By Nathan Rudyk

In 10 months flat, Ryerson University's Digital Media Zone, a collaborative digital media workspace for young entrepreneurs, has fostered 115 jobs, supported 100 innovators and incubated 20 companies, several of which are garnering partnerships from around the world.

Sheridan College opened the Screen Industries Research and Training Centre in March of 2010, and it has already provided full-time work for 25  students and exposed over 200 to its collaboration with Toronto's Pinewood Studios, Canada's largest sound stage complex. Meanwhile, Seneca College is a leading collaborator with the open source software industry with partners that include Mozilla, creator of the popular web browser, Firefox.
Left, standing, Tony LaMantia, ADM at Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, addresses GTMA International Digital Media Forum at Cisco TelePresence Centre in TorontoThe Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance has brought all of these collaborators, and more, together for a showcase of the Greater Toronto Area's (GTA) world-class digital media education, entrepreneurship and collaboration projects.

It's a 3-D show of force including both R&D and of-the-moment commercial presentations being broadcast live to Cisco TelePresence™ locations in Europe using technology developed by the event's sponsor, Cisco. It's also a harbinger of digital innovation to come in the Greater Toronto Area, all of Ontario, and Canada as a whole. If you have any doubts about that, check out the vBlog by Ryerson student Naomi Cowan below.

Previous to collaborative programs like Ryerson's DMZ, Ontario taxpayers were dutifully shipping expensively educated grads to Disney and DreamWorks. Now the grads are staying here, the small companies are starting here, and large companies like Ubisoft, with its new 800-person studio in Toronto, are locating to Toronto's renewable resource of digital talent.

You can read some of the media coverage we garnered for this GTMA event here and here

(Nathan Rudyk is President and CEO with market2world communications inc., the public relations and product marketing agency for global innovators.)