A Firm Proposal For An Innovation Hub In Ottawa Is Only Weeks Away

Posted on Saturday, April 19 at 13:05 by N Say

A firm proposal for an innovation hub in Ottawa is only weeks away

Jake Rupert, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Friday, April 18, 2008

OTTAWA - A firm proposal for an innovation hub in Ottawa is only weeks away, a group of business, civic, and education leaders say.

They say they are looking seriously at two downtown properties for a centre that would will help accelerate the development and commercialization of new ideas.

The group says Ottawa is behind other cities when it comes to integrating and maximizing its economic strengths, and they roundly support the centre as a way to fix this.

The Ottawa Partnership group's co-chair, Christopher Henderson, says the project will largely be driven and financed by the private sector, but they are actively seeking funding from the provincial and federal governments. He estimated the centre will cost $20-million over 10 years in both capital and operating expenses.

The idea behind the centre is that good things happen when the research and development branches of governments, universities, colleges, and businesses have a place to interact. Mr. Henderson said city's across the world recognize this and have created such centres in the last decade.

In Ontario, Toronto, London and Kingston have established or are in the process of establishing such centres.

Mayor Larry O'Brien, who co-chairs the group, said the city has become too big to rely on informal interaction between its various research and development professionals, and that he's a big supporter of the idea.

"I expect this to be a key economic driver in this city," the mayor said. "We need to move ahead on this. We can't afford to let this slip through our fingers."

Mr. Henderson agreed.

"We are behind already," he said. "We don't have a driving force for the next generation of innovation. This will provide that."


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