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Toronto data sharing initiative will make Ontario world's first true "wiki-mobile-digital economy"

At an event in downtown Toronto last week, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation Glen Murray suggested that investing in knowledge should be the provincial government's re-election issue -- a position he compared favourably to the Conservative party's plan to offer cheaper beer prices. He said there's a reason such an investment is important.

"The economy is changing at a pace unheard of in human history. This is bigger than the industrial revolution, which took 200 years. This is bigger than the agricultural revolution which took 2,000 years. These revolutions are happening in months. It took less than two years for Facebook to get 58 million participants, it took television 20 years to get that many people. The pace of change is monthly for what used to take place in decades. The pace of change in society has become a social challenge in itself."

In what he said he thought was one of the "most important things I'll ever be involved in in my life," Murray announced the launch of a "multi-year, fully funded project" to share data. While details were not made available, Murray said the "core strategic research centre" would be set up at MaRS and rolled out over the next four months. The plan, he said, is to "try to create a collaborative open-source platform where companies, government and not-for-profits will provide data" and knowledge that would be available to other researchers of all stripes across the province. "My goal is, in the next decade, to drive this collaborative centre to make us the first true wiki-mobile-digital economy."

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation
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