Bell Canada's Innovation Center is Launched With Wesley Clover

Bell has been talking this up for some time now, and their "Advanced Solutions Innovation Centre" was opened yesterday in Kanata, which is part of Ottawa, the nation's capital.

What I found interesting is that this is a joint venture with Wesley Clover, the holding company for Terry Matthews. Sir Terry is without a doubt Canada's highest profile player in the IP space, and a number of his companies are doing good things in both the enterprise and carrier markets - Mitel, Convedia, Ubiquity, NewHeights and Natural Convergence.

Intially, the Innovation Center looked like a Nortel play, but clearly, with Wesley Clover this involved, it's going to support a wider pool of vendors, which is good news. Of course it's not clear just how open this will be outside of Wesley Clover, but at least the operation is up and running. Being based in Ottawa is another confirmation of how important this region is as Canada's leading hub for IP companies.

Bell does have other innovation centers across Canada, but this one appears to be the most significant to date - at least for IP - and helps Bell plant another stake in the ground to defend its incumbent territory from the looming threat posed by the cablecos.

As a sidebar, I was invited to attend the opening, but unfortunately I had an earlier commitment to be at NexTone's customer forum, so I missed it. Hopefully I'll get to visit there next trip to Ottawa, and will post my impressions then.