July 23, 2020 – Peterborough, Ontario
Fostering Clean Growth
Entrepreneurs in southern Ontario’s cleantech sector create jobs and find greener solutions for a variety of areas. However, challenges exist for early-stage companies-from accessing the right facilities, to finding business support services and advice. For businesses that are just starting out, these setbacks can make it difficult to advance from the idea stage to commercial reality.
Support for Growing Companies
Trent University has a plan to catalyze growth in the cleantech sector and position the Greater Peterborough region as an emerging hub. It has already established the Cleantech Commons, a research park that fosters collaboration between industry and academia for the benefit of advancing knowledge and supporting cleantech-based economic development. Building on the resources available there, the University will establish the Trent Enterprise Centre (TEC).
Today, Maryam Monsef, Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced a $4.8-million investment through FedDev Ontario towards this project.
Within Trent’s Cleantech Commons, the TEC will offer an accelerator and technology demonstration space for cleantech focused companies to commercialize their ideas and fast-track their growth. This will include a cleantech laboratory and pilot facilities, and office space for resident entrepreneurs.
The Trent Enterprise Centre, in partnership with the Peterborough Innovation Cluster, will support 70 companies with business advisory and mentoring services, and the project will lead to the creation of an anticipated 300 jobs. It aims to be a recognized leader in sustainable innovation and education and is expected to attract a number of cleantech ventures to the Peterborough region.
By providing access to the specialized facilities and technical expertise that high-potential cleantech firms require to scale their businesses, this project will use the region’s strengths to foster growth of the cleantech cluster in the Peterborough area, creating economic and environmental benefits for Canadians.
“In our regions, we have incredible entrepreneurs, world-class post-secondary institutions and the dedication to work toward solutions for a better future. That is why we are partnering with organizations like Trent University to foster the right conditions for clean technology companies to grow, commercialize and bring their solutions to the world.”
– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
“Peterborough-Kawartha has long been known as an environmentally-conscious region. Our government believes in our potential to be a national leader in the clean growth sector which puts us on the frontlines of a transition to a green economy and all of the job creation that comes with it. Our industry sector has incredible potential and by collaborating with Trent University and the Peterborough Innovation Cluster we are bringing together partners that will foster the cleantech cluster in Peterborough and beyond.”
– Maryam Monsef, Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha
“This is a major federal investment which will support the Trent Enterprise Centre. It will be the only facility of its kind Canada, providing labs, technology assessment and demonstration zones and scale-up facilities which are specifically designed to support the commercialization of clean technology in the Cleantech Commons research park. Working in partnership with the city of Peterborough and private and public sectors, this will spur economic growth, creating science-based jobs, helping us to retain top talent, drive innovation and attract more investment.”
– Dr. Leo Groarke, President and Vice-Chancellor, Trent University
A 2017 report showed cleantech SMEs in Canada were high-performing firms, tending to grow, export and innovate more often than all SMEs. They were also more likely to seek to expand and to expect to grow.
The TEC will be able to leverage Trent’s existing modern laboratories and research equipment, as well as the cleantech expertise of faculty. Trent has over 70 faculty leading research and commercialization initiatives in environmental and bio sciences.
Trent University has one of the largest Environmental & Life Sciences graduate programs in Canada, with over 175 grad students per year, representing potential market-ready resources for employment, co-op programs and internships.
The Government of Canada’s non-repayable contribution leverages an additional $5.2 million in private sector investment.
FedDev has invested over $123 million in over 60 cleantech projects since 2015.