BLACKBERRY, L-SPARK LAUNCH SECOND PHASE OF STARTUP ACCELERATOR PROGRAM TO FURTHER CANADIAN TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION

WATERLOO and OTTAWA, Ont. – BlackBerry Limited and L-SPARK, Canada’s largest software-as-a-service accelerator, today announced a second phase of their joint accelerator program, which aims to accelerate Canadian technology startups that are focused on vehicle connected services and cloud connectivity to the vehicle.

Following the success of the first cohort, which saw seven companies build and demonstrate prototypes in device security, sensor fusion (e.g. lidar, radar, cameras and GPS), functional safety, analytics, and other autonomous vehicle related technologies, the second phase of the partnership aims to once again help small and medium-sized technology enterprises (SMEs) grow their businesses and bring new products to market using BlackBerry QNX technology.

Companies selected to join the next accelerator program will receive free licenses and training on BlackBerry QNX technology, which powers many of the world’s most mission-critical embedded systems including nuclear power plants, surgical robots, class III life-critical medical devices, autonomous & connected vehicles, trains and traffic lights – systems that are required to operate safely, securely and reliably, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without failure.

“We’re doubling down on our partnership with L-SPARK to position Canada’s high potential SMEs as leaders in our competitive technology space,” said Grant Courville, VP, Product Management and Strategy, BlackBerry QNX. “Collaboration is the key to our collective success and we are impressed with both the quality and breadth of participants that we were able to work with as part of the first accelerator program. BlackBerry QNX’s software is the ideal platform for start-ups looking to build innovative solutions that solve real-world transportation industry issues.”

"The first cohort of the BlackBerry/L-SPARK Accelerator was a great success for everyone involved and I am excited to launch this second cohort, and with BlackBerry’s help, exceed our objectives again, while continuing to build a vibrant eco-system for BlackBerry’s industry leading technologies," said Leo Lax, Executive Managing Director at L-SPARK. "The companies in the first cohort have secured multiple engagements with key customers as a result of their participation in this program and at least two of the companies had financing close after being involved in the accelerator."

L-SPARK will turn to the expertise of the National Research Council of Canada-Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), to reach out to companies that could benefit from working with the BlackBerry QNX product group.

BLACKBERRY’S QNX SOFTWARE NOW EMBEDDED IN MORE THAN 150 MILLION VEHICLES

WATERLOO, Ont. – BlackBerry Limited today announced that its QNX software is now embedded in more than 150 million cars on the road today. This is an increase of 30 million cars since the company reported its automotive footprint in 2018.

BlackBerry, a leader in automotive cybersecurity, has the highest level of automotive certification for functional safety with ISO 26262 ASIL D and decades of experience in powering mission-critical embedded systems in automotive and other industries. Automotive OEMs and tier ones use BlackBerry QNX technology in their advanced driver assistance systems, digital instrument clusters, connectivity modules, handsfree systems, and infotainment systems that appear in car brands, including Audi, BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, KIA, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Toyota, and Volkswagen.

“As this milestone proves, BlackBerry’s footprint in the automotive industry has never been stronger,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry. “The world’s leading automakers, tier ones, and chip manufacturers continue to seek out BlackBerry’s safety-certified and highly-secure software for their next-generation vehicles. Together with our customers we will help to ensure that the future of mobility is safe, secure and built on trust.”

BlackBerry engaged with research and industry analyst firm, Strategy Analytics to verify the volume of QNX deployments based on the number of QNX products that are shipped in the automotive market and the number of cars that contain QNX products and technology. The vast majority of QNX software products that are integrated and used in automotive ECUs are licensed on a per-unit royalty basis. BlackBerry QNX technology includes QNX Neutrino OS, QNX Platform for ADAS, QNX OS for Safety, QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment, QNX Platform for Digital Cockpits, QNX Hypervisor 2.0 and QNX acoustics middleware.

BLACKBERRY AND THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA DRIVING TO A SAFE AND SECURE CONNECTED FUTURE

> Investment in Automotive Innovation to Make Vehicles Safer and Create Jobs for Canadians

Self-parking, automatic braking, driverless – the vehicles of tomorrow are bound not only to be autonomous, but also connected to one another. That is why the Government of Canada is making bold investments to establish Canada as a global leader in cybersecurity and automotive software for connected and autonomous vehicles.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced an investment of $40 million in BlackBerry QNX, a business unit of BlackBerry Limited, to develop safe and secure software systems for the next generation of connected and autonomous vehicles.

The company will create more than 800 new middle class jobs in Canada over the next ten years, and maintain nearly 300 more. They will also provide new skills development and learning opportunities to help train Canadians for the jobs of tomorrow and keep Canada competitive in today’s global economy.

With this funding, BlackBerry QNX will develop new automated control systems, upgrade and secure communications in vehicles, and improve vehicle safety and security by expanding its advanced driver-assistance system. BlackBerry QNX will also develop and use concept cars as labs for technology and software development.

The Government of Canada will continue to invest in new automotive technologies that make our vehicles safer and more secure, and position our country as the place where cars of the future are designed and built.

“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. That is why our government is investing $40 million in BlackBerry QNX to design and develop a new software platform for the cars of today and tomorrow. This investment will create good, middle class jobs for Canadians, make our cars safer and more secure, and further position Canada as a global hub for innovation.”

—The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“BlackBerry is trusted by automakers and Tier 1s around the world to protect hardware, software, applications, and end-to-end systems from cyberattacks. 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. Together we will spur innovation, create great jobs, educate the workforce of tomorrow, and solidify Canada as a world leader in automotive technology.”

— John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry

Quick Facts

> BlackBerry will invest $310.5 million in the project, as well as commit $5 million to cybersecurity to collaborate with government, post-secondary institutions, and private sector firms.

> The Government of Canada’s $40 million investment is made through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments across all sectors of the economy by encouraging research and development that will accelerate technology transfer and the commercialization of innovative products, processes and services, and will facilitate the growth of innovative firms.

> In 2017, Canada’s automotive industry – one of our country’s largest export industries – produced 2.2 million vehicles, contributed over $18 billion in GDP, and directly and indirectly employed over 500,000 people in well-paying, middle class jobs.

> BlackBerry’s pedigree in safety, security, and continued innovation has led to its QNX technology being embedded in more than 120 million vehicles on the road today. It is used by the top seven automotive Tier 1s, and by 40+ OEMs including Audi, BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, KIA, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Toyota, and Volkswagen. The company partners with automotive Tier 1s, like Aptiv, Bosch, Denso, Panasonic and Visteon, and silicon partners, such as Intel, Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Renesas.

> BlackBerry employs nearly 2,000 people in Canada.

 
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