New Brunswick Awards CA$5 Million as Research Grant for Interactive Games Development

Written By Janice Doughtrey

New Brunswick Awards CA$5 Million as Research Grant for Interactive Games Development

This week, the New Brunswick (NB) provincial government awarded a CA$5 million research grant to a consortium of four (4) NB-based Canadian organizations, namely Moncton’s GTECH Canada ULC and T4G Limited, and Fredericton’s New Brunswick Community College and First Mobile Education. The grant will enable the consortium to pursue a development project that aims to create a “made-in-New Brunswick” technology solution for the global gaming industry.

Actually, the awarding of the research grant is in connection with the provincial government’s “Industry Innovation Challenge,” a province-wide research and development (R&D) competition launched in October 2013 by the NB Research and Innovation Council (NB-RIC). The government committed to award CA$15 million in research grants for six large-scale initiatives, selected through a competitive process by the NB-RIC. The criteria for selection are the tangible benefits and innovations that the initiative will bring to the province, leading to the development of new national and international markets. The selection criteria included the ability of an industry organization, or a consortium of industry organizations, to lead in the fulfillment of the proposals.

As the competition ended last May 30, 2014, the consortium led by GTECH Canada became one of the top innovative groups selected by the NB- RIC to receive CA$5 million grant in the form of cash and contributions in-kind. The funds and contributions will provide support to GTECH’s initiative of developing a multi-channel technology platform that has the capability to deliver game content and the related features, across a broad spectrum of gaming devices whether for online, mobile, or land-based gaming entertainment.

In going forward with the multi-channel interactive gaming platform, GTECH Canada will be harnessing its in-house experience in providing a new game development concept, in which interactive games can interface as land-based and cloud-based game content. The Canada-based subsidiary of Italy’s GTECH S.p.A will likewise establish a team of developers in Moncton who will assume the task of developing cross-channel games and related functional features.

The development team will integrate performance measures for single game titles deployed across multiple channels, as well as incorporate capabilities for comparing player behavior and for achieving player segmentation. All of which will be based on the data provided by T4G’s analytics platform.

The New Brunswick Community College will provide the laboratory and a team of full-research staff to assist in the testing and experimentation phases. The GTECH-led team intends to work with other New Brunswick companies and educational institutions like BMM Testlabs Canada, McKenzie College and the University of Brunswick.

GTECH Canada Vice President of Business Strategy and Development Don Doucet expressed his appreciation for the support extended by the NB provincial government, and by the company’s industry and academic partners.  Mr. Doucet explained that “mobile is currently the fastest-growing component in the interactive gaming segment.” The government-supported initiative to develop a multi-channel gaming platform will enable GTECh to bring to the global markets a genre of New Brunswick-grown innovative games and related functionalities.

Premier David Alward said, “Our plan to create jobs and make life better in New Brunswick communities is focused on supporting innovation within local industries.” He is is confident that “by investing in the biggest ideas for growth of New Brunswick success stories like GTECH and its partners,” the provincial government will be “building a strong foundation for the future.”