Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund will provide $19.2m for accelerator Creative Destruction Lab over four years with the aim of supporting more than 1,300 science-focused companies.

Creative Destruction Lab, a seed-stage accelerator run by University of Toronto, is to receive C$25m ($19.2m) of Canadian government funding to help drive science-focused R&D and attract greater investment in Canada-based businesses.

The money will be supplied by the government’s Strategic Innovation Fund over a four-year period, helping to scale up more than 1,300 science-focused companies with the aim of generating as many as 22,000 jobs.

CDL will also use the funding to establish a program for young women pursuing careers in the Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, including classes for up to 1,500 female high school students.

CDL was founded in 2012 from University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and has provided more than 500 science ventures with access to angel investment and mentorship. To date, graduates from CDL’s programs have amassed a total equity value of more than $3bn.

The scheme currently operates from five Canadian universities, including Toronto, as well as New York University in the US. It includes accelerators dedicated to future tech, space tech, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, smart cities, energy, health and quantum computing.

Navdeep Bains, Canada’s minister of innovation, science and economic development, said: “CDL’s exciting project promises to unleash a new wave of startup innovation across Canada, creating thousands of middle-class jobs and further securing Canada’s position as a world leader in the AI field.”