Next Generation Network Program

The Next Generation Network Program (NGNP) supports the development and implementation of ultra-high-speed digital infrastructure to interconnect digital innovation hubs within Ontario, support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) proof-of-concept projects, develop talent, support export development activities and access technical and business support personnel and services.

The program is offered through a partnership between the Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN) and Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), working on behalf of the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. Including matching industry and partner contributions, this program represents an investment of more than $115 million.

The NGNP offers unprecedented access to the CENGN testbed to ensure that Ontario SMEs, start-ups and researchers have access to industry guidance and knowledge along with a multi-vendor, open-platform for validation of their technologies and services. The CENGN testbed will provide a platform for industry collaboration and connectivity in ICT and Next Generation Networking development that will facilitate and accelerate innovation projects across Ontario.

The NGNP will also work with Digital Innovation Hubs across the province, assisting about 150 SMEs to grow and succeed, including the provision of a soft-landing program to support commercialization and export market development activities.

NGNP aims not only to support current and future SMEs but to help establish the digital backbone for the innovation-driven economy that will drive future growth, create high-quality jobs, and enhance Ontario’s global competitiveness.

This stream supports stand-alone SME projects as well as SME collaborations with industry partners and/or public-sector organizations such as municipalities, healthcare facilities, public utilities to use the CENGN testbed to further develop proof-of-concept or demonstrations that can lead to new technologies, products, processes and services.

More information on Proof of Concept Projects to follow.  Bookmark this page and stay tuned for program updates.

This stream supports Ontario talent in the following areas:

  • working on the CENGN testbed, an SME project, or a CENGN member project;
  • boot camp training in areas such as Linux, Network Basics, Cloud Operating system, Software-Defined Networking (SDN), and Network Function Virtualization (NFV); and
  • CENGN-supported industry training and skills development on topics such as SDN, NFV, OpenDayLight, Openstack, management and orchestration. 

For more information, please refer to CENGN’s website or contact

The NGNP will include projects that focus on identifying next generation network technologies and solutions that can be utilized to expand broadband Internet connectivity in rural Ontario and Northern Ontario.

More information on Rural and Northern Ontario Support can be found on CENGN's website.

SMEs can apply under the Proof of Concept / Demonstration Project Program to use the CENGN testbed for applications that are Smart Agriculture- or Smart Mining-focused. This stream is expected to support projects that increase innovation and competitiveness in the agriculture and mining sectors and includes the development of specialized infrastructure to support projects in these areas.

More information on Smart Agriculture and Smart Mining can be found on CENGN's website