Eves government celebrates new commercialization centre to strengthen Ontario's innovation capacity

Archived Release

Eves government celebrates new commercialization centre to strengthen Ontario's innovation capacity

TORONTO, April 22 /CNW/ - The Ernie Eves government strengthens Ontario's innovation capacity by investing $20 million in the Medical and Related Sciences (MaRS) Discovery District announced Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation Minister Jim Flaherty today.
"Ontario is demonstrating leadership and foresight with this investment in the MaRS Discovery District," said Flaherty. "We are also pleased that the federal government shares our vision by matching our contribution to this world-class medical and biotech research centre in Toronto. This initiative will accelerate Ontario's growth in research, innovation and commercialization."
The new research and development centre will specialize in the commercialization of medical and related sciences. The MaRS Discovery District will bring researchers and companies in life sciences and other related disciplines together under the same roof, mixing the scientific and business communities. The centre will be based in downtown Toronto, in close proximity to hospitals and facilities of the University of Toronto.
"We are grateful that the provincial government is supporting this world- class convergence centre for life science, information technology and other related disciplines," said Dr. John Evans, Chairman of the MaRS Board. "This program will create a closely-knit community that will attract the best and brightest researchers, entrepreneurs, venture capitals and professional service providers. The MaRS Discovery District will assist Ontario and the rest of Canada to become a leader in the development and commercialization of new technologies in the life sciences field."
The purpose of the MaRS Discovery District is to strengthen Ontario's innovation capacity and transform new scientific discoveries into products and technologies that prevent and treat diseases, clean up the environment and improve the overall quality of life for Ontarians.

Disponible en français

For more information visit www.ontariocanada.com.

Backgrounder
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2003 EVES GOVERNMENT UNVEILS SIGN FOR MEDICAL AND RELATED SCIENCES
(MaRS) DISCOVERY DISTRICT

The Ontario Government today unveiled the sign at the MaRS Discovery District construction site in downtown Toronto. This important first step underlines the provincial government's contribution of $20 million each to the estimated $345 million research and development centre.

MaRS Discovery District

The MaRS Discovery District will be a research and development centre that will bring researchers and life sciences companies under one roof, combining the scientific and the business communities. The centre will promote the growth of research-intensive companies and the successful commercialization of academic research by clustering a critical mass of researchers and scientists with business and support services.

Toronto Area

MaRS will be located in downtown Toronto, in the City of Toronto's designated "Discovery District", so that researchers can easily access the province's world-class research hospitals and facilities, as well as the University of Toronto.
Toronto is a key international centre for biotechnology and medical research, leading the way in key discoveries that have benefited the rest of the world. MaRS will ensure these important research activities are carried through to the patients' bedside, which will benefit these patients, produce new medical products for global markets and create enormous economic activity in the process.

Regional Clusters

The MaRS Discovery District will incorporate links to regional clusters that have complementary strengths in the area of medical-agricultural science. A pilot project is currently under development with the City of Guelph and the University of Guelph.

Economic Benefits

This initiative supports the government's goal of making Ontario one of the top three biotechnology jurisdictions in North America. It may lead to tens of millions in economic benefit through convergence, in addition to the other benefits of a large-scale development project. Based on the results of similar U.S. science parks, the project is expected to create approximately 6,000 full-time positions once the full facility is built.

Construction Phases

In total, over 1.3 million square feet of highly efficient space in the downtown area will be available for multi-use capacity. The complex may spur an additional seven to ten million square feet of commercial development over the next 10-20 years in the area.

The MaRS Centre will be developed in two phases over four years (from
2003 to 2007):

- Phase 1 includes three buildings to house publicly sponsored research,
medium-sized companies in life sciences, information technology and
other related disciplines, the Toronto Biotechnology Commercialization
Centre, a scientific services centre, a professional services centre,
executive business centre, related business services, venture capital
businesses, early stage science and technology businesses and retail
operations.

- Phase 2 is the construction of a 620,000 square feet facility for
companies ready to move from the incubation phase, established firms
engaged in life sciences, information technology and other related
disciplines and professional firms that support such activities.

Disponible en français

For more information, visit www.ontariocanada.com.
For further information: Dan Robertson, Minister's Office, (416) 325-8321