable in this highly competitive global environment."

Please refer to the backgrounder for more information about the projects, the Investing in Business Innovation initiative and the Prosperity Initiative.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region's businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

Follow us on Twitter @FedDevOntario.


This news release is available online at: www.feddevontario.gc.ca.


Contributions to Smart Energy Instruments Inc., ARDA Power Inc. & VAC Developments Ltd.

FedDev Ontario is investing up to $3,075,000 in repayable contributions in three Oakville area businesses under the Investing in Business Innovation and Prosperity initiatives.

These projects will help three innovative businesses in the Oakville area get their products and ideas to market faster, and grow and become more competitive position in global markets.

Smart Energy Instruments Inc.

Smart Energy Instruments Inc. is developing technology to measure and communicate information about the electrical power grid securely and efficiently. Under FedDev Ontario's Investing in Business Innovation initiative, Smart Energy Instruments Inc. will receive up to $925,000 to further develop, test and bring to market technology for measuring dozens of complex electric power quantities, synchronized across the entire grid and to communicate this information in real time.

Smart Energy Instruments Inc. expects this new chipset product line will provide utilities throughout the world with an unprecedented ability to monitor, control and plan smart grids, enabling them to improve reliability, efficiency and address challenges in transitioning to renewable energy sources. This project is expected to increase the company's sales, forge new strategic alliances and create up to 10 high-tech jobs. For this project, Smart Energy has raised $850,000 from members of the CleanTech Angel Network and $1,500,000 through a joint investment from Ontario Capital Growth Corporation's Ontario Emerging Technology Fund and venture capital firm VentureLink. Subsequently, Smart Energy was able to attract an additional investment of $750,000 from the MaRS Cleantech Fund to support the company's growth. For more information, visit: www.se-instruments.com.

ARDA Power Inc.

ARDA Power Inc. specializes in the development, sales and marketing of advanced direct current (DC) converters and equipment for the solar power industry. The Government of Canada's contribution of up to $500,000 through the Investing in Business Innovation initiative will allow the company to accelerate the development and commercialization of two products: the DC Opti-Combiner™ box, which collects energy from solar panels; and the alternating current (AC) Opti-Combiner™ box, which works in the same way but allows the power to be converted to AC for users. These products will allow the company to cement a solid place in the solar power industry. The FedDev Ontario's investment helps the company leverage an additional $1,323,000 from angel investors with the MaRS Angel Network. ARDA has also received $232,000 from the Ontario Power Authority. The company estimates creating 14 jobs during the project and an additional 45 jobs by 2016. For more information, visit: www.ardapower.com.

VAC Developments Ltd.

VAC Developments is an established player in assembly and component supply for the aerospace sector. This project will allow the company to upgrade its equipment and train highly-skilled employees, which will give the company a competitive edge in attracting customers and contracts for aerospace assembly and part-supply needs, such as the new Boeing 737. With the FedDev Ontario's contribution of up to $1,650,000 through the Prosperity Initiative, VAC will be able to complete these upgrades much more rapidly, and will be able to compete more actively in the international market. VAC Development's project will help better position the company in the aerospace supply and assembly market, both locally and internationally. VAC Developments Ltd. expects to maintain 60 jobs during the project and create a total of 100 full-time jobs by 2016. For more information, visit: www.vacdev.com.

Investing in Business Innovation

Investing in Business Innovation is designed to boost private sector investment in start-up businesses to accelerate the development of new products, processes and practices and help bring them to market. The Government of Canada is focusing on a portfolio of early-stage businesses that are recognized by the investor community as having the potential for high-growth and a net long-term economic benefit for southern Ontario. The investor community includes accredited angel investors from recognized angel investor networks in southern Ontario registered with the Network of Angel Organizations - Ontario and venture capital providers who are member of Canada's Venture Capital & Private Equity Association.

Prosperity Initiative

FedDev Ontario's Prosperity Initiative is designed to encourage businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and post-secondary institutions in southern Ontario to undertake projects that will result in a more productive, diversified, and competitive economy in the region.

Applications for funding are being accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis. For more information and to apply, please refer to the program guidelines available on the FedDev Ontario website at www.feddevontario.gc.ca.

Contact Information:

Michele-Jamali Paquette
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario