Through FedDev Ontario, the Government of Canada has granted $4.8 million CAD to help fund the creation of a new Trent University-based cleantech accelerator, the Trent Enterprise Centre (TEC).
The accelerator is part of Trent’s plan to stimulate cleantech sector growth and position the Greater Peterborough region as an emerging cleantech hub.
The federal government’s non-repayable contribution comes in addition to $5.2 million in private sector investment. The TEC, in partnership with the Peterborough Innovation Cluster, plans to serve as an accelerator and tech demonstration space for cleantech-focused companies.
The new accelerator aims to help cleantech companies commercialize their ideas and accelerate their growth. Created in partnership with the Peterborough Innovation Cluster, the federal government expects the TEC to support 70 companies via business advisory and mentoring services, and lead to the creation of 300 jobs in the Peterborough region.
“[The TEC] will be the only facility of its kind in 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,” said Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University.
“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,” he added.
The accelerator is part of Trent’s plan to stimulate cleantech sector growth and position the Greater Peterborough region as an emerging cleantech hub, which includes Cleantech Commons, a Trent-based research park designed to support collaboration between industry and academia, with the goal of contributing to cleantech-related economic development.
According to Trent, the university currently has over 70 faculty-led research and commercialization initiatives in the environmental and bio sciences.
The TEC will have access to Trent’s laboratories, research equipment, and faculty cleantech expertise. The accelerator will include cleantech lab and pilot facilities, as well as office space for resident entrepreneurs.
“In our regions, we have incredible entrepreneurs, world-class post-secondary institutions and the dedication to work toward solutions for a better future,” said Mélanie Joly, Canada’s minister of economic development responsible for FedDev. “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.”
Trent claims to host one of the country’s largest Environmental and Life Sciences graduate programs, with over 175 grad students annually. These students, the federal government said, represent “potential market-ready resources for employment, co-op programs, and internships.”
“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,” said Maryam Monsef, Peterborough-Kawartha MP.
According to the federal government, FedDev has invested over $123 million in more than 60 cleantech projects since 2015.
Image source Trent University