Premier Unveils Expansion Plans For MaRS Discovery District
More Space At World-Class Research Hub To Create More Opportunities For Innovation, Jobs And Prosperity
The Ontario government is building more prosperity for families by helping to expand the MaRS Discovery District, a world-class centre for research and innovation in Toronto, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced today.
"Research and innovation are critical to building a high-wage, high-quality-of-life economy," said Premier McGuinty. "By supporting groundbreaking research that can lead to the next big breakthrough, we're attracting the jobs and investment that will help build a better quality of life for Ontarians."
The Premier announced over $16 million in new funding for the second phase of the MaRS Centre at an investment dinner at BIO 2006, an international life sciences conference.
MaRS houses science and technology research labs alongside technology companies and investment capital firms. To date, the government has invested $66.7 million in MaRS to help support the discovery, funding and marketing of new ideas all in the same building.
Work on the next phase of the MaRS Centre is expected to begin this year. The government's investment will help to more than double the centre's capacity from 700,000 square feet to more than 1.5 million square feet. This additional space will support more research, and help Ontario stay on the cutting edge of innovation. Over the next five years, the government will be investing nearly $1.7 billion in research and commercialization.
Phase II of the MaRS Centre will add another one million square feet of research and office space to the heart of Toronto's Discovery District -- a four- square-mile neighbourhood that is home to the University of Toronto, nine research and teaching hospitals and over 30 affiliated medical research institutions. Discovery District organizations receive more than $700 million US a year in funding for science and technology research.
"MaRS has made enormous progress in the last five years," says Dr. Ilse Treurnicht, MaRS CEO. "And with Phase II scheduled to commence later this year, we are confident that the next five years of MaRS' history will see the organization become a truly global gateway to Ontario's critical mass of incredible science and innovative companies."
"The MaRS community is already generating remarkable energy and fostering new collaborations and business partnerships," said Dr. John Evans, Chair of the Board for MaRS. "The expansion of the MaRS Centre, which anchors our community, will continue to build critical mass in key areas of emerging technology, capital and business expertise."
Since opening, MaRS has established a wide range of programs and services to support innovation, accelerate commercialization and give entrepreneurs and emerging companies opportunities to succeed.