UW Research and Technology Park business case receives Waterloo city council approval

WATERLOO, Ont. -- The University of Waterloo, together with the City of Waterloo, Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Communitech and Canada's Technology Triangle, has developed a draft business case for the development of a 100-acre Research and Technology Park on its North Campus.

This $214-million initiative, which includes on-site and off-site servicing, unique environment and transportation components and plans for a business accelerator centre, has been in the planning stage for several months. The accelerator centre would help start-up companies and entrepreneurs with plans for commercializing new ideas and technology.

The business case was approved by Waterloo Council at its regular meeting Monday. Official regional council approval will be sought on May 16.

The Research and Technology Park business case calls for the creation of 1,200,000 square feet of total space in three phases. The first phase of the development would involve 400,000 square feet of building space and a number of local high technology firms have expressed interest in establishing facilities in the park's first phase.

About two-thirds of the public funding is being sought from the SuperBuild Federal-Provincial Infrastructure program.

"The University of Waterloo is a locomotive of the new economy –– expanding knowledge, encouraging its application, stimulating new companies and creating jobs," said UW president David Johnston. "This research and technology park proposal is exciting. We’re delighted to work with our partners to advance this important initiative for the people of this region and the province."

The park will provide an opportunity for the university to form closer working and learning relationships with research-intensive companies in the information technology and high technology areas, as well as foster more technology transfer and create many new jobs for graduates and co-op students adjacent to the university campus.

The objectives for the Research and Technology Park include:

• encouraging the creation or relocation of research-based companies whose research and development interests are compatible with research and development activities in the university;

• providing suitable employment for co-op students and graduates;

• producing long-term financial benefit that will help the university to enhance the quality and relevance of its programs of teaching, research and service; and

• assisting in the economic and social enhancement of the surrounding community by facilitating the creation or relocation of companies or agencies employing highly-skilled people.

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Contacts:

Lynne Woolstencroft, Waterloo Mayor, (519) 747-8700

Martin Van Nierop, Director, UW's Information & Public Affairs,

(519) 888-4881; vanierop@uwaterloo.ca

From UW News Bureau, (519) 888-4444

Release no. 91 -- May 8, 2001