OSC invites applications to TestLab, new dedicated capital markets testing environment

TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is inviting businesses to apply to test innovative solutions that can help Ontario registrants and contribute to better investor outcomes as part of OSC TestLab, a new initiative by the OSC’s Office of Economic Growth and Innovation (Innovation Office). A first for Canada, OSC TestLab invites businesses to experiment with innovative solutions in Ontario’s capital markets as part of focused, group testing.

“With OSC Testlab, we are proactively identifying areas where innovative solutions can drive progress in Ontario’s capital markets,” said Grant Vingoe, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the OSC. “Market participants and technology providers have a unique opportunity to test solutions that benefit Ontario businesses and investors.”  

OSC TestLab offers group testing based around problem statements designed to focus on solutions that respond to specific issues and opportunities in Ontario’s capital markets. For its first test in spring 2022, the OSC wants to hear from businesses with innovative solutions that can help registrants make product information more accessible, improve information sharing and enhance client interactions. Potential solutions could include ones that aggregate product information in a standardized format, automate the collection of investor information, or incorporate new ways to assess such information.

The Innovation Office team will engage with participating businesses throughout the process to help develop testing plans and work to remove regulatory obstacles to testing. In appropriate circumstances, this could include providing participants with time-limited exemptions from existing regulatory requirements for the testing period.

“There are many frameworks for promoting innovation, but they share one key idea – doing something new involves dealing with uncertainty. Ideas need to be tested, and a testing environment that encourages creative thinking can help bring out the best ideas sooner,” added Pat Chaukos, Director of the Innovation Office. “We are excited for you to join us and experiment, learn and improve together with OSC TestLab.”

Businesses interested in participating in OSC TestLab should complete and submit an online application form on or before January 31, 2022 to be considered for participation in the spring 2022 test.

For more information on OSC TestLab, to review the problem statements for the spring 2022 test, or to apply to participate in testing an innovative solution, please visit the Innovation Office website at oscinnovation.ca/TestLab.

The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair, efficient and competitive capital markets and confidence in the capital markets, to foster capital formation, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at http://www.osc.ca.

Source: Ontario Securities Commission (OSC)