The federal government is set to announce $40-million in funding to BlackBerry Ltd. in Ottawa Friday that will help boost its smart-vehicle software business.
A source familiar with the situation said the money, through the government’s $2.4-billion Strategic Innovation Fund, will go toward a $300-million-plus investment by the company. The investment is expected to create more than 800 new jobs over the next decade. The funding will help the company enhance its automated driver-assistance system, improve its integration with connected car platforms from Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google, and help build an automated-vehicle concept and test track in Ottawa, among other initiatives.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has been weathering fallout from the resignation of cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould over the government’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin file, will be on hand Friday morning to make the announcement at the company’s operations in Kanata.
The smartphone pioneer, based in Waterloo, Ont., has spent several years transforming into a provider of software security under chief executive John Chen. The company recently announced its largest acquisition ever when it agreed in November to buy California artificial-intelligence-enabled cybersecurity firm Cylance Inc. for US$1.4-billion
BlackBerry’s QNX-brand smart vehicle software is used by more than 120 million vehicles worldwide.