jeff-ictnJeff Coull

Executive Director


The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre (NOIC) is proud to represent the region in Northern Ontario’s Information and Communication Network (ICTN). Yes, that’s a mouthful, but it means NWO has a champion for furthering ICT in the region.

What is ICT?

The term ICT covers any solution that stores, retrieves, manipulates, transmits, or receives information electronically.

If you’re interested in learning more about ICT, please check out this introductory three-minute clip. It provides a great overview.


In you’re interested in ICT in a more global context, please check out this clip from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The NOIC is not affiliated with UNCTAD, but we do share the same philosophies in supporting the growth of the information economy.


Northern Ontario ICTN

The N Ontario ICTN consists of five member organizations each serving a different area and each with their own unique challenges. However, we work as a group to solve these challenges, leveraging many, many years of experience supporting ICT initiatives in N Ontario.



*photo courtesy of ConnectedNorth.ca


As an ICTN, the NOIC has programming focused on:

  1. Growing the Digital Talent Base
    • We are committed to working with our regional stakeholders in identifying gaps in the talent base and bringing in or developing the necessary resources to close those gaps. We have some exciting training and certification opportunities lined up for 2020.
  2. Increasing Digital Technology Adoption and Awareness
    • The Business Technology Improvement Fund (BTIF) administered by the NOIC is a grant program helping regional small and medium businesses invest in ICT solutions.
    • The BTIF program may be able to provide funding for your business to invest in:
      1. Web Development, Ecommerce and Social Media
      2. Software Procurement and Licensing
      3. Hardware Procurement and Licensing
      4. Education, Training and Certifications
  1. Coordinating local and Regional Broadband Deployment
    • The realities of increasing connectivity and broadband access in NWO can be daunting and the NOIC’s role is to navigate the complex nature of cellular and broadband service delivery. We engage with all levels of government, the private sector, and First Nations, in developing unique solutions to satisfy the realities of improving connectivity in N Ontario. We are investing in research to identify new technical solutions and business models that will work in areas with extremely low population density, no power grid and no accessible backhaul.

In Northwestern Ontario we have the largest ICTN in terms of geography, clearly making population density a major factor in developing a solution that works here. Solutions must be profitable to see private sector investment and the NOIC is committed to developing new business models and researching new technology to encourage private sector investment in underserviced areas.

The federal government and CRTC have pledged to close the digital divide in Canada by delivering broadband at 50/10Mbps without a data cap, https://www.budget.gc.ca/2019/docs/nrc/infrastructure-infrastructures-internet-en.html. The NOIC is using this as our guideline when evaluating service delivery solutions and applying for future funding.

How can the NOIC help?

We are here to encourage and support ICT initiatives across NWO and to meet the diversity of ICT initiatives. To stay up to date on our programs and upcoming opportunities, please subscribe to our newsletter Click Here.

Education, Training and Certification:

We have a number of exciting ICT focused workshops planned for 2020. Cloud Infrastructure, AI and industry-specific project management certifications are just a few. We are also bringing in speakers to sit on QA panels and coordinate roundtable discussions with regional stakeholders to further ICT in the region.

ICT Programs:

We have a variety of ICT-centric programs targeting different age groups, sectors and skill sets.

  • TechKids
  • Third Tuesdays
  • Free Code Camp
  • Tech Week
  • Peer to Peer Groups
  • Disrupt IT

Please visit https://www.nwoinnovation.ca/ for more information about specific programs.


As mentioned above, our BTIF program is available to eligible businesses in the region looking to improve their ICT capabilities. You can find more details here, https://www.nwoinnovation.ca/btif, and please reach out to Jeff Coull with any further questions, jeff@nwoinnovation.ca.

Applying for Funding: Cellular and Broadband Access

There are a wide variety of funding options from many different sources. This alone creates complexity. However, applications generally require a comprehensive solution. It not as simple as stating “we want faster internet.” Your application will require details on all aspects of service delivery including infrastructure, ownership, maintenance, governance, access rights, engineering details, and you will need private sector buy-in before you apply, assuming your business model includes the private sector.

We can support every stage of this process.

  1. Research and problem/solution definition
  2. Vendor Selection
  3. Funding Application
  4. Project Management

These services are not free, but we generally start with a pre-project to secure funding to support the steps above.

ICT is just one part of what we do at the NOIC. To learn more about our organization please visit our website https://www.nwoinnovation.ca/ and sign up for our newsletter here to stay up to date on all the exciting upcoming programs.

You can also find us on social media at:

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