On January 27, 2015 Western University released the results of a comprehensive study assessing the University’s total annual economic impact at $11.3 billion, of which $3.6 billion was realized in London, Ontario where the university is located.
The study also found that 15,480 jobs in Canada are connected to Western (10,840 in London), providing further confirmation of the University’s significant contribution to local, provincial and national economies.
Conducted by KPMG Management Consulting, the study examined the economic impact of Western’s activities from enrolment, employment, innovation, commercialization of new discoveries and company creation, as well as other supports and services provided to the community.
“Western is deeply embedded into London’s social and economic fabric,” said Amit Chakma, Western’s President and Vice-Chancellor. “As we grow and play a larger role on the international stage, we are confident that our position as a key contributor to the economy will continue to strengthen.”
The report found that Western contributes $1.62 billion to Canada’s GDP through spending on operations and $146 million to Canada’s GDP ($120 million in London) due to capital investments.
Locally, the University helps to inject $293 million in student living expenses to the London economy and $46 million as a result of an estimated 190,000 visitor-nights to Western.
Western’s focus on research, innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives is attracting researchers, funding and business to London from around the world and helping local business grow and compete. Research undertaken at Western and its two Research Parks is estimated to have an annual cumulative contribution of $2.06 billion to GDP in Ontario; $720 million of that impact is estimated to accrue to London.
Since 2009, WORLDiscoveries, the business development arm of London’s research institutions, has facilitated the creation of 12 spin-off companies and generated nearly $23 million in royalty and license income. In total, Western holds 198 patents and more than 100 active licenses.
“Western is committed to supporting business through access to leading researchers, facilities and business-development guidance,” said President Chakma. “Our Research Parks are considered to be among the region’s most attractive features for industry currently operating in London or considering relocating to the city. We see a very bright future in our ability to bring our considerable resources together with those on the commercial side to enhance our learning experience and help bring new innovations to market.”
The report also cites that in 2013, Western alumni living in Ontario improved their earnings by $4.95 billion as a result of their education at Western ($1.15 billion among alumni living in London). The estimated direct, indirect and induced impacts of this additional income is $7.43 billion in Ontario ($1.71 billion in London).
The report also noted that Western is one of London's largest employers and that many of its 6,200 faculty and staff and 36,000 students contribute their time, expertise and financial support to the community in an effort to improve the quality of life for all Londoners.