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Ottawa, Quebec pitch in on $279M innovation fund

11/10/2014 12:58 EST | Updated 01/10/2015 05:59 EST
The federal government and Quebec's provincial government have pledged to pitch in $1 for every $2 raised by the private sector to backstop an investment fund that's supposed to target innovative companies in the province.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver was in Montreal on Monday alongside his provincial counterpart Carlos Leitao to announce the government support for the Teralys Capital Innovation Fund.

Teralys Capital, a private company, will lead the fund, which has $279 million work with right out of the gate — $196 million from various institutional and corporate investors, and $46.5 million up front from each level of government.

Moving forward, the two governments say they are willing to pitch in up to $62.5 million each, as long as the private sector partners pitch at least twice that much.

The fund will focus on the life sciences sector, and will invest either in other funds or in early-stage and mid-stage companies in the space. Teralys was chosen to lead the fund "following a fair and competitive selection process," the department of finance said in a release. "Investment decisions will be made by Teralys Capital on market-based principles in order to maximize returns."

The government money is part of Ottawa's Venture Capital Action Plan, launched in January of last year, which earmarked up to $400 million of federal funds to encourage venture capital investment in early-stage emerging Canadian companies.

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