OCRI Leader steps down

Jeffrey Dale, president of the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI), announced yesterday that he is resigning after seven years as leader of the lobby group. His departure comes with technology employment in the region falling by 11,400 jobs in just 11 months, venture capital investment at the lowest levels in a decade and the biggest employer, Nortel Networks, working on a 15th round of layoffs.

According to Bert Hill of the Ottawa Citizen, the decision was mutual and both parties felt is was the perfect time to begin the transition process and find the right person to take OCRI to the next level. A daunting task on the plate of the next leader will be to fix the venture financing problem – Ottawa has the technology and management talent but crucial early round angel money has been scarce. Hill reports that so far this year, 12 companies have received just $96.9 million in financing, whereas, in 2000, 74 companies got $1.26 billion.