Mississauga Urged to Embrace Innovation: Report
MISSISSAUGA, ON – WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2011 – A 10-point “Action Plan for Innovation in Mississauga” submitted today to the City of Mississauga and the RIC Centre in Mississauga is a milestone as the City takes steps to become a global centre for creativity and innovation.
Pam Banks, executive director of the RIC Centre (Research, Innovation and Commercialization) in Mississauga, particularly welcomed Action #1 of the “10 Actions” recommended by study authors Hickling Arthurs Low (HAL).
Action 1 is to “Establish a Mississauga Innovation Leadership Alliance comprising leaders from the private sector, post-secondary institutions, and the city that can provide strategic direction, support and commitment to overseeing initiatives designed to strengthen the innovation economy in Mississauga.”
“As the local agency responsible for helping entrepreneurs and businesses with innovative ideas throughout Peel Region, we see, every day, the potential for men and women in Mississauga to develop products and services that lead to new or expanded businesses, and new, quality jobs,” said Ms. Banks.
Mississauga, Canada’s sixth largest city, co-commissioned the report with support and engagement from the Ministry of Research & Innovation and RIC Centre.
RIC has helped more than 150 entrepreneurs move their ideas forward since 2008, in large part through the help of RIC’s advisory board, entrepreneurs-in-residence, and contacts with angel investors and venture capitalists.
“But we are a small organization. We welcome the plan to get more of the Mississauga business community, in particular, involved in fast-tracking innovation,” said Ms. Banks.
RIC Centre is part of the Ontario government Ministry of Research and Innovation’s Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE), made up of small organizations throughout the province dedicated to helping specific aspects of innovation and business creation. RIC Centre in Mississauga has responsibilities across Peel Region, and in addition to provincial government support, is funded by Peel Region, the City of Mississauga, The City of Brampton, the town of Caledon, and several other organizations, including University of Toronto Mississauga.
It continues, saying, “However, before Mississauga can act any further on its innovation agenda, it requires a much stronger civic leadership capacity that can be engaged to deliver on the kinds of initiatives that have been identified as being important for innovation by the community.“The report was commissioned to look into developing innovation capacity by connecting talent to the business community, and points out, “what the city does lack, though, is a meeting place to promote connectivity and a coherent approach to better capitalize on the post-secondary assets for training, education, and R&D purposes.”
“The Innovation Leadership Alliance should go a long way to engage business, government, education, and others,” said Ms. Banks.
Many of the 10 actions focus on finding and developing “talent” in people interested in innovation, and emphasizes the value and potential of working with Sheridan College and the University of Toronto Mississauga.
The study discusses developing what the authors call “A go-to hub” where people involved in innovation can meet regularly. It looks at finding existing R&D facilities that established businesses would be willing to make available to innovators.
The RIC Centre has printed copies of the report summary available, and has posted the full report on its web site, www.riccentre.com.
RIC Centre will host a meeting with key community stakeholders including members of the RIC Advisory Board, City of Mississauga, Sheridan College, UTM, MBOT, and business in the next month to discuss steps to implement the key action items.
Jana Schilder, Managing Partner
First Principles Communication
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