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

WATERLOO, Ont. -- Waterloo Regional Council approved the business case for the development of a 100-acre Research and Technology Park at University of Waterloo at its regular meeting yesterday (May 16).

The Regional Municipality of Waterloo, along with the University of Waterloo, the City of Waterloo, Communitech and Canada's Technology Triangle, has prepared a draft business case for the development of the 100-acre Research and Technology Park on UW's North Campus. Official approval by Waterloo city council was given May 8.

"The Region of Waterloo is pleased to be a part of the partnership developing the University of Waterloo Research and Technology Park," said Regional Chair Ken Seiling. "This Region has a long tradition of business, education and government sectors working together to build our community and enhance our quality of life."

The $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 Research and Technology Park business case calls for the creation of 1.2 million 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 this phase.

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

UW President David Johnston called the research and technology park proposal "a remarkable symbol of the new economy." It's a "powerful idea and an important initiative for the people of this region and the province," he added.

Calling UW the "locomotive of the new economy," this initiative will expand knowledge, encourage its application, stimulate new companies and create jobs, he said.

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

• 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:

Ken Seiling, Waterloo Regional Chair, (519) 575-4585

sken@region.waterloo.on.ca

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

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

From the UW News Bureau, (519) 888-4444; jfox@uwaterloo.ca

Release no. 97 -- May 17, 2001