Queen’s acquires Novelis property to develop innovative technology park
Queen’s has completed an agreement with Novelis Inc.to acquire 49 acres of vacant land adjacent to the company’s research and development center in Kingston. The agreement is part of the plan to establish an innovative technology park that will place Kingston and Canada at the forefront of research, innovation and business development.
The new regional “co-location” initiative will bring academic and industry researchers together to undertake research in fields such as alternative energy and environmental technologies, with focus on the bioeconomy including bioprocessing and bioenergy related research, as well as advanced materials.
“We see this as a means to embrace a new generation of scientists and engineers in research that is socially and economically meaningful,” says Principal Karen Hitchcock. “This is a concept that will enable us to address a number of objectives of the University’s strategic plan by supporting public-private research partnerships in areas of distinctive university strength, enhancing the facilities and equipment available for our students and faculty, and fostering an environment of discovery which accelerates innovation and supports the growth of new businesses, spurring the economic growth of our city and the region.”
The development, located at the corner of Princess and Concession streets, is to be called Innovation Park at Queen’s University.
“We are very excited to have reached this stage in the process,” says Dr. Kerry Rowe, Queen’s Vice Principal (Research). “We are now able to unveil this formally to the Kingston community and beyond and to move forward with some exciting new projects and innovative partnerships with Novelis and other industrial partners.” In June, the University will hold an official event at the site attended by industry and government representatives.
The property was acquired for $5.3 million, a portion of the $21 million grant Queen’s received from the Ontario government last spring to pioneer this innovative new regional R&D “co-location” model.
“This announcement is great news for Queen’s, Kingston and Ontario,” says MPP for Kingston and the Islands, John Gerretsen. ”Our government’s investment in this project is building on regional strengths that Kingston has – in both talent and research – to accelerate the speed of innovation that will help to create Ontario’s next generation of jobs and economic prosperity. I’m pleased to see the project moving ahead and reaching a new milestone towards becoming a reality"
Queen’s has also reached an agreement to lease approximately 85,000 square feet of the Novelis R&D facilities to accommodate both faculty-led research projects that have industrial partners and small and medium-size companies with a research focus and a desire to interact with Queen’s researchers. The remainder of the government funds will go toward further development of the technology park to transform the property into a welcoming and dynamic site for business expansion and relocation.
Innovation Park and Queen’s University will:
· provide incubation and acceleration space for early-stage spin-off companies arising from academic and industrial research;
· accelerate opportunities for translating academic research into market-ready products and processes;
· further stimulate market-driven economic programming; and
· establish a regional hub for research and innovation-related information sharing, networking, business development and economic development activities.
Novelis is the industrial anchor for the facility and a strategic research partner with Queen’s. The academic anchor for the facility is the Queen’s-RMC Fuel Cell Research Centre, headquarters of the Ontario Fuel Cell Research and Innovation Network (OFCRIN).
The university will develop the 49 acre parcel of land directly adjacent to the multi-tenant facility as a site for companies “graduating” to a new level of operation and as a preferred location for new companies attracted to Kingston by the opportunity to interact with the area’s research community.
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