The Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan ($153.8 billion) has partnered with Alphabet (Google’s parent company) to launch a new tech-based infrastructure company named Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners. Seeking to hold, acquire, and invest in technology-enabled infrastructure projects, it was recently spun out of Sidewalk Labs, Alphabet’s urban innovation business.
Possible joint infrastructure projects could include tech-enabled systems for stormwater management, neighborhood heating and cooling, and advanced traffic controls. Sidewalk Labs is looking to do similar work along the Quayside section of Toronto’s waterfront.
The New York and San Francisco Bay Area-based firm will specifically focus on advanced mobility, energy, water and waste, digital infrastructure, and social infrastructure sectors. Investments will go toward facilitating technology to “enable sustainable, distributed and intelligent urban infrastructure, creating jobs, improving mobility, and providing more environmentally friendly infrastructure solutions,” Ontario Teachers’ said in a release.
“Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners provides an exciting opportunity for Ontario Teachers’ to join Alphabet and Sidewalk Labs in helping to transform infrastructure in North America through the use of technology,” Olivia Steedman, senior managing director of the plan’s Teachers’ Innovation Platform told CIO in an email.“We will bring our infrastructure and investment expertise to the table, while leveraging our partners’ world-leading capabilities in technology, to enable sustainable, intelligent and efficient physical infrastructure.” The innovation platform focuses on late-stage venture and growth equity investments in companies that use technology to disrupt incumbents and create new sectors, according to the pension plan’s website.
Ontario Teachers’ invests 9% of its total portfolio in infrastructure and continues to increase access to the space. The fund recently announced a co-investment with AustralianSuper to invest up to $1 billion each with the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund of India.