Momentum builds as Innovation Park is officially launched
A new technology park representing a vibrant model of innovation and introducing an exciting new dimension to the Kingston and region economy officially opens today, and is already adding two more dynamic new tenants to the site.
“We have reached another important milestone in the life of the technology park,” says Queen’s VP Research Kerry Rowe. “We have been looking forward to the opportunity to formally thank those in industry and government who have shared in our vision for this exciting venture and who have supported us in bringing it to fruition.”
Hundreds of Kingston - area researchers, students and business and education leaders – joined by Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation John Wilkinson and MPP for Kingston and the Islands John Gerretsen - are attending the official opening of Innovation Park at Queen’s University today to celebrate a new approach to research and development that is expected to put Kingston and Ontario at the forefront of global research, innovation and business development.
“Ontario is serious about innovation. And we are committed to supporting research and commercialization partnerships that will turn good ideas into innovative products and services that we can sell to the world – to create a cleaner environment, better healthcare and Ontario’s next generation of jobs,” said John Wilkinson, Minister of Research and Innovation.
“This is great news for our community. The Queen’s Innovation Centre will serve as a hub for scientific collaboration and business development efforts that will help Ontario researchers and entrepreneurs to create, develop and market their innovations to the world – while growing their businesses right here in the Kingston region,” said MPP for Kingston and the Islands John Gerretsen.
The Park, made possible by a $21 million grant from the Ontario government, brings academic and industry engineers and scientists together under one roof as a means of tapping their creative energy and fostering an environment of discovery that accelerates and supports the growth of new businesses. The focus is on advanced materials and new energy and environmental technologies, with emphasis in the areas of bioprocessing, bioenergy and bioproducts.
The technology park was enabled through collaboration with Novelis Inc., the industrial anchor for the facility. In addition to leasing space to Queen’s in its Global Technology Center and selling land to the University for future growth of the Park, Novelis is a founding partner in this important regional innovation initiative.
In addition to Novelis, the organizations under the Innovation Park umbrella are Alcan, Analytical Services Unit (ASU), Cortec DNA Service Laboratories, Inc., Queen’s-RMC Fuel Cell Research Centre (FCRC), Kingston Metals and Materials (KM&M), Kingston Process Metallurgy (KPM), NRC-Industrial Research Assistance Program, Pathogen Detection Systems (PDS), and PARTEQ Innovations Inc., the university’s technology transfer arm. Additionally, the High Performance Computing Virtual Laboratory (HPCVL) is co-located with Innovation Park.
In April, Acumentrics Canada Ltd, a developer of solid oxide fuel cell systems, joined Innovation Park as the first new industrial tenant.
And now, these twelve organizations are being joined by:
SWITCH, a network of businesses, research and educational institutions, public sector participants, and community-minded volunteers working together to position Kingston region as a leading centre for sustainable energy.
CMC Microsystems, the national gateway to microsystems research and development in Canada, is a pioneer in developing creative solutions including Canada-wide Internet-based access to advanced Microsystems testing facilities, and at a fraction of the cost of conventional methods.
“It is extremely gratifying to see how much interest is already being generated by this collaborative research and development venture, says Queen’s University Principal Tom Williams. “This points to a very exciting future for Innovation Park and to the potentially significant economic impact for Kingston and region.”
“Novelis is delighted to be a founding partner of the Innovation Park and to host it on our Kingston site,“ says Martha Brooks, President and Chief Operating Officer of Novelis. ”We see this as a tremendous opportunity to stimulate innovation by bringing together complementary skills from university and industry to accelerate new entrepreneurial initiatives. We look forward to working with Queen’s and other partners on exciting and value-creating products and programs"
Earlier this year, Queen’s purchased approximately 50 acres from Novelis Inc. at the corner of Princess and Concession streets to develop the Park. The University is also leasing close to 85,000 square feet of the Novelis R&D facilities for a multi-tenant facility to accommodate small and medium-size companies with a research focus and faculty-led research projects that have industrial partners. Tenants will have access to intellectual resources, quality R&D facilities (including wet and dry labs and pilot scale facilities), highly specialized equipment, business incubation suites and a variety of technological, entrepreneurial and commercialization services.
The variety of facilities represented by Innovation Park and its footprint extend beyond the site at 945 Princess St. Also part of the Park is the more than 5,000 square feet of fully equipped wet lab and office incubation facilities in the Kingston Technology Exchange Centre (KTEC), a partnership between the Kingston Economic Development Corporation and Queen’s. It is co-located in Queen’s Biosciences Building with PARTEQ, local centre of excellence for commercialization strategies.
As part of its future development, Innovation Park at Queen’s University will be transformed into a Canadian landmark that incorporates a work-live-play concept as a specific development strategy. Queen’s has purchased 50 acres of land specifically zoned for industrial use, including research and experimental activities. The development of these green field lands adjacent to the multi-tenant facility will be guided by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. The master planning process with the City of Kingston for this second phase of the project begins in July.
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