With operations throughout Europe, Asia and Africa, the Swedish electronics and software design firm Syntronic knew it needed to establish a North American presence. When it came time to create an R&D centre to serve customers throughout the Western Hemisphere, Syntronic found the right engineering talent and business climate in Ottawa, Ontario.

The Challenge

Designing electronic components and software solutions to meet the increasingly complex needs of business requires understanding the customer's challenges and delivering innovative products. Syntronic needed a location providing easy access to the North American market and a ready pool of highly trained engineers.

Background

Based in Gävle, Sweden, 160 kilometres north of Stockholm, Syntronic has grown since 1983 to become a leading software and electronics design firm. It serves a variety of industries including telecommunications, medical technology, automotive and defence. The company has a global footprint with 17 research and development centres spread across Europe, Asia and Africa. With the opening of its first North American R&D centre in Ottawa, Syntronic now has a presence in the Americas.

The Solution

A number of elements factored into Syntronic's choice of Ottawa for its R&D centre. At the top of the list, there needed to be a good base of potential customers and a strong pool of talented engineers, both software and hardware, with particular strengths in wireless technology.

Ottawa fit the bill perfectly. Nicknamed Silicon Valley North, Ottawa is home to 2,700 information technology firms including multinationals such as Adobe, Blackberry, Cisco, Corel, IBM and Microsoft. In addition to the strong IT cluster, the Ottawa region has strengths in aerospace, defence, life sciences and clean technologies.

"We have a number of customers here, which gives us a good foundation for growth," said Hans Molin, Managing Director, Syntronic Canada. "We were also quite fortunate to be able to hire some really good people here in Ottawa."

Since opening the R&D centre in September, 2014, Syntronic has hired 30 engineers and plans to double that number within a year.

But there was another, less tangible factor that also contributed to Syntronic's decision to choose Ottawa as the location for its first North American R&D centre: the business culture.

"For us, as a company from northern Europe, we find the culture here is quite similar to what we are used to, with many of the same understandings," observed Molin. "That makes it much easier to do business. Over the years, we have worked with many North and South American companies and one of our corporate strategies was to move closer to our customers; Ottawa puts us in the same time zone as those customers, which makes it easier for us to respond to their needs."

Why Ontario?

As a world-leading technology, innovation and advanced manufacturing hub, Ontario, Canada, provides growing companies with the resources they need: highly skilled employees, world-leading research institutions, some of the most generous R&D tax credits available, competitive business costs and access to the $20-trillion NAFTA market.

 

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