The Smartpark Innovation Hub (SIH) has opened at the University of Manitoba. It will be an information exchange centre that will encourage further partnerships between industry, government, and the University. It will provide rentable space for companies, new space for laboratories, and be home to Smartpark’s head office, the University’s Technology Transfer Office, and technology incubators such as North Forge Technology Exchange.
“The University of Manitoba community is excited about this new collision space where exchange and collaboration create ideas and potential that brings benefit to the lives of all peoples,” said Dr. David Barnard, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manitoba.”
The relationships and partnerships this space will foster deepens our reach and relevance to the greater business community.
He added: “The relationships and partnerships this space will foster deepens our reach and relevance to the greater business community. It also aligns with a major priority for the University of providing our students opportunities to develop new skills through experiential learning by working with companies here on research projects.”
As the primary research and technology park in Manitoba, Smartpark is home to some of the most innovative companies in the province. It maintains and grows strong ties to post-secondary research institutions and in turn drives further innovation. The 75,000-square-foot building is made up of a ground floor atrium, meeting rooms, a multipurpose room with 4K video walls, and a food service area, as well as two lab spaces. The second, third and fourth floors are tenant office spaces, with the fourth floor containing a Collision Corridor, where tenants can come together and network in the shared space.
“The primary objective of the SIH is to help form and foster a sense of community,” said Digvir Jayas, vice-president (research and international) and Distinguished Professor at the U of M. “It fills a gap in space for the diverse research community on campus, the city and the province to network and collaborate and provide unique opportunities for student engagement in partnered projects.”
SIH creates a one-stop location for commercialization and professional services, and will ensure that industry partners have the ability to efficiently access new technologies and expertise to bring their ideas to market.
“The University of Manitoba Smartpark Innovation Hub will be a world-class facility where researchers, entrepreneurs and students will come together to generate cutting-edge innovations. We know that the science of today is the economy of tomorrow. Our federal investment of over $20 million in the Innovation Hub will help generate good middle-class jobs right here in Manitoba and prepare our students for their future careers,” said Terry Duguid, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South.
Tenants set to move in over the coming weeks are: BOLD Commerce; North Forge Technology Exchange; Futurpreneur; Cibus Canada; Pembina Trails Early College School; the University of Manitoba Technology Transfer Office; and Backswath Management.
The facility was developed as a LEED Silver building following the Manitoba Green Building and Manitoba Hydro’s Power Smart programs. It features intelligent environmental controls that will reduce the cost of lighting, ventilation and overall electrical consumption. The advanced building envelope will regulate the amount of sunlight admitted into the building, helping to minimize excess solar gain and offset energy consumption during warm, sunny summer months as well as during cold and temperate winter months. The integrated design allows for maximum flexibility in reconfiguration of spaces with no structural changes required.