BlackBerry to Receive $40 Million CAD from Federal Government for Autonomous Vehicle Development

BlackBerry is all set to receive $40 million CAD in funding from the Canadian Government to help boost BlackBerry QNX’s connected car technology.

That’s according to a new report from the National Post, which explains that the company is putting over $300 million CAD of its own money into its autonomous automotive initiative, which is expected to create 800 jobs over the next decade at BlackBerry’s campus in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata as well as support 300 existing jobs there.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement alongside BlackBerry CEO John Chen Friday morning at the aforementioned BlackBerry campus.

The federal government’s $40 million CAD contribution is being made through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a program designed to draw in and support business investments, by encouraging research and development that will help with the commercialization of new technologies in Canada.

“The race for a top spot in the new economy has already begun, and if we want to see Canadians take the lead, we need to have their backs,” said Trudeau. “This investment will create 800 good, middle-class jobs for Canadians, make our cars safer and more secure, and further position Canada as a global hub for innovation.”

BlackBerry stated that its QNX technology is already present in tens of millions of cars, assisting drivers through guidance systems, hands-free features, and entertainment consoles.

“BlackBerry is trusted by automakers and Tier 1s around the world to protect hardware, software, applications, and end-to-end systems from cyber attacks,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

“Thanks to the Canadian government’s commitment we’re now in an even stronger position to deliver on the demand for BlackBerry’s safe and secure QNX software,” he continued. “Together we will spur innovation, create great jobs, educate the workforce of tomorrow, and solidify Canada as a world leader in automotive technology.”