Guelph receives $85,000 to fund innovation cluster strategy

GUELPH, ON, June 4, 2009 – Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada announced yesterday Guelph will receive $85,000 in federal funding to support an economic development “cluster” strategy focused on the innovations sectors and, more specifically, agricultural and environmental technologies.

“This funding will support a strategic plan for the Guelph Innovation District – an important step forward in the development of these lands,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge. “Guelph has the opportunity to be a provincial leader in innovation and the green economy, and this strategy will help us get there.”

The funding goes to Guelph Partnership for Innovation which will coordinate it on behalf of the City and other Guelph Innovation District study partners. It is part of the Government of Canada’s Invest Canada – Community Initiatives (ICCI) program.

Findings from the cluster study will enable the City of Guelph to advance its foreign direct investment strategy and direct efforts in the international arena to foster the development of the Guelph Innovation District. The Guelph Innovation District, sometimes referred to as the York District Lands, is more than 1,000 acres of land located southeast of the downtown. It’s earmarked to be a key to Guelph’s future, and is expected to build on Guelph’s agricultural, environmental and life science strengths through investment attraction and job creation.

As Guelph Innovation District study partners, the University of Guelph, Conestoga College, and the Guelph Chamber of Commerce welcome the funding alongside the City of Guelph and GPI.

About the Guelph Innovation District

The Guelph Innovation District is a 1,053 acre property bounded by Victoria Rd. S., York Rd., Watson Parkway, and Stone Rd. E. The City’s vision for the lands includes an integrated energy master plan, consistent with the Community Energy Plan; a focus on green-economy and innovation sector jobs; and the development of a complete (live/work) community. The property has tremendous potential to become a showcase for the Province’s Green Energy Act and Places to Grow legislation.

About Guelph Partnership for Innovation

Founded in 2002, Guelph Partnership for Innovation (GPI) is a consortium of life science stakeholders with the vision of making Guelph one of the top global life science centers. GPI works to grow the capacity of the Guelph agritechnology cluster by connecting people, money and ideas, and by advocating for improved research and commercialization infrastructure.

GPI is part of the Regional Innovation Network (RIN) initiative established by the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Research and Innovation. It is a multi-stakeholder, regional development organization that supports partnerships among business, research institutions and governments to promote innovation based on local strengths.

For more information

Barb Maly 
Business Development Specialist – Agri-food & Innovation Sectors 
Economic Development & Tourism Services 
T 519-837-5600 x 2822
barbara.maly@guelph.ca

Jim Wadleigh 
Executive Director 
Guelph Partnership for Innovation 
T 519-824-7120 
jim@guelphinnovation.com