North, (formally Thalmic Labs), creator of Focals smartglasses has received a multi-million dollar investment from the Government of Canada, the same day it announced the opening of its first retail stores.
Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development made the announcement Tuesday that the federal government has invested $24 million in North.
The Kitchener-Waterloo based company will use the money to help expand its existing facility and implement advanced testing, assembly and production systems stated the press release.
“North is the kind of fast-scaling technology company that’s only beginning to deliver value for Canadians by pioneering in the field of wearable technology and developing and retaining intellectual property in Canada,” said Bains in the release, “our government’s investment in North will help create hundreds of good middle-class jobs, contribute to economic growth and position Canada as a world leader in a growing global market.”
The investment is part of the Strategic Innovation Fund, a $1,26 billion program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments in the Canadian economy by encouraging R&D and accelerating the commercialization of products.
The company will also use the government investment for its $130 million project of building future products like, “cutting-edge technology and artificial intelligence with a traditional eyewear frame,” stated the release. North will also invest its own $500 million into R&D to help it retain intellectual property rights in Canada as well as helping to implement inclusive hiring practices.