Creating new jobs and enterprises in the City of Ottawa will be key in measuring the success of the cutting-edge Innovation Centre.
The new Centre will serve as a one-stop incubator and accelerator – and meeting point – for local businesses, where entrepreneurs at all levels can exchange ideas and access the services they need to start up and grow.
Steve West, Chair of the Innovation Centre, speaking at the Eggs n’icons breakfast explained, the 46,000-square-foot facility will help diversify the city’s economy and leverage Ottawa’s strengths in key areas, such as digital media, clean technology, aerospace and defence and ‘additive manufacturing’ (which is localized, on-site manufacturing that uses direct digital techniques for rapid prototyping).
The Innovation Centre will open at Bayview Yards in the city’s Hintonburg neighbourhood. Construction work, which is currently on-plan and on-budget, is expected to be completed in fall 2016.
The Innovation Centre will bring together all the elements needed for business innovation and success to take place in the city, Mr. West explained. That means finding, showcasing and retaining local talent, generating entrepreneurial energy, and providing access to on-site resources such as legal, marketing and financial services for business owners.
The Centre will be open to all local businesses, with additional services available to those that rent space as tenants.
On-site services include spaces for meetings and large events (with crowds of up to 300-350), state-of-the-art technological tools, opportunities to engage community leaders, workshops and training sessions, and reaching out to international delegates working in the Ottawa region. This includes helping local businesses maximize opportunities in international markets by connecting them with potential investors, suppliers, customers and research and development partners.
The Centre will also reach out to post-secondary institutions and the Ottawa community as a whole, providing businesses with broad and valuable access to local resources to help them start up, compete and thrive.
The construction of the $30-million Innovation Centre is being funded by the City of Ottawa and the Government of Ontario.
Daniel Mckillop is a freelance write for the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org